With an amount of $3,9 billion dollars used in coupon transactions in 2010, it is plain to see that they are being used and collected in earnest by most people desperate to save money wherever they can. This is quite understandable considering the current economic climate and ever increasing cost of living.
Right back in 1887, Asa Candler, one of the Coca-Cola Company partners introduced a new marketing technique. He had his employees and sales people give out complimentary coupons for Coca-Cola. In addition, coupons were placed in magazines and mailed to potential customers. Between 1894 and 1913, probably one in nine Americans had tasted a free Coca-Cola amounting to 8,5 million free drinks. And by 1895, Candler could announce to his shareholders that the company was enjoyed in every single state in America. What more proof does anyone need that coupons work?
However, today it is more a question of affordability than popularity of the product that is aiding in the increasing use of coupons. With the continual rise in food and clothing prices and the cost of living increases, coupons are becoming a fact of daily life. Companies are hoping that by issuing coupons they will be gaining customer loyalty once the crunch-times are over.
Besides usefulness in saving money, coupons also have other redeeming factors. By using coupons, shoppers become more aware of their favorite product prices, so they start becoming wiser and smarter consumers. When sales are on, most companies offer double or triple value for their coupons, so shoppers become more alert to seasonal changes in the stores. Even kids benefit from coupons! They can be encouraged to practice their maths and learn about subtraction and percentages. Coupons give consumers power and courage in collectively demanding lower prices from bigger retailer. New products become popular quicker with the help of coupons as everyone gets to sample them as they come onto the market.
The rise of popularity of coupons and promotional codes has led to the development of coupon and promo code sites, which offer numerous savings to the consumer in the form of product discounts. It has been worked out that the average family can save $500 – $1 000 per year if they use coupons correctly and regularly. Coupons don’t give you a once off big win, but bit by bit they chip away at the expenses you face every day and soon you will be able to stretch your pennies to reach the month end.
Clipping coupons out of newspapers and magazines is fast becoming out dated as the internet takes over as the leader in coupon marketing. Not only do you save money on the cost of the product, but also on the shipping and handling costs of what you order. The amount of the savings you accumulate differ of course depending on the retailer, but they add up pretty quickly. Consumers are also normally offered a choice – whether they want to redeem the coupon now or save it for later, so you can accumulate a whole lot of savings to be used in one go when you need it most.
Most recently, there is a new company in the coupon world, called Scantastix, home of “Never clip another coupon”. Scantastix works with a smart card – a consumer savings program and loyalty card. No more clipping, saving coupons or even internet surfing, simply hand over your loyalty card and you will receive the appropriate discount. Shopping is certainly becoming an art these days with all the loyalty cards you have to carry around!
As you can see, coupons and promo codes have their place in our free market economy, and any wise consumer would be foolish not to take advantage of them!