Walmart Coupon Policy Getting Good Reviews
Walmart received some praise last week from consumer bloggers for
restating its coupon policies to provide clearer explanations of its redemption
procedures. Some saw the changes as more generous.
In particular, for the first time Walmart clearly stated that it will
not only accept a coupon that’s
worth more than the item being purchased but will give the customer the
difference. For example, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, if a shopper
has a coupon worth $3 off any size package of a particular brand of disposable
razors and a consumer buys the smallest size priced at $1.88, Wal-Mart will
give the $1.12 difference in cash — or apply the money to your other
purchases. The policy states, "Coupons may exceed the price of the item.
Change may be given or applied toward the cost of the basket purchase."
situation, termed "overage," is occurring more as couponing
has become more aggressive in recent years. Wal-Mart is said to be the first
to not only address the issue in writing, but also to cover
the difference. Most stores "key down" the value of coupons to
match the purchase price. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Target
will accept coupons for more than the price of the item and will apply credit
to the total but will not give cash back.
Another change is that Walmart is
now accepting competitors’ coupons that state a specific price, for instance,
the discount makes it 99 cents. It won’t take competitor coupons for "$1
off an item" for example. Finally,
the discounter now accepts Catalina’s register printout coupons from competitors’
accept competitors’ coupons under four restrictions: dollars/cents off at a
specific retailer, percentage off, buy one, get one free (BOGO) coupons without
a specified price, and double- or triple-value coupons. Walmart also won’t
accept printable coupons that require no purchase.
Speaking to Dow Jones,
Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said the retailer is also trying to educate
staff as well customers of its coupon guidelines.
"There was confusion and inconsistent redemption in the stores," admitted
Mr. Jariwala. "We are clarifying our position and now more clearly communicating
it to customers and [employees]."
The Dow Jones report noted that
confusion over coupon usage has been a steady rant on blog sites tracking Walmart
as well as retail in general. Many claim procedures vary from store to store
and even from cashier to cashier.
Showing that coupon clippers can go to extremes,
Walmart’s policy also calls for a supervisor or manager to approve any purchase
with over 40 coupons, a coupon that is worth $20 or higher, and any time total
coupon savings exceeds $50.
- Walmart Coupon Policy – Walmart Stores
- Wal-Mart Looks To Clearer Coupon Policy To Build Sales – Dow Jones
Newswire/The Wall Street Journal
- The new coupon policy at Walmart – NJ.com
- Walmart has a new coupon policy – Salt Lake Tribune
- Use savings strategies at the supermarket – Minneapolis Star Tribune
Discussion Questions: What do you think of Walmart’s move to clarify and simplify its coupon policies? Is their “overage” stance as well as their acceptance of competitors’ coupons too generous? How much of a benefit will Walmart likely get from consumers and particularly coupon-clippers?