Coupon Sherpa recently post the top 10 coupon stories of 2010 and I have a few things to say about this last year as well. The good, the bad and the ugly part of coupons.
1. Groupon goes viral -
I am one of those people who signed up and has bought a few things through them. I bought a good deal for a subscription to the newspaper (for the Sunday coupons) and I have been milking that subscription for as long as possible - when there are no coupons in the Sunday paper, I put a hold on the paper to push the subscription out another week or two. I also bought a teeth cleaning and checkup at a dentist across town and was happy to find out that I am taking good care of my teeth while I'm underemployed without dental insurance. And then finally I bought a holiday lights trip to a local museum but didn't end up going - I chalked it up to donating the $8 to the museum.
The Groupon deals are out there, it just takes a few weeks or months to find one that fits your lifestyle. I can understand how Groupon has gone viral, it is a good idea. And in comparison to other group coupon sites, they would be worth my time checking out.
|flickr/cc - sdc2027|
2. Newspaper coupons are dying
Though I see the newspaper subscriptions dropping and the girth of the paper slimming down, I have never thought about the Sunday coupons dying out. But thinking about it, I would have to agree that out of 10 coupons I use, only 2-3 are going to ones from the newspaper and the rest will come from printing them off from coupon sites.
I have also noticed that the Sunday coupons appear to be more and more high end cleaning, beauty products or B1G1 free items, though even the buy one get one coupons are diminishing or going to B2G1 coupons.
Unfortunately, this does appear to be bad news for some of us, though not the end of the world. We have always wanted to influence companies and this is one way we are, by printing our coupons online and making the newspaper one less important.
3. Online coupons are taking off
Coupon Sherpa said that, "In 2009, close to 397 billion printable coupons were distributed online, a figure that grew by nearly 25 percent in the first half of 2010." That is an impressive amount and I'm sure that many people, like myself print out 2 or more coupons for more savings and stocking up. But with online coupons have come the ugliness of coupon fraud and even I have been embarrassed by this.
Because of the coupon fraud stores may be taking some more conservative approaches to online coupons. In 2009 1% of 3.3 billion coupons were fraudulent, which isn't a lot, but if you consider that it is a 14% increase over 2008 and who knows where we stand for 2010.
The Coupon Information Corp. updates daily, fraudulent coupons that come out. It's quite amazing the business that is out there for these and unfortunately stores and manufacturers don't have a way to "void out" the bar codes on these fraud coupons. Until then, please be aware that you may be stopped from using them.
Those are my good, bad and ugly from 2010 - read the remaining 7 over at couponsherpa.com