Coupon Etiquette: The Rules

These popular coupon bloggers weigh in on what is and isn't all right in couponing's gray areas

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Wrong: Buying Coupons

Right: Sharing Coupons

“I don’t purchase coupons from clipping services or eBay. The argument that sellers are ‘charging them for their time involved’ doesn’t make sense to me, because there is usually an exchange involving prices and quantities. On the flip side, I do share coupons that I can’t use with friends – no charge involved there!”-Angela Russell,


Wrong: Decoding Barcodes

Right: Taking Neighbors’ Unwanted Coupons

“I would never consider participating in ‘bar code decoding’. As far as I’m concerned, that practice constitutes fraud. On the other hand, my apartment building’s lobby has a recycling bin. When I see coupon sections there, I don’t hesitate to grab them. My neighbors may not want them, but I sure do!”-Donna Freedman,


Wrong: Emptying Shelves of an Item

Right: Using Clipping Services

“I do not clear shelves. Purchasing excessive quantities of the same item is unnecessary and wasteful, since sales and coupons roll back around every few months. I do occasionally purchase coupons from clipping services to save additional money on items my family uses most.” -Carie Regnier,


Wrong: Stealing Coupon Inserts

Right: Asking a Manager to Accept an Expired Coupon

“Consumers often complain that the coupon inserts are missing from their newspapers. I would never steal coupon inserts, but I would ask a store manager to accept and expired coupon. I know I’m not entitled to it, but since I am a loyal and frequent shopper, some managers are willing to help.”-Andrea Woroch,