There is a thriving community on the internet that is dedicated to saving their members money in their daily purchases. They do it through encouraging their members to download and print various savings coupons that are offered by the manufacturers and retailers on a huge range of products.
Coupons are a ticket that is normally issued by a manufacturer and redeemable at a retailer offering a promotion discount or rebate if you were to purchase its product. Historically they were found in Newspapers and in the 50s and 60s coupon clipping was a standard practice. It is claimed by some assiduous coupon users that they are able to save about 50% on the retail price of the goods they purchase.
The idea of a coupon is to make you want to purchase that particular product as it is noticeably cheaper with the cash reduction than its competitors. The assumption is that you were going to buy a product in that line anyway. Coupons are better redeemed in some product lines than in others. To use the retail industry standard, a coupon on a can of baked beans is likely to receive a far higher redemption rate than a coupon on a line of children’s clothes. Baked beans and dishwashing liquid are standard purchases in any shopping basket whereas kid’s clothes, lines of sugary cakes or various consumer durables are more rare. Not everyone has small children, they don’t necessarily buy clothes for them every week if they do, even if there is a discount, and sugary cakes are for the sweet tooth only.
Plus of course many people are set in their shopping habits and may stay loyal to a particular brand of washing detergent or make of coffee, whisky or beer even if rival brands are discounted.
Historically there is a different redemption rate depending on the media used to distribute coupons. Coupons redeemed having been clipped out of newspapers was always far less than 1%. Coupons handed out or in targeted demographic regions managed to push this rate for the “baked bean” type lines. It is possible to be a lot more accurate with internet issued coupons if the user needs to register and download such a coupon. This obviously gives the manufacturer quite a lot of information which he may use to target market you with other product offers, and indeed it allows him to build a data base which in itself is a marketable asset. Many other coupons are free for anyone to print should they desire.
Since the economy downturn the coupon redemption appears to have increased year on year. Which is illustrative of their value to the consumer.
The thing with coupons is that they are only of use if you are going to use them. So of you are on a low sugar diet and you get a load of coupons for jellies and cake mixes then they are of no use to you, but you might find that there is someone out there who has a load of coupons for lo-cal soups and sugar free cereals which you buy the whole time. So there is a coupon forum where you can register and trade the coupons you have got in your purse but are never going to use for some that are useful to you.