What are coupons that never expire?
Expiration dates are the bane of any coupon collector’s existence.
Trying to keep track of when your deals go bad can be very frustrating and may cause complications if you decide to use coupons after they are expired.
But you think you’ve run across coupons that never expire and wonder what is happening here.
Let’s get the spoiler out of the way right away: you’ll probably never find a coupon that doesn’t expire.
However, you may have noticed some kind of deal that does have a limitless usage time.
Therefore, you must understand every element of expiration dates, including how they are chosen and if they can be ignored in any situation.
All Coupons Expire
If you ever find a coupon that has no expiration date or a provider who tries to claim that there are no expiration dates for their tickets, it is most likely untrue.
Simply put, every coupon printed has some expiration date.
Companies put these expiration dates in place to protect themselves from financial loss and to ensure that coupon use is cost-efficient.
Expiration dates also make coupon use easier to track and manage.
For example, companies typically collect all of their coupons used during a specific period – usually a month but sometimes every week – and send them to a collection agency.
This firm serves as a middle agent between the retailer and the manufacturer and counts up all of the coupons for the retailer.
Once the agency has calculated how much money is owed to the retailer, they send bills to the manufacturers in the name of the retailer.
The manufacturers then send checks to these companies to reimburse them for coupon use.
Without expiration dates, this type of tracking would be more challenging to handle and would put many companies at a very distinct disadvantage compared to their competitors.
The only instance in which you might find a deal that doesn’t expire is the use of gift certificates.
These certificates – which include gift cards and loyalty programs – are not coupons at all.
These deals are regulated by specific federal laws and cannot expire for five years.
Some retailers may provide gift certificates that never expire, which is where you may have run into tickets that are supposedly good forever.
Take a look at the card before using it to get an idea if it is a coupon or a gift certificate.
The language can be somewhat similar, though each ticket should be explicitly labeled a coupon or a gift.
Gifts are considered an investment by anybody who buys or owns one, which is one reason why so many federal laws are put into place to track their use and ensure they are appropriately utilized.
How Expiration Dates are Chosen
Stores pick expiration dates based on a variety of factors. For example, some stores want coupons that expire quickly as a way of driving up floor traffic.
You’ll typically notice deals like these during a slow shopping season because retailers want to draw in people like you to the shop and get you to buy other items that don’t have coupons.
Conversely, some retailers may set lengthy expiration dates on their coupons, such as one or even two months.
This more protracted period may seem beneficial to the buyer and not the retailer.
However, the retailer typically sets these lengthy dates for a reason.
Simply put, they think that a longer date will make it easier for you to forget about the coupon and never use it.
And sadly, the retailer or manufacturer is almost always right.
If you find that your coupons expired before you had the chance to use them, you may want to try them out at the store anyway.
Some stores will accept expired coupons – mainly if they are from a competitor – as a way of taking their competitor’s business.
In other situations, the store may not have programmed the coupons out of their system yet.
This scenario typically occurs no more than a week after the expiration date, but you may find some tickets still scan a month after their expiration.