This coupon has a written valid date of 3/20/17-5/20/17. That would be pretty strange since the the insert was in the 3/19 Sunday paper – plus many people get their Sunday papers on Saturday. Fortunately, the coupon’s barcode was encoded to start 3/19/17, so if someone tried to use the coupon today it would have worked. The biggest concern would be if a cashier read the dates on the coupon and refused to accept it.
Regarding start dates, we think they are unwise. If someone wants to use your coupon to buy a product, why wouldn’t you want them to be able to go ahead with the purchase?
The only exception for start dates is for the case of staggered coupons. For a smaller brand, they might only be able to afford one insert in a quarter but they might want to have two offers. For example, they might want a coupon to be valid 3/19/17-3/31/17 and then have another offer available for 4/1/17-4/30/17. In that case the start dates make sense. Of course, many stores’ POS systems are not set up to check for start dates.
OGX also had a new family code, so we added it to QSeer. The image above shows how QSeer will display this coupon barcode when we release our next update. The use of a broad family code will enable OGX to create specific family codes for different varieties of OGX in the future.
For all manufacturers and coupon issuers, we encourage you to consider CHEQR. CHEQR is an iPad app designed for coupon issuers and brand managers to provide a quality control tool for their coupon barcodes. With CHEQR, coupons are scanned prior to printing, helping to eliminate errors in the barcode before the coupons reach consumers.