Of Coupons & Trading Stamps

Cecil’s column on coupon value (see link provided)
lacks some explanation. Like, why don’t trading stamps show a value? (And, who even has trading stamps today???) Ultimately, it must all be some kind of a game for sales tax purposes, I WAG.

  • Jinx

What I’d like to know is… once I collect 20 of them, where do I get my dang penny?
200 make a dime and 2000 get me a whole dollar. Don’t get me started.

Well, jinx, I haven’t seen a trading stamp in several years (Blue Chip and S&H Green stamps were the most common ones in my region), but I clearly recall that they were marked with a cash value of 1 mill. My research at the time (I asked my mommy what a mill is) revealed that a mill is equal to one one-thousandth of a dollar, or 1/10 of a cent.

As I say, I have no idea if any store chains are still giving out trading stamps, so I’m not able to inspect one for the markings currently in use.

Jimmy Joe Meager’s post raises an interesting question, one that I would have appreciated Cecil addressing: which are the states whose laws required the assignment of a cash value? Also, are any of those laws still in effect?

Inquiring minds want to know. . .

I recall noticing the “cash value” statement as a kid and wondering if I could collect a couple thousand of them and go buy groceries with coupons. Is this legal?

Come to think of it, what exactly does “cash value” mean in this case? Is that the price you’d theoretically pay for them, or are stores (in “certain states”) required to treat them as cash?

A) I seem to recall some coupons being marked “No Cash Value” on coupons of recent days. Perhaps the laws have changed to allow this? Pretty sneaky, sis! Cheating people out of their 1/10 or 1/20 of a cent!

B) I recall S&H stamps as a kid. Granted, I admit I was too young to care to take a careful look at them. But, I recall the red S&H letters over a green background. And, I recall how small the stamps were. If there was such a value stated, the print must have been microscopic! However, I accept the words and recollections of fellow SDopers who have posted otherwise regarding the value of trading stamps.

C) Hmm, another question comes to mind: Do you remember how dried goods, IIRC, came with Good Housekeeping points? I don’t know what you trade these in for, but my Mom had a ton of these (usually found on box tops) stowed around the house. Her collection never did get redeemed…eventually, it was thrown out when we moved. Pitty. She probably had a gold mine in points - gone the way of so many baseball card or comic book collections!

D) Watch out…even if find a State where you can cash in your coupon collection, you can bet the same law explains how said income will be taxed at a rate above the face value of the coupons!

  • Jinx

P.S. For laughs: I just remember the Brady Bunch episode with the kids fighting over the trading stamps, the wet dog getting the stamps stuck all over him, and the house of cards which decided what the kids would buy (girls interests vs. boys interests).

I want to know if the coupons are still worth their fraction of a cent if they expire.

ya, hey, let’s avoid world politics and culture and stuff that really matters (stuff we know nothing about, btw) and focus on this.

I’m just the kind of nut who would try this, as I did one time when we received about 30 Sears coupons in the mail. My wife thought I was crazy. The woman at the cash register was thoroughly confused and asked her supervisor (who was standing right there) for help, but the supervisor didn’t know any better. I didn’t let it go any further, since I didn’t really care and didn’t want to waste their time. No doubt I could have gotten a penny had I pressed the issue. But I don’t think my time would have been repaid by collected 200,000 coupons to get $100.

Heck, I suggested the same thing in this thread. Apparently people are more concerned with the profit feasibility rather than just sticking it to The Man®

My Dunkin’ Donut coupons say “VOID if traded for cash”, or words very close to that…although I did not see an actual cash value shown.

  • Jinx

I think the 1/10 of a cent thing on coupons is some kind of conspiracy with the gas stations! :smiley: