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Simple Saving Savvy: My two cents.......on the Target Coupon Generator

Simple Saving Savvy

Practicing Wise Stewardship & Blessing Others Out of Our Abundance

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My two cents.......on the Target Coupon Generator

The following editorial is over a very controversial subject in the coupon world. So by choosing to publish it, I am running the risk of maybe losing some readers and maybe even creating a "name" for myself in the world of money saving blogs and message boards.

This is a risk I am willing to take. I am willing to risk it because at all costs and among all who come here, I want two things to stand out: this blog is to glorify my God in EVERY way and this blog takes the path of honesty and integrity in all that is posted.

Have you all heard of Target Coupon Generators? If you have been using coupons and doing on-line research for any length of time, you have probably happened across a Target Coupon Generator and know what I'm speaking of. However, if you are new to this game, then you may be saying to yourself right now, "Huh? What's she talking about?".

Target publishes printable coupons on their website that can only be used at their store. These are referred to as Target printables.

The coupons are usually published with a four week expiration date, however, Target publishes a new round of coupons every two weeks and the ones published two weeks prior are no longer available. So to be able to use these coupons until their expiration date, you have a two week time frame to print multiple copies. There is no limit to the number of coupons you can print. If you do not think to print multiple copies, you will no longer be able to print those coupons from the Target website after that two week period.

The other thing about printing from the Target website is that if you choose to print several of just one coupon, it will print just that one coupon per sheet of paper. You cannot print multiples of the same coupon on one sheet of paper.

So in the name of convenience, paper conservation and lack of fine print some technological genius figured out that she could electronically reproduce the coupons from the Target website and post them on another website for people to print.

Here are the reasons I have been told this was done and why it is "ok" to do this along with my answers:

Reason #1: The coupons haven't expired yet. If Target didn't want us to use them, they would make them with a shorter expiration date.

My answer: It isn't about the expiration date. It is about the source. If you have coupons that were printed from the official Target website and have not expired yet, then by all means, use them. Many coupons from the Target Generators are no longer available on the Target website. They shouldn't be available anywhere else either.

Reason #2: These are coupons that are available on the Target website but if you only want to print one coupon, then it only prints one coupon per sheet. We're just trying to help people save time and paper.

My answer: Whether in the spirit of convenience or conservation, the coupons are still being reproduced. Maybe they are not being scanned or photocopied, but reproduction is reproduction be it electronically or otherwise. Last time I checked, this was defined as fraud!

Reason #3: Target coupons do not have a printed disclaimer disallowing the reproduction of their coupons.

My answer: If this makes it right and legal, then why don't we all just print one copy of the available Target printables and then photocopy as many copies as we want? Wouldn't that be the same thing? Is anyone going to do this? Well, the criminally minded might, but no honest, ethical person is going to try this. And if Target knew you had photocopied their coupons, would they accept them? If you wouldn't photocopy it, why would you electronically reproduce it? Let's not split hairs here.

Reason #4: Target has not prosecuted so they obviously don't have issues with it.

My answer: I don't have a pat answer for why Target has not prosecuted various websites over this. But I did contact Bud Miller at the Coupon Information Corporation, and he simple wrote back "Frankly, I am surprised Target hasn't pursued this yet". This is an organization that deals with coupon fraud all day long. Maybe it's because Target has bigger fish to fry. Maybe it's because they may "actually" not have a problem with it. However, I challenge you to find a website or message board that has explicitly been given permission from Target to reproduce and publish their coupons. My guess is that there isn't one. If I'm wrong, then I'll joyfully eat my words and start using their coupon generator!

In the beginning, I mentioned my reasons for writing this post but there is a third reason: protection for my readers. There are many people reading this blog that are new to the coupon game. And when you first get started, there is an overwhelming amount of information to take in and the on-line resources available to you are limitless. I want you to be aware of all that is out there and the pros and cons.

To print from the Target Generator or not to print, the choice is yours. Each of you is the possessor of an individual conscience.

But at least you'll know why I do not post links to Target Coupon Generators at Simple Saving Savvy.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Tracy said...

Kudos to you Amanda! I actually found this site because I was searching to see if my stance on this was right as well since I hear all the same excuses you do. It's nice to know I'm not alone in this frame of mind. A reproduction is a reproduction regardless of how someone paints it, it still isn't original.

May 12, 2009 at 7:33 PM  

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