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Why do my coupons expire?

The new stain pre-treatment product was priced at $3.74, comparable to the competition. But, its manufacturer issued $1.50 coupons as part of the launch campaign. That's not bad. And a $1.50 coupon definitely has potential if the price of the item is further reduced with a sale.

A few weeks after I got the $1.50 coupon, my newspaper ran a full-page advertisement for the new laundry product. The ad encouraged shoppers buy the product at a specific store and included a $1.50 store coupon. This store allows shoppers to "stack" coupons, allowing shoppers to use one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon together on the same item. Stacking these two coupons would save me a total of $3 on this $3.74 item, over 75 percent savings! Time to buy. I happily took my bottle home for 74 cents.

This is a great example of a manufacturer using coupons to drive sales within a certain timeframe. The manufacturer coupon expired two months from when I received it and the store coupon expired five weeks from the day it appeared in the paper.

From the manufacturer's standpoint, my purchase was a sign of a successful marketing campaign. The coupons enticed me to try the new product, which I likely wouldn't have bought unless it was a very good deal. The shorter expiration dates on the coupons ensured I would buy it within a specific time frame, key to the product's successful launch. Coupons helped the company boost sales in a short period of time.

(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 own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

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