Frequently Asked Questions: Why Are My Coupons Printing Without a Barcode?

I have received quite a few questions and comments from readers asking why their coupons are printing without a UPC barcode.

See, previously, most coupons looked like this:

pediasure coupon Frequently Asked Questions: Why Are My Coupons Printing Without a Barcode?

But now both your insert and printable coupons are looking more like this:

hormel printable coupons1 Frequently Asked Questions: Why Are My Coupons Printing Without a Barcode?

This is because since summer of 2011 manufacturers and retailers are supposed to be transitioning to the new barcode system known as Databar and move away from the old UPC barcode.  While the change is being adopted by manufacturers and they are issuing their new coupons using the new databar, most retailers have been slow in adopting this change.  That is because retailers need to change their registers to be able to recognize and scan the new databar.  This is why these new coupons are beeping at some of your stores.  It is not the coupons are invalid, but because the registers are not yet updated to recognize and scan the new coupons.

So what can you do about it?

  • Complain to both your store management as well as the manufacturer about these coupons not scanning.  If you voice your concern to both parties, retailers may speed up the process of updating their registers.  If you complain to the Manufacturers they my also pressure retailers to update their registers.  Going back to the old UPC system is not a solution as the Databar is the new standard.
  • As time consuming as it may seem, sometimes the job of educating cashiers pays off.  Instead of spending time with your cashier arguing the validity of your coupons, explain to them the change and show them the differences and why the coupon won’t scan easily.  Explain to your cashier that since the coupon won’t scan the coupon will need to be entered manually so the discount can be applied.

I hope this helps answer the question of why coupons are looking differently these days.

Thanks In Good Cents!

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