WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Savingstar & Checkout51 : No more stacking of offers

Posted 2:54 p.m. Thursday

Savingstar and Checkout51 are changing their redemption restrictions to keep shoppers from redeeming similar offers on both apps.

As multiple Smart Shopper readers noticed in the last week, both cash back sites will only let you redeem same offers on one of their sites. You can no longer redeem similar offers, for certain brands, on both sites.

The restrictions for some offers on Checkout51 now indicate, " Cannot use this offer with any other print or in-app coupon."

According to CouponsInTheNews.com, the two cash back sites are testing the new restrictions with certain brands, but they could roll it out to all their offers if it is successful.

For those couponers who have enjoyed "stacking" (using multiple discounts on the same product) both manufacturer's paper coupons and multiple cash back app offers, those days appear to be coming to a close. Manufacturers are working with these sites to make sure multiple offers from different platforms for the same product are not redeemed by a single user. That level of stacking often results in a customer getting a product for free or even making money off the deal. And from the manufacturer's standpoint, it makes perfect sense to limit the number of discounts a consumer can get on a single product. If they gave away all their product for free after coupons, they would not be in business for long.

For users, though, it will likely change the way they use cash back apps. As CouponsInTheNews points out, if all the same offers are available on all the apps and you can only redeem them on one platform, users will likely just use one app and stop using the others.

It will be interesting to see if other cash back sites like Ibotta join in and restrict stacking as well.

In the never-ending quest to limit coupon fraud and keep couponers from getting too much of a discount, this is just one more way that manufacturer's have changed the world of couponing. If it seems like it is getting harder to score a fabulous deal, you are right. But they are still out there and hopefully competition to keep customers will also keep the deals coming.

Will your use of these cash back sites change as a result of this new policy?

6 Comments

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  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Aug 10, 8:09 p.m.

    Dr D - for the reasons you mentioned, I tend to use Savingstar more than CO51. Plus, I find that there are more offers for products we use on Savingstar and they are so much easier to redeem with the stores that process automatically and do not require receipt scan.

    claytonsaver - you would think they would compete but I am sure they are getting push back from manufacturer's about allowing redemption on both sites so they are cutting their loses by not losing the manufacturer's completely.

    laalaa99stl - interesting test. I guess it's a good thing that I use Savingstar more.

  • claytonsaver Aug 10, 6:38 p.m.

    I have never been a fan of submitting pics of receipts, so will stick with s-star.
    But fascinated that this is occurring. Would think they would compete for different offers at the different sites rather than having the same ones.

  • Dr D Aug 10, 6:05 p.m.

    For offers which overlap between these 2 sites, I'll favor SavingStar, because 1) once the offer has been activated in my account, I know it won't disappear before I claim it, and 2) less effort is required for claiming rebates because submission of receipts is not needed for stores with linked loyalty cards. I'm one of the few folks remaining who does not yet have a smartphone, and it's a bummer to get home from the store and log into Checkout51 to upload a copy of my scanned receipt, only to learn that there are 0 offers remaining for the item(s) I just purchased. Checkout51 has become more of a hassle lately anyway, with the many offer variations: some are only valid if purchased at certain stores, some you are not allowed to combine with coupon usage, etc.

  • laalaa99stl Aug 10, 3:53 p.m.

    I just did some testing, and yes the data-sharing is based on e-mail. Interestingly, if you try to add the same offers on both sites (in either order), C51 says "claimed limit" -- so C51 is already conceding victory to S*. [Take for examples the Eckrich farm sausage offer or the Edwards pies offer.]

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Aug 10, 3:13 p.m.

    laalaa99stl - Good points! Based on the article from Couponsinthenews that I linked to, they are sharing data including phone numbers and e-mails to make sure there is no stacking.

    Some receipts do actually indicate which product the coupon was applied to and some Checkout 51 offers already indicate that their offer can't be used with any other coupons.

    It will be very interesting to see where this little test they are doing leads.

  • laalaa99stl Aug 10, 1:38 p.m.

    The only way they could know that you're stacking is if the app developers share receipt IDs. If that's happening, then S* will come out on top (on non-exclusive offers) since it doesn't require me to take 4 or 5 pics of a superlong receipt just to claim 50 lousy cents. I usually have to take the receipt pics in the parking lot since otherwise you risk the "all offers claimed" message. Bye-bye C51. It was nice knowing you.

    BUT. I don't think S* and C51 ARE actually sharing data. I think they're just allowing eachother to read eachother's cookies on a computer/phone.

    With paper Qs, I don't see that they're tied to the receipt in any identifiable way. They just show up as "coupon" or "manufacturer's coupon" on a receipt. That's not to say that the information isn't being recorded somehow (if it were, then stacking would already be dead). I don't see grocery chain IT people pitching in to help out, so I think stacking with paper Q's is still a go.