by Laura Jones and Desk of Brian's Brandon Jones
Fraud always creates a problem for retailers and consumers alike. As a cost savings, many vendors issue coupons on-line to increase availability beyond the scope of newspaper subscribers.
Unfortunately, as technology has improved, so have the thieves to take advantage of these opportunities. With a struggling economy, everyone is searching for ways to earn more money and save a few bucks also.
This battle may be marching into a head-on-head confrontation.
1-800-Flowers issued $20 off coupons on Harry London candy boxes, but many coupons were simply peeled away, sold on the internet and circumvented the intent of the promotion.
These are the guidelines for selling coupons on eBay(edited for space, see below for link to entire policy):
Selling coupons eBay may be lucrative, but greed still corrupts.
From the report on Consumerist.com:
"1-800-Flowers canceled a string of orders made with the coupon codes
that appeared fraudulent. Those customers should receive an e-mail, [a
company spokesman] said, asking them to call the company and go through
the procedure again."
Then there's the issue of fraud.
If you think this fraudulent is not a serious problem, let me point you to this story Daily Chronicle in Illinois in which two young men forged and use over $700 in fake coupons. They are now facing two Class 3 Felony charges.
These stories are everywhere. From overseas arrests (read here), or in
Dehli to ebay itself (arrest of Glenn and Joanna Schwartz)
For now Wal-Mart will accept Internet Coupons:
"Internet coupons should be legible and say "Manufacturer Coupon." There
should be a valid remit address for the manufacturer and a scannable
bar code." (Read Wal-Mart coupon policy)
Publix carries the most money saving coupon policy but store managers have hinted that there are changes ahead. Read full Publix coupon policy here.
Read Complete eBay coupon selling guidelines here
Follow "State of the Nation" by Brandon Jones on Desk of Brian here
Laura's coupon page on Facebook "Share your Savings" can be found here