Skip to comments.The Coupon Whisperer: Profiling Cashiers
Posted on 01/02/2011 2:08:21 PM PST by PJ-Comix
Profiling. That word has taken on such an ugly connotation in recent years. And yet, if you want to be a successful couponer, you MUST profile. And don't feel guilty about profiling cashiers. We all profile in one way or another. Those "enlightened" souls who claim they don't profile are lying. In fact, they are probably profiling people more than the rest of us.
My favorite part of the recent TLC show, "Extreme Couponing" was when Joanie Demer aka Krazy Coupon Lady flat out admitted that she profiles cashiers. And how does she profile the cashiers? As Joanie stated she definitely prefers young cashiers (such as the friendly cashier in the photo above) to little old lady cashiers. And from bitter experience I can tell you she is absolutely correct. If you want to spare yourself a lot of time and aggravation, avoid little old lady cashiers like the plague. You want a sad tale of just how horrible it can be if you throw caution to the winds and choose a little old lady checkout line? Just read what happened to me back in September when I was scoring a few free boxes of Advil at Publix...
I was in Publix and had picked up several bottles of 40 count Advil Liqui-Gels. All lines were very long EXCEPT for the 10 item or less line which, unfortunately, had the type of cashier that I just warned you about. I knew problems would ensue but I also didn't want to wait 20 minutes on line soooo... I get to the elderly cashier who had an angry looking mouth.
I handed her a couple of Advils. Normally they are $6.75 each but they were on sale for just $4.49. I handed her a Publix coupon for $5 off two which lowered the total price to $3.98. She pulled the coupons up close to her eyeglasses as she tried to figure out what the clearly stated $5 off two means. After about a minute she very reluctantly knocks 5 bucks off the price.
And then...I hand her two Advil manufacturer's coupons which were $2 each which made the Advils...FREE! That's when she violently shook her head and declared that I couldn't use those coupons.
I then explained that Publix policy allows a manufacturer's coupon to be stacked on top of a store coupon such as in this case. She still refused to ring me up so I requested the store manager. It was late at night so the store manager was a really young guy yet despite his youth he knew the rules and told the cashier to ring up the coupons.
The little old lady cashier grumbled and said the rules vary from store to store and I replied that the rules in each state for Publix are CONSISTENT. Then she mumbled something about how I shouldn't complain since she is ringing up all the coupons so I reply that she should just go ahead and do that without the grumbling.
All of a sudden she screamed "AHA!" (she actually used that word) and in an incredibly triumphant voice declared that the coupons are only good on 50 count or more.
She wasn't a good reader since in this case (which I admit is rare) the coupon actually said "50 count or SMALLER." I drew her attention to that "little" detail and she very sadly began to do the discount that she should have done without all the drama. But she wasn't done yet because she came up with an absurd final line of defense when she again triumphantly declared that the coupons didn't apply to my Advils because they were Advil Liqui-Gels.
I showed her the coupon up close and pointed out that it said good on ANY Advil. She countered again by claiming that my Advils weren't included because they were Liqui-Gels.
"Lady, what part of the word 'ANY' can't you figure out?"
Again more argument from her so I turned to the young manager who was listening and said, "Could you please bail me OUT of this nightmare?"
The manager looked at coupon and told the cashier, "These are good. Ring him up."
So she FINALLY rang up the coupons in the most depressed manner imaginable. ...And now you know why I say NEVER use coupons with elderly cashiers with tight angry mouths. They ALWAYS cause trouble for you.
Should you think I'm exaggerating the problems almost inevitably caused by the little old lady cashiers, then I invite you to give them a try while couponing. Trust me. You'll be sorrrrrrrryyyyyy...
The Oscillococcinum Flu Medicine deal that I posted yesterday for Walgreens didn't work. See, the medicine that gives the Register Rewards is for CHILDREN'S Oscillococcinum and the $5 coupon in the WAGS January booklet is ONLY for the adult version. However, no big deal since I heard that stuff is not much better than a placebo. PLUS I did some QUICK research at Walgreens today when that deal fell through and came up with an even BETTER deal that worked perfectly for me. Here is how it works:
Buy OMEGA FACTOR 3 premium blend 1300 mg fish oil pills (tuna & krill). They sell for 10 bucks but when you buy it, you get $10 back in register rewards. So what to do with that $10 back? Well, the big boxes of Colonnaide 14 day programs is selling for $29.99 but with in the January WAGS there is a coupon for $20 off that product. Soooo....use the $10 register rewards from the Omega Factor 3 (plus the WAG coupon) and you get it FREE! Great deal but in my case I don't need it since I already had the Fantastic Voyage routine (sans Raquel Welch) done on my colon and everything in there was A-OK. In my case, I used the $10 register rewards to buy 2 DiGiorno Supreme pizzas which were on sale for...$10. Therefore FREE! Plus I used the WAG sales sheet coupon to get 4 Progresso Soups for $5. Then used a couple of $2 register rewards I had on my person to buy all those soups for just a buck. I actually could have gotten it free but I didn't feel like scrambling outside to my van to look for a $1 RR that I knew was sitting in an envelop.
So let's look at my shopping trip. I didn't get that flu medicine like I thought but I quickly switched gears and used a $10 RR I already had to score a FREE bottle of Omega Factor 3 premium blend fish oil pills (which I take everyday) then rolled the $10 that generated to score 2 free DiGiorno pizzas. Plus got myself 4 cans of Progresso soup using $4 in Register Rewards that I had from last week. Total out of pocket for all that...a buck.
The Coupon Whisperer PING List has exploded in just one day to 53. Let me know if you want to be on The Coupon Whisperer PING List.
Pity the poor people behind him in line during this fiasco.
lol. profiling cashiers.
Someone should teach the TSA a thing or two.
Please add me to your ping list. Because of another article you recently posted, I’m now ready to enter the world of couponing with ECB’s at CVS. Wish me luck!
They quickly split for another line when my cashier went NUtso on me.
If I am already not on your TCW ping list, please add me.
I prefer the older cashiers:
1. They don’t have piercings all over their faces, nor do they wear black nail polish.
2. If they have some comment to make about the food I’ve chosen to purchase, it’s positive and upbeat, not “Ewww! What IS that!”
3. I’m not interrupting an important conversation about dating and social events (”And then she said... And then he said... Whaddya doin’ after work?”)
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #54.
Congratulations on your savings.
That being said, (and I really do enjoy your posts), I still have to declare:
I HATE COUPONS!!!
I can’t help it. The stupid things always expire before I can use them, are never for the products I actually need, and keep retail prices artificially high. In addition to all that, they tend to accumulate (and secretly multiply) on my counters, in drawers and/or coupon boxes.
Sorry about that - it’s just one of my pet peeves.
Anyway, I hope you have a Happy New Year.
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #55.
I’d like to know one thing... do any stores ever offer coupons for produce or stuff like that? I hate how I only get coupons for food that we rarely eat.
I'd say it was the cashier who was holding up the line.
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #56.
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #57.
Uh, huh, blame the old lady, you, you coupon monster ;)
I’m so happy to see another great and funny column from you! Also, look forward to more coupon tips and inspiration.
Sorry about your long-running cold. Same thing happened to me last December. Was sick for the entire month and missed all the holiday parties. Hope you get better soon. I bet another free trip to a Caribbean isle would help!
DiGiorno Supreme pizzas have chicken pepperoni, unAmerican.
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #58.
Don’t blame him for wanting to spend less. Blame it on the stores (I guess) that come up with this crap instead of lowering prices to begin with.
It is a hassle though. They should have lines for coupon using persons like the 10 items or less. There again, like the 10 item or less line, the coupon only line would hardly ever be open.
Also for WIC users, etc.
Fresh Express salads. I get some good coupons on those and wait for the sales.
I feel for them but I can't quite reach.
Coupons in the express line? How generous of you!
i hope you have the positive experiences i have had... i just started couponing last year, and i cannot believe how much money i have saved on things i really want! aspirin, dish soap, laundry soap, bath soap... razors... frozen vegetables... it's amazing... i have found that Rite Aid and Walgreens both have really good coupon deals... and it's not that difficult... not that time consuming... those are often the excuses from people who just don't want to bother...
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #59.
Given all those bulk quantities you pick up from the cold remedy department, I’m surprised the po-lice haven’t been called to roust you as some sort of meth manufacturer!
I was buying some black shoe polish once and the lady behind the counter said, “6.99 for this?! No way, this is a $2.99 item today, that price is ridiculous.” Thanks, I didn’t even notice that price (or maybe the sign said different)!
Sometimes they’re nice, sometimes they’re really hard-over. The really hard-over ones usually make up their own rules and have to be overruled by a manager. Cashier profiling is a must.
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #60.
Don’t have an old nurse give you a flu shot, either. The old bag at Walgreens was the only nurse that ever made a flu shot painful. She yelled at three times, “Relax your arm!!!!” then jabbed it in like she was stabbing her husband.
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #61...You missed it by 2.
it should not have been a problem... neither the cashier nor the store was losing out on anything by honoring the coupons... why the cashier took it so personally is beyond me... i agree--younger cashiers and male cashiers are more coupon friendly...
This is getting to be my fav Ping List!
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #62.
LOL I am surprised you found more than one cashier to wait on you.
Recently I was behind a customer in the checkout lane at Publix.
The lady customer had a cartful of groceries, several Amex giftcards ($25), and the total bill was under $10.
Her savings were an amazing $438 !!!
The young cashier told me that Publix was changing their coupon rules at the first of the year to avoid such scenarios.
Put me on your ping list, please!
Add me to the Coupon Whisperer ping list, please!
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #63.
Ha and I thought I was the only person who profiled cashiers when I had coupons. I even have my favorite cashiers now..hehe
Ha and I thought I was the only person who profiled cashiers when I had coupons. I even have my favorite cashiers now..hehe
Welcome aboard, PINGEE #64.
Your “avoid the cranky, old cashier” story has happened to me, too! Today I cut out some Walgreen’s coupons and matched most of them up with manufacturer’s coupons. Tomorrow I’ll have to take a deep breath when I get to the register. The *day* cashier is the meanest, crankiest woman on earth and it’s always a battle.
I could go to the pharmacy but the line is always so darn long. Maybe I’ll send my husband out. He always enjoys a challenge!
Thanks for the article. Now I know I have to work harder/smarter so I can retire without dealing with coupons and profiled cashiers.
Hint: If you don’t like the cashier at the front, then go to the cosmetics counter and check out there. That is what I did today.
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