I have learned a lot about responsible coupon use in the last year from visiting your site. You have told us how to use coupons ethically and legally, but what do you do when people in line behind you get grouchy? -Jackie
We live in a fast-paced society where patience is often a long-lost virtue. Most people are in a hurry when going through the checkout lanes and less than thrilled if they get hung up for 15 minutes due to another shopper’s stack of coupons.
Here are a few suggestions for streamlining the checkout process and avoiding irritating other shoppers:
1. Shop During Off-Hours — If you can, try to hit the stores when few others are shopping — usually earlier in the morning or late at night. I’ve found that rush-hour shoppers are notoriously impatient.
2. Be Organized — Before you even get in line, make sure you have all of your coupons together and in order and your store cards and cash at the ready. Spending three minutes fishing through your coupon box or purse for a missing coupon is likely going to frustrate everyone. This is why I recommend double-checking all your coupons before getting in line to pay to make sure you’re not missing any.
3. Choose an Efficient Cashier — I always “scout out” cashiers before picking a checkout line to go through. Choosing an efficient cashier not only saves you a lot of time, but it usually makes for a much smoother checkout.
4. Be Courteous and Confident — Invariably, you’ll have some shopping trips where the cash register or cashier is refusing to accept some of your coupons. Politely and quickly explain the store’s coupon policy or why they should accept the coupon. If a cashier is unwilling to budge, don’t become frustrated; it’s not worth having a fight over a few dollars. Just ask them to remove the item from your transaction and give the coupon back to you. In most cases, so long as you are polite and courteous, it’s not a big deal.
5. Let Others Know You Have Coupons — If you have a lot of coupons and think there’s a possibility that your checkout might be a bit tedious, don’t hesitate to politely tell anyone who gets in line behind you, “I have a stack of coupons I’m using today, so it might take me awhile to checkout.” If you’ve warned them of this upfront, it’s their decision if things ended up taking awhile.
Those are a few of my suggestions on how to avoid irritating others when you use coupons. I’d love to hear your ideas, as well!