Find out How the QSeer App Helps With Coupon Planning
Anyone who has watched Extreme Couponing is aware of the fact that some people have the ability to "decode" coupons to see them exactly as the store sees them. Decoders can determine the specific products applicable to the coupon, the discount, the expiration date, and more information. If you'd like to decode a few coupons yourself, consider downloading the QSeer app for your Apple device.
How It Works
The QSeer app is pretty basic in its function. Once you open it, you'll tap "New Scan" and then your iPhone's camera will read the coupon's bar code. Within seconds, the app will then tell you the details of that specific coupon.
During my trial of the app, most of my coupons scanned exactly as I expected -- when a coupon said it was for $1.00 off a 20-ounce dishwashing liquid, QSeer said exactly the same thing in most cases. However, there were a few instances, when the coupon actually would have allowed me to "fudge" the coupon's face value and use it for another product. This is one way that some decoders exploit a coupon's coding weakness -- they'll use a coupon for products other than what the manufacturer intended.
For example, I have a coupon for $1.50 off any Fruttare Fruit Bar Multipack, which is a pack of popsicles made of real fruit and milk. However, when QSeer scanned the coupon, it told me that it would give me $1.50 off of that product, or off any Unilever frozen treats in "family code 520," which includes product #77567, as shown in the photo above. A quick Google search showed me that this would allow my coupon to give me $1.50 off certain types of Breyers ice cream as well as the Fruttare bars that the coupon actually advertises.
As someone who has a family member that works at the grocery store, I don't agree that you should exploit a coupon's weakness to save yourself more money when you know the coupon is meant for a different product. The app isn't just designed to let you game the system, however, and I am not sure whether most people have the time to look up various "family codes" of products so they can use coupons willy nilly on other products. Instead, I have found it very useful in helping me plan my shopping trip to know the specifics of my coupons.
Know the App's Benefits
Here's how the app has helped me: I have a few catalinas (coupons printed at the cash register) that don't indicate whether they can be doubled. One of them is for $3.00 off of an item, and there are certain weeks of the year when my store doubles coupons up to $3.00. It was a nice feature of QSeer to be able to scan that coupon and see whether it can be doubled (you'll find this in the lower left-hand corner of the screen after you scan a coupon. Applicable coupons will say "can double" on the app).
Since the coupon itself didn't indicate whether it was subject to doubling, it was nice to know that the coupon is coded for doubling.
In addition, I have had instances where my coupons don't have an expiration date printed on them, but when I've presented them at the store, the cashier will tell me "this expired." When I point out that there's no expiration date, she just repeats, "the system says it expired" and then we stare at each other in silence until I slowly put the coupon back into my pocket. This frustration doesn't have to take place now that QSeer tells you the coupon's expiration date. If there's no expiration date coded into the coupon, the app will say "No expiration date" at the bottom of the screen.
Overall, I find the QSeer app very useful in helping me plan out my shopping trip, and even though it's $1.99, I think it will save me that in well-planned doubled coupons over time.