We’ve all read the term and heard people use it when talking about various things but we most frequently hear the term when dealing with deal hunting, bargain shopping and couponing. So what exactly does this term mean to us couponers? Basically: Don’t draw undo attention to yourself; be invisible.
I’ve been reading how Walgreen’s has gotten snippy with folks asking them to not return to the store. The other day I read someone said they did twenty-five transactions in five days (did not explain if it was five trips per day, three trips split up, or what combination) and was threatened with arrest for trespass if they darkened the door of that particular Walgreen’s again. After reading all the incorrect outrage that “Walgreen’s can’t do that”, because yes, actually they can have you arrested for trespass – a store is deemed private property and as long as the store is not asking you to leave based on race, creed or sex, they can indeed ask you to leave or threaten you with arrest from trespass – (But I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on the internet, so consult your attorney to the whys and wherefores.) I got to thinking… how much is too much?
Is it unreasonable for a store to enforce the “one per person limit” at Walgreen’s (or wherever). I was at a Walgreen’s last week that had a sign at the register that said:
Register Rewards are limited to one per person. Do not ask us to split up orders. Thank you for your cooperation.
Now I may not be recalling the sign correctly, what I wrote above seems a whole lot nicer (if you can believe that!) then the sign I read in the store. My immediate reaction after reading that notice was “Great Customer Service!” with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
But what if they did have someone coming in ringing 12 different orders individually, rolling the RR and coupons, as I read on a different board last month? Is it fair to tie up one cashier for 20 minutes and make other customers wait? Or should the store expect this and over staff just in case someone comes in and decides to roll… ECB, RR, Catalinas or whatever?
How much is too much? Two orders, three? Seven? At what point does a couponer have to accept responsibility for their perceived greed/rudeness/obliviousness? At what point does it cross the line from supreme deal huntress/hunter to greedy smash and grabber?
It is tough for anyone with 15 drug stores in a three mile radius to pass judgment over someone with one Walgreen’s and one CVS in their town or village. Having to travel a long distance to a second store could certain make someone shop frequently at one store thereby becoming “known” and gaining a reputation. The luxury of being able to move on to the next store down the road if the first store proves difficult certainly alleviates a lot of problems.
Is there ever a case where being “known” is a good thing? I do believe so. If you have a grocery or drug store where you are well known for being an honest couponer that knows the store or corporate rules, you will probably find the clerks appreciate you and listen when you offer advice when a coupon does not work, a Catalina does not print, or a product is not ringing up correctly.
For myself, I live in a large metropolitan area where you can throw a rock and hit a drug store or a grocery store. Difficulties at Store A? I move on to Store B. Not a problem. I definitely try and fly under the radar. This includes no more than two separate orders at one time at a drug store (except my local Rite Aid where the manager encourages multiple orders to keep me shopping there!), spacing the days I shop at one particular store, alternating the times I shop and avoiding zero or negative balances. While that seems like a lot of work, I do believe it keeps me from being “too” well known. Certainly some cashiers know me on sight, but I do not have a bad reputation as a smash and grabber, but rather as a good, frugal consumer.
So, how much is too much in your opinion? Would you ever go to the lengths I go to (which read more involved than the actual practice) in order to avoid a negative shopper reputation? And would a lot of the problems be alleviated if the store would just order sufficient stock? After all, when you are trying to sell 1000 of something does it really matter if it is sold to 1000 individuals, or one person?