What is a Blinkie Coupon?
Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 at 7:00 am
Those that are new to couponing may find themselves confused by some of the terminology that is used in blogs about being frugal, saving money, or using coupons. You might not know what I mean when I mention blinkie coupons. However, it is very likely that you have seen these types of coupons before, and may have even made use of some of them.
Next time you visit the grocery store, take a close look at the shelves and the outside of the freezer doors. Somewhere in there you will come across a small box that has been attached to the edge of the shelf next to a particular product. (Or, it could be immediately outside the freezer door in front of a certain product).
The box dispenses coupons that are for the product it is sitting closest to. These boxes often (if not always) have a little light on them that blinks. That is where the name blinkie coupon comes from.
Many blinkie coupons come from SmartSource Coupon Machines. SmartSource is a company that provides coupons to people through its website. It functions in a way that is similar to Coupons.com (except that Coupons.com does not have blinkie machines). Another company that sometimes uses blinkie machines is Valassis (which is connected to the Redplum.com coupon website).
Many blinkie coupon dispensers have a light on them that will blink, or flash, in order to get the attention of shoppers. Others will make a noise, or sound, or play music, whenever a shopper gets within a certain proximity of the machine (or passes by it).
The main purpose of dispensing coupons through the use of a blinkie machine is to attract shoppers to the product from a particular manufacturer (in the hopes that the shopper will ignore competitor’s products). The other purpose is to encourage shoppers to engage in impulse buying. You didn’t come to the store looking for that product, but are suddenly considering it simply because you found a coupon for it.
There is some couponing etiquette that you should know about blinkie coupons. It is expected that you will take one coupon from the machine. You are not supposed to take a bunch of coupons from one machine.
If you discover that you do not want to use the coupon after all, you can put it into the basket on top of the blinkie machine that it came from. Or, you place it on top of the product that the coupon is for. This will allow other shoppers to make use of a coupon that you didn’t want.
Blinkie coupons do not have to be used immediately. They don’t expire at the end of your shopping trip that day. It is wise to hang on to them and use them at a time when the product is on sale, or when your family needs more of that particular product.