Awesome Target Deal on CoverGirl Cosmetics

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*NOTE* I have revised my post due to a register update at Target. I don’t think the update is completely nationwide, so some of you may be unaffected- but if you saw some strange happenings on your receipts at the register then hopefully this post will help explain things.

It appears that for many of you – when there is an in-store Gift Card promo where you have to buy a specific number of items- the registers are now seeing the total value of each product AFTER the Gift Card amount divided by whatever # of products you have to buy is deducted. This means that you may not get the full value of your coupons depending on the cost of your products.


So take for example our deal this week thru 10/8 for a FREE $5 Gift Card wyb 3 CoverGirl products. Target is awarding you a $5 Gift Card when you buy 3, which means the register will reduce the value of your products by $5 . (This $5 will be divided by 3 – taking $1.66-$1.67 off the value of each item). So this means that if you buy items priced at $3.99, the register sees the value available to use a coupon on as only $2.32 or $2.33. Since our $3 coupons are higher than this value – the register will automatically round them down to meet what it sees as their value (which would be $2.32 or $2.33 after the gift card deduction).

The good news? Your items are still free after gift card & coupons, but you no longer have a money maker. I am a little perplexed- and don’t quite understand why it seems to be falling on the manufacturers. I could see this happening if these were Target Coupons, or even if they were to reduce the value of your Gift Card and stated so on the receipt. But instead- using this method, manufacturers seem to be footing a portion of Target’s reward (the $5 Gift Card). They are only applying $2.33 of the $3 coupon you used – but then won’t Target be submitting each coupon for reimbursement of $3 to a clearing house? But I am still trying to wrap my head around the reasoning behind this method.

In any event – I don’t think we will be faced with this situation very often and likely only when using super high-value coupons & B1G1 coupons. It also seems to be isolated to in-store promos where you have to buy a certain # of products, ie threshold or category COUPONS for a Gift Card reward like this week’s $5 Gift Card wyb $15 in personal care seem to be unaffected.

So, with all that being said- since the register is going to reduce the value of your items and you have $3 coupons – you may as well buy items that cost up to $4.66 to get the best value out of your coupons while still grabbing freebies. So here is a revised deal with it all laid out…

DEAL IDEA: Buy 3 CoverGirl Eyeliner ($4.49) = $13.47
-$8.47 (use three $3/1 COVERGIRL Eye Product (excludes 1 kits and trial/travel size)*
*the register sees the value of each product as being $2.82 – $2.83 due to the $5 gift card
you are earning. (
$5 divided by 3 is a $1.66-$1.67 reduction on each item’s value)
This leaves you with a maximum coupon deduction of $2.82 – $2.83 per item or a total of $8.47
= $5.00 – $5 Gift Card back for buying 3 CoverGirl thru 10/8
= All 3 items FREE

I tried to explain the situation as best as possible- but if you have any questions- please feel free to ask them in the comments and I will do my best to answer.

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  1. I did this on 10/02… the $3 coupons were not adjusted down.

    People… receiving a $5 gift card back is not the same as paying $2.3x for a $3.99 item. This is a “modification” that Target assigns to the transaction in case of a RETURN.

    I agree… this nonsense of adjusting coupons down on these types of transactions doesn’t hold water, and needs to STOP.

  2. I used the the cover girl 3.00 off coupons for the same deal and I got the 2.97 eye shadow to see if it work for the 5.00 gift card so I can get a free gift card and the computer system did the same thing instead of giving me 2.97 off it only 1.50 off each item and I argue with them it for 3.00 and it should price adjust it to 2,97 they said no. so I am out even more money :(. He said I can return everyting and he will give me back my coupons but I used my 5.00 gift card on the next transcation for soup. Grr It I think it is nation wide

  3. Just a follow up on my previous comment I made mistake, the reduced amount was not $2.82 but $2.32 so target is over charging the manufacturer $2.03 / transaction and making the consumer pay an additional $2.03 bring the totals of target double dipping to $4.06 / transaction; $40.60/10 transactions; $406.00/100 transactions and $4,060/1000 transactions; $40,600.00/10,000 transactions. Can you see just how much money target will be collecting because of double dipping?

  4. If you look at the receipt, target reduced your coupon $0.17 for 1 q and $0.18 for 2 q for a total of $0.53 for every transaction. Yet target will collect this $0.53 from the manufacturer. It may not appear to be a big deal if only 1 person did this deal, however if 100 people did the deal, target collects $53 and if a thousand people do the deal then target would collect $530.00 and if 10,000 people did this deal target would collect an additional $5300.00 and so on and so forth, that legally should have been passed on to the consumer who presented the coupon. Not only does target collect this amount from the manufacturer, target also collects the same amount from the consumer. So the amount in reality is not $0.53 / transaction, it is $1.06/transaction with both the consumer and the manufacturer paying an additional $0.53 per transaction. I think it is appalling that target will be over charging the manufacturer. The cashier does not cross off the $3 off the coupon and replace it with $2.83 or $2.82. I think it is appalling that target is double dipping, Making the consumer pay the additional $0.53 and then collecting that amount from the manufacturer and collecting that amount from the consumer. I think this is illegal. If target does not want the consumer to get the full benefit of the coupon, then they should reduce the coupon amount to the amount that they actually gave the consumer. If a store has a promotion i.e. a GC offer, if the consumer has met the guidelines for the offer, the consumer should not have to “purchase” all or part of the promotion with her/his coupon. It is my understanding that all targets will be updating their systems to reflect this. I understand that if I have an item that I am purchasing for $0.99 and I have a $1 q I have to problem with my coupon being reduced to the $0.99 but I do have a problem when there is a GC promotion and I am expected to pay for all or part of it with my coupons. For those of you who have not run into this, it is just a matter of time before your target “system” is updated to do this. When I asked the manager why this was done, I was informed that it was because there was a GC offer, when I asked why I was supposed to pay for the GC offer the manager said I was not the manufacturer is. Why should the manufacturer of covergirl makeup have to pay for the GC promotion to get people into the store and buy competitors products. We all know we go into the store avail of the sales / GC offers and buy a lot of other items not made by the manufacturer of covergirl.

  5. TYSM for letting me know Komal- I am curious where you are located? It gives me hope that this isn’t nationwide and I sure hope they decide against implementing this on a permanent basis!

  6. I just did this deal in Madison, WI a few minutes ago for the $.3.99 eye pencils and it worked fine. The register did not decrease the value of the coupon and took the $3 off. Thanks for all your Target deals! I appreciate it!

  7. I guess it is truly not about following all the rules of the coupon now is it. Until everyone unites and complains this will only get worse. They expect you to follow the rules of the coupons, but when it is not beneficial those rules suddenly don’t apply anymore. I will not shop at Target if this is their business ethics, but I will use their coupons as competitors at other stores who follow the rules of the coupons and get my moneymakers that way.

    After all what is the point of all the costs of putting out the coupons, if you can’t redeem them for the full amount they are printed for????

  8. I did this deal Sunday and had no problem all the $3 mq came off. I was going to do it again, waiting to see if my Checkout51 has it on it again for next week, fingers crossed. If not, not sure if I will. Thanks for posting.

  9. it’s unfortunate if this is the way it is going to ring up- will be trying the deal today.
    seems odd to me. but i will do the deal and investigate my receipt
    Hey Mitchell remember when T was taking the $x/5 or $x/4 or what have you and reducing them down to the cost of just one item no matter how many the coupon said you had to buy? That was a fun one- hope this doesn’t hang around – since it doesn’t seem fair to the manuf’s. ie considering they will turn around and submit for $9.00 back from the manufacturer netting a $2.01 profit. hmmmmm

  10. FYI they’ll reduce your coupons to $2.33 each d/t the GC. For the life of me, I don’t understand how they can get away with this fraud. I paid $2.01 more than I anticipated when I bought 3, yet Target will submit these to the manufacturer and get reimbursed $9 in total. Target made $2 on me and $2 on Covergirl. I will be complaining to P&G as this is fraud. The same thing happened to me today on a Unilever B1G1 w/Tresemme. Bought four @ $3.99, used one $5/2 and then a B1G1 on the other 2. Rather than $3.99 off for the B1G1, they gave me $2.74, yet Unilever will reimburse Target $5.99 (the max of the B1G1). This new update is a great racket for Target.

  11. Were you able to do this deal yet? There have been reports on other boards that the coupons were reduced in value by the system – From $3, down to $2.32, $2.32, and $2.33.

  12. This deal actually won’t work as posted. The registers were updated and will only deduct up to the return value of an item. Return value for the CoverGirl will be around $2.33 per item, so that’s all the register will deduct when the coupons are scanned. You will end up paying $5 and getting back the $5 gift card, so it will be a $3 moneymaker after Checkout 51.

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