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Do Stores Lose When Couponers Win?

Why do manufacturers offer coupons that will many times give shoppers their items for free? Manufacturers want shoppers to try their products. They work hard marketing a brand and enticing shoppers to try it. They hope that by offering a coupon you'll try their product, realize that you can't live without it, and continue to buy it on numerous occasions in the future. They're trying to build brand loyalty and product awareness.

You also may wonder if the manufacturers themselves lose money when people use coupons. Manufacturers do, indeed, reimburse stores for each coupon that shoppers use. However, coupons are part of their larger business plans. Manufacturers spend millions to establish a new brand or continue cementing loyalty to an old one. They often need to make shoppers aware of varieties of existing products or seasonal items, and they're willing to pay a certain amount of money in the form of coupons as part of these important marketing strategies.

Of the hundreds of thousands of coupon inserts that arrive in newspapers each week all over the country, the number of coupons that are actually cut out and redeemed at the stores by shoppers is around 6 percent. That's it. About 94 percent of all coupons are thrown in the trash.

Reading that statistic always makes me cringe. All that "cash" being tossed away? It makes me shudder to think about all of the free goods that many people pitch into the recycle bin each week. If they only knew how many things they could get for free with those coupons.

Who doesn't want to get things for free? Almost everybody does. Coupons make it very easy to get items for free. Next week, I'll tell you another easy way to get free groceries with coupons.

(c) CTW Features

Jill Cataldo, a coupon-workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her Web site, www.super-couponing.com. E-mail your couponing coups and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

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