Money in a Minute: When couponing turns unethical or illegal

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -   Nowadays you can get a lot of savings just by going online.  But some people don't know that there's a right way to do it.  In fact, if you do it the wrong way, you could be breaking the law.

The thing that seems to get pushed aside quite a bit is coupon etiquette.  We feel like we have to share it since we're also teaching you how to practically get things for free at the store.

Last time we told you not to be a shelf clearer.  That means leave at least one item behind for someone else who might really need just one.

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Also, something that's even more important than that- don't tamper with your coupons.

That means don't copy them if you print them online, and don't mess with the expiration dates.  Some people think cutting off the expiration dates means the coupons are still valid.  Guess what?  They're not and you could be in trouble.

Every coupon is individually marked, even the printable coupons.  Many can also be traced back to your home computer.

Coupon fraud is unacceptable.  It also hurts businesses.  The transaction always has to be beneficial to the customer, the store and the manufacturer.

In the meantime, there are a lot of places to go online for coupons.  We don't advocate any certain place, but we tend to migrate to these websites:

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