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Friday, February 20, 2009

Guest Post: Bringing Back The Coupons by Amy

Earlier in the week I wrote an article on the Red Plum Inserts being taken out of circulation (in newspapers) in certain states. I live in Georgia and it is not one of the listed states but it could affect us in the future.

When companies make changes like this they usually make the changes in a "test market" area. Depending on the results (usage of coupons through direct mail methods) they may either strike the idea down by reverting back to the previous method (keeping them in the newspaper) or complete the circle by making the changes in all areas (all 51 U.S. states).

If they are successful...then our state (Georgia) will be affected along with others that are not on the list below.

This is why we ALL need to put our word in and let the company know that we want the coupons in the newspaper not in the mail...even if we are not on the list!

Amy, founder of bringbackthecoupons.com, has written an article for us...to inform us of the changes!

I back her decision to be proactive 200% on this issue!

Amy Wrote:

On February 1, 2009, Red Plum coupon insert distribution was discontinued in many newspapers in major cites throughout Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Maryland, and Texas. Red Plum inserts are being distributed through the postal service in targeted areas only! Not all affected coupon users are receiving them in the targeted mail distribution. Many coupon users have bought neighboring larger city newspapers in the past, to obtain the higher volume and valued coupons. When that larger city newspaper is void of any coupons – those coupon users in the smaller cities have no access to any coupons.

Inserts that can only be obtained through one per household mail delivery means...
  • Larger families that consume more products have only the same access as a single person to coupons. They now have no means to acquire more coupons to support the larger volume that their family needs. Consider that all peanut butter coupons are delivered through the Red Plum. A family of 8 in the targeted area now has access to the same number as grandpa living alone with no means of obtaining more.
  • Savvy shoppers that have used their shopping skills in the past to purchase for the sole purpose of donation are now left unable to obtain the coupons needed for their mission work.
  • Shoppers that take advantage of quantity sales will have yet another saving skill taken away. A sale that requires the shopper to buy a larger quantity in order to receive an additional discount will not have the same discount now that the shopper has no means to get a coupon for each item purchased
  • Fewer coupons available give the double coupon and like incentives less impact. If a consumer is not able to obtain the number of coupons their family needs they will be forced to shop, not at the local chain stores that offer double coupon incentives, but at the big box and generic product stores that offer a few cents discount off each item.

Through this link, here,
a consumer can request to receive one mailed insert – but, it states that it could take 6 –8 weeks to get ONE insert per household.

Printable Red Plum coupons can be obtained through this link here
. Even though printable coupons are on the rise, they are not a substitute for coupon inserts in our weekly Sunday’s papers.

  • Many stores do not accept them.
  • Unscrupulous yet talented individuals easily alter printable coupons. Illegal coupons quickly pass from one Internet user to another and are often used by even the most honest coupon user, for the difference cannot be seen.
  • Those that best benefit from coupons do not always have Internet access or means to print coupons.
  • Printable coupons are limited.
  • The cost of the ink and paper that is required in printing coupons is now passed on for to the user to absorb rather than the product manufacturer.
  • As we all know, printing coupons is not often easy or fair.
  • Printable coupon technology needs to improve by leaps and bounds before we have that be our ONLY means of acquiring coupons.

Coupon users need to join together to be heard. Advertisers and coupon distributors are making decisions for the industry based on their company’s finances – not what is best for the consumer.

Red Plum is forging in a new direction that will change coupon use. If the direction is met with little or no resistance and is more cost efficient for them, the rest of the coupon industry will soon follow. You have the chance to not let this undesirable change be an easy one for Red Plum. Coupon users are resourceful people. For years, coupon users have taken coupons as their tools and combined them with skills and resources to provide for a better life for their families.

We now need to use those same resources and skills to keep our tools within our grasp.

  • Go to Bring Back the coupons here

  • Voice your opinion by posting a comment on their site here. Red Plum and founders in the industry are watching.

  • Take advantage of the resources there. Find the list of regular Red Plum advertiser’s addresses here.

  • Take a moment to tell Red Plum advertisers how you feel on this matter. Advertisers need to be reminded that their ads are not being seen, how you will be purchasing less of their product if you have less coupons, and the impact coupons have on your family budget. You need only write one letter that can be slightly changed for each advertiser.

Please take a stand in this groundbreaking event while we still have grounds to stand on. Encourage your readers to encourage the coupon industry in a way that will be best benefit us.

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