Posted on: July 11, 2017

Coupon Restrictions Curb Shoppers’ Brand Loyalty

“Hi Jill,

I am a long time couponing customer. One thing that has me irked about a major manufacturer is their lack of issuing coupons for a well-known brand of laundry detergent in the Sunday newspapers.

What gives with this brand refusing to issue these detergent coupons in the papers anymore? I've used this brand of detergent exclusively for approximately the last 10-15 years, now you can't even get any coupons from them anymore. I have contacted and complained to them about this, but they truly don't care about their customers anymore. Sadly, I will have to resort to another brand, which does just as good a job and is a lot more cost effective than my former brand.

Very disappointed, disgusted, and soon to be former loyal detergent customer.”

Corie M.

“Dear Jill,

What is going on with a major manufacturer’s coupons lately? First they got rid of all the detergent coupons from the brand I bought most often. Now their new coupon insert came and all of the coupons are limit two per household per day! They used to be limit four. So then, I went online to print a detergent coupon and things are even worse. Their printable coupons now say 'Limit 1 identical coupon per household.' They are making it so difficult to stock up on anything now.”

Tera K.

I’ve been receiving a great deal of email from readers regarding recent changes to a well-known manufacturer’s coupons, both in the coupon inserts and online. Indeed, this manufacturer makes everything from cleaning products to personal care products, makeup and more. This year, the manufacturer removed coupons for its flagship laundry detergent brand from many coupon inserts around the country. Instead, a page in the insert showed a photo of the detergent and instructed shoppers to go online to print detergent coupons.

In July 2017, their monthly coupon insert had a new, across-the-board change: All coupons stated “Limit of 2 identical coupons per household per day.” As my readers have noticed, their printable coupon restrictions have gotten even tighter: They’re now limited to one per day.

Why wouldn’t a company want consumers to use more of their coupons? The manufacturer recently told coupon industry watchdog website CouponsInTheNews.com that the majority of consumers only use one or two coupons at a time, and restricting coupon use will allow more shoppers to find products available for purchase in stores. However, many couponers have speculated on social media that these recent changes have more to do with battling coupon fraud, and I tend to agree. This company’s portfolio of brands is well known, and their coupons often are sold online by coupon resellers against the company’s wishes.

When the manufacturer’s laundry detergent coupons disappeared from coupon inserts in certain parts of the country, coupon resellers bragged on social media that they were acquiring the sought-after detergent coupons from the regions that did receive them.

If you’re the brand in this situation, what would your next step be? In this case, the brand continued to reduce the number of newspapers carrying the popular detergent coupons nationally, giving the appearance to many shoppers they were actively trying to eliminate these coupons from being resold online. However, the brand also risks angering a core base of shopper that are loyal to the brand but also won’t buy it without a coupon. With the tighter restrictions on how many coupons can be used in one trip, shoppers who simply like to stock up on their most-used items also are likely to be angered.

When a brand pulls back on it coupon promotions, competing manufacturers may react by trying to capture buyers in the same category with high-value offers for their own brands. If you’re interested in trying something new, you may be able to score a bargain if competing high-value offers begin appearing in the coupon inserts in the weeks ahead. I’ll certainly be watching and waiting – scissors in hand.


Jill Cataldo Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

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