Couponing Basics

What Are Coupon Fairies and Are They Bad?

Have you ever been looking at a product when you notice a coupon for that very product sitting on the shelf? Then you’ve seen the work of a coupon fairy!

Coupon fairies leave their extra coupons near the products. Customers who are going to buy the product anyway can enjoy a little extra money in their pockets without the work of having to hunt down the coupons for themselves.

In theory, being a coupon fairy seems like a wonderful way to help other shoppers save money. However, in practice, there are a few problems with it. We’ll weigh the pros and cons to help you decide if becoming a coupon fairy or benefitting from their efforts is the right choice for you.

Pros of Coupon Fairies

Coupon fairies leave coupons for others with the best of intentions. Their work has some undoubted benefits:

  • Making it easy for other shoppers to save money – Some shoppers don’t have the time or skills to find coupons for themselves. Others are avid couponers but may not have the right coupon with them for a particular product. Regardless of their situation, finding a coupon can help them save a little money, and who doesn’t love that?
  • Spread good vibes – We’re not going to lie — finding a coupon for an item you’re going to buy regardless can feel pretty magical. A well-placed coupon could make someone’s day.
  • Avoid wasting a good coupon – When you find good coupons, leaving them unused can sting. But at the same time, you probably don’t need all the coupons you find. Coupon fairies manage to make use of more of the coupons they find by sharing with others.
  • Teaching other shoppers about couponing – It might be hard for some passionate couponers to believe, but there are some shoppers who just never thought about using coupons. If they find a coupon and realize how easy it is to use, it could pique their interest in couponing.

Cons of Coupon Fairies

  • Potential legality issues – Most coupons include fine print that says they aren’t transferrable. Violating these terms could void the coupon, so when someone finds it on the shelf, it may technically no longer be valid. Because of this, redeeming the voided coupon could be considered fraud. Will the person who finds the coupon get in trouble? That seems unlikely. But at the same time, is it worth the risk?
  • Problems for grocery stores – Loose coupons left on shelves can cause a lot of problems for grocery stores. First of all, they can easily become litter as they fall to the ground or get pushed to the back of the shelf. Then, an employee must clean it up. Additionally, other shoppers may find expired coupons and try to use them. This creates headaches for both the cashier and the shopper. Finally (and perhaps worst of all), loose coupons near cooling units could get sucked in and damage the equipment, costing the store for repairs!

Alternatives to Becoming a Coupon Fairy

  • Tell people where you got your coupon – If you see someone looking at an item you know there is a good coupon for, you could tell them where you got it and let them find it for themselves. If you’re not concerned about the potential fraud issues, you could also hand them your coupon so they can use it right away. This at least avoids the litter and expired use issues mentioned above.
  • Teach your skills to others – Coupon fairies are often driven by the desire to help others save money. Another way to do that is to teach your couponing skills to others. Instead of leaving coupons in stores, you could share your tips and tricks with your friends and family, join a Facebook group, or even offer to host a workshop in your community.

What is your opinion on coupon fairies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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