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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Shopmium To Refuse Receipts Using Manufacturer Coupons

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Bad news for fans of the rebate app Shopmium -- the company announced today that it would no longer accept receipts for rebates that have manufacturer coupons already applied on them.

That means users will have to choose their savings -- either they use a manufacturer coupon on an item, OR they can submit it for an available Shopmium rebate.  As of Wednesday, May 11, they won't be able to do both.

For couponers, this brings up a basic question -- why even bother maintaining and checking an app that doesn't offer the largest discounts possible on an item, particularly when app competitors like Checkout 51 and Ibotta still do?



(For the record, Checkout 51 allows combining a rebate and a manufacturer coupon unless it's specifically forbidden on a specific item -- users just need to check the fine print in their offers to see which ones can be accepted with coupon use and which ones can't.  And Ibotta allows ALL offers to be combined with manufacturer coupons for additional savings.)

And for stores that offer store coupons (like local grocery chain HEB), will usage of those coupons on a receipt also cause that receipt to be denied?  Shopmium isn't yet saying.

Why would Shopmium ban coupon use?

Shopmium apparently thinks that this move will allow them to offer more valuable discounts from a wider variety of brands and companies.

And a glance at the app this morning DOES show more brands than we've seen in the past.  Some offers currently available are for niche products that don't typically offer discounts at all, like LaCroix Sparkling Water or Botto's Italian Sausage.

But other offers are from brands that DO offer manufacturer coupons -- including a $1 rebate on Suave Purely Fun Kids Hair Care, and a 60 cents off 2 rebate on Lipton Recipe Secrets.

In fact, the most recent coupon for Suave Purely Fun was actually for a more valuable $1.50 off 1 savings!

So why Shopmium thinks users will accept lower savings (not to mention the relatively more onerous process of submitting a receipt to an app, as opposed to the ease of clipping and using a coupon) is kind of a mystery to me.

And as coupon news site Coupons in the News points out, it's interesting that this shift for Shopmium comes after the app was purchased by the same parent company of Coupons.com.

Reader Alison shared the email she received from Shopmium explaining the new changes:


You can also read the full details of the change (plus some interesting reactions in the comments) over on the Shopmium Facebook page.

So what do you think about Shopmium's big announcement?  Will you wait and see if the new variety of offers materialize?  Or will you focus your savings techniques on other apps, or just go back to clipping coupons?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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