As of September 1, 2012, Walmart has made some changes to their internal coupn policy and to the register systems. You will not see any changes to the Public Walmart Coupon Policy, the changes are more procedural and clarifying for the Wal-mart employees:
1. All Walmart Register systems were updated to accept the GS1 DataBar Codes that most coupns have switched to and all eventually will go to.
2. All coupns must be scanned on the flatbed scanners, the handheld scanners are not supposed to be used any longer.
3. The coupn must scan (not a new change) . Cashiers/CSM’s or Managers are not allowed to override or manually enter coupns.
4. If a coupn does not scan they are instructed to return the coupn to you. This applies to Printable Coupns and newspaper insert coupns.
The reason for the change? Plain & Simple: Coupn fraud!
The average dollar amount of coupon fraud per Walmart location has been as high as $10,000 per month: This number doesn’t seem like a huge number for a store that does millions of dollars in sales, but this number comes right off of the profit margin. There are nearly 4,000 Walmart Stores in the US, if you take the number of stores by the average amount of fraud the numbers get as high as $40,000,000 per month.
Employee Coupon Fraud: Unfortunately employees of Wal-mart have gotten on the “coupn fraud bandwagon” and here have been several stories about massive scale coupon fraud being perpetrated on Walmart stores by their own employees.
Coupon Coding: The old bar codes had a lot of info that could be deciphered and used on products that they were not intended for. The new GS1 bar codes will eliminate that. Hopefully this will put an end to those out there charging people to teach them how to defraud stores!
So what does this mean to the couponer?
If the coupn doesn’t scan (legit coupn or not) they aren’t supposed to take it. Since there is no law on the books that says a store has to accept coupns then we’ll just have to smile and go with the flow LOL!!
Make sure you print your coupns using the high quality setting on your printer. This will help make sure your cpn will scan – sometimes if the bar code is too light the scanner won’t pick it up.
I know there are some cashiers out there that really dislike coupners and have a bad attitude BUT if you always remain nice and polite it can make your coupning experience a lot more pleasant with most cashiers. Getting all bent out of shape because they won’t take a cpn will only make them less likely to be accomodating if you have a problem not related to couponing later on down the road. We’re all human and when you approach them with your problem they’ll remember you as the person who threw a fit over coupns and let’s just say they may not be as helpful as they could be LOL!
Hopefully with this new system the incidence of coupn fraud will decrease and we’ll see higher value coupns and better coupn policies from manufacturer’s and store alike!
What is GS1DataBar?
The GS1 DataBar is a new bar code that will take up less space on labels and possibly coupns. It will enable stores to track weight, price and expiration dates.
GS1 DataBar symbols can carry more information and identify small items than the current UPC bar code. This creates the opportunity for solutions supporting product authentication and traceability, product quality and effectiveness, fresh variable measure product identification, and couponing. In other words, the bar code will prevent shoppers from using the wrong coupn on the wrong product because each product can be identified individually by the new system.
(Thanks I Heart The Mart!)