Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rain Checks

I Love Rain Checks!!!

       Everyone loves a good sale.  Change that.  Everyone loves a GREAT sale. What if you could have a sale whenever you wanted?  What if you could catch a sale when you had the perfect coupons that could be stacked with the perfect store coupons to give you the best deals ever?
       Well, you can do just that!  Every single time you go to the store, you should be stocking up on rain checks.  At least once each sales cycle, you should make a trip to your favorite grocery store, dollar store, pharmacy, etc.  I love empty shelves.  Especially, during a really big sales event like BOGO (buy one get one).  
       The best time for rain checks is most likely during the middle days of the sales event.  The first day, the store is probably well stocked and the shelves will not be empty.  However, days two, three, and four of a week long sale will probably find the shelves bare.  So, don't fret about couponers who emptied those shelves before you had the chance to do the same thing. (By the way, shelf emptying is very bad couponing manners.) Make a list of the depleted sales items you want and take that list to customer service.  

        Most stores do not have a limit on the number of rain checks it will issue.  However, I would not ask for more than four or five per visit.  I have gotten pretty good at knowing who works the customer service desk at different times of the day and evening.  So, I make a trip in the early morning before 2 PM and then again later in the afternoon or early evening.  Or just go to a different branch of that store.  If you do this every single time you go to the store, you will soon have a large stash of rain checks ready to match to newly issued coupons from the manufacturers and/or store coupons for even better savings.  

       Rain checks usually do not expire quickly, if at all.  Be sure to check the rain check closely and note the expiration date.  For example, Harris Teeter, Bloom, and CVS (my local stores) do not expire.  Shop Rite (60 days), Target (45 days), Walgreens (30 days), and Safeway (90 days) rain checks do expire.  WalMart does offer rainchecks as long as the item is not "limited to stock on hand or clearance".  Rain checks are often overlooked as a valuable couponing resource but are just as valuable as your coupons.  Never leave your store without at least one rain check. 
        I use my cell phone camera to take photos of the sales price tags and empty shelves.  This usually saves time so that the customer service staffer does not need to go all over the store to find the item.  Also, always carry the store ad with you to the desk.  There are some stores that actually have two different fliers for each week.  I have visited CVS and other stores on the last day of a sale only to find that all of the current sales tags have been removed (in preparation for the next week's sale) and the current week's flier was not available.  Since I had my own flier, I was able to go around the store to check out the stock.  I took my sales flier to the customer service desk and was able to get my rain checks with the Extra Bucks noted on each one.  
       CVS  will make a notation on your rain check that will qualify that purchase for the extra bucks reward once the purchase has been made.  Don't forget to ask and/or remind the CVS associate about the extra bucks rewards for your rain check.  There are spaces on the rain check specifically for noting the extra bucks reward.   Riteaid will do the same for their Rewards, too.  I do not have a Walgreens near me and do not know about their raincheck policies. 
          So, don't go into spasms, if a great sale occurs between pay days or during a coupon drought.  Make your own sales event happen exactly when you want it and when you are prepared.

For more rain checking tips go to "Rain Check, Please"

Happy Rain Checking!
ShaRon, The Bizzy Coupon Bee