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Target: Going Mobile to Save Money

by Beth @ In Good Cents on May 7, 2010 · 6 comments

Target Grocery Coupons

Mobile coupons aren't a new thing.  They've been around for a while now.  Companies like Cellfire and Yowza offer them for services and restaurants, plus companies like Redbox, Victoria's Secret, and even Moe's Southwest Grill offer their own savings via text message.

Target, however, has taken mobile coupons to a new level, releasing the first scannable mobile coupon.  Of course, with new technology comes confusion, so here's what you need to know to save with Target's mobile coupons.

To participate, you will need a mobile phone with internet access and text messaging. You can head online to register your phone or text "COUPONS" to 827438.  You'll receive your first coupons within 2 weeks of sign up.  Keep in mind, by signing up, you are agreeing to receive up to 5 text messages a month and standard text messaging rates will apply if you don't have unlimited text messaging.

You'll receive a text message each month when the old coupons expire and new ones are available.  This text will include a link, which is only accessible by your mobile phone, where you can view the coupons.  Just bring your phone into Target, pull up your coupon via the link provided, and show it to your cashier to get your discount.  The cashier has a device that will scan the barcode of the coupon on your mobile phone and the amount will be deducted just like with standard coupons.  It's that simple.

While you will receive multiple coupons each month, each coupon can only be used once per mobile phone.  You can get multiple coupons by signing up your spouse and other family members too, but you'll have to have their phone with you to use them.  There is a limit of one identical mobile coupon per transaction.

So far, all the coupons available have been Target store coupons, which can be stacked with manufacturer coupons to save you even more.  But that doesn't mean a manufacturer's coupon won't pop-up in the future.

Target also offers the following mobile services:

While you can make up the cost of a newspaper subscription with the savings you'll receive from the coupon inserts, scannable mobile coupons won't make up for the cost of an internet enabled phone with a text messaging plan.  However, it could happen one day.  and it looks like other stores may be following suit.

Don't forget to check out this week's Target Deals and the Ongoing Target Deals available.

Beth from In Good Cents is the Deal Seeking Mom Store Expert for Target. At In Good Cents, she teaches her readers the skills they need to dramatically cut their own grocery budgets.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca May 7, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Target is being very smart in using new technology but I think they are ahead of the times. I don't have an internet phone and most couponers I know don't have them either. It will eventually be something that we all have but at this time, it's an expense I don't need. I rarely shop at Target anyways since I find them to be very difficult to use coupons at so they really aren't losing my business with this move. Good luck to them. :)

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2 Brigitte May 8, 2010 at 12:08 am

I have to say I only get 1 text a month, seems longer than that, from Target with coupons. I have only used the coupons once and the cashier looked at me like I was smoking crack! She has no idea what I was talking about and called over some type of supervisor I guess and he had no idea how to use it. I read them the instructions and they told me they wouldn't be able to "scan" the phone (even though that is what the instructions said to do) so the girl had to type in the bar code from the phone coupon. I am sure I was looking at them like they were smoking something, lol, after all they work there not me and I was at a Super target in Orlando, I couldn't be the first person to try to use the mobile coupons right? It was funny to watch the cashier hold my phone like it was the plague and type in a forever long number, but I got my discount off so I didn't care. If these coupons are scan-able, why do their cashiers and supervisors not know how to do it, or even know about mobile coupons? Kinda sucks when there is a line of people behind you and you have a fussy toddler and the employees have no idea what is going on. Has anyone else had this happen?

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3 Anne May 8, 2010 at 6:30 am

I had issues with the cashier when trying to use mine, as well. She argued with me about it, in fact. She was adamant she couldn't take it because they HAD to have the paper - it's like money to them she kept telling me. I was very polite and tried to work through it with her, and she snapped at me a bit when I asked if there was a manager we could speak with and she informed me she was the front-end supervisor. As this was going on the 16 year old cashier behind her kindly pointed out it was legit and showed her the paper she was supposed to read about it. And then I guess they are not supposed to touch the customer's phone (liability - we could turn around and say they damaged the phone and look for them the replace it) and she went off about that saying if she needed it touch it to scan it she most certainly would, and in the end it wouldn't scan and she didn't type the bar code in, but rather just somehow took off the amount of the coupon after I scrolled down & showed her what it was for & for how much.

And as with Brigitte above, all of this was with fussy toddlers! Next time I want to use them I may just head to customer service to check out. It's a great idea, and I like the extra resource and the ability to stack them with MQ's, but what a hassle!

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4 Jessica Bosari May 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Yeah, they really need to get a handle on that. These are supposed to be convenient. What mom wants to sit around arguing about it? Instead, I just emailed Target when I got home...still no response of course!

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5 Tiffany May 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I used the target mobile coupon about a week ago. I was purchasing a Nikon camera and I had the coupon out on my iphone. The cashier did not have a clue so we went to customer service. The rep then called a manager and we all sat there waiting for it to work. She tried to scan it twice and it finally went. They all were like wow this is our first one. Its a neat to be able to just have that technology. But beware of small minded people who can't think out of the box.

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6 Susie Payton June 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm

So how does Target's register rectify the coupon. There is no paper at the end of the day, seems like it would make the register short.

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