Have you ever looked at store coupons and seen rules and stipulations a mile long, and said “Forget it” to the whole thing?
Not so fast!
At least if you're shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods.
We've had a couple instances of very good luck using coupons that, according to the rules on various coupons, shouldn't have worked.
Last year, my wife was in the market for a new bike. I think this was prompted by the fact that my sister-in-law had just got a new bike, and while usable, the aqua green 10-speed from the 1990's just wasn't alluring. We do quite a bit of bike riding during camping trips, so she used birthday money to get her bike.
My sister-in-law actually came up with the suggestion to try to use our Entertainment Book coupon, where Dick's has a few entries. I looked at the coupon and it had some brand exclusions, one of which was the bike my wife wanted. I asked my sister-in-law and she said that they took hers without a problem, even though she bought a bike from the same manufacturer.
Sure enough, when I went to the store to pick up the bike, they took it without so much as a second glance.
We saved $15!
Last year when we had my daughter's first birthday party, we borrowed a couple of 10×10 canopies from my aunt and uncle. They worked great. So much that we thought it would be a good investment to buy a couple for ourselves. We knew we'd have parties and gatherings at various points, plus we also figured it'd be good to take one on camping trips, as it could be good to add covered space in addition to the awning on the camper.
They typically retail for $100, but we saw one for $80 and were thinking about getting at least one.
Then, my wife hit the jackpot. There was a coupon in the Sunday insert that allowed you to buy one for $50. That's half off! We asked my parents for their coupon, and went in with the age old strategy of deciding to buy one each, since the coupon clearly stated ‘One per customer'.
Then, I remembered what store I was working with. I looked in this year's Entertainment Book and saw that they had two coupons that we might be able to work with. One was $10 off $50 and the other was $20 off $100.
I looked at the coupon and it also said ‘Cannot be combined with other offers' but what harm did it hurt to try, right?
We took all the coupons with us, and walked up to the register. Our first option was to use the $20 off $100 coupon, so I asked if we could put both on the same order and use two coupons.
“Let me check,” the cashier said. She scanned both items in, scanned one of the coupons…and both of the items immediately went to $50. So, they don't even program their computers to match the written policy.
We then asked if we could use the coupon from the Entertainment book. She looked at it, scanned it, entered the value, and we got an extra $20 off.
All told, with tax, we paid slightly over $84 for two canopies.
Earlier in the week, we had been prepared to go get one for a sale price of $80.
So, even with what we were prepared to pay, we got two for the price of one!
Just goes to show that the fine print which is written on coupon policies might not always be enforced, so next time you think about tossing that coupon, think about giving it a shot. You might be surprised.
Readers, have you ever had luck using coupons that you didn't think you would be able to? What deals did you score?