Trying Out CVS Madness

by Carrie Kirby on 3 February 2008 35 comments
Photo: pixeljones

Last night was a typical action-packed Saturday night. Once the kids were in bed and a glass of wine was firmly in my hand, I went online to check out this MoneySavingMom I had heard so much about with her $35 a week grocery shopping budget. What I really wanted to know was how on earth did MoneySavingMom afford wine and other spirits on that budget?

I didn't find out, although my guess would be that households with that kind of shopping budget are teetotalers.

Instead, I was instantly fascinated by MoneySavingMom's explaination of how she plays the CVS ExtraBucks system to get hundreds of dollars worth of goods for free. I had heard about this before, but I assumed it had to do with sending in for a rebate on a $2 pair of knee high stockings or the like, and I figured it wasn't worth my time.

In fact, I'm ashamed to say that although we have lived just steps from a CVS for nearly a year, I still hadn't applied for the CVS card, which you need to participate in this ExtraBucks racket. To me, store cards were mainly for getting merchandise at a discount, and whenever I bought something on sale at CVS, an employee always scanned a "courtesy card" for me.

MoneySavingMom explains the whole ExtraBucks game in great detail here. A brief summary: CVS awards ExtraBucks as a kind of cash-back coupon, with an expiration date. In addition to its regular discounts, CVS offers bonus ExtraBucks on certain items or groups of items as a special. When you meet the requirements of the deal, the bucks print out on your receipt, and you can spend them on your next transaction almost like real money.

MoneySavingMom doesn't just explain the ExtraBucks system, she even publishes lists of which weekly and monthly specials are the best deals and points out where you can find coupons that make the reward-generating items cheaper. Coupon clipping is necessary to transform the ExtraBucks program from a nice bonus to a way of actually getting free stuff. By combining manufacturers' coupons and CVS coupons that offer money off your whole purchase, lots of shoppers are reporting great hauls of free stuff, and MoneySavingMom links to their stories on her site.

Reading these stories fascinated me. At first, I looked over the goods these people were getting free and thought, But I don't want any of that crap! There was soda and chocolate, some kind of dietary supplement drink and a ton of shampoo. I bought a two-pack of huge shampoo bottles at Costco last year and we are not even halfway through the first bottle. Moreover, some of the shoppers admitted that they didn't want some of the things they bought either, and they were just buying them because with a coupon or two, the purchases generated more ExtraBucks than they cost. Next week or tomorrow or whenever, they'd take those new ExtraBucks and spend them on more ExtraBucks-generating deals, building up a bigger and bigger pile of CVS currency.

I wondered, if I started doing this, would I just spend a lot of my already-scarce time clipping coupons and arguing with CVS clerks, and end up with a bunch of stuff I didn't need?

This morning I looked over the Sunday CVS flyer with curiosity and trepidation. Sure enough, there were the deals that MoneySavingMom listed. But there was also something that I personally needed very much: Neutrogena hand lotion. I have really dry skin and these pricey little tubes of lotion are the ony thing that make my hands feel OK after washing. CVS was offering 5 ExtraBucks if I spent $15 on Neutrogena skin care products. Oh boy, I thought, this is it! I'm gonna play the CVS game!

However, it was not clear if the hand cream was actually included in the promotion. The hand cream was listed on a separate page from the promotion ad, which was shown with a bunch of face products. Clearly, this whole thing was going to be challenging. And I had already given myself one handicap: I was not going to go on a CVS ExtraBucks trip without at least one of my children in tow. If this thing was so complicated that I had to use my scarce child-free time to do it, even substantial savings was not going to be worth it.

Instead of reading the Sunday paper, I spent perhaps an hour (with interruptions) preparing for my first CVS trip. I filled out the card application I'd picked up on my last visit. I read the CVS flyer carefully. I decided to prepare to take advantage of a different ExtraBucks promotion -- for toothpaste -- in case the lotion didn't pan out. I printed out and clipped coupons for my two planned purchases.

Then I got my 3-year-old dressed, grabbed a disc of photos I needed to have printed while I was at CVS, got us bundled up, and walked over to the store. Fortunately, it was a nice quiet Sunday morning and I was able to ask one of the clerks about the lotion as I turned in my card application and set up my photos for printing. She said it wasn't included, but since it was on sale and I had a coupon, I got two tubes anyway. It was still better than what I usually pay at Target. I carefully picked out the four tubes of toothpaste I needed to generate my first 5 ExtraBucks, collected the photos and checked out with my small stack of coupons.

Now, I knew another potential handicap was that the employees at our particular CVS have never been exactly on the ball. There are often mistakes in our prescriptions and on prices. But my daughter was getting antsy so I was not able to focus on reading my receipt until we were out of the store.

The first thing I noticed was that I did not get the 5 ExtraBucks. It said I had to spend $10 on Colgate toothpaste to get it and that I had only spent $7.50. After studying the receipt, I realized that one of the tubes of Colgate I bought was not part of the promotion.

However, I was happy to see that your purchases can be cumulative. That is, I could go back another time and exchange the fourth tube and get the bucks then. AND, the receipt also said I was halfway to getting another 5 ExtraBucks for Neutrogena products, so the clerk was wrong abou the lotion not qualifying.

But then I noticed that she had majorly overcharged me on my prints, so I had to drag my kid back in the store anyway. The clerk turned me over to a manager to get the prints fixed, I went back to get the tube of toothpaste I needed (studying the sales flyer to figure out what I had done wrong), and by the time I got back to the front a huge line had appeared at the counter.

I was nervous that the staff was going to be annoyed with me and my damn ExtraBucks problem when they had a rush to deal with. But they were very nice, did the exchange, and sure enough I earned my first 5 ExtraBucks.

With two different returns on my receipt, it was difficult to figure out what I spent versus what I earned. I think I spent about $10 (not counting my photo prints), for which I got four 6-ounce tubes of toothpaste and two tubes of lotion. That's a good deal in itself, but I also have $5 to spend on my next purchase, which will be more lotion, and if I use coupons on that purchase as well, I can probably pay little or nothing out of pocket and come out with another $5 to spend on my NEXT purchase.

Yes, it was a lot of hassle, but I am hoping most of that was learning curve, because I see now how addictive this CVS game is.

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Guest's picture

and wonder why I'm not saving like some of the others I'm reading about online...I mean, I buy most of our paper products and toiletries at Costco...so, like you, I have jugs of shampoo and the like already on-hand. I do have a friend who claims when she goes to shop at CVS, they have to pay HER money...but then again, this is the same friend who can't use her bathtub because it is stacked to the ceiling with toilet paper and papertowels...I kid you not. Thanks for Moneysavingmom's link...I hadn't heard of that one!

Guest's picture

It only takes one time and then the CVS addiction will set in.. soon you will be piled up with more crap then you know what to do with :)

Guest's picture
Brian

Yes, she brings home a TON of stuff that we don't need or use. But she also gets a ton for free that we ~do~ use, especially with the extra-care-bucks "overage" that she accumulates. For example, milk prices are through the roof right now... it's cheaper to feed our kids a glass of 89-octane than it is for 1%-lowfat. However, her ECBs give us a constant supply of milk for free.

So what do we do with all that extra stuff we don't need? On a quarterly basis, we give them to charities. Win-win all around. Make-up, shampoo, etc. go to womens' shelters, extra food/drinks to homeless shelters, arts/crafts to Ronald McDonald house ... We feel good, get free stuff, and *bonus* get tax deductions.

And she does all of this mostly because she likes the "game" of it. Other than the extra space that we sacrifice, I can't complain!

Guest's picture
Lisa

The CVS program would challenge the best coupon maven. But I have beaten it a couple of times. I got $25 gift card for changing over a prescription. And periodically I go to their website and am eligible for no strings attached $2.50 coupons.

I've started leaving my CVS ExtraBucks coupons in my car so I am not caught without them. And I work hard not to buy things I wouldn't have bought otherwise. This can be challenging when you're trying to reach the $15, and if you're not careful you end up paying a premium price for something you wouldn't have bought to get there.

Good luck with it. Let us know how you do!

Guest's picture
Kacie

It does take a little bit of time to completely figure out. I did the CVS deals really aggressively a few months ago, and now I don't need to go (I have a good stockpile). I've given products to family and charities.

If you have a Walgreens or Rite Aid, you can also get some great freebies there.

Guest's picture
Amy

First, I just want to say that Crystal is awesome and she does such a great job of documenting and sharing how she saves money at the stores. She is an inspiration to a lot of women.

I do the CVS program, but only in spurts. I don't have a lot of time to really follow it and I have forgotten a few times when I should have had a big pay out. That was disappointing. I do have a medicine cabinet full of goodies that were bought for free or really cheap to prove that it does work though, it just takes more effort than I am able to put in at times :)

Great post!

Guest's picture
BeckyM

I found MSM about the same time I found WiseBread, In November of 2007. Ever since, I've found it easy to save coupons and acquire more. I keep them paper-clipped by week in a grocery bag. I ask friends, family, and co-workers to save theirs for me, and have at least 4 inserts a week not including my own, coming to me. There's resources online to search for specific coupons and which insert they are in. Very easy. Since doing this in November, my CVS receipt as of today reads: Year to date savings (starting in 2008): $559.16, Winter 2008 Spending (Starting in December, I think): $199.34. This doesn't include today's transaction in which I bought over $100 in items I use for $5.70 out-of-pocket, using $29.50 in prior EBs, and receiving $45.46 EBs back!! Thanks to MSM, I am able to get housewares, cosmetics, and personal products pretty much free, or I make money off of them! =) Great article.

Carrie Kirby's picture

I just trekked back down to the CVS in the driving snow because 1) The coupon I had expired today, 2) I knew it would be totally dead during the Super Bowl AND a snowstorm and 3) I am a total freak.

My out-of-pocket "investment" in CVS-ing is now $18, and I exit the weekend with $10 in ECBs, as the pros call those Extra Bucks or Extra Care Bucks. We can use everything I bought:

4 tubes of Colgate ($6.75 after coupons, PLUS 5 ECBs)

2 tubes of Norwegian Formula Neutrogena lotion ($6.45 after coupon and sale, plus half of a 5 ECB bonus)

2 6-packs of TheraFlu, one nighttime, one daytime ($12.20 after coupon PLUS 10 ECBs)

8 cans of Campbell's soup ($4 after manufacturers coupons)

1 Milk Chug to get us through coffee in the morning before I go to grocery store ($1)

That adds up to just over $30, before the $7 in CVS coupons and $5 ECBs I used. (I'm not counting what I spent on my photos because I was going to get those printed anyway today.)

That's a lot of stuff for $18 -- or $8, if you count the $10 "bill" I came home with!

Guest's picture

I love CVS deals. I used to do Walgreens EasySaver rebates a lot, but the CVS deals are better for several reasons, including:

1. You get the "rebate" instantly in the form of the ECB coupon, instead of having to wait a month or more for a rebate processor to send you your rebate from a mail-in form.
2. CVS puts out tons of store coupons that can make the deals even better, unlike Walgreens that only puts out a decent store coupon once in a blue moon.
3. CVS deals are often limit 2 or 5 and not just one. Plus that limit is per card, and you can have a card for each person in your household.
4. There are just more things included in the CVS deals than in the Walgreens EasySaver.

I have so much free stuff from CVS from these promotions! I don't know what I'll do if they ever stop this and I have to actually pay for toothpaste, deodorant, or shampoo again.

Guest's picture
Debbie M

I also buy very little that is sold at CVS. I've decided to check the flyers regularly in case the things I do buy go on special.

I do feel like they do everything they can to trick you. If there is ever more than one interpretation, the one that is less favorable is probably the one they have. Except they let you use regular coupons and store coupons and CVS Extra Care Bucks. But if anything you're buying is on clearance (and they often have very nice clearance prices), only regular coupons can be used. Also, always closely check the expiration dates of things on clearance.

My best deals have been when they have a store-brand of a product I use and it goes on clearance. I think sometimes the major brands make a change, and then the store brand has to make the same change to keep up. That's happened twice on stuff I use. They have store brands of lots of things that are good deals even at full price.

Catherine Shaffer's picture

Welcome to CVS shopping! I've become quite the enthusiast. It did take me a while to figure things out, as well as my own personal limits and rules. If you have questions about the ethics of CVS shopping or any points of disagreement, I think you will quickly find out that Crystal is serious about her comments moderation policy, and no dissent is tolerated over there. I'm planning on hosting an ethical discussion at Wise Bread, though, when I have time for a proper post. Personally, I never buy things I can't use at CVS. Giving them to charity is nonsensical. If they are free in the first place, that's not charity, because the person who needs them can also get them for free from the store. Plus, some of the "moneymaker" items are extremely limited in quantity, and often they fly off the shelves as soon as they are put out. I can't imagine buying a blood glucose monitor just to get the extracare bucks, when someone who really has diabetes would probably be very excited to find the same item on sale with such a lucrative promotion attached to it. It's sort of like stealing extra care bucks from the poor, if you think about it.

Nonetheless, I have gotten some pretty great deals based only on items my family actually uses. Last week, I got two jars of hellman's mayonnaise, two boxes of green tea, two canisters of sun maid raisins, a small pack of stayfree pads, and eight tubes of toothpaste for $2.23, with $15 ECB returned to me. Go CVS!

By the way, individual CVS stores vary in their policies. It is not corporate policy as far as I know to restrict the use of manufacturers/store coupons on clearance items, but you may need to buy an additional item with your "overage" or the cashier may need to adjust your coupon amount so that your balance is not less than 0. It has not been my experience that there is any trickery in the system. I have often felt that way about other stores' coupon promotions--squinting at a dizzying array of products and packages trying to find the one item that is on sale, buying the wrong one anyway, waiting in line half an hour at customer service to return it. Ugh. But CVS seems almost idiot proof. They often put prominent signs up in the aisles directing you to ECB deals, and of late there is even special packaging that has the deal promotion printed right on it, and if you do make a mistake, you can check your receipt and fix it later, like Carrie did. I even had one experience where the ECB did not print out for a purchase I made, and the store manager came out and did some fancy stuff on the cash register to make it print. (He actually returned one of my items and then sold it to me again.)

Catherine Shaffer

Wise Bread Contributor

Guest's picture
Guest

Donating items to charity makes more sense than you know...ask any missionary in a foreign country running an orphanage. Things aren't as "free" or available at all in places like Haiti.

Guest's picture
DivaJean

What I don't get about the CVS bug is the sheer amount of stuff. You buy 8 tubes of toothpaste one week- then next week? I mean really! My family of six goes thru two tubes a month- and it seems every week there is some sort of theorem for savings involving toothpaste. If I had done the 8 tubes thing, I'm four months ahead of my family's needs. Where do I draw the line in the sand as to how much clutter to save up?

Guest's picture
Guest

Do you mean penny-ante? I believe that is the expression.

Guest's picture
Jessika

I don't know if I just got lucky with this but over the summer CVS did an extrabucks deal where you buy like $15 in Neutrogena makeup and get $5 Extrabucks and one where you buy $20 in Nexxus haircare products and get $10. I did both and got my $15 in extrabucks but then realized i had bought the wrong stuff, so i returned it but still got to keep my extrabucks! It took 2 trips but for $15 I think it was worth it!

Guest's picture
Tammy

I'm sorry to tell you this but that is very unethical and is actually considered fradulent by CVS. It is not a trick, it's a scam.

Guest's picture
Guest

You can get that SAME STUFF at Walmart for so much cheaper (including the "after ECB" deals, which doesn't count, because you're STILL paying the same price out of pocket!!!!) Not to mention, Nexxus is supposedly sooo good because its sulfate free- well so is my $8.00 shampoo! It does NOT need to cost $20 for a bottle of shampoo. I say **** the system, its not a scam, CVS, Nexxus, and other corporations are the ones scamming US!
Besides, Jessika didn't set out to scam- she said she bought the wrong stuff, and still got to keep the coupons. More power to ya Jessika.

Carrie Kirby's picture

Guest -- Wow, I'm blushing over being wrong about "penny-enny." One of those things that I guess I always thought was the correct phrase, but I'm sure you are right. Then again, maybe it's a regionalism because I swear I have heard people say it to me just that way.

 Catherine -- You certainly have fertile grounds for an ethical discussion there. Oh my, yes. Off the top of my head, I would argue that a resident of my local women's shelter is not going to be plotting over the weekly CVS ad, coupons and ExtraCare card in hand, and the volunteers or staff at the shelter aren't going to either. It's kind of like saying it doesn't make sense to donate your home-grown produce to a food bank, because after all poor people could plant their own vegetables. Then again, if my goal is to procure some products for charity, then yeah, there are certainly more efficient ways of going about it such as asking local businesses for bulk donations.

 DivaJean -- You are right that you have to think about what purchases make sense for you. Personally when I belonged to Costco I bought multipacks of toothpaste all the time and then enjoyed not having to think about it for the rest of the year. But unless it was a total money-making offer, I would not buy toothpaste again for quite awhile.

Catherine Shaffer's picture

Diva Jean--I think some people do collect a lot of stuff, although I have limited storage space so I dn't. Since I started CVS shopping I have acquired plenty of shampoo, cold medicine, cough drops, and pain relief medicines--and this week stocked up on toothpaste. I won't buy more of these items until I need them. Toothpaste does't spoil, and I was glad to see that particular sale because we use a gel-type toothpaste and they are a little harder to find on sale.

 

Catherine Shaffer

Wise Bread Contributor

Catherine Shaffer's picture

I'm sure women's shelters are glad to have donations, but I am thinking more of the working poor or the elderly on a limited, fixed income, or disabled people like my mother. When you have to plan not only your shopping trip, but change buses three times just to get to CVS, it's got to be disappointing to find that a much-needed health care item has been snatched up by bargain shoppers who are planning to donate the item to a random shelter or something. In my opinion, this is not in the spirit of charity, since if your true cost for an item is -$30, and you give it to a charity for free, you are actually acting as a middle man and taking that $30 difference as profit. The glucose monitor deals are the most egregious example, but to some extent you could apply the same logic to smaller items such as toothpaste. If they cost me -$.50 to buy, and I donate them, I'm not being terribly charitable, am I? That's why my personal rule is "nothing I don't need," with an occasional exception if I spot a good deal on something and I personally know someone who needs it. (I may do some CVS shopping for my mother, since it would truly benefit us both.)

Catherine Shaffer

Wise Bread Contributor

rstlne's picture
rstlne

There is a CVS very close to my place, so I should be able to play the CVS game very well but I haven't been on the ball about it. Even so, I've had substantial savings over the years and I've been able to keep all my supplies restocked at discount prices using ECBs and CVS coupons. In addition to coupons that they print out at the cash register, they also send out email coupons, which is good for the not-so-frequent shopper.

Guest's picture
LolitasBox

I've tried all of the drugstore rebate programs in my area, CVS, Walgreens and Riteaid. Personally, I like Riteaid the best because I don't have to keep track of the slips of paper. I'm terrible about shoving paper in my purse and forgetting it until I get fed up with the mess and just throw everything out! I don't have to hurry back to the store if I don't want to to make sure that my savings don't expire. Riteaid allows me to submit and track my reciepts online and once/month I get my check that goes straight to my savings acct. I have a reminder set up on my email once/month to submit a request for my reciepts so they all go in at once. EASY!

What I have realized in reading everyone's posts is that the items that I would always leave on the shelf because I just didn't have any use for and pout because I knew they were free, I can actually put to very good use! I had never thought of donating those items. I had thought of selling some of the things on Ebay, but usually the items in question are things that I personally wouldn't want to buy on Ebay, like deodorant. A girlfriend of mine once lived in a women's shelter and she tells me that things like that would have gone a long way for her.

Thanks!!!

Carrie Kirby's picture

So far after two weeks of CVS shopping, I have ended up returning what I bought both times because they were not the right items. The combination between having my kids with me and just getting confused with all the moving parts at the register -- coupons, card, ECBs, credit card -- led me to not figure out that I'd gotten the wrong price and no ECBs on at least one item category both times.

 And for some reason both times I had to return stuff, a huge line popped up at my CVS. Yet both times the staff who did the return were gracious and patient. Today I got a refund for the wrong stuff I bought, and since I had used tons of coupons and ECBs, they gave me cash for the cash I paid and a CVS card with $12 on it for all the coupons I'd used.

Yeah, I just turned coupons into cash. That's kind of cool, in the sense that I could actually go in there with coupons for stuff I don't even want, return the stuff, and walk out with money on a gift card. However, I wouldn't do it on purpose because:

a) it's still a pain to do 2 transactions, even if i'm making money

and

b) if too many people started abusing the system like that they'd stop doing it. and i'd hate to go in and NOT get the value of my coupons back on a return. It's not like they can pull your old coupons out of a drawer and give them back to you.

Guest's picture
Trixie

Hello,

It sounds like your first CVS trip was much like mine LOL. Shopping at CVS does take experience. I've been shopping there for well over a year and just this past January I started keepign track of what I was spending and happily it turns out I'm getting PAID to shop there.

Just this morning I wrote a post about all the stuff I got and how much I got paid to buy it. (hint rebates help a lot!)

Here is the link

http://farmhomelife.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-to-get-paid-to-shop-at-cvs....

Take Care,

Trixie

Carrie Kirby's picture

Hi Tammy,

 I don't think you're clear about what I'm describing. There is no fraud involved. If you are referring to returns, I'll explain this further on my blog tomorrow (www.shopliftingwithpermission.com)



, but basically, any time I have returned items, I have made it totally clear to the store management why I needed to return them, and how I paid (usually with mostly ECBs and coupons). It's up to the store policy whether they will give a cash refund, gift card refund or no refund at all for the portion of your purchase paid for with coupons.

Guest's picture
Guest

Returns are indeed tricky. I use many, many manufacturer q's in my shopping, and with a few $/$$ CVS q's here and there (they get more and more scarce), and then rolling ecb's, I try not to spend cash money, but I buy a lot of stuff. BUT, I have a lot of problems with ecb's not printing, so I do return stuff and then rebuy it or buy the right thing if I am having a problem, and the cashiers who know me very very very well, help me. BUT, managers hate it. They don't appreciate the really smart CVSers, they work too many hours to be bothered with having to come to the register to help, and I've run up against some truly rude ones in the last few months. My mistake, I called corporate. Instead of dealing with my complaint, they deactivated my card, and said that I returned too much. They never compared receipts and noticed that I bought it or similar items right back, they accused me of coupon fraud and intimated that they could press charges. Loyalty program??? I think not.

Guest's picture
Sandy

I have purchased some stuff(which gave you ECBs) and retured the stuff I don't need. Tonight one of a very nice CVS working was telling me that be carefule that don't return the item which has already give you ECBs otherwise, CVS are starting to have police crack down on those people who did this. Is that true? It sounds scary...am I going to jail? This guy told me that they have sent a lot of people to jail already. Is he just trying to scare me or it is real thing?

Carrie Kirby's picture

Guest, that is interesting information. I'm sorry for what happened to you. Leaves me -- and many others I am sure -- wondering, how many returns are TOO many?

 I actually have a bag of Chex Mix sitting by my front door that is expired by several months. I want to bring it back to exchange, but I know they will insist on doing a full return and re-purchase. I have some bottles of soda with a similar situation -- I got regular but wanted diet. Is it all counting against me??

 FYI to others -- usually if my ECBs don't print, I call the CVS customer care after 48 hours and if I truly bought the right thing, they will add them to my account. They have even given me a "courtesy" buck when I complained that the wording of the ad was too vague and I felt I should have gotten an ECB for something they said was not covered in the promo.

Guest's picture
katy

this is different, but when i go to CVS I always get a three dollars off of 15 on cvs products. i save the coupons and use them to buy an expensive cvs product.

Guest's picture
Mark Forstneger

Nice blog! Your photo on this post made me do a double-take: I know that CVS sign! It's at one of their stores here in Chicago at a busy Northwest Side intersection. Never thought a photo of it would pop up on a personal finance blog!

Carrie Kirby's picture

i LIVE in chicago! but i didn't take the photo, i found it on flickr with a creative commons license for reuse. how funny. i wish my cvs had that sign. it would add a certain "las vegas strip" excitement to our neighborhood. 

I blog at www.shopliftingwithpermission.com.

Guest's picture
Dot

Our CVS carries lots of interesting items to spend the extra bucks on -- convenience food, paper towels, school supplies, batteries, film, etc. However, as you learned, the items specified in the ads are tricky. And at the one I go to, they're often out of stock on sale items and specials.

Carrie Kirby's picture

I HIGHLY doubt they have "sent people to jail" for returning ECB items, unless they are talking about someone running some kind of large-scale operation. However, for the reasons already discussed in these comments, I don't think you should return any more ECB items.

It's really a strange aspect of the program. I mean, nowhere -- that I have noticed -- do they SAY you can't return this stuff and still use the ECBs. Some other stores seem to be able to track rewards better and say, you must relinquish the bonus if you return the item. Seems like they SHOULD be able to say, this item can only be returned if you hand over those ECBs or have the ECBs just invalidate if the item is returned. But I guess their computer system is just not up to the task.

It just seems like common sense that it would be abusive to get the bonus and then return the goods. Yet, without them posting some kind of policy on it, I don't see how they could prosecute. There's nothing illegal about returning something. If at all, fraud would maybe occur upon using the ECBs after the product was returned, but if they don't SAY you can't use them, I don't see how that could be technically fraud either.

 

I blog at www.shopliftingwithpermission.com.

Guest's picture
jack becker

I AGREE WITH CARRIE KIRBY.. i buy ECB items, use the coupon, and Then return the original item For Cash, with the receipt. i go to different stores, and make a thing out of it...i really get stuff fo free, and there's nothing they can do about it

Guest's picture
Guest

My sister does this on her lunch break every day and somehow gets hundreds of dollars of items for next to nothing.

God bless'em. Right now I don't have the patience to do it.

I think the stores get so much in kick backs and reimbursements from the manufacturers that they don't really care.
It's not like they are losing money.

I'm sure the higher ups in these stores are fully aware of this and are happy to move their products.

It does help the economy more as well.
The store wouldn't move as much product and stock boys from here to alaska get more hours to restock and deliver product.

Just my two cents..lol