New Walmart Coupon Policy Changes!

This post may contain affiliate links. Click to read our Disclosure Policy . Click to read our Privacy Policy

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!)

Similar Posts


  1. I think this will be helpful. Some cashiers look at us funny or have an attitude if the new bar code won’t scan. I wish homeland would update their computers. Rarely do the new bar codes scan right at our homeland.

  2. My last trip to Walmart was terrible. I had a big cart full and a lot of coupons. The cashier made me match each coupon to the items before she would start scanning! Then when she was scanning the coupons she kept saying she didn’t remember seeing things and made me look for them again! 1 1/2 hrs later I was finally checked out and all my frozen food was thawed! She also mixed up her piles of coupons and I think she didn’t scan them.

  3. When I was checking out at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago, I was buying some produce I was price matching to Aldi, some bakery items that were from the reduction rack, and some items that I used coupons on. My total would have been about $15, but, it ended up being about $5 with all the discounts. The cashier was super hateful through the whole checkout process, and I had to verify things with the manager a few times. After I had paid and was walking off, the cashier said, “I hope you liked getting all that free!” I just walked away. First of all, I had paid some money–it wasn’t free, and she just wasn’t worth my time.

    The good news is that this cashier is the exception, not the rule. There are many out there who are great.

    1. I agree Karen! Not all cashiers are like that. I started doing all my coupon shopping at Homeland. I am still able to save lots of money and deal with very friendly staff who are coupon friendly. They even offer to help take your groceries to the car! 🙂

  4. so it’s our faults as consumers that WalMarts equipment doesn’t work half the time to scan coupons? I see how convenient this will be for them!!!

  5. Do you know when this is taking place, my cashier today just told me about this and also they couldn’t take copies of coupons (I told her I don’t copy coupons) and she was like well we can’t take multiples either..But didn’t know when it would start.

    1. Ginger, the changes went in to effect Sept. 1st. I’m not sure what the cashier meant by they don’t take multiples. There’s no policy that I know of that states they don’t take multiples unless the coupon itself has a limit on it. I do know that all stores have the right to limit how many of the same item you can buy in one transaction.

    1. Christina whenever the word coupon is typed on the blog page it automatically becomes a link to I leave out the ‘o’ to prevent it from becoming a link and sending people on a wild goose chase thinking it’s a link to the deal I’m posting about. It’s the same with the word Walmart. That’s why I use Wal-mart. Usually if you see a word or couple of words like Black Friday spelled Black-Friday etc. that’s why 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *