In a recent column, I shared an email from a reader who wished companies would get rid of coupons completely, noting that coupon shoppers often take longer in line than regular shoppers. This column generated a great deal of responses from my readers. Here’s a sampling:
I read with interest the complaint regarding couponers holding up checkout lanes and couldn’t help but respond. I have used coupons for many, many years, which I learned from my mother. A couple of things crossed my mind regarding the complaint, namely, are they shopping at the busiest, most congested times and days of the week? I see more self-checkouts in stores. Are they using those? What about shopping early? Why not ask the store manager about designating a ‘no coupon’ lane or two?
There are also options for ordering and paying online, then driving to the store where your purchases will be brought out and loaded in your vehicle. Some stores will deliver your order to you. I have held up the line because I had a valid coupon (not expired, for the correct product) that was rejected by the cashier or the register itself. It occasionally happens, and people seem to have lost their common courtesy, which is sad and shameful on their part.”
Why not get rid of all coupons, indeed! Perhaps your job does not allow you to be objective on this subject? I agree as I sit here with the Sunday paper and look at all of the waste involved in the marketing of food products! Your example of lowering the cost of a product by a dollar makes an unfair assumption that all of a sudden the company will sell 307 billion items! And you consider that a loss! Even if that were to happen, I would think they’d be most happy to sell 307 billion for a dollar less than only 2.2 billion?! But putting that aside and looking at the bigger picture that goes way beyond just coupons – consider the various needs just in your own neighborhood, town, county, state and this country, and imagine what could be done to bring our standard of living up to a higher and sustainable level if we devoted our energies and resources to worthwhile endeavors that benefit people and not corporations and the almighty dollar!”
“To the reader who wants to get rid of coupons:
So you don’t use coupons? How fortunate and privileged you must be to have no need! So, let’s deprive those who are or might be in need. Is this really how you feel? Coupons are for people struggling and need to use them in order to make ends meet. Right now there are so many people in need of jobs, child support or shelter for the homeless, and your only one concern is waiting a few extra minutes in line behind them. Did you also know that many stores offer pick up and delivery services for those like you who are too impatient or have no time for other people? What’s the matter with people nowadays anyway?”
I love your tips and I am a coupon user myself. I have saved so much over the years by using coupons. The last article, ‘Why not get rid of all coupons?’, hit home for me. If people don’t want to stand in line and wait while a person is saving their family money, then they can simply change lanes. No one knows why that person chose to use coupons. I bet if there were coupons to save on cars, college, housing or vacations, people would stand in line for a chance to save a buck or two. I prefer to spend my time saving money, not more money to save time. Keep the tips coming.”
I do not have the column space to share every email I received about this topic, but the pro-coupon emails outnumbered the anti-couponers by nearly three to one.