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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Amanda K.

I rarely see coupons let alone use them. In fact, I was recently told about the stocks of a smartphone application for coupons. Months after the stocks of this application were found to be continually dropping, the friend who mentioned the application was told that his coupons had to be printed. Visiting a dry cleaners, he was told that he could come back later with a physical copy.

Coupons encourage customers to believe that they can cheat the system. They give a false sense of hope and customers are robbed of their time and quality of life by obsessive coupon collection hobbies. We should not be looking for a way to cheat each other for a good deal. Our focus should be on why the prices of merchandise are so high. Bargain chains rub salt into the wound and we should be building a better society. We need to build a society in which there is no need for bargain chains.

The fact is, many people spend their time clipping coupons and selling junk online.Many people use television and obsessive savings as a distraction to the poor quality of life they are continuing to live. Coupon wars seen on television portray women spending all of their free time organizing coupons so that they can take home $200 worth of merchandise for $0.55. Store managers know what is happening and are able to prevent some of these obsessive savings. Later on, those obsessed with coupons often find that the amount they saved could have easily been earned working instead of clipping.

Even with a non-avid coupon user, a coupon may be used. On rare occasion, I have used coupons if the store clerk made them available to me. This reinforces the ‘cheat the system’ idea even more, as most of us would believe that the coupon makers require the coupon to be used
once and to be presented by the customer. Economically, coupons may be part of the problem they are trying to solve. Every newspaper comes with coupon folds; city recycle bins find themselves full with unused ads. So many resources have been wasted to create coupons that will never be used. While coupons may be used regularly by some, others happen to get just the right deal at just the right time. Instead of a prime advertising platform, coupons are more like the lucky golden tickets of the shopping world. For greater success, coupons need to be personalized. Drug stores can utilize purchasing information confirmed when a customer uses
their rewards card for in-store savings. Coupons are great for advertising. If not, no one would use them and companies would stop making them. However, coupons of the future have a tough road ahead of them if they wish to gain users like myself.

A coupon application for a smart phone is a great idea in concept, but with a large range of generations, it is difficult to make this transition from paper to screen. Not only do retail stores resent the idea of on-screen coupons; many customers do not have time to open an application
and search many ads before finding the coupon they need. Until speed, search, and scanning results of smartphones are perfected; it will be difficult to convince users to take the time to go through their phones for a coupon. The resources utilized in coupon advertising could be saved
in exchange for more frequent sales. Alternatively, coupons would be better utilized without an expiration date. As a student, coupons do not influence my purchase decisions. I know well enough that prices are inflated until end of the year sales and that the impact of using a coupon
will not save a worthwhile amount over the course of a lifetime. If coupons were available for textbooks or tuition, I may find myself looking for deals. At this point in my life, my schoolwork and hobbies supply enough distraction.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on textbooks and get great deals on school supplies at I’m In!

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