Vote! Taking Peelie Coupons – Okay, Gray area or Wrong?

I got an email recently from a concerned Happy Money Saver reader:

Hi Karrie,

I am about 2 months into couponing and it’s now like a game for me.  I’m trying to be careful and wise as I shop for great deals.  This morning I had an interesting experience at Winco.  I was there early to avoid long lines.  Many of the store stockers were there.  I grabbed 2 fruit snacks off the shelf:  Spiderman and the Avengers both of which I didn’t have any coupons for but wanted to purchase regardless.  As I took them the product man asked if I wanted a coupon.  I replied OF COURSE!  He said that he is so upset because people are coming through the stores ripping off these sticker coupons off of products.  He said that is considered stealing and vandalism and if he catches someone doing this they will be prosecuted!

It is causing a great issue within many companies and we may soon see the end of our stickie coupons.  I told him how I am new to couponing and yet the books and blogs I’m reading encourage this sort of thing.  He was appalled and furious!  This is bad behavior folks and needs to stop!  It’s RUDE to other shoppers and very greedy behavior.  Generosity pays us back more than greediness ever will.  Please be a kind couponer, or you’ll ruin it for all of us!

Personally I have heard both sides of this – some couponers say there is no law that says they are not allowed to take them off to use them at another day. And I have talked to the vendors who put them on products who say they want people to buy the products that they are on.

So I wanted to hear your thoughts. Is is wrong to take peelie coupons without purchasing the products right then and there, or do you think its more of a gray area?

Vote here – and feel free to leave a comment if you like as well:

[poll id=”2″]34 Comments

Vote! Taking Peelie Coupons – Okay, Gray area or Wrong? was last modified: January 15th, 2013 by Karrie

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  1. From what I’ve been told by a store employee (as I was taking a peelie off of a product), these peelies are a promotion between manufacturer and store to give their customers a good deal on their products. If we take them off their products to use at another store don’t you think the store is going to eventually stop using this system? Ever since then my conscious just makes me feel shady every time I even think about taking a peelie. (Which happens every time I see one might I add) It’s hard to break bad habits huh?

  2. I don’t see an issue taking a couple as long as you do intend to use them. About a year ago Safeway had a product with coupons attached but I knew there was a deal at albertsons. So I took a couple and of course got the deal at albies. I don’t see an issue…I still purchased the product.

    I do believe taking every coupon off every item on the shelf is just greedy.

  3. Okay, so here’s my question…FWIW…how is taking it off a box of something you are not going to buy at that time, at that store…different than cutting out the BTFE or Soup label off a product? Or reaching over and taking a coupon from another shopper’s stack they have in their cart? I admit I am kind of a “stay between the lines” sort of person but this issue seems pretty clear to me.

  4. Kim Everett says:

    How about tearpad coupons? Lately I see displays in stores I know haven’t been up long with tear pads attached to them that have been all taken. How many is OK to take?

    • Five. Idk, They had some at Walmart one time and we took about 5, and the next day when we went back, there was still a big stack so we took 5 or 6 more.

  5. Micaela Swentik says:

    I think it is NOT GOOD AT ALL! I personally have never ever taken then because of this reason. To me it seems like stealing. That is intended for the product it is one. Not for someone to take for their personal gain later on. The coupon’s are in blinkies are what that practice if for. Not something that is affixed to an actual product. :/

  6. They are meant for the product that it’s attached to. What about the person who comes to buy that paticular product and the coupon is already ripped off? I personally feel that if you’re the type of person who can find a way of justifying “stealing” the coupons from other comsumers who shop in that particular shop, it says a lot about the kind of person you are and the way your mind works. As long as you benefit it’s okay? Every man for himself? I guess if a product comes with a free sample attched to it that it’s okay to rip those off too?

  7. Forgot to add:
    I feel that if the manufacturer want them to be taken for later use or at other stores they wouldn’t physically attach them to the product. They coud easily use tearpads so that people could take as many as needed.

  8. Actually, the manufacturers don’t put the peelies on at all, it is the rep who stocks the store. Ever wonder why some stores have the products with the peelies and some don’t? I have a friend who stocks products and has tubs of peelies that never get put on the boxes because they don’t have time to do so.

    • I don't shop @ Walmart says:

      One time rep give me roll of peelies for product since I was going to purchase that product anyway, but way more that I were going to purchase at that time. I thought that was way cool and I am loyal to that brand 🙂

  9. nicole in yakima says:

    For these reasons I believe it is OK……some peelies aren’t even for that specified product and so far, I have seen anywhere where it says it is illegal. These are coupons, made by the manufacturer, wanting you to buy that product!!! Where you buy that product I don’t really think they care. …. if somone says this is bad and others should not do it, then I do believe they should prove where it says that, not just heresay.

  10. The only time I think it is ok to use the coupon on another product is when you purchase the item but have higher value coupon for that item at that time. I like to keep the coupon on the product and nicely tell the checker that I have a higher value coupon I would like to use. They then leave the peelie on. One, no one sees me ribbing them off in the store and thinks they can too. Two, it makes us couponers more polite and less greedy looking. My rule of thumb is tearpads and blinkies YES feel free and take, but peelies NO, its part of the product and its not yours until you are at the register.

  11. You won’t be prosecuted and whoever told you that is full of poop. The coupon police are not going to come and haul you off to jail. It’s a piece of laminated paper that is IMPLICITLY a manufacturer’s coupon that they want to be used for the purchase of their product.

    Now, it might make a product placement employee’s job a little more challenging, but making statements like that is LUDICROUS. In an environment of already pressurized political fear-mongering, that was WAAAAAAY out of line for that person to say. Prosecuted by law for taking peelie coupons – GTFOH.

    • It’s rude, selfish and just wrong. It gives couponers a bad name. It makes stores less likely to offer coupons at all. It dosen’t matter who puts the peelies on, if there attached to a product you need to buy the product to get the reward. It’s the same as tearing off box tops or soup labels. If they were meant to be taken they would be a tear pad not attached to a product.

      • It doesn’t say that on the peelie. You are implying a code of ethics and actions that has not been explicitly stated.

      • Also, it is NOT the same as taking box tops or labels without paying for an item. You are conflating the issue with a logical fallacy.

  12. I have had the vendors tell me to pull a coupon off the other products before because they didnt have any more. so if your not takeing every one of them its no diffrent than taking a couple for blinki’s in the store

  13. I’ve moved peelies before…like when there are coupons on just the first few rows of bottles of laundry detergent, what’s left are a few on the kind with fragrance and only one coupon on a fragrance free bottle…and I only want the fragrance free, I will take one off the fragrance, to get the kind I want. I don’t see anything wrong with that…But I don’t take peelies stuck to an item to another store. Unless you count buying two items that both have peelies, but they are $ off 2 coupons on them, so you use one during that purchase and the other later where ever you next spot a deal (but you did buy the item it was affixed to…yeah know. Anyway, I’ve seen at some stores recently that had peelies that said not redeemable if removed prior to purchase. In that case, I would bring it to the cashier and ask about a swap if needed…sometimes there are reasons some products have coupons and some don’t and that could be expiration dates or discountinued type of product. And in response to Kim Everett’s question: how many tearpad or blinkie coupons would be “ok” to take? For me, I go by number of people in my family…and that’s each time I shop at that store that has the tearpad or blinkie. If I go on Monday and take 5 (five people in my family) and shop again on Thursday and there are still coupons there, I will take 5 more, if I know I will use them…I really don’t like the idea of taking a whole pad or worse, selling it.

  14. I don’t see an issue with taking a few…as long as you end up buying the product. There’s controversy with everything tho.. no matter what ya do 😉

  15. I have heard where stores are cracking down and prosecuting the theft of peelies.

    Now, I’m not talking about one or two, or even if you grab say 4 products with peelies and only use 2 (b2g$ off kind of thing), this was a lady in krogers ( I believe) that would go into the store, steal every peelie off of products (especially the ones on pepsi and coke products), but nothing, and then sell the peelies on ebay.

  16. I feel it would be the exact same as if you walked into someone’s home and took a coupon you wanted. You wouldn’t like it if you got there and you noticed they were all peeled off when you wanted it.

    • nicole in yakima says:

      Are you really trying to compare breakinfg into a home and taking someones peelies to going into a store and removing them off the product they have been placed on for people to use????????? seriously? That is funny

  17. I have taken a peelie off of a product to use on the same product in a different flavor that just happens to not have a peelie. Thats why Im stuck in that grey area…

  18. I can personally say that many people I know dont even use the peelies on their items and I ask if I can have them and they giggle and say of course “someone mine as well use it” so many times that i do not mind taking the peelie or the tear pad coupons because I will use it for the product, that is why they put it on the product to entice people like me.
    Again, I feel everything in excess, if you are going to need something in bulk you can call ahead and pre order it, I feel the same with peelies and pad coupons, dont take them all, share. If it were stealing they have to make it a policy for the store and until I read that it is a store policy I will continue to help myself.

  19. Its wrong to take them. why I fee that way:……..Those are on the package to encourage people to buy the product and I see people taking them as stealing. These companies are doing us a favor buy giving us a dollar here fifty cents there and then these thieves come in and take all the peelies and you go to the store and see that there WAS a peelie there and now you are out a coupon but yet buying the product. I fully stand behind stores prosecuting these people.

  20. we know the difference between right and wrong. Every box comes with one… Leave it on the ones you are going to buy. You are taking away from someone else’s purchase. Be honest

  21. Personally, I don’t feel like it is all that bad. I mean, I’ve seen products where the peelies were taken off and I was going to purchase the item, and I still did. I didn’t care all that much, I figured since I wasn’t fast enough and I was going to buy the product anyways, and I would get them next time. Also, there are other methods (coupons that come with samples via mail, email coupons, printable ones, ones through kroger/publix that you load on card through website, etc.) so there are other ways to get that product for a very low price or for pennies on the dollar. I believe there is etiquette that needs to be practiced, but if there is no one taking them off and they have sat on the shelves for weeks, I really don’t see it as a big deal. There’s no “law”, its coupons, companies do that to help us out. But also, these people at the companies aren’t driving around expensive cars and houses with 40 bathrooms, they ain’t hurting for money.

    Just thought I would give my two cents. 😀

  22. I vote grey area. I think it’s okay to take them as long as you don’t take EVERY SINGLE ONE. I’ve taken peelies before. I typically only shop at one grocery store (and I don’t play the drug store game) so I’ll probably end up using it at the same store, on the same product later— when it goes on sale.

  23. Hmm, Im fairly new to qponing. I think taking peelies are okay if your not taking excessive amount and your leaving some for others. If the intent is to have consumers purchase their product, why cant we use them at a different store for a better price? The peelies are not on the product for that particular store and its a free qpon. We need answers from the manufacture, not random qponers.

  24. It is stealing, no gray about it. The coupons are attached to product to be used on THAT product to promote sales. If you remove the coupons from certain products you are taking away the savings from another customer who would have done the honest thing and bought the product because of the attached coupon. Not to mention the loss of sales to the store because they have to damage out product due to coupons that are difficult to remove without defacing the product. Being a manager at a grocery store, you look like desperate fools. If you don’t think anything is wrong with it, why do you look around to see if anyone is watching?

  25. I understand if they take a few (probably 1 or 2) but if they take most or even all of it, thats GREEDY. What if the item was on promotion and someone (who wasn’t a couponer) wanted to try out the product. I follow the “couponingcommunity” tag on IG for deals but a lot of the time I see people selling peelies that they have taken off the products. They call it a “service/clipping fee” but bullshit, you’re stealing and selling it off. Personally, I don’t support the selling and buying of coupons because it’s illegal.

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