Dear Retailer, I hate your coupons

There is a retailer that sends me coupons in the mail—a lot of coupons. It seems like every single week I receive at least one coupon good for 20% off one regularly priced item. While I have occasionally loved the 20% discount (especially when it helped me to afford my beloved Dyson), these coupons more often lead to feelings of hostility. Let me explain.

When I leave my house in the morning, I resemble a pack mule. In addition to bulk items like my purse, my laptop, items to be returned, and my lunch, I am also loaded down with paper in the form of receipts, permission slips, post-it note reminders, business cards, and the newspaper. When I am really on-the-ball, this pile of paper includes coupons; unfortunately, I am not often that on-the-ball.

Being couponless in a coupon-offering store makes me angry, so I tend to avoid paper-driven-discount retailers whenever possible. I know that I could ask the retailer to honor a coupon that I left on my kitchen counter and hope that they agree, but there are some times when I am simply not in the mood to barter. On those non-bartering days, I have been known to shop a competitor’s store so I simply don’t have to face paying 20% more than the more on-the-ball shoppers.

I can’t find any research that suggests that my feelings are shared by others. Are you ever avoided a store because they offer coupons? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

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