Why Are My Coupons Not Scanning?

One of the top comments I have been seeing since the New Year is that your coupons are not scanning at the register.  When I give my Couponing Workshop, I like to talk about some of the boring, “technical coupon stuff”.  My hope is, by doing so, you will be empowered with the couponing knowledge you need to adjust and discuss any situation that may come up while you are shopping and checking out at the register.  Being an educated couponer is the best way to make your transactions quick and stress free.

So, with that said, I’m reposting some information on the New DataBar Coupon Barcodes so you can be “empowered with the couponing knowledge you need” regarding why your coupons may not be scanning.  And when the cashiers says, sorry, we can’t take your coupon because it doesn’t scan, you can start sharing your knowledge about the New DataBar Coupon Barcodes vs the Old UPC Barcodes and the registers not being updated.  If nothing else, they may think you are some crazy person and just put the coupon through to shut you up.  Hey, whatever works 😉

All kidding aside, here is the respost about the new DataBar Coupon Barcodes:

New DataBar Coupon Barcodes

Many of you may have probably noticed that some of the coupons are only printing with 1 long barcode.  There is nothing wrong with this coupon.  This is the start of the new DataBar Coupon Barcodes.

The long Databar Coupon Barcodes have been on coupons for a while long along with the old, shorter UPC Codes.  They have done this to transition over to the new longer Databar Coupon Barcode.  Here are some things you should know about the new DataBar Coupon Barcodes

Why the new DataBar Coupon Codes?

Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with the Extreme Couponing show.  This is has been in the works for at least a couple of years as they transition from one to the other.  Here are some of the reasons for the new code:

The DataBar Coupon is capable of encoding an extremely large amount of information.  Some of the additional information included will be expiration dates, product specifics such as size, weight and quantity required.  Buy including this information it will reduce the misuse of coupons.

Also, companies have the flexibility to make the coupon value any dollar amount.

How it will effect your Checkout

Once all POS systems are updated to accept the new DataBar Code, checkout should be faster and more accurate for the retailer since the coupon can only be used for the product it is intended to be used for.  There should be less cashier intervention necessary.

Companies have the option of leaving both of the barcodes on the coupons so you may continue to see some coupons with both barcodes as well as some with only the long new DataBar Code.

Retailers have had about 6 months to update their registers to accept the new barcode.  Most of the major retailers have already updated their systems however some of the regional stores may not have done so yet.  So, if the barcode does not scan, in most cases, the stores registers are not updated yet.  To use the coupon, they simply have to enter in the numbers above the barcode.  Hopefully, most retailers will have made the changes or are, at the very least, aware of the changes, and will know to input the code.

Source: Bar Code Graphics   Barcodeadvice.org

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  • Kelly

    Thanks for this–very informative!

  • susan c

    is there anything on the code that will tell us that the coupon will double or is a DND??

    • Stephanie P.

      I had the same question! Will there be a difference like DND9 or DND5? Will they ALL double? Or will it be a YMMV situation?

      • Cat

        I was wondering about that as well. There are a lot of coupons that say dnd but have the 5 and still double. I hope these do not stop working.

  • Robin W

    Thanks so much for this information 🙂

  • iris

    thank you for the information!!

  • toby

    thanks! this morning @ shoprite the coupon doesnt scan and the woman accused me of photocopying the coupon!!

    • AKINO

      same thing happened at my shoprite after she looked over all my coupons that my cashier already did (but it was a manager who had come over and manually override ones that weren’t going through). I very kindly told her that they all have unique pins or numbers. And after another one beeped while she was there she said very obnoxiouly “did you even BUY this?”to which the cashier said “i already checked and she showed me all that items that she has coupons for as i read them off” WTH manger..but oh well…shes probably just mad that she overpaid for HER groceries :p (ok thats mean.. i take that back). Grrrr

      • Kim

        I think it’s a combination of the new barcodes and possibly the extreme couponing shows, but using coupons has just become more of a hassle recently. I’ve been accused of photocopying, told different store policies at every visit and have received a lot of annoyed looks from works at the Shoprite I go to. Honestly, I’m tired of them wasting my time. Learn how to tell if a coupon is real or counterfeit, learn what your store’s policy is and learn how to treat your customers with respect! I’ve got news for them, I’m not backing down. Fortunately, I’ve managed to win every “challenge” I get into. Could it be that I’m right??? Yeah, I think so. Besides, why are you giving us a hard time? You are getting reimbursed by the manufacturer anyways? I have ranted, and now I feel much better. However, I’m still writing a letter to the store owner. Like I said, I expect to be treated with respect!

        • AKINO

          YEA. I just hate being treated and being made to like a liar. Its bad enough the QPs aren’t going through, then the manager makes a stink about it and then the ppl behind me give me the evil glare. I always apologize to them but I guess I really need to warn them ahead of time. Sometimes I have a great cashier and manager and I no issues whatsoever (managers who really know what they are doing) and other times it takes forever because of uneducated (about coupon policies etc) cashiers and managers. Today at rite aid non of my new barcode ones would go through but the cashier was scanning the UPC section and I kept telling her to scan the BARCODE but she wouldn’t listen.. grrr. Oh well.. the price I have to pay for trying to save my family money :\

  • Suzanne

    Thanks!! I’ve been having problems with coupons at Stop and Shop lately. I wonder if this is why…

  • I just experienced this tonight at our local Kroger store. They are always having a issue about coupons. these were coupons that I got off of couponbug.com. This is very aggravating because I have good coupons and research and study ads and take my time to get good deals. It is a hassle everytime I go there. ):

    • Cjay

      I just went through the same thing tonight at Krogers. Fortunately, I didn’t have a lot of stuff and they asked me if I wanted to put the items back–for the ones where the coupon did not scan. I asked them how was I to know beforehand if the coupon would scan or not, for future reference. They didn’t know. I too am on a budget, take time to research the ads to get the best deals. I agree, what a pain. I’m thinking of sending my coupons and receipt to the company on the internet coupon and see if they will reimburse me. Probably won’t, but I’m doing it. In the meantime, I think I will be going to Walmart, as much as I don’t want to.

  • Cat

    I have had problems at Riteaid. The cashiers that have helped me have had to manually deduct the amount of the coupon with the new barcodes. They are aware that their systems are not set up for the new barcode system and have no idea when it will be.

  • Rem

    My Shoprite has not updated their registers. I talked with one of the Managers today and she said they have the update but haven’t set it up yet because it requires them to take all their registers down. She said they should have done it over XMAS but didn’t

    We got to talking about it and she went off to look for the instructions on what is needed to get their system updated!

  • Dana

    I had a horrible time at shoprite tonight. They looked at each coupon before scanning, scanned and then took some upstairs to make sure they werent counterfiet.The ones that still wouldnt scan they had me go through 85 items (already bagged) and show the specific product and how many of the item I had. Needless to say the people behind me were not happy…it all worked out but was the worst experience Ive had yet.

  • lisa

    Actually finding this to be a GOOD thing…at my shoprite this week they instituted a new internet coupon policy. The cashier only has to check 4 like cupons (bc that is their max) bc their computers are updated! If the computer accepts it, it’s good. So nice…usually they go thru a huge process of calling the front and verifying websites, etc.

  • Karen

    I have researched the GS1 barcodes and learned alot. First there is a do not double code which at the very end, it is a short code: 010 or 101. Second, these are ment to be used with hand held scanners not the traditional scanners, If having problems ask them to scan with the handheld, although they might not go thru. I googled GS1 coupon bar codes and was able to get alot of useful info. Bottlon line is use as intended and ya wont have a problem.

    • Lisa

      Karen your brilliant to think about googling info pertaining to the new barcode. Thanks for sharing your info!

  • Cc

    The self check out registers can’t scan the new bar code but the cashier operating registers can scan the new bar code at my Shoprite. ???? Both my ACME stores can’t scan them at all.

  • Rachel

    what I still can’t figure out is why it seems to matter with internet coupons whether i’ve folded them on the bar code. I need to fold there to make them fit and not have to cut them funny but than sometimes they don’t want to scan.

  • Dolores

    I bought these for my internet coupons and don’t have to fold them anymore. BTW I have found the same thing at Shop Rite – the handheld scanner seems to work. http://www.amazon.com/20-Twenty-Pages-3-Pocket-Horizontal/dp/B004QO3CRY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1326272377&sr=8-3

  • Brian

    I’ve had a manager at a Safeway store tell me that they were not planning to update for these types of barcodes because eventually they would all be changed to QR codes anyway. Know anything about that?

  • Bridget

    I havent had any problems yet, actually seems better to me, cos they dont have to cover up the one bar code like before, faster!

  • debbie

    I just came across this issue at my local rite aid on Sunday. Hopefully they have updated their POS by now! Thank you for the info!!

  • CJ

    None of the Walgreens in my city can read the new codes and none of them know about the new barcodes. Its not right that stores can refuse these coupons just because they havent bothered to update their own computers. As always the consumer loses out, not the stores 🙁

  • Linda

    Went to acme testerday and my coupons from Pillsbury site wouldn’t scan and they won’t push them through. What a mess,I returned all the pizza rolls and Muir Glen items I bought!! Strangely my starkist pouch coupons from the red-plum didn’t scan either but they manually entered them. So frustrating!! Guess I’m done with Acme for a while.

  • Gaby

    I went to cvs today and the stayfree b1g1 wouldn’t scan. The cashier ended up calling the Manager and he entered it himself. Also the renuzit printable wouldn’t scan (it has the old bar code) and he said it was a photocopy which I told him it wasn’t but luckily he passed it. The cashier also didn’t want to scan the rembrandt coupons saying I wasn’t buying what was indicated while I was trying to explain.

    I didn’t go to my usual cvs which is usually empty early morning. The one I went to today is busy so I ened it up with people behind me getting annoyed but I just apologized and gave my thanks to the cashier for her patience. I’ll stick to my usual cvs since they are friendly and don’t get so busy early in the morning.

    I’m thinking I should start printing in color since this isn’t the first time they say it is a photocopy. It wouldn’t cost me much since I refill the cartridges myself.

    • Gaby

      Also, the suave deodorant coupon wouldn’t scan but she entered it manually.

  • michelle

    Hey i am having alot of trouble with these new barcodes .Our local walmarts will not accept them at all because they wont scan .What should i do? I try and explain that they could enter it manually but they wont if it doesnt scan they cant take them.Thats all they know how to say!!! What should i do?

  • Cam

    I had a manager also tell me, that she will only hand jam the coupon if it was from the sunday papers, and refuse to hand jam the printed manufacturer coupons, because she won’t get her money back, is this also a misknowledge manager?

  • charles

    Walmart still hasn’t updated their POS system!!!! Come on over 6 mos & not ready…They wouldn’t accept my coupons yesterday & the cashier said he could override it & make them work but he wouldn’t. I asked for a manager and the cashier said it was their policy not to accept coupons that won’t scan, so “a manager couldn’t help me”. I hate Walmart. 25 registers & only 4-5 are ever open…If it wasn’t for price matching I wouldn’t go there!

  • Rachenny Heng

    EVERY single coupon I’ve printed in the last couple of weeks have a barcode but no numbers above it at all. Are they valid? I’ve printed from coupons.com walmart.com, and all of them dont have any numbers on them. It will just have the lines but no numbers above them. I hope I can use my coupons.

  • vera

    I had one without any numbers above or below the barcodes. Harris Teeter accepted it.
    Have you tried yours at any stores yet Rachenny Heng?


  • Letroy Peak

    I am just wondering is there if the coupons don’t scan is there a special way to tell them to type in the numbers for the coupons to work? A lot of stores say there are to little or to many numbers for them to enter.