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Counterfeit CouponsI know about coupons. You probably do too.  You cut them out, buy the product,  and hand them to the cashier to save money on your food and other purchases.  Is there more to know?

Yes, I think you should be aware that there are counterfeit coupons in circulation.  People who do not know they have a counterfeit coupon become guilty of coupon fraud when they try to use it…. and to me, that’s simply not fair.  I never know definitively if the coupon I printed or any other coupon I possess  is counterfeit.  There is no 100% sure way to tell.   All the advice I have seen to avoid coupon fraud says, “Don’t buy coupons from anyone.”  I have never purchased coupons from anyone, does this mean I am safe?  — no.  Because if I search the internet for a coupon, and the site looks legitimate, and the coupon looks like every other coupon I see distributed on the internet….it could still be counterfeit but how would I ever know?

Counterfeit Coupons

 The Internet has become the most cost effective way to distribute coupons.  This method saves money by not having to design, print, and hire a firm to place their coupons in local newspapers.  But, where there is money to be made, it’s just a matter of time before someone figures out how to get around the system.  Coupons are counterfeited with the express purpose of either selling them to unsuspecting victims and to “steal” products from the stores.  Getting away with it, is as easy as bringing in a printed piece of paper…or putting up an online auction ~  how easy can it get?

Counterfeit Coupons

The caveat is that  not all stores will accept internet coupons, and still others limit their use.  Why?  The ease in being able to “photocopy” and counterfeit internet coupons of course.  I don’t have a problem with limitations in theory –  although when merchants won’t accept them, that defeats the entire purpose of having a coupon.  When I buy the exact item listed on the coupon, I don’t just have “high expectations” the coupon will be accepted, I feel it should be accepted.

Looking at the list of “known” counterfeit coupons ( find it here: http://www.couponinformationcenter.com/)  most aren’t free coupons, but instead are a cents off coupon, or a buy one get one free coupon — why?  The counterfeit coupons people circulate aren’t always for a free product.  You would think they would be.  And did you notice I said circulate?  For some reason,  the people who counterfeit them, also like to share them (sometimes freely, sometimes for a fee).  And, I really don’t get it, they risk jail time, a huge fine, and their reputation in addition to the embarrassment for a discount off a purchase?

Many people have written articles lately to scare legitimate users — telling them they will be guilty of coupon fraud as well as ….”this, that, or the other thing” if they print and use them.   However, that annoys me because none of that is even close to fair to the normal user of these coupons.  If a person prints 1000 of them, and then goes to use them or sell them — that is one thing,  if another person uses one they printed when that user shared them — I don’t believe there is one shred of guilt there.  Whatever happened to common sense?  Thousands of manufacturers have chosen this method to distribute their coupons, and it saves them considerable amounts of money and works to encourage customers to try their products.   Will coupon fraud end that?

Counterfeit Coupons

The most help provided as a way to avoid coupon fraud for the average person is “don’t buy coupons”.  So  why are there still so many sellers of them on eBay?  Why hasn’t eBay shut the category?  If the CIC (link above) and the other law enforcement agencies truly believed this was the foremost way most counterfeit coupons get into circulation, why haven’t they shut the venue/category down.  My check of eBay today had 68,483 listings in coupons.

And then what do you do when even the legitimate coupons are rejected at the store level?  To an honest consumer, this is one of the biggest hassles you can encounter.  You feel like you’ve done something wrong when you haven’t — you feel accused and found guilty.  You are embarrassed for no reason.  In my opinion, and everything I write is 100% my opinion, there is no reason for a store, cashier or policy to do this to anyone.  If it happens to you, my advice is to just pick up your remaining coupons and leave.

UPDATE:  Ever hear of the universal consciousness?  My sister talks about it all the time ~ and just a few days after writing this article  – they arrested several woman who they allege were running  the largest counterfeit coupon ring in AZ!  This wasn’t ‘thousands’ of dollars, it looks like it might have be ‘millions’ of dollars.  More info, if you are interested here:  Counterfeit Coupon Ring Busted

 

 

 



 

 

Welcome to Week #1 of
Win This Bag
sponsored by HipSwap

hosted by Sidetracked Mom’s Blog

“Win This Bag” is a 6-week event that will feature 6 weekly giveaways.  This first amazing giveaway starts on 06/26/12 (today) and ends on 7/1/12.  There will be one designer handbag given away every week!  Each bag will be an authentic, recognizable designer brand such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Coach, or Fendi.  Our 6th week will feature a highly coveted designer handbag and you will have the option to claim bonus entries for each of the 5 weekly “Win This Bag” giveaways you entered leading up to this grand finale!So, enter each weekly giveaway to increase your odds of winning!

Here’s what really separates this event from any other handbag giveaway you may have seen before… some of these handbags will come to you directly from a celebrity’s closet!That’s right –


Thanks to HipSwap, you have the opportunity to win the exact bag that may have been on the arm of a famous celebrity!
PhotobucketAbout our Sponsor:

HipSwap is a mobile and web marketplace that connects buyers and sellers locally and nationally. It enables people to discover what’s inside the most fabulous closets, homes, and shops in neighborhoods and cities across America. HipSwap currently offers delivery service in Los Angeles and New York with its iconic pink delivery van.

This week’s prize:

Photobucket
Katrina Smirnoff – sound familiar?  Of course, if you’re a fan of Dancing with the Stars you know exactly who she is!  This first week (of six) we are giving away a Karina Smiroff Fendi Spy Bag!!  Hope you’ll enter!

How to Enter:

1.Create a HipSwap account.You will be asked to enter your name, email and zip code.If you do not live in the United States, please enter your City and Country in the Zip Code field.

2.Once registered, you can earn additional entries by:

a.Pinning your favorite HipSwap bag on Pinterest

b.“Liking” HipSwap on Facebook

c.Following @HipSwap on Twitter

d.Tweet with the hashtag #winthisbag for daily bonus entries

e.Following the blogs who are bringing you this awesome giveaway

To be credited, all entries must be completed using the Rafflecopter form below.You can complete as many or as few entries as you’d like but remember, the more you do, the better your odds of winning!Plus, once you are following all of your hosts, entering each subsequent weekly Win This Bag Giveaway will be even faster & easier!

Good luck!

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This giveaway is open to entrants worldwide 18 years of age or older, except where prohibited by law. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and is Facebook-compliant. To qualify to win, you must complete, at minimum, the mandatory entry on the Rafflecopter form. All entries will be forwarded to our sponsor for the purpose of randomly selecting a winner. Winners will be notified by email from a HipSwap representative. Winners will have 72 hours to respond or risk forfeiting their prize. Prize may re-awarded solely by the Sponsor’s discretion. Prize fulfillment is the sole responsibliity of the sponsor. This blog may not be held liable for Sponsors who do not fulfill prize shipments. The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We reserve the right to publicly publish winners’ names and/or likeness. By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

 

Today June 22, 2012 marks the 68th anniversary of the signing of the G.I. Bill of Rights, or technically the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944.   Originally meant only for those who served in times of war, it was adjusted in 1966 to extend benefits to those who serve in times of war or peace.  Since that time there have been other changes but the original intent to help those who serve in our military remains intact.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt made many reforms during his administration, but this one piece of legislation has lasting benefits for anyone who serves this country in our armed forces.

The bill was meant to not only help servicemen and women but also to avoid a relapse into another depression after the end of World War II.   The American Legion, a veteran’s organization was instrumental in forming many of the provisions of the bill.  Truth is, they fought hard to get access to funding for benefits like education, low-interest home and business loans, and the unemployment compensation package included in the bill.

The implementation of the bill opened doors, and helped veterans cope when returning to the US from World War II.  Even today, it still provides aid and help to them and their families in ways that might never have been possible without this bill.

In my opinion the best benefit of the G.I. Bill is the educational one.  I believe that this could be the one which can be the most life transforming.  Before World War II, college was an option for only about 10-15% of Americans but by 1947 veterans made up nearly half of the nation’s college enrollment.  When you have an education (formal or informal), at any cost, you move yourself up to another level.  Your ability to get a job, keep a job, make a living wage and succeed in whatever you chose increase.

The G.I. Bill was one of the major forces that fueled expansion in the U.S. lasting over 30 years.  The impact on America in 50+ years has been enormous.  Over 20 million veterans have taken advantage of the provisions for education, and a whopping 14 million homes were able to be purchased through it’s loans guarantees.

The newest revision of the bill  (signed in 2009) extended benefits to veterans of the war on terrorism, post 9/11, including those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and their families, reservists and National Guard members.

 

 

 

WAHM eCommerce is giving away a FREE Design or Re-design of YOUR blog.  How exciting is that?

The winner will receive a great NEW … CUSTOM DESIGN WordPress (self hosted) or Blogger Design/Re-design which is valued at $75-$125.00

The prize is just for the design and installation – and doesn’t include hosting, domain, plugins, eStore, or set up of content.

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  We will be checking and verifying the winner – please make sure you complete the steps for the entries you claim.  You will be disqualified if you haven’t completed them and claimed the entries.

Winner will be announced June 23, 2012!  Good LUCK!!!
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*** If you are interested in a WordPress Design and do not have your own domain with hosting please click here.

 

Goldbaum's

Goldbaums Natural Food Co. makes foods which are healthful, delicious, and a good choice for diabetics.  They are a premier manufacturer of natural gluten-free products. Each of their products gets the distinctive Goldbaum treatment.  What’s that you ask?  It’s a rigorous testing and tasting procedure by researchers and staff to determine that every product from their natural brown rice pasta to their quick snacks are always of most superior caliber.

At Goldbaums, they are dedicated to excellence at every level. They are passionate about good health without compromising on flavor.  And all of their products are manufactured in a facility that is free of soy, gluten, dairy & nuts.

Goldbaum's Sugar Cones

Review done by Donna’s Deals and More

My favorite were the Sugar Cones. I ate my very first one straight out of the box like a cookie. It was delicious! It did not taste like your average sugar free product. It was full of flavor.

Their pasta products were delicious too. They’re made with brown rice, they’re low-fat, sugar free, gluten free, wheat free, and GMO free. They cook up like actual pasta not mushy like some of the gluten free pasta I have tried.

Another great product is their Wonder Meals. They are microwaveable but you don’t have to freeze them! They travel well and taste super fresh. I don’t know how they did it but they are all natural and preservative free.

And one of our lucky readers will be able to try out their products too! All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below.

*Open to US only, must be 18 yrs or older.

*Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. It’s Annoying is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

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Dip. Eat. Repeat. Eat Wholly is your one-stop-shop for all WHOLLY brand products such as Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa.

If you haven’t visited yet, I sincerely suggest you do!  The site has a game with prizes, and also many other features, include video’s and coupons off your next purchase.  The recipe I most wanted to try is the Grilled Salsa Steak Appetizer mostly because you don’t usually grill, use steak, or guacamole in appetizers.  Go check them out. I think you will be glad you did!

We had the opportunity to do a review on Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa and what a tasty review it was! We received an amazing cooler filled with tasty goodness!

Eat Wholly Review and Giveaway

Review done by Donna’s Deals And More

There was not an item in the cooler we did not like. It was seriously the best guacamole and salsa ever! You can taste the freshness. We dipped chips, we put the guac and salsa on tacos, and we put the guacamole on our sandwiches. The munchkins even went crazy over it which I love! Not only do they have amazing flavors (original guacamole, spicy guacamole, roasted tomato salsa, avocado verde salsa, red pepper mango salsa, and more) they also have 100 calorie packs! They are perfect for lunches and on the go snacks.

Their website is full of other yummy recipes and ideas.

The amazing folks at Eat Wholly are giving away an awesome prize pack to one of our lucky readers! It could be you! All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below.

*Open to US and Canada, must be 18 years or older.

*Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Its Annoying is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

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Good On Ya Bar

The GoodOnYa Bar is a bar gone rogue.  The manufacturer was not afraid to use real food with healthy fats. They made it for real life superheros — and that includes YOU.  This is not just an energy bar, but an organic nutrition bar that offers you real value for your money.  Certified organic, dehydrated and full of flavor. As their tag line says…for them “every ingredient matters” and every ingredient in their bars should have a nutritional purpose.  They are also Non GMO, Soy, Dairy, and Gluten Free ~ This is something you should you be eating.

I had the opportunity to sample 3 of their bars. Review done by DonnasDealsAndMore

GoodOnYa Bar

My favorite was the Breakfast Bar. With Brazil Nuts, Unfiltered Olive Oil, Hemp, Sprouted Flax, Pure Maple Syrup this is insanely unique, delicious and good for you! It is delicious and extremely filling.

I also sampled the Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar and the Peanut Butter Honey Bar. They were tasty too. I love the fact that these bars are filling with ingredients that are really good for you. They really hold you and are filling.

The GoodOnYa Bar was started by Olympic athlete, Kristen Buchanan. This nutrition bar is unlike any other on the market. Their motto is “Every Ingredient Matters” because every single thing that goes into each organic nutrition bar has a nutritional purpose. This is real food. It’s food from nature. We have been so conditioned to look at the #’s in the nutritional panel that we have ignored what the actual ingredients are! We have ignored what we are eating! Some people comment that our bar has too much fat. A cup of almonds has 47g of fat. And you can buy cookies that are “fat free”. We don’t argue with nature. It’s not about the #’s, it’s about WHAT you are eating.

Right now you can use coupon code DONNASDEALS and receive free shipping on your purchase! To order your bars head to http://www.thegoodonyabar.com/buy-goodonya/online/

And the amazing people at GoodOnYa are giving one lucky reader their own Bars to try!

*Open to US only, must be 18 years or older

*Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. It’s Annoying is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

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Win this amazing $175 BeautiControl Spa Prize Package! Enter Below:

BeautiControl is a beauty company that specializes in Spa treatments, Personalized skin care and Advanced Anti-aging products (SPA) through a unique at-home spa experience.  The Company has a Vision, a Mission and a Commitment.

This giveaway is sponsored by Slap Dash Mom.

These are all full size products and can be purchased online.

beauti control giveaway

Prize Package Contents

Show of Hands Age Defying Hand Treatment SPF 15, 3oz – $14
Herbal Serenity Body Gelee, 6.7oz – $16
Skinlogics Lip Balm SPF 20 – $12
Cell Block C Reform Day Cream SPF 20, 1oz – $30
Margarita Instant Manicure, 10z – $28
Margarita Bath Salts, 10oz – $22
Margarita Extreme Repair Hand Creme, 3.4oz – $15
Margarita Foot Scrub, 6oz – $20
Margarita Foot Creme, 5oz – $16
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Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil.  To check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online, do not hesitate to visit their website.  The FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away.  But do check the  out the health benefits of coconut oil.

Review done by DonnasDealsAndMore

I have to admit when I first received the bottle I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Once I started checking out the video and sites (above) I had plenty I wanted to try! I love this stuff! I made a bath scrub with brown sugar and vanilla. It smelled and felt so good. I also used it as eye make up remover and natural lip balm. My favorite use by far is for my hair. I have really dry, brittle, curly hair. I have been using just a dab after my shower each morning and my hair is so soft! I love this stuff!

The awesome folks at Tropical Traditions are giving away a 1 quart bottle of Coconut oil to one lucky reader!

*Open to US and Canada, must be 18 years or older

*Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. The It’s Annoying website is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

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