Ethics of the Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon

If you’ve ever shopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond, you’ve probably used one of their ubiquitous 20% off in store coupons. They come in the mail constantly, can be found online and in circulars.

They state that the 20% off is “Limit one to a customer per visit”.

So, if my wife and I head there together, we typically split our purchases into two items and check out seperately with two coupons. This is fine, no? We’re two customers, so two coupons. Why do I always feel a twang of guilt about it and even try to use seperate checkout lines?

Also, would it be ethical for a single customer to just keep checking out items seperately and using multiple coupons?

Wait, you found something you wanted to buy at SheetsN’Shit that wasn’t excluded in the fine print of the coupon? You are a shopping God.

All of their stuff is marked up at least 40% over amazon prices, so don’t worry – you’re still getting hosed.

I’ve never had any problem with them taking multiple coupons on one purchase of multiple items.

I fail to see the ethical dilemma here.

They got the both of you to come in and buy stuff. That doesn’t sound like too bad a deal for them.

This is fine. What you are doing is in the spirit of the coupon. You feel guilt because I assume typically you and your wife check out together. Here, you’ve had to put together a scheme to make your purchases. I don’t know about you, but I typically scheme when I am trying to get away with something.

No, this is not in the spirit of the coupon. Only one coupon is allowed per visit.
I wonder what would constitute a visit? Does walking out of the store and walking right back in constitute a new visit?

R. Incognito

That store is ridiculously overpriced. I don’t know how it stays in business, maybe there are enough bored yuppie housewives that still go in and fret over the thread counts in those expensive sheets to keep it going. I occasionally go in searching for some gadget someone desperately wants and the chance of them taking the 20% coupon is slim, but I try.

The coupon doesn’t say one per family, it says one per customer. You’re not doing anything at all wrong.

Any BB&B store I have ever been in lets you use a coupon for every single item. Buying 10 items and have 10 coupons, no problem. And they gladly take expired coupons.

I agree with LurkerInNJ. I’ve never had a problem using multiple coupons in one visit. If they don’t want me to use more than one, they shouldn’t clog my mailbox with them.

Only newbie cashiers object to multiple or expired coupons 'round here.

The real ethical dilemma is that you can return items without a receipt and receive a store credit for the full price, even if you used a coupon. Theoretically you could repeat the process and pay very little for any item.

Ugh, this place makes me mad. It was the only place that had these froufrou bathroom hand towels my sister wanted for Xmas. ONE tiny towel cost 15 bucks. 15 bucks!!! It didn’t look like it was worth over 5 dollars. Looked into a cupcake carrier for my other sister and BB&B wanted 30 bucks for it. I’ve seen them half that at Target.

The place is an absolute ripoff.

In Pennsylvania, if you buy beer from a bar you are limited to a certain number of ounces. It is very common for people to walk in, buy beer, take it out to the car, walk back in, rinse and repeat.

(Beer is cheaper purchased from a beer distributor and there is no limit. I am talking about 1 am shopping when the bars are open and the distributors are closed)

Most places require a driver’s license number on no-receipt returns. That way, they can track them and start denying you if there’s an obvious pattern of abuse.

Same experience here. I frequently use multiple (and usually expired) coupons in a single transaction. There’s never been a problem. I keep a stash in my car, just in case.

Wildly overpriced - the only real “deal” I got there was a shiny garbage can with a flip lid that had a dent in the back of it. As I intended to use it outside next to the BBQ grill, didn’t care about the dent, so instead of some ridiculous price of $50 for it, I paid $5.00 in the clearance section.

Otherwise - nice stuff, but without the coupon, forget it. Come to think of it, haven’t been back to that store in about 2 years or so - I guess that says a lot about their pricing.

And yeah, I get those stupid coupons about once a month anyway.

Same here as well and the fine print exclusions are completely ignored

Whoa. Is it 20% off your total purchase? Or 20% off any single item? Or what exactly?

You can do the match to verify this… if it’s 20% of your total purchase, you don’t save any money by splitting up your purchase.

Each coupon is for 20% off a single item. Also circulated are $5 off an item $15 or more. Once in a great while you may see a 20% off your total purchase, but those are good only for a few specified days and they actually enforce those dates.