Coupons: UPC Code Creation, Layout & Design, Getting the Goods 1337beard
Disclaimer! All information contained in this presentation is for educational purposes only. I am not responsible for the misuse of the information.
Coupons? Really? • Yeah, those scraps of paper that you get in the Sunday paper and save like $1 on a can of soup or buy-one-get-one-half-off a box of cereal. Those kind of coupons. • Cheap soup is nothing compared to what is coming up in a little bit, so sit tight.
Coupons & Retailers • A coupon is cash to a store, that will accept it. It’s a promise from the manufacturer to reimburse the store for what the value of the coupon says. • All the coupons are gathered from the store & sent to corporate HQ. They, in turn, send the coupons to a third-party clearinghouse. The clearinghouse sorts all the coupons & they send an invoice to the manufacturer. • Eventually, maybe a month later, the store gets paid by either the manufacturer or the clearinghouse (who is paid by the manufacturer).
The UPC Code • Using the UPC above for example, from left to right: 5-12000-43001-0 • The first 5 states that this is a coupon. • 12000 is the manufacturer ID, in this case it’s Pepsi. • 430 is the three-digit product family code, in this example it’s Amp Energy Drink. • 01 means this particular item would be free. There are quite a few other two-digits #’s to represent “$1 off”, etc. • The last digit, 0, is a checksum to ensure that the barcode is valid and properly read by the register’s scanner.
Free Amp Anyone? • Now, the UPC in the last slide was taken from this. It is a legitimate coupon from the manufacturer for a free pack of Amp. • I have not been able to find information about the 2nd barcode (the one on the right). • I believe it may be a unique code made for the clearinghouse or the manufacturer to identify that particular coupon, either each individual coupon or for the whole lot of that kind.
So…How Can I Make My Own? • Hypothetically, let’s say that I don’t care for Amp. But I love Monster. How can I turn that free Amp coupon into one for free Monster? • To keep it simple, we’ll just need the manufacturer’s ID. • Google is your best buddy here (but isn’t it always?). • Just search “monster energy upc”. The first result scored me this:
It looks like “70847” is the manufacturer ID for Monster. • OK, now for the product’s family code, right? Well, it’s easier to just forget about that. • 0’s are the magic number with these codes, because instead of messing with the product’s family code we just insert three 0’s. • Using “000” instead of the particular item’s family code will allow ANY item to be discounted, not just 4-packs but 16oz cans, other flavors, etc. • And then add the “01” for a free item, calculate the checksum at the end, generate the barcode (#’s and the scanable lines), and BAM! I just made a coupon for a free pack of Monster. • You can make coupons that are $1/$5/$.50 off too.  • Then add a touch of Photoshop and I’ll end up with:
This coupon, as displayed here, was never created/released by the manufacturer. They will not honor it & it’s use at a retail store may be against the law. • But, if you give this to any cashier at Wally-World then I can betcha that 99.9% of them will scan it and accept it with no problem. • The policy at Wally-World is to accept any Internet coupon, as long as it is not expired, has a scannable barcode, and says Manufacturer Coupon.
All of these were created by following this basic guide. • Coupons can be easily created with a few websites & image editing software. • Wally-World will not require a CSM or a manager to unlock the transaction if the coupon is discounting $30 or less.
Small potatoes…what else? • Technically this can be used for anything that is sold in-store & if that store will accept Internet coupons. • Coffee makers, pants, Xbox 360s, batteries, bubble gum, or even TVs. • You can vary the look & design of the coupon to mimic that of newspaper coupons, or to not have different coupons look like each other (like everyone that was exampled in this presentation). • Instead of plain white paper, use some thinner glossy paper. • Write on the coupon that it’s a special prize from a magazine or contest.
Coupons & Flaws w/ Retailers • Accepting coupons puts any retailer at risk for exploitation. Even if a store doesn’t accept Internet coupons, there are still ways around it. (Just make it look like it came from a newspaper) • The only way to stop a particular fraudulent coupon from being used is if the store posts a notice to the cashiers, or if the manufacturer sends a notice to retailers. (Like PepsiCo)
Links •  – Barcode generator • http://www.barcoding.com/upc/ •  – Checksum generator • http://www.beachpackagingdesign.com/checksum.html •  – More UPC Discount Codes • http://www.glondon.com/coupon-value-code.pdf ($1.00 off, $5.00 off, Buy-one-get-one-free, etc.) • For More Info • http://www.glondon.com/coupon.html
Sources • http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/upc.htm • How UPC Codes Work • http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/question426.htm • How Coupons Work • /b/ • where it all started & the majority of the info gathered here. • and sum lulz were also found.