Ethical question regarding coupon sharing
I saw a post by Daniel over at Sweating the Big Stuff regarding how he used PF skills to make a new friend and brighten someone’s day by coupon sharing.
The basic story is in relation to his purchase of an umbrella. As I understand the article, he lost his umbrella and went to get a new one at Gap. He found a Gap coupon and intended to use that.
However, when he arrived, the store had a special going for 30% off umbrellas. Therefore,, so he didn’t need the coupon. After his purchase, as he was leaving the store, he handed off the coupon to another customer who had a lot of items… coupon sharing, in other words.
Daniel said the other customer was very appreciative.
In the comment section, Kevin said he felt Daniel was stealing from the store by coupon sharing. Kevin felt that if the store wanted everyone to save 30%, they would reduce prices store wide by 30%. Coupon sharing by giving his coupon to a customer who was prepared to pay full price was, in Kevin’s opinion, in effect “stealing” that 30% from the store.
Daniel felt that since the coupon was not unique (it was not addressed to him specifically), then anyone could use it. He gave it to someone, and put a smile on their face.
Personally, we get coupons in our local, weekly newspaper. My wife clips the coupons we can use, and then I take the remainder to work and give them to a co-worker. She has a little boy and a baby on the way.
My wife was not a Coupon Queen. More like a Coupon Duchess. She was good at it, but didn’t really get started couponing until a couple of years ago. This year, many of the stores have stopped the coupon doubling and tripling. She still uses coupons, but the savings are not as extreme as they were in the past.
What do you think about coupon sharing? Do you think that if a store intended for the coupon to be used by a specific customer, it would restrict that to a specific customer? Do you think the store simply wants to increase traffic, and would prefer to have a sale, even if it is a discounted sale?