Digital Coupon Vault Needed
December 26, 2010 9:27 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know of a digital coupon vault/app/website that will allow me to collect and use coupons without physically keeping the clippings? Somewhat of a Groupon equivalent for regular coupons?

I get all sorts of coupons in the mail that I mostly ignore (but would use if I had them with me!). I'd love to have a site or an app on my mobile phone that allowed me to collect or store these coupons digitally.

Anyone heard of such a service? Is there a reason it doesn't exist?
posted by shew to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Most stores will not accept photocopied or otherwise-reproduced coupons, or at least their policies state that they won't. (It's probably a crapshoot what most cashiers would do; I suspect that if it scanned, you would probably get away with it.)

It's pretty trivial to create counterfeit coupons, so if you let people save coupons (say with a cellphone camera) and then print out and use them later, there'd be a huge potential for fraud...it would be more difficult to tell counterfeits from ones that you'd just saved and printed.

This could be mitigated if coupons were "smarter" (if, say, you used a barcode with more data-carrying capacity and digitally signed it), but the current UPC format is pretty trivial to fake up. So the paper the coupons are printed on forms a not-insubstantial part of many stores' coupon-acceptance policies. (Both Harris Teeter and Kroger say that they "do not accept internet coupons that do not appear to be originals." It's a little vague, but I think that might cause you trouble.)

If you were sure that your favorite store would accept stored-and-reproduced coupons, it wouldn't be difficult to store them. Evernote would be ideal; you could photograph or scan them (possibly even with a cellphone camera) and dump them into a notebook or with a particular set of tags for easy recall. They'd be OCRed for easy finding, and then you'd just print them out when you wanted to use them. But I don't think that most stores are going to be OK with it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:41 PM on December 26, 2010


Many manufacturers require that the store physically mail the coupon back to them in order to be reimbursed. So I don't know how much luck you will have getting a store to accept a virtual coupon, as they will then have no proof of redemption to send in for reimbursement. You might have better luck with store coupons, but that would depend on what your local grocery store chain is.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:04 PM on December 26, 2010


Not exactly what you're looking for, but you may be interested in Card Star.
posted by rhizome at 11:23 PM on December 26, 2010


If you join Upromise they offer digital coupons each month that you load onto your store loyalty card.
posted by anastasiav at 6:09 AM on December 27, 2010


If you shop at a grocery store owned by Safeway, you can go to their website and load coupons directly onto your club card. I love this, since I always tend to forget my coupons when I am out shopping!
posted by SisterHavana at 10:25 AM on December 27, 2010


Ralphs (local grocery chain) must be owned by Safeway then. I just discovered this.
posted by bluesky78987 at 9:24 PM on December 27, 2010


Depending on your location and the store you shop at, Cellfire may have coupons that you can load onto your store loyalty card.
posted by katyggls at 12:35 AM on December 28, 2010


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