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Coupon Barcode Basics

mahgobbi 2,125 1,015 August 6, 2008 at 08:42 AM in Coupon (2)
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Last Edited by slayers750 March 10, 2010 at 08:01 PM
THIS POST IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT POST COMMENTS RELATING TO WAYS TO CIRCUMVENT THE NARRATIVE / TEXT ON THE COUPONS!!!


A WARNING FOR COUPON FRAUD WILL BE ISSUED TO ANY USER WHO USES THIS INFORMATION IN ANY THREAD TO CIRCUMVENT THE NARRATIVE / TEXT ON THE COUPONS!!!

SHOULD WE GET TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO IGNORE THE STATEMENT ABOVE, THE THREAD WILL BE DELETED FOR GOOD.

In the past two weeks there have been two instances where valid coupons are beeping and it's resulted in a TON of thread posts with complaints, questions, and stories from frustrated couponers. Just a little bit of knowledge about barcodes can equip you with a lot of ammunition when dealing with cashiers and managers (since most of them are clueless and you'd be teaching them).

I'll explain the coupon barcodes, then show you exactly why the Lifesavers and Pert coupons are beeping.

Coupons will beep if ANY PORTION of the barcode does not match the products in your cart.

A typical coupon barcode looks like this:
1-22222-333-44-5


1 - This portion of the code will be either a 5 or a 9. It deals with doubling. If your store doesn't double coupons, then this number has no purpose. If your store DOES double coupons, then any coupon coded with a 5 will double (up to your store's doubling limit) and any coupon coded with a 9 will not double.

22222 - This number is the manufacturer's code. This code is the reason why the Lifesavers and Pert were beeping, but I'll explain those situations below.

333
- This number is the family code. Most manufacturers break their products into families. If you see a three digit number with no zeros, the coupon is coded for a specific product. If there is one zero at the end, the coupon is coded for more than one *variety* product. If there are two zeros at the end, the coupon is coded for more than one *type or brand* of product. Here's an example of how it works:

25700 100 - any Ziploc or Saran Wrap item
25700 160 - any Ziploc item
25700 170 - any Saran Wrap item
25700 164 - Ziploc containers
25700 175 - Saran Wrap disposable Cutting Sheets

If the family code is 000, then the coupon will not beep with any product which falls under the preceeding 5-digit manufacturer's code.

Some products are not broken into any families and are coded as 992. A 992 coupon will do one of two things, depending on how your store has it's registers programmed. Either it will NEVER beep, even if you didn't buy the product, or it will ALWAYS beep and require cashier intervention. These coupons were severely abused by couponers who wanted to use coupons even though they didn't buy the product, so most major retailers have now programmed their registers to beep at every 992.


44 - This is the value code. It tells the register how much to take off. Regardless of what the wording on the coupon says, this code tells the register what you need to purchase and how much to take off. Yes, in many cases there are some VERY EXTREME differences between the wording on the coupon and what the barcode actually requires you to purchase (since there are only a limited number of value codes available). Here are the codes and, again, PLEASE NO DISCUSSIONS ON HOW TO CIRCUMVENT THE SYSTEM. The wording on the coupon is the manufacturer's intended use for it.

00 "Beep" - Manual Input Required
01 Free Item - Will normally beep so cashier can input value
02 B4G1
03 $1.10
04 $1.35
05 $1.40
06 $1.60
07 B3 $1.50
08 B2 $3.00
09 B3 $2.00
10 $0.10
11 $1.85
12 $0.12
13 B4 $1.00
14 B1G1
15 $0.15
16 B2G1
18 $2.60
19 B3G1
20 $0.20
21 B2 $0.35
22 B2 $0.40
23 B2 $0.45
24 B2 $0.50
25 $0.25
26 $2.85
28 B2 $0.55
29 $0.29
30 $0.30
31 B2 $0.60
32 B2 $0.75
33 B2 $1.00
34 B2 $1.25
35 $0.35
36 B2 $1.50
37 B3 $0.25
38 B3 $0.30
39 $0.39
40 $0.40
41 B3 $0.50
42 B3 $1.00
43 B2 $1.10
44 B2 $1.35
45 $0.45
46 B2 $1.60
47 B2 $1.75
48 B2 $1.85
49 $0.49
50 $0.50
51 B2 $2.00
52 B3 $0.55
53 B2 $0.10
54 B2 $0.15
55 $0.55
56 B2 $0.20
57 B2 $0.25
58 B2 $0.30
59 $0.59
60 $0.60
61 $10.00
62 $9.50
63 $9.00
64 $8.50
65 $0.65
66 $8.00
67 $7.50
68 $7.00
69 $0.69
70 $0.70
71 $6.50
72 $6.00
73 $5.50
74 $5.00
75 $0.75
76 $1.00
77 $1.25
78 $1.50
79 $0.79
80 $0.80
81 $1.75
82 $2.00
83 $2.25
84 $2.50
85 $0.85
86 $2.75
87 $3.00
88 $3.25
89 $0.89
90 $0.90
91 $3.50
92 $3.75
93 $4.00
95 $0.95
96 $4.50
98 B2 $0.65
99 $0.99


5 Check digit...no real relevance to couponers.
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Last Edited by slayers750 March 10, 2010 at 07:56 PM
THIS POST IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT POST COMMENTS RELATING TO WAYS TO CIRCUMVENT THE NARRATIVE / TEXT ON THE COUPONS!!!

A WARNING FOR COUPON FRAUD WILL BE ISSUED TO ANY USER WHO USES THIS INFORMATION IN ANY THREAD TO CIRCUMVENT THE NARRATIVE / TEXT ON THE COUPONS!!!

SHOULD WE GET TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO IGNORE THE STATEMENT ABOVE, THE THREAD WILL BE DELETED FOR GOOD.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some stores accept expired coupons. Check this thread to see if any stores near you have a policy to accept expired coupons:

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?p=12410695#post12410695

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#121
Wow... that is very useful information! Smilie Thanks!!!
I feel smarter already. Wink
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#122
Quote from smythecvs123 View Post :
I used a 992 coupon($4 Monistat 01/06 V.) that beeped at one CVS(after scanning fine at several others).The cashier and then manager didn't know what to do.I finally just took the Monistat off my order and got something (I actually wantedWink) to cover the negative balance.But,if this situation were to happen again(now that I realize it is a 992) what should I instruct the cashier to do?Should I just explain the 992 coded coupons scan on anything (even if you don't buy it)so some registers are programmed to beep to allow the cashier to verify and then manually enter the coupon as a mfg coupon?Or is there something else more specific such as a certain key (or way to enter the coupon)I can mention?

About 3-5 years ago 992 abuse reached a peak because it became commonly known among hard-core couponers that they would never beep and you could use them on any item. Unethical couponers would buy large quantities of groceries with coupons, then slip in a few random 992 coupons with their orders to cover their non-coupon items, such as produce, meat, etc. Crest Whitestrips used to print only 992 coupons and a lot of people used to brag about using one $5 Whitestrip coupon on every grocery order (they didn't use the higher value whitestrip coupons because they would sometimes beep because the registers were programmed to beep an anything over $5.00).

Even worse than the couponers who slipped through a random 992 were the ones who abused the SCO system. They would scan one 992 for every item in their carts, knowing that there were no controls over the coupons. Several years ago, the SCOs only required you to slide your coupons through a slot when you completed your order. The unethical couponers would scan 992s on every item, then throw a few in the slot and pocket the best ones for future use. Eventually the stores wised up a bit and now most SCO require you to hand your coupons to the cashier...it doesn't solve the problem, but it can help a little.

Getting back on track...
The industry caught up with the 992 abusers, so now most major groceries are programmed to beep at ANY 992. Some of the pharmacies will also beep, but it's more of an individual store programming, rather than corporate-wide like the groceries.

Now it really sucks for those people trying to honestly use a 992 coupon, because most cashiers don't understand why the coupon is beeping and they think something is wrong with the item you purchased. It's hard to explain the problem to them, since they know nothing about coupon barcodes. When I get stuck with a 992 beep, I'll usually just let the cashier check the item and almost every time it'll be pushed through. Sometimes they'll get manager approval and I'll let them. There have been two times I can think of where the cashier/manager was going to refuse a coupon because they couldn't figure out why it was beeping. Both times I then got into the 992 discussion, which I think thoroughly confused them, but they ultimately accepted the coupons.

Personally, I wish they would just delete code 992 from the system entirely and if a manufacturer truly wants a BEEP every time the coupon scans, they can code the coupon 00.
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#123
Quote from mahgobbi View Post :
About 3-5 years ago 992 abuse reached a peak because it became commonly known among hard-core couponers that they would never beep and you could use them on any item. Unethical couponers would buy large quantities of groceries with coupons, then slip in a few random 992 coupons with their orders to cover their non-coupon items, such as produce, meat, etc. Crest Whitestrips used to print only 992 coupons and a lot of people used to brag about using one $5 Whitestrip coupon on every grocery order (they didn't use the higher value whitestrip coupons because they would sometimes beep because the registers were programmed to beep an anything over $5.00).

Even worse than the couponers who slipped through a random 992 were the ones who abused the SCO system. They would scan one 992 for every item in their carts, knowing that there were no controls over the coupons. Several years ago, the SCOs only required you to slide your coupons through a slot when you completed your order. The unethical couponers would scan 992s on every item, then throw a few in the slot and pocket the best ones for future use. Eventually the stores wised up a bit and now most SCO require you to hand your coupons to the cashier...it doesn't solve the problem, but it can help a little.

Getting back on track...
The industry caught up with the 992 abusers, so now most major groceries are programmed to beep at ANY 992. Some of the pharmacies will also beep, but it's more of an individual store programming, rather than corporate-wide like the groceries.

Now it really sucks for those people trying to honestly use a 992 coupon, because most cashiers don't understand why the coupon is beeping and they think something is wrong with the item you purchased. It's hard to explain the problem to them, since they know nothing about coupon barcodes. When I get stuck with a 992 beep, I'll usually just let the cashier check the item and almost every time it'll be pushed through. Sometimes they'll get manager approval and I'll let them. There have been two times I can think of where the cashier/manager was going to refuse a coupon because they couldn't figure out why it was beeping. Both times I then got into the 992 discussion, which I think thoroughly confused them, but they ultimately accepted the coupons.

Personally, I wish they would just delete code 992 from the system entirely and if a manufacturer truly wants a BEEP every time the coupon scans, they can code the coupon 00.
The way I handle 992 coupons is to put those items at the very end of my grocery order, and hand those coupons to the cashier first. I tell them these coupons have beeped for me before, but here are the items (and show them the items). Since they were the last items scanned, they're still on the belt (my primary store has baggers), and easy for the cashier to grab and review if they need to.

I don't get into the whole 992 coding thing, because (1) most cashiers could care less, and (2) I think it makes me look suspicious that I know SO much about coupons.

I try to be helpful, but not TOO helpful, if you know what I mean.
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#124
Quote from SimplyDABulous View Post :
The way I handle 992 coupons is to put those items at the very end of my grocery order, and hand those coupons to the cashier first. I tell them these coupons have beeped for me before, but here are the items (and show them the items). Since they were the last items scanned, they're still on the belt (my primary store has baggers), and easy for the cashier to grab and review if they need to.

I don't get into the whole 992 coding thing, because (1) most cashiers could care less, and (2) I think it makes me look suspicious that I know SO much about coupons.

I try to be helpful, but not TOO helpful, if you know what I mean.
I agree, which is why I don't bring up coding issues until after a manager refuses to push through the coupons, but I do like your idea about the scanning order and giving them the head's up.
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#125
Quote from mahgobbi View Post :
When I get stuck with a 992 beep, I'll usually just let the cashier check the item and almost every time it'll be pushed through. Sometimes they'll get manager approval and I'll let them. There have been two times I can think of where the cashier/manager was going to refuse a coupon because they couldn't figure out why it was beeping. Both times I then got into the 992 discussion, which I think thoroughly confused them, but they ultimately accepted the coupons.
Do they usually push it through as a mfg or store coupon.The manager was actually going to just push it through as a store coupon but that wouldn't work in this situation...
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#126
Quote from smythecvs123 View Post :
Do they usually push it through as a mfg or store coupon.The manager was actually going to just push it through as a store coupon but that wouldn't work in this situation...
mfg coupon
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#127
Quote from mahgobbi View Post :
mfg coupon
Iagree It's a manufacturer/vendor coupon. It won't go through as a store coupon, and just adds to the confusion.
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#128
Quote from SimplyDABulous View Post :
Iagree It's a manufacturer/vendor coupon. It won't go through as a store coupon, and just adds to the confusion.
It seems the stores around here are getting increasingly hesitant to push through mfg coupons(I'm sure the facebook fiasco didn't help in this regard)...It is telling that he was willing to just enter the amount as a store coupon (however I had already reached my limit of store coupons for that order which I already knew)but "didn't know what else he could do" when it came to pushing a mfg coupon through as a mfg coupon .But,thanks everyone for the help now that I know which stores 992's do and don't beep, I will just use them at the stores where they don't and everyone will stay happy...
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#129
Quote from setsail View Post :
The military commisaries overseas will accept expireds for 6 months after the expiration date. The ones in CONUS (continental US) and Hawaii are the worst sticklers about coupons I've ever run into.
hehe, not Heidi from 30 yrs ago (CONUS). my mom would always go to her lane, and that lady accepted A-N-Y coupon, even if we didnt buy the product. those were the dinosaur days before barcode scanners.
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#130
Quote from mahgobbi View Post :
I agree, which is why I don't bring up coding issues until after a manager refuses to push through the coupons, but I do like your idea about the scanning order and giving them the head's up.
I wouldnt bring up coding to anyone behind the counter. They will always look at you suspiciously in the future (a) for having secret Masonic knowledge, and (b) everyone hates a layman knowing more about their job than they do.

If you need to push for mgr approval, use the written text of the coupon, not the barcodes.
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#131
Quote from nickdigger View Post :
I wouldnt bring up coding to anyone behind the counter. They will always look at you suspiciously in the future (a) for having secret Masonic knowledge, and (b) everyone hates a layman knowing more about their job than they do.

If you need to push for mgr approval, use the written text of the coupon, not the barcodes.
I very rarely bring up coding to a manager...I've done it about 5 times in all the years I've been couponing. However, I've never had any future problems because of it. Like anything else, it all comes down to the WAY you present information.
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#132
Quote from mahgobbi View Post :
About 3-5 years ago 992 abuse reached a peak because it became commonly known among hard-core couponers that they would never beep and you could use them on any item. Unethical couponers would buy large quantities of groceries with coupons, then slip in a few random 992 coupons with their orders to cover their non-coupon items, such as produce, meat, etc. Crest Whitestrips used to print only 992 coupons and a lot of people used to brag about using one $5 Whitestrip coupon on every grocery order (they didn't use the higher value whitestrip coupons because they would sometimes beep because the registers were programmed to beep an anything over $5.00).

Even worse than the couponers who slipped through a random 992 were the ones who abused the SCO system. They would scan one 992 for every item in their carts, knowing that there were no controls over the coupons. Several years ago, the SCOs only required you to slide your coupons through a slot when you completed your order. The unethical couponers would scan 992s on every item, then throw a few in the slot and pocket the best ones for future use. Eventually the stores wised up a bit and now most SCO require you to hand your coupons to the cashier...it doesn't solve the problem, but it can help a little.

Getting back on track...
The industry caught up with the 992 abusers, so now most major groceries are programmed to beep at ANY 992. Some of the pharmacies will also beep, but it's more of an individual store programming, rather than corporate-wide like the groceries.

Now it really sucks for those people trying to honestly use a 992 coupon, because most cashiers don't understand why the coupon is beeping and they think something is wrong with the item you purchased. It's hard to explain the problem to them, since they know nothing about coupon barcodes. When I get stuck with a 992 beep, I'll usually just let the cashier check the item and almost every time it'll be pushed through. Sometimes they'll get manager approval and I'll let them. There have been two times I can think of where the cashier/manager was going to refuse a coupon because they couldn't figure out why it was beeping. Both times I then got into the 992 discussion, which I think thoroughly confused them, but they ultimately accepted the coupons.

Personally, I wish they would just delete code 992 from the system entirely and if a manufacturer truly wants a BEEP every time the coupon scans, they can code the coupon 00.
Just few comments about what could have happend @ CVS:
First of all, CVS does not block the 992 code, what could have happened with you is, may be you did not have any item with a value above 4.00, and that can cause the coupon to beep. We shoud never count on overage from higher coupon value.
Second, I would put all my manufacturer coupon first before I put the 992 coupon. The reason is, the system might apply the coupon to an item that you are using a manufacturer coupon on and when it is time to use that coupon, it will beep. It happend to me during the Olay deal last month. I was buying the Olay and some other items, I think was some always pads, and the coupon was applied to the pads, and when I tried to use the pads coupon, it beeped. Next time I gave the Olay coupon at last, and it worked with the exact same items, since it was forced to be applied to the Olay since it was the only item I did not use coupon for.
One more thing I want to mention about CVS, if the coupon value is above the value of the item, it will apply the rest of the value to the second identical item. Ex, If you buy 4 dawn dish soap for 0.99 each and you have 4 1.00 coupons, it will apply each extra cent to the next bottle until the last coupon which will beep to be adjusted to 0.96. So, even if you are using $4.00 on one item and you have 2 items from the same family with total value exceed 4, your coupon will work.
I hope I did not confuse you all
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#133
Quote from momto5 View Post :
Just few comments about what could have happend @ CVS:
First of all, CVS does not block the 992 code, what could have happened with you is, may be you did not have any item with a value above 4.00, and that can cause the coupon to beep. We shoud never count on overage from higher coupon value.
Second, I would put all my manufacturer coupon first before I put the 992 coupon. The reason is, the system might apply the coupon to an item that you are using a manufacturer coupon on and when it is time to use that coupon, it will beep. It happend to me during the Olay deal last month. I was buying the Olay and some other items, I think was some always pads, and the coupon was applied to the pads, and when I tried to use the pads coupon, it beeped. Next time I gave the Olay coupon at last, and it worked with the exact same items, since it was forced to be applied to the Olay since it was the only item I did not use coupon for.
One more thing I want to mention about CVS, if the coupon value is above the value of the item, it will apply the rest of the value to the second identical item. Ex, If you buy 4 dawn dish soap for 0.99 each and you have 4 1.00 coupons, it will apply each extra cent to the next bottle until the last coupon which will beep to be adjusted to 0.96. So, even if you are using $4.00 on one item and you have 2 items from the same family with total value exceed 4, your coupon will work.
I hope I did not confuse you all
Thanks and repped for this informative post...while it wasn't an overage situation your post got me thinking more about the specifics of what happened and I have now figured out what the problem was and more importantly what to do and not to do in the future when I use this coupon in a similar situation.For whatever reason, it was being counted by CVS's system as a store coupon(rather than a mfg coupon) for those interested...
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#134
Quote from momto5 View Post :
One more thing I want to mention about CVS, if the coupon value is above the value of the item, it will apply the rest of the value to the second identical item. Ex, If you buy 4 dawn dish soap for 0.99 each and you have 4 1.00 coupons, it will apply each extra cent to the next bottle until the last coupon which will beep to be adjusted to 0.96. So, even if you are using $4.00 on one item and you have 2 items from the same family with total value exceed 4, your coupon will work.
Are you sure about this? In the scenario you're presenting, if I were to purchase multiple identical items with overage and use a coupon on EVERY ONE of the items, then the last coupon would beep because there wouldn't be enough product cost left to absorb the coupon overage. However, this isn't the case when I shop at CVS. As an example, I can buy 5 items for $.75, using a $1.00 coupon on each of the 5 items and none of the coupons will beep...I'd end up with $1.25 in overage as long as the cashier doesn't manually adjust.
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#135
Quote from mahgobbi View Post :
Are you sure about this? In the scenario you're presenting, if I were to purchase multiple identical items with overage and use a coupon on EVERY ONE of the items, then the last coupon would beep because there wouldn't be enough product cost left to absorb the coupon overage. However, this isn't the case when I shop at CVS. As an example, I can buy 5 items for $.75, using a $1.00 coupon on each of the 5 items and none of the coupons will beep...I'd end up with $1.25 in overage as long as the cashier doesn't manually adjust.
Then you must be very lucky. None of the CVS registers that I've used allow for overage. They know the total price of your items, as well as how much to subtract for coupons, and the registers I shop at will not allot for overage.
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