Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:14 AM MDT
Good Question: Why Do Coupons Have A Minuscule Cash Value?
By Matt Gephardt
Photography by Mike Sadowski
Edited by Ryan Malavolta
(KUTV) At grocery stores there can be entire isles full of fairly similar products; it offer consumers a lot of choices. Manufactures know that many shoppers enter the store looking for the best deal so to try and sway the customer's favor, manufacturers often put out coupons. But if you look closely at coupons you will find that they have a teeny-tiny value, often just a fraction of a cent.
Bill asks, “Why?” It’s a good question and the answer dates back more than 100 years to early days of trading stamps. At a lot of stores, customers would be given trading stamps when they made a purchase and when the customer had collected enough stamps, the stamps could be traded in for prizes.
Of course the stores were not taking a loss on giving away the prizes; the prizes were not free. Stores would work the cost of the stamps into their products. Lawmakers didn't like that so they passed laws saying that stamps must have a value and that value must be printed on the stamp. In the eyes of the law in a select few states, coupons and trade stamps are the same thing; Utah is one of those select few states.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)