Sunday, January 22, 2012

Walmart Couponing 101

Many of you have been asking questions about Walmart and it's policies, so I figured this would be a great time to break down the many nuances of shopping at Walmart and how to do it to make the trip the easiest for both yourself, your cashier and the people behind you.

I do not have Super Walmarts here in Orange County, but I do have the regular Walmart and I can tell you that the biggest tip is to know your policies AND carry them with you in your binder.  Each Walmart tries to "change" the policies and most patrons don't know any better and therefore take the cashier and/or manager at their word.  I remember a time in Vegas (B.C.-before couponing) where I was told they do not accept internet printed coupons.  Now I know better.

I have enlisted a fellow blogger and former star of Extreme Couponing, Paul from I Heart the Mart, for all that is Walmart. You may remember him from Season 1 where he and his wife did 2 separate transactions and he slightly lost out to his wife.  He has a wonderful site dedicated solely to Walmart. 

This info is directly from I heart the Mart and I have verified all info to the updated policies online. Based on your specific questions, I have bolded specific areas of the policy.

You can view and print the Walmart Coupon Policy online. If you print it and take this with you, it might help at the register.

You may also find it helpful to print out and carry a copy of the Walmart price match policy with you.

If you do not feel you received adequate service based on their policies, here is the number you can contact their corporate office.

Do you need to call the corporate office:
Walmart Customer Service — 1-800-WALMART (1-800-925-6278)
Or Email feedback to your local Walmart store or Corporate HQ

Walmart Coupon Policy

We gladly accept the following types of coupons*
  • Print-at-home internet coupons
    • Must be legible
    • Must have “Manufacturer Coupon” printed on them
    • Must have a valid remit address for the manufacturer
    • Must have a valid expiration date
    • Must have a scannable bar code
    • Buy one, get one free (BOGO) coupons with a specified price
    • Are acceptable in black and white or color
    • May not be duplicated
  • Manufacturers’ coupons
    • For dollar/cents off
    • For free items (except those printed off the Internet)
    • Buy one, get one free (BOGO) coupons
    • Must have “Manufacturer Coupon” printed on them
    • Must have a valid remit address for the manufacturer
    • Must have a valid expiration date
    • Must have a scannable bar code
    • May not be duplicated
  • Competitors’ coupons
    • A specific item for a specified price, for example, $2.99
    • Buy one, get one free (BOGO) coupons for items with a specified price
    • Have a valid expiration date
    • Are acceptable in black and white
  • Soft drink container caps
  • Checkout coupons (“Catalinas”)
    • Printed at our competitors’ registers for dollar/cents off on a specific item
    • Must have “Manufacturer Coupon” with specific item requirements printed on them
    • Must have a valid remit address for the manufacturer
    • Must have a valid expiration date
    • Must have a scannable bar code
    • Are acceptable in black and white
    • May not be duplicated
We DO NOT accept the following coupons:
  • Checkout coupons
    • Dollars/cents off the entire basket purchase
    • Percentage off the entire basket purchase
  • Print-at-home Internet coupons that require no purchase
  • Competitors’ coupons
    • Dollars/cents off at a specific retailer
    • Percentage off
    • Buy one, get one free (BOGO) coupons without a specified price
    • Double- or triple-value coupons
*The following are guidelines and limitations:
  • We only accepts coupons for merchandise that we sell.
  • Coupons must be presented at the time of purchase.
  • Only one coupon per item.
  • Item purchased must be identical to the coupon (size, quantity, brand, flavor, color, etc).
  • There is no limit on the number of coupons per transaction.
  • Coupons must have an expiration date and be redeemed prior to expiration.
  • If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase.
  • WIC or SNAP items purchased in a WIC or SNAP transaction are ineligible for cash back or application to the basket purchase.
  • Great Value, Marketside, Equate, Parents Choice, and World Table coupons have no cash value and are ineligible for cash back or application to the basket purchase.
  • The system will prompt for supervisor verification for:
    • 40 coupons per transaction.
    • A coupon of $20 or greater on one item
    • $50 or more in coupons in one transaction
(From Paul) What does all that mean? Well, first off PICK YOUR CASHIER wisely! If you find a coupon friendly cashier ALWAYS go back to them! I wait in a longer line just to go to my favorite cashier. This doesn’t mean that I am trying to get away with anything, it just means that I don’t like to feel like a criminal using coupons! Also, know the coupon policy! Print it off any carry it with you. I have been in line trying to pull it up on my phone and it is much easier to just pull it out! Why do you need to do this? The turn over is very high at Walmart and they don’t always have the time to properly train employees about their coupon policy, so I have found that many of the cashier “make up rules” on their own. If I can NICELY point out that, for example, YES you do take internet printable coupons by showing them THEIR policy it goes much better. Always be nice though no matter how frustrated you might be.
In my experience, if your saving more then 50% with coupons they will call over a manager to verify. No big deal, just smile and wait…
High-value internet printable coupons scare managers. They have been burned on them before being fraudulent and so I have had them tell me they can’t take them ( think Disney $10 off coupons!) even when I have called corporate they said it was up to the manager. My coupon was legit, printed from but in the end they had the final say.

Our goal is always to be the low price leader in every community where we operate. Our customers trust us to have every day low prices … there’s no need for “special sales.”
Our unbeatable promise:
Store managers make the final decision in always taking care of our customers, but we do have guidelines for matching our competition.
  • We do honor “Preferred Shopping Card” advertised prices. Must be like items, be advertised and require a competitor’s shopping card, for the discount to apply.
  • We do not honor advertisements that require a purchase in order to receive the advertised price or free product.
  • We do not honor “Buy One / Get One Free” advertisements without a specified price.
  • We do not honor double or triple coupons or percent off advertisements.
  • We do not honor other retailers’ “Misprinted” advertised prices.
  • We do not honor Internet Pricing.
  • We do not honor competitor advertisements from outside of the store’s or Club’s local trade territory.
Basically, if you take your local grocery store ad and see a great deal on Blue Bell ice cream priced at $3 a 1/2 gallon, Walmart has it for $6 you can take your local ad and when you check out show them the price and they will override their register to give you the cheaper price. It has to be a normal sale price, no weird sales, or B1G1 free or anything like that.
Price matching alone can save you a ton of money at Walmart. Why price match? Because I don’t want to run all over the city to different stores to get the good deals, I would rather just pick it up all in one place!
Now I have found that when you load your groceries onto the belt at Walmart you HAVE to have your ad ready, when they get to that item you must give them the competitors ad RIGHT THEN so they can change the price. If you wait until they are done ringing you up to show them the price match they will not go back and change the prices. Just a tip!

5  Steps to Sucessful Price-Matching at Walmart:
  1. Check the other grocery stores sales ad’s for great deals. Make a list of the items and prices. Check to see what coupons you have or can print to match up with these sales. Check electronics, I have saved HUGE this way at Walmart!
  2. Take a look at the price matching policy. They will not do B1G1 free sales, but they will do 2 for $4 or 2/$4. They will also NOT do % off, like 25% off all soda.
  3. Go shopping! Bring your other store ad’s with you. Most will require that you have them. Don’t cut them up, they will need to verify the dates on them. You can only use a current ad.
  4. I always place items that I am NOT price matching on the belt first. Then I place my items that I am price matching and lay the ad on top of them so I don’t forget… or get distracted by children! I inform the cashier that I am price matching and show them the ad. I saw a woman once that had placed sticky notes on her items, the cashier LOVED her! I don’t have that kind of time, but it was a good idea!
  5. Do the “Happy Dance” that you saved a bunch of money!
 -Big thanks to Paul of I Heart the Mart for this awesome info!!!

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