Can I Copy Printable Coupons? | Ask FTM

Can I Copy Printable Coupons is a question I am asked on a regular basis.

Copying coupons is never ok. Never. Ever.    So, now that we got that out of the way – How can you prove you didn’t photo copy a coupon?

Reader Kenny was at the store with two identical coupons – or so the cashier thought.  However, the coupons were not 100% identical.

Printable Coupon

Each coupon has a barcode on the bottom that is identical. This is the Databar Code or UPC Barcode that tells the register what you have to buy and how much to take off. However, if you look at the code below the date – this code is different.

If you look at the second coupon, it is identical to the first coupon, except it has a different code. This makes the coupon unique.

If you were to copy a coupon and use say 5 copies – only the first copy submitted with that code gets paid. All others are not paid – therefore, the retailer loses money.  When you are using a copied coupon, you only hurt everyone in the long run.

Note: PDF coupons do not have unique codes. Many stores will not take PDF coupons because there is no control over how many are printed and the retailer could lose money.

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  • Shannyn

    I heard if say “Bricks” catches someone making photo copies they can block you from printing anymore coupons from there site. They can back-track the numbers on the coupon back to your computer to know where they originated from. That is another reason you don’t want to leave a printed coupon you won’t use for the next guy b/c that person may copy your print and that may lead back to you. It’s not worth never being able to print coupons again.

  • Mary

    FYI: Vendors can find out who printed the coupons. They are able to trace the computer from which it was printed. It’s just like the people who used Napster and got caught downloading free songs.(Which I didn’t think was all that bad) People are going to start getting caught if they continue to copy their printables in excessive numbers. It’s just a matter of time.

  • Cheryl

    I have NEVER copied a coupon but was recently accused by Albertsons of copying the latest Minute Maid $1 off 10-pk Juice coupon. I had 4 of those coupons (2 per computer) and I have no idea how 2 did have the same code which they pointed out to me. It was highly embarrassing as I did NOT copy it – I printed it. Instead of exclaiming to the store that I copied the coupon, they could have politely explained why they wouldn’t accept the coupon.

    I also talked to a Pepsi vendor one day who had a free Liptop Ice Tea printable coupon in his pocket (I was using my 2 freebies that day too) and said he got his from a customer who said she prints them and photocopied over 50 to use. I told him to read the fine print – its illegal. Yet Albertsons took all of hers!

    • Cathie

      I thought Albertson’s wouldn’t take ANY “free” internet coupons. I have 2 of those Lipton coupons that either have or will expire because I could not use them.

      • Cathie

        Also, the woman who photocopied 50-STOLE from the company. Plain & Simple, it’s stealing.

  • sonal

    if i mistakenly print coupons on both sides of a page , can i use one side coupons and photocopy the other side on a fresh page to utilize those coupons?

    • Stephan

      I did that before. Why not? As long as you use only one of them!

    • becky

      I have done this on accident, and one store totally let me use both. They wrote an arrow and note on the one side so the bookkeeper would know that two unique coupons were printed and used. However this is a case by case thing as one store would not let me, even though it was clear there were two unique coupons.

  • carolyn

    So if i have a printer that can print multiple coupons from bricks (or wherever) . Then the retailer is not getting the money? So it is basically like photocopying! Now i’m upset b/c i’ve done that before!

    • Shannon


      If you are printing the same coupon (not separate prints) yes it is the same thing.

    • Stephan

      For most pages you can print a maximum of 2 alike coupons if you hit the back-button or start all over. After that it will say sth. like “max number already printed”.
      This limit is per computer, so if you have 2 computers you should be able to print 4 of the same coupon. They will all have different unique numbers or codes.

      • Renee

        Yes, I just used the back-button, the page reloaded once and printed out a unique coupon.