Changes to the Target Coupon Policy

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Well if you have had a copy of Target’s Coupon Policy in your binders, it is time to print another one. Target has updated its Coupon Policy and the most notable difference is now addressing the quantity of coupons that can be used. You can view and print off a copy of Target’s Coupon Policy HERE. The following is what I see new in the policy…

1. Limit of 4 identical coupons per household, per day (unless otherwise noted on coupon)
so in other words if your coupon has wording on it that limits you to using less, you cannot use 4

2. Returns of items purchased using Manufacturer coupons may receive coupon value returned in the form of a Target GiftCard.  So for example, if you buy a Bottle of Pantene Shampoo for $3.49 and use a $1/1 Manufacturer’s Coupon on it and decide to return it. You may only get $2.49 refunded to you, and $1 will be put on a Target Gift Card. (Note- The value of a Target Coupon used is never refunded).

3. We reserve the right to accept, refuse or limit the use of any coupon.

4. We do not accept Canadian coupons in our US stores.

– Thanks for the heads up on the changes to Amy!

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  1. There seems to be a lot of confusion about returning items that you used a manufacturer’s coupon on.

    If you buy a razor for $20, and use a $5 manufacturer’s coupon, you end up only paying Target $15, right? Ok. So then that $5 coupon gets sent off to the manufacturer and Target gets reimbursed the $5 plus a few extra cents to cover cost of shipping or whatever. So ultimately, Target is getting paid the FULL amount because the manufacturer reimburses them for the value of the coupons you use.

    So when you go to the store to return that razor, you should get refunded the FULL $20 PRICE. Which means the manufacturer basically foots the $5 bill (coupon value) for you trying out their product. That is how it works at every retail store I’ve ever been to If Target didn’t give you back the full price and only gave you back the $15 (as some people have mentioned), then Target is pocketing that extra $5 b/c they sure as hell aren’t sending it back to the manufacturer!! So if it is a choice between Target pocketing all that extra money on returns or giving it back to the customer, I am totally on board with giving it back to the customer. It took me a while to wrap my head around the concept, and obviously it’s not really totally fair (to the manufacturer that is since they are the ones losing money on said returns)…but there’s just not any kind of better system set up.

    Also, over time I’ve come to think of coupons more like marketing tools/lures rather than “nice money-saving opportunities.” What I mean is, at the end of the day you have to realize that the reason coupons even exist is NOT because the manufacturers are trying to save you money. Coupons exist because manufacturers are trying to MAKE more money by enticing people into buying their products. Of course, people (like many of us) who are savvy with coupons can end up saving a ton of money. But how many people out there (even many of us) see a coupon and end up buying things that they wouldn’t have bought otherwise? Or maybe don’t even really need? (I am totally guilty.) That’s why coupons exist. B/c they are a great marketing tool for manufacturer’s so they can get people to buy their stuff.

    So anyway, my whole point of this little diatribe is to say that when you return an item that you used a manufacturer’s coupon on, you should get refunded the ENTIRE price (including the coupon amount). If the store doesn’t do that, then the store is cheating you and pocketing that money themselves. And personally, I think Target’s new policy of refunding manufacturer’s coupons as Target gift cards is pretty cheat-tastic. The manufacturer is still losing their coupon reimbursement money to Target, and Target is now refunding that money in a way that ensures you come back and spend more money at Target (or like others have mentioned, they end up pocking all that extra money if people lose their gift cards).

  2. When I first started couponing, I shopped at the Target in Mission Valley San Diego. The cashier and manager (Alex) treated me so badly. The manager wouldn’t let me stack Target Qs with Manu Qs, wouldn’t give me a GC if I used Qs purchasing the product. They gave me every excuse they can so I can’t use Qs. There was a Q on cereal where I had to buy 3 of them and get $1 off and the manger said I was buying too many of the same item and she wouldn’t let me buy them. I was so upset and left the store, forgetting my coupon binder and came back and it was gone. There was no doubt in my mind that the store took it. I had never in my life felt so humiliated, insulted and treated so poorly. They treated me like a criminal when I tried to use a few coupons.
    Anyone from San Diego, whether you are a couponer or not. Please boycott this store.

  3. By the way…What happen to Target’s Motto’s of “Expect More, Pay less”? I guess it is now “Expect Less, Pay More.”

  4. I use to love Target too! I am a Target Red Card holder and I live within 2 miles of three Target stores. I notice that there is a difference between each store. One Target has the nicest cashiers who have no issues accepting stack coupons and multiples. They don’t turn their noses up and they actually like to see how much you are going to save. On the other hand, the Super Target is another beast. I notice the managers there like one of the readers is always on the cashier’s back to move the line and guest services is picking about price matching with certain local stores ad. The Super store cashiers will refuse your coupons without even scanning. I hate that there are changes to the policies but that is what happens when people scam stores like Jaime did on TLC’s Extreme Couponing and when other customers complain about shortage of products. Target needs to make their coupon clear and transparent to customers and educate their associates.

  5. I had the worst time last week at Target,The cashier had to call her superviosr because she said they had just gotten a memo that thy could only take 1 mfg coupon per item per transaction per day. I wanted to do the Schick deal.Supervisor called her manager and she said that was the policy. I was so upset, so I called guest relation to verify if that was true and they said no. They told me if it happen again, to call them when I’m there in front of the cashier, and they will talk to them. They asked me for the manager’s and supervisor’s name. Maybe they are making these changes, because they are getting alot of compliants from customers. Hopefully this will help at least with my store.

  6. Now if they can just eliminate the “one offer per guest” on their coupons to make it match the policy ….

  7. But, they won’t have a problem selling you 4 identical items, just no more than 4 identical

  8. i really can’t get the hang of couponing so i rarely have more then 1 or 2 of a item w/ coupons. Our Target is so much better then Walmart here,Walmart literally treats me like a criminal for using coupons and will not let me use any coupon if the machine beeps.

  9. I use to shop at Target at least 3-4 times a week. But a few months ago the cashiers got rude about me using my coupons. They made smart comments ,making rude faces and talking under their breath. I had one really nice cashier also but she’s not usually there when I go now. I don’t shop there but 1-2 times a month there now. They have lost a lot of business. I always treat others how I want to be treated. If everyone would do this , things would go a lot smoother. Also I would like to say I have never been a shelf clearer. At times the store just runs short of stuff.

  10. I knew there were changes coming last week when trying to use a few coupons. My cashier just kept eyeballing me about the printed coupons from website. So when I got all done the amount was much higher than anticipated. So I stopped one of their managers an d asked about my receipts. She really went out of her way to make sure that it was right. She went over to the register and pulled all the coupons and went thru receipt matching everything up. Turned out they gave me a gift card for $22.47 for the differences. Now I’m not sure if it was because there was a store tour and a lot of big wigs there. On another note my local Walmart won’t take 2 like coupons per transaction. I guess they had someone try and pass like 20 of the same printed coupon. Which has now hurt the honest couponerr.

  11. Actually Mary, I had a $5 off coupon for Kohl’s ended up returning the item because it was used on a gift (which they already had one of) and I was given a refund for what I paid, as well as a $5. I was shocked when she handed it to me, and the girl laughed at me when I tried to give it back. LOL!
    I think it’s their way of getting you to do more spending in the store. Same for Target now. It’s a way to get you to do a little more purchasing. Example: If you used a $0.50 coupon on an item you returned, you aren’t going to go grab something that’s $0.50 to use than mini giftcard. You’ll probably end up spending closer to $4-$5.

  12. Maybe my Target is heaven on earth, but I’ve never had any problems doing stacks or using Q’s there. Granted, I’m in a college town so cashiers are younger and care less, but still. On the occasion that I do have a beep, the cashiers just make sure I bought something in that category and send it through. None of these changes really affect me, at least that I know of

  13. If you have problems with your store write and email Target at the Corporate Level. Let them know you don’t appreciate being treated badly. Be nice. Be patient. It will take some work.

  14. Laura- I’m glad to see someone works there is well and understands why couponing is sometimes difficult! I work at a Target as a GSA and it is a big hassel sometimes. Espeically when last year we got hit BIG TIME by a fraudulent couponer. Basically she got 600 worth of groceries for nothing because the cashier didn’t realize the coupons were copied. Now we are a little bit harder with couponers. That being said…I personally walk up to fellow couponers and ask them how much they have in coupons, and strike up a conversation with them as they’re checking out about great deals they’ve gotten. I love watching people save money. This also means I will stand behind a cashier and see what doesnt go through….sometimes the item is legitamitely there but for some reasons our registers do not pick it up…happens to me all the time. I am the first one to tell the cashiers to patch the coupons through.

    I’m sorry to all of you who don’t have friendly couponing Targets! It does suck when someone challenges a coupon for an item you clearly bought. I even had one of my own cashiers ask a supervisor to challenge my coupons when I was off the clock one day…I know people exist that make simple situations more complicated! I ended up getting the coupons accepted but afterwards I said “Do you honestly think I would use coupons for items I didnt purchase….AT MY JOB?!” The cashier didn’t know how to respond.

    But we have a lot of shelf clearers….and since our store is now finishing up a remodel we haven’t been getting as much merchandise as normal……I am a bit frustrated with the changes but maybe it wont be so bad….you learn to deal I guess!

    Thanks for the heads up though! (I don’t work the next two days….might not have heard about this otherwise….lol)

  15. My shopping at Target has gone down 75% since I started really couponing. Our cashiers are ridiculous. They said if the register beeps at all that means the coupon isn’t for what I am buying. Even if the item is pictured on the coupon and says for it specifially and there’s a beep? No go. I hate sweating while being in line at Target hoping that they will take my coupons that are valid for what I am buying. Takes all of the fun out of getting a good deal.

  16. I think limiting 4 of a like coupon is a little extreme personally. Many will just either bring an additional person or visit the store more than once a week. This will only cause more traffic volume and more time to check out additional people. It should have been left to store management to make the limits based on availoable product of an item. I do agree its not fair for one person to clear the shelf using mass amounts of coupons,but I buy for 2 households and usually have 10 coupons for an item that I have to buy alot of like can goods,dogfood,baby food,etc. I think in time this is going to be aggravating to both cashiers and shoppers. Thus, losing some customers to other stores.

  17. Target used to be my favorite store but with all these new policies and cashiers full of attitude it’s not worth going there anymore

  18. i used to love target but about 6 mths ago both targets by me became very unfriendly for coupons… i’ve been told that I’m scaming the store and company etc, and I ALWAYS GO by policy. I’ve actually walked out in tears after being accused of trying to “steal” items that were made free by coupons, I never complain or even try to make my point anymore… it’s pointless at both of these targets. But I have literally looked to see who is the cashiers before I even shop, if any of the ones who give me hassle over just having coupons (as I think some just dont like dealing with them) i walk out and don’t even try!
    looks like the new policy (which isn’t bad mind you) will add to their I don’t want to take your coupons mind set.

  19. I’m already shying away from Target. Even majority of their cashiers don’t even know their own policy. Maybe they slept through the training. If they want us customers to following the policy their damn stupid cashiers need to know the policy 100%. I get some dumb cashiers all the time. Anyways, #1. Wow per day.. really how can they track me? I can go back later and do more transaction. #2. Understandable. #3. okay WTF, so we have to be nice to the cashiers now or else they can refuse us. What if the cashier is on PMS that day… they can refuse us… BS. #4. Duh! Anyways, I’m gonna stop shopping at Target.

  20. I not only shop at Target, but I work there as well. I have noticed a lot of the front end staff are unaware of how coupons work. I have spent a lot of time explaining to each cashier about taking certain coupons and stacks. I am probably received better because I have a relationship with the store, but I rarely have a problem now.

    I have the same situation where I get stares from the people behind me in line. So before people stand behind me, I explain I have quite a few coupons. Usually, if I’m up front about it, no one in the line gets angry. Instead they can’t wait to see how much I save. The cashiers get a bit uppity due to the amount of coupons because they are graded on a system of “cashier speed” which calculates the amount of time in a transaction based on the number of products scanned. So every time a price check is needed or someone can’t find their wallet, it negatively impacts the cashier’s score (even though it isn’t the cashier’s fault). Although a cashier’s score is an average per week, a few negative scores can really hurt them. Especially if they are a bit slower to begin with. Then, if there score is low for the week, they can get coached about it. I think it is an unfair system because it forces the cashiers to rush through every guest transaction, but it is a corporate policy. Although it is never good to make anyone feel bad about a transaction, I hope this explains a bit why your cashier may seem a bit exasperated when you lay down a huge stack of coupons.

  21. Mary – they should give you the full amount back when you use a manufacturers coupon because they are going to be reimbursed for ti from the company. If they didn’t, that would be them scamming us!

  22. I think this is a bit ridiculous. My biggest concerns are #2 & #3.

    #2 If you use an MQ, you should get the full amount back, not the coupon amount put on a gift card. I agree with a pp who said that they are probably banking on those giftcards not being used. Seriously, if a coupon is .25 you are going to issue me a giftcard for that that amount. Ridiculous! I also agree with others who stated you will not get the money you saved from your target coupons back, just the money from mq’s.

    #3 If the cashier is having a bad day, they can just refuse to do any coupons. That is absurd! I am hoping that this doesn’t happen, but I know that if I go in even 1 time and spend an hour shopping around the store and then get to counter and have the cashier refuse my coupons they will lose my business forever.

  23. So anyone complaining about the gift card is actually saying they want back the full purchase price, even though they didn’t pay it in the first place? Who’s the scammer? 🙂

    Seriously, why should a business pay you back more than you paid for the item? They’d soon go out of business! Kohl’s takes off the coupon amount on any returns, and they don’t give it back to you in a gift card – are you going to stop shopping there, too?

    That said, I don’t shop at Target very often because they rarely have the “deal” items in stock. I use them for basics that I can’t get more cheaply anywhere else. Example – Weight Watcher Smart Ones meals are around $1.88 and the best deal I find anywhere else is $2.69 or higher at grocery stores. I buy their loss leaders and leave the rest behind.

    And to everyone whining about “empty shelves” and “shelf clearers” – that’s exactly what #1 hopes to stop. If you really need 8 of something and have 8 coupons? Drag your husband along or a child and have them check out separately. Or take your first purchase out to your car and go to a second cashier for your second purchase – they seriously do not have time to “police” the check out area for people who go through a check out twice or use more than 4 coupons in a day.

  24. The reason for refunding coupons with a gift card is because people return items they used high price coupons on just to get to cost of the coupon back in cash. Example: they buy an electric toothbrush and a men’s electric razor. They had a $10 coupon for each item. After returning them they now have $20. Some people do this on a regular basis. I have been told this by friends who work at guest service.

  25. Like a lot of you above, I too have limited my shopping and couponing at Target, which is a shame bc I love the store. My store almost never allows a stack anymore, because usually the MQ says “limit one coupon per purchase”; they also won’t let me use 2 MQ in the same transaction if I buy 2 of the items if the coupon says limit 1 per purchase. I assume that to be 1 per item I am purchasing, but they said no, my whole transaction is the “purchase”. Hrm….I wonder if that will change with #1 (probably not). I have called customer service numerous times to complain about using coupons and how rude the cashiers are when you try to use them. I’m not trying to steal anything…I just like a good deal every once in a while!! 🙂

  26. Wow, I love my Target!! They’re very good about coupons. The limit of 4 is going to cramp me just a bit, but I can work around it when I need to. I just bought 11 Dial pump hand soaps the other day, but I rarely buy more than 4 of anything, so this isn’t too bad.

  27. I think some are getting confused here about #2. You will not be refunded the value of a Target coupon on a giftcard. That is only for MQs which you should have received the value of when you made the return. Once you return something that had a TQ attached to it that value is gone.

  28. #1- I’m happy about this, this is probably to stop the greedy “shelf cleaners”
    #2- This is quite nice, because you never really technically get your “coupon back.” You buy an item for $7.99, use a $2.00 off coupon. You were only gonna get $5.99 returned to you anyways! It’s nice to get the extra from a coupon and be able to use that on whatever future purchase that you like!
    #3&#4- As far as I know these two have always been like this.

  29. The Idea that they offer coupons on their site and then persecute you for using them is ridiculous. Instead of changing the policy why not try an educate checkers on how to read coupon lingo? Teaching checkers how to read the coupon would eliminate many checkout issues and speed up the process (I have often been told if it doesn’t match the picture on the coupon I can’t use it, this includes many target issued coupons)

  30. Tonia – the store can still tell you have their own rules. They do that already. If you were loosing your coupon value previously, you were being ripped off. The store should have refunded you full price. These are MQs btw, not TQs. TQs always came off a refund.

  31. I’m loving these changes! Now I have it in writing that I can use 4 of the same coupons. Just a few days ago, I was told the limit is 2. I had to go out to the car and have my bf come in to use my other 2 reddi-whip coupons and my 1 Cutter coupon. How annoying! Also, I’ll take the coupon value on a gift card any day. Until now, we jsut lost that value!

  32. WM may have a nicer looking coupon policy but my store is soooo coupon UNfriendly despite all the advertising in the store. They can’t take it for this reason or that reason or the other reason. The latest one was a jar of Vlasic pickles coupon recently in the Sunday paper inserts. It didn’t have “manufacturer’s coupon” printed on it.

  33. Extremly disappointed. I just had the worst experience on Saturday. They wouldn’t accept 4 of my coupons for the Glade Sense and Spray, they just wanted to accept one, even though they were fully stocked and the sale was ending on Saturday. I left without taking a single one. I will not be shopping at Target very often any more. They were never coupon friendly, and now with a coupon policy behind me, they can just make up their own rules as they please. That’s a shame.

  34. They do make you feel like you are scammer or thief when you use coupons. Sometimes it’s embarrassing when they make a fuss and people behind you are whispering. I never deliberately misuse a coupon, it’s a shame that they make honest people feel bad for using a legitimate way to save a little money.

  35. My biggest annoyance is #2. I understand the reason, and I return very little of what I buy but really – A gift card for $1? If I don’t remember to use it right away, it will be lost in my purse of doom! I have to wonder about Target banking on many of those not being redeemed. I’m curious if their receipts will be any cleaner and actually have the coupon attached to the item rather than some showing up at the bottom.

  36. Must say as a Target shopper I am very disappointed in this. Makes Wal-Mart Coupon Policy look a lot better everyday. Wal-Mart does not limit you to the number of coupons plus will price match.

  37. It all sounds pretty fair for the most part.
    Thankfully with my area, since my Target’s not a SuperTarget, I don’t think they have many issues with coupons…

  38. Tereza, I’m sure if you go to two different Targets, you can use 4 at each location. I don’t see why it would be 4 total per day at any and all Targets. That would be a little crazy, I think.

  39. I’ve pretty much stopped shopping at Target because I can never seem to get the deals that most of you are able to get with coupon stacks. My Target will always come up with some reason why I can’t have the deal, and I walk out so frustrated. They scrutinize every coupon, and then find ridiculous reasons to deny them, and management is of no assistance whatsoever. Honestly, I wonder how much of this is Target, how much of it is the end of couponing as we know it, thanks to Extreme Couponing?

  40. how they can enforce 4 identical coupons per day per household? What if I go one target use 4 same like cpns and then same day i go to other target location and use again 4 same like coupons?

  41. Actually I think all of that is pretty fair, and I realize #3 is just a blanket policy in case someone is taking advantage of the system but it worries me when power to deny coupons is so simply stated.

  42. The new policy talks about 4 like coupons… Does this apply only to manufacturer coupons or also their web coupons?

    I shop at Publix and sometimes use Target web coupons as competitor and certain stores will not allow more than one Target coupon since it’s stated on the coupon that it’s only one per guest.

  43. #3 sounds like a cop out…an all inclusive rule to just not deal with coupons/coupners. I love Target, but am totally frustrated with the attitude I get from the cashier/team members for trying to use coupons. I had one ‘team member’ apologize on my behalf for my long check out…and she didn’t wait for me to leave the register!

  44. I know the Target by me must have some shelf clearers because everytime I go in on Sunday morning stuff is wiped out..:( makes me angry! Oh well I’ve been limiting myself from Target since they have a mean old cashier that looks at every coupon & watches the price & if their is any overage she changes it! OR I get the poor handicapped kid that only has one arm & then I feel terrible about going through his line with coupons!

  45. Yeah, My target is ridiculous about accepting coupons (even their own from the website) They tell me thing like ohh you bought a sponge? Thats not considered a cleaning item and we cant take you Up&Up cleaning item coupon? Ive never had so much trouble and now I think it’s going to get worse. As a couponer I don’t like to be made to feel as if I am doing something wrong when trying to save money for my family =/ So jealous of those of you who have the nice targets around u!

  46. A cashier told me about this last week. They had a meeting about it. She made it sound like even if the cashier just didn’t feel like dealing with your coupons, they could refuse to take them.

  47. Good to know. Unfortunately, I think Target has already been really difficult with accepting coupons, at least at my location. I am surprised they are being even more restrictive when most of their competition makes returns even without receipts for the full price. I’ll have to be a lot more careful and restrictive with what I buy there now, and it’s a shame because I love the store and what they have available.

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