Coupons: WOW or OW?

Coupons can be an effective sales tool. They can help entice your customer to buy now or sway potential buyers away from your competitor. Many stores offer coupons. Buy one get one half off, or 20% off of a purchase or save $20 if you spend $100. When we, as consumers, get to take advantage of these deals, it can add to our shopping satisfaction. Great deals might even make us say W.O.W.  But honestly, for me, with the exception of grocery store coupons, most turn out to be a disappointment.

I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve happily walked up to the cashier at Macy’s with my 20% off coupon only to be told that the particular brand isn’t covered, or it only applies to regular priced items or some exclusion that was written in a 3-size font on the back of the coupon applies.  It’s not just a Macy’s issue. Last week I was all giddy about buying a new printer at OfficeMax with a coupon touting $20 off for spending $100 only to find that printers are excluded from the offer. Really? It feels like a scam.

Retailers that play what I have dubbed as “the coupon game” might think they are gaining customers, but in the long run they are losing the one thing that keeps customers coming back. Trust.

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