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How to Stop Losing Money From Coupons Four tips to save your business from extreme couponing practices.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Looking at bare shelves and harried cashiers? It's possible that you've been visited by a disciple of TLC's Extreme Couponing, a cable television show that educates viewers about getting cartloads of goods for pennies on the dollar. To protect themselves from losses, some of the country's major food and drug retailers are changing their policies. Retail consultant Bob Phibbs, author of The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business, thinks independents should also revisit their policies.

"You don't want to encourage these people to shop with you," Phibbs says. "They're not the people who are going to make your business." To build as big a wall as possible between you and potential extreme couponing losses, he suggests a few simple policy changes.

No buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) deals with other promotions. The cartfuls of free merchandise extreme coupon users score are often the result of BOGO promotions combined with BOGO coupons. By disallowing such combined promotions, you eliminate that risk, Phibbs says.

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