Do you speak couponese? You may have heard the term “coupon barcode decoding” or “coupon decoding”. What this refers to is the ability to understand the barcode on coupons.
Once people know how to translate the barcode, they use the information to learn more about the coupon or unfortunately, to cheat the system. The information I am providing below is to help you understand how coupons are coded and how they work. I do not endorse scamming the coupon system.
Coupon Decoding Cheat Sheet
The makeup of a coupon barcode
So, basically, coupons have a standard barcode format: a-bbbbb-cccdd-e
Directions to the computer
a and e = tells the computer where to start reading the code and where to finish reading
Where to find the manufacturer code on a coupon
bbbbb = 5 digit manufacturer code.
How to find the product code on a coupon
For a coupon family code search, look for the ccc = family code. This tells you what product/s the coupon is valid on. Often the family includes items that may not be listed on the coupon. A family code that ends in one or more 0 is valid on multiple items. The 0 acts as a wild card or free space.
For example, if a product is in the family 123, then the following family codes will work on that product – 123, 120, 100, 000
If a coupon has the family code 992 then this stands for “no product verification”, which means the computer will not verify whether you bought the item. For example, this is used when the coupon is very general like “$1 off any eggs” or “$2 off Kellogs, General Mills, or Kashi cereal”.
Where is the coupon value on the coupon barcode?
dd = coupon value. For example, if dd=50, the coupon is for 50 cents off. There are a few exceptions
01 – free
14 – b1g1 free
16 – b2g1 free
19 – b3g1 free
02 – b4g1 free
If you still aren’t sure how to decode or you have a more complicated coupon, then look for a coupon barcode decoder. You can find out which products apply to certain coupons.