Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Online Coupons Work - Individual Privacy

Coupons Inc.

I had a friend send me an interesting link about online coupons.  I encourage you to take a peek and see what information companies can gather just by your coupon use.  I also want to take a few moments to explain in more detail how these online coupons actually work.

First of all, there are many ways to obtain printable coupons.  It is possible for the way you obtain the coupons to be coded into the coupon itself.  The coupon can contain information about what printing source was used and what searches were done to find that coupon.

Each online coupon (unless a pdf version is released by the manufacturer) has a unique number code and unique bar code (which is why photocopying printed coupons is coupon fraud and a big no-no).  Stores will be reimbursed for the coupons with unique codes and will not be reimbursed for fraudulent coupons.  Many stores have decided to not accept internet printed coupons due to this risk.  Yet another example of how the misdeeds of a few negatively impact everyone.

I encourage you to keep using internet coupons.  I am honestly not all that concerned about information printed into coupons.  If you are concerned, make sure you print from sites that do not require registration so that you can limit the information available to encode.

Here are many coupon printing sites. Some sites may seem to have strange web addresses.  There is a simple explanation.  For some companies, I am an affiliate.  I promote the coupons they stock (which I use quite regularly) and in turn receive a very small compensation that helps to support this site.  The strange looking web addresses are simply the affiliate links with my information in it so I get credit.  If you aren't comfortable using these links, simply copy and paste the regular address into your browser.  I have noted which ones require registration:
  • - no registration required but offered
  • - no registration required
  • - no registration required
  • - not available in all areas, registration required to print
  • - registration required. Receive $5 in account upon registration and receive small (pennies) cash back for each printed coupon that is redeemed plus get $5 for each friend referred who uses this program.  Once balance reaches $20, you are mailed a check.
  • - registration required.  Earn points by shopping online, redeeming printed grocery coupons, playing daily spin and win game, taking surveys, reading emails, and contributing to frogponds.  If you are a BzzAgent, you earn mypoints for completing BzzReports.  Points can be redeemed for gift cards.


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