Thursday, November 13, 2014

All About Catalinas and What to do if they don't Print?

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I've been getting a lot questions lately about Catalina's and how they work so I'm reposting this article for all to see.  

You can repin this article here: All About Catalinas

In the couponing world, the term "catalina" isn't referring to the salad dressing or the island, but instead a certain type of coupons that print at the register when you check out.

Catalina Marketing is an advertising company that has paired up with grocery retailers to bring consumers a variety of coupons and promos. The little machine sits by the register and prints out coupons and news about upcoming promotions. Many times catalinas are triggered by items you purchase. Other times, more general catalinas print out, letting you know about upcoming offers or passing along a discount to a local retailer.

In my opinion, the best type of catalinas are the ones that give you a certain amount off your next shopping trip. These specific catalinas look like the one pictured above and are, in essence, a gift card to use in the future! They have very few limitations, other than the expiration date. I've used several catalinas in one transaction and I've purchased a wide variety of items using them- a gallon of milk, diapers, fresh produce, etc.

A great strategy is to use a catalina to pay for items that will generate another catalina. Most catalinas roll at grocery stores, meaning you can use the same catalina to pay for items to trigger the exact same catalina again.

Also note that catalinas are limited to 1 per promotion, per transaction.  For example let's say if you buy 2 bottles of shampoo you get a $2.00 Catalina good on your next purchase.  If you buy 4 bottles of shampoo in 1 transaction, only 1 catalina will print.  If you want multiples of the same catalina, do separate transactions.

Catalina coupons can only be used at the store you got them from, even though they say "Manufacturers Coupon" at the top. Also, stores have the ability to participate in some catalina offers but not others. Even different locations of the same chain of stores can elect to participate or not! The only way to tell if your store is participating in a certain catalina offer is to test it out. {If it doesn't work, feel free to return the items.}

Unless you receive a catalina informing you of an upcoming promo, the only way to know of them is through word of mouth. I’m always on the hunt for new catalinas, so if you hear of one, email me and I’ll post it!

Occasionally, catalina offers malfunction and even if you purchased the correct items, it just doesn't print. Is that anything you can do? Certainly!
In my experience, the store is not helpful in regards to correcting the situation of catalinas not printing. It's not uncommon for store employees to not even be aware of catalina offers in effect! Remember, the machine is actually operated by a separate company, Catalina Marketing. I suggesting working with them to resolve the issue. Here are two ways to approach it:
  1. Call Catalina Marketing (877) 210-1917, option 1. The entire process normally takes about 5 minutes and every Customer Service Representative I've spoken with has been friendly and helpful.
  2. Email Catalina Marketing at Requests will be resolved within 2-3 days.
In both instances, they will need several pieces of information that can all be found on your receipt. They will need:
  • The store name and address where you shopped.
  • The date and time you checked out.
  • The number printed on your receipt after the time stamp.
  • The items you purchased and what catalina you were expecting.
  • Your name and address.
Once they have verified that you should have received the catalina, they will simply mail out your catalina coupon!

Do you have any additional questions about catalinas? Leave a comment!


Anonymous said...

I actually just called them this morning b/c my Dannon catalina didn't print. They were very friendly and are actually located in UT (Sandy).

Anonymous said...

Wow thanks for breaking it down for me! Does Walgreen's do Catalinas too, or do they just do their own thing?

Claire said...

I did the Kraft cheese thing and when I got in the car, I realized I didn't have my $5 catalina. It did print out and I had it in the store, but somehow from the store to the car I lost it!! I tore my car apart looking for it and looked through my purse and grocery bags several times, I even started driving through the parking lot and had my daughter and me looking for it. Anyway, it's probably just an unfortunate accident right? There's nothing I can do right? Would you return the stuff you bought or just deal with it?

Kristin said...

Thanks, Ive been wondering how that all works. Does Grocery smarts always post the catalinas too? Just wondering how you find out about them.
Kristin, New to couponing!

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