There is a problem with the bar codes on manufacturer coupons. The traditional bar code looked like a UPC symbol. It can only be link directly to general products or a compay, not an individual product.
For instance, I had a coupon for Raid Ant and Roach products. I bought Raid Ant traps, which techincally should not allow the coupon to work. I handed the coupon to the cashier, and the register was able to process the coupon with no problems.
Manufacturers and stores have a problem at this point because coupons are being used outside of their intention. The manufacturer will not pay the store back for the product if the coupon is being used incorrectly, causing stores to potentially loose money.
The Solution -
If you pay close attention to your coupons you may have noticed a new kind of bar code.
The new bar code allows the coupon to be linked directly to the individual product. It will also allow details to be coded to the coupon, such as expiration dates and product sizes.
This will greatly decrease the amount of coupon fraud. Currently the old and the new bar code are both on manufacturer coupons to allow stores a period to update their scanning systems. However starting in July, the industry is officially moving to honor the new bar code.
This means the appearance of your manufacturer coupons will change. You’ll start seeing only the new bar code on them.