Sneaky Coupon Tricks

When I'm bored, one of the things I like to do is sign up for free samples. I prefer to use fake information to minimize (or at least be able to identify) junk mail, but you should do whatever your conscience dictates.

I recently got a free sample in the mail from Dove. Dove is one of my favorite free sample givers because they tend to give generous samples. Also, I actually like some Dove products, so the coupons that come with the free samples are useful to me, and the samples themselves are great for trips.

I was checking out my new coupons ($2 off a bottle of lotion that only costs $6? Sweet!) when I noticed the fine print:

By submitting this coupon, you acknowledge that Dove may also send you information, samples, or offers it feels may be of interest to you about Dove, or other complementary brands from UNILEVER or other carefully selected companies. If you would like more information about UNILEVER's privacy policy, please visit www.unileverus.com/privacy or call 1-866-204-9750.

What??? By using a coupon, I will undo all of my carefully protected efforts to avoid spam? I guess the coupons have some kind of tracking code to determine the conversion rate on the coupons that came with the free samples. Talk about walking the thin line between brilliant marketing strategy and downright creepy. If you go to the webpage listed, however, it's easy to put yourself on Unilever's Do Not Contact list and then select the brands you don't want information about. This way, you can keep getting your Dove free samples, but not get anything on, say, Degree.

So next time you think about using a coupon that is mailed specifically to you, check the fine print first. Don't use the coupon unless you're okay with the consequences, and look for ways to get around being spammed.

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