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DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY: Coupon Exclusions

CENTRAL OHIO (John Matarese) -- All those coupons promising an extra 10 or 20 percent off the entire store can be misleading. Sometimes, the items these coupons exclude can make these so-called deals almost worthless.

Online shopper Jane Gerhart learned this the hard way.

When a special offer from Dick's Sporting Goods popped up on her smartphone, she snapped up a Garmin GPS watch anticipating $25 off.

But when she made the purchase, the discount didn't appear.

It is apparently a common complaint for the big name retailer.

Dick's frequently offers coupons for a percentage off a purchase, but often excludes major name brands. When Gerhart revisited the website to check the fine print, she was stunned by how few items to which the discount applied.

"If you click on that, it opens up a list of 111 companies that their products are excluded," she said. "And there we found the Garmin watch, the Garmin Company, along with Nike, Columbia, North Face, Patagonia, Titleist, Wilson, anything else you'd want to buy."
Dick's reported that manufacturers, not the store, make the rules.

And Dick's is not alone. Macy's is well-known for coupons that exclude designer and top name brands.

Gerhart said she is finished playing these fine-print games. 

"It's not going to be frustrating anymore because I'm going to ignore them all," she said. "I don't believe any of them!"

Shoppers who find a coupon with dozens of exclusions may want to consider contacting the store or search online to see when it might be having a friends and family sale. Those sales often give discounts on even the biggest name brands.

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