Shelf Clearing – Don’t do it!! Have Shelf Etiquette!

1:55 pm

by Jen Morris

Something that Jen, Shannon, and I (Jen Morris) feel strongly about is responsible couponing.  I just about flipped my lid when I saw a preview of one of the new Extreme Couponing shows where a gal literally told another shopper, “sorry, you should have gotten here sooner.”  The poor guy just stood there stunned staring at the empty shelf in front of him.  I would have been stunned too.  Personally, I can’t bring myself to clear a shelf even if I have enough coupons to do so.  (FYI – the guy who came up was part of the crew – it makes great ratings!!)

I recently wrote an article for the Review-Journal on this subject.  You can read the full article, buy clicking this link

For those of you who want to know more about how to coupon responsibly, check back often to find out when Jen, Shannon, and/or I will be teaching a workshop in a town near you.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen Smith October 6, 2011 at

I am so happy you are addressing this subject. I got a glimpse of the segment you are speaking of and was appalled. I am so very glad to hear it was a set up! I’d hate to think that a person would behave that way towards another.


Shellie October 6, 2011 at

idk… I saw that episode yesterday and I think this is a normal habbit for that person. =(


Jennifer Simpson October 7, 2011 at

Agreed!!! THANK YOU for posting this!


Amy @ Thoughts of THAT Mom October 11, 2011 at

Rather than admonish those who “shelf-clear”, I would encourage couponers to call or go into stores ahead of time and ask them to special-order what they need.

I often shelf-clear…because there are only 1-3 of an item. There is no shame in that. Yet I have been told that “shelf-clearing” regardless of the circumstance…and even if there were only a couple to begin with…is bad. I have even had some people be downright hateful to me because I cleared a shelf. Again, despite having only taken 1-3 of the item. I think a HUGE part of responsible couponing is understanding that it’s NOT okay to be hateful to another couponer who DID get the deal just because there are no more on the shelf. I typically buy 5 of an item…assuming sufficient stock to support that. However, I will never take more than 3 if there is a limited supply. I won’t think twice about taking 3 even if that is all that is on the shelf. And that is okay.

One might say that this post doesn’t apply to me. I would disagree BECAUSE of how I have been treated after having only taken 1-3 and cleared a shelf. CLEARLY people believe it is not okay to take the last item on a shelf…even if it is the only item that was there in the first place.

The bottom line is that stores often don’t have enough stock for a sale. The ONLY way to remedy that is to ask the store to order what you need. If they will not, ask them to set a certain amount aside for you. It’s one thing for a store to have limited stock of a no-rain check item. If they will issue a rain check for the item, then they will special-order it for you.

Special ordering is the number one way to avoid shelf-clearing. You don’t even have to order an entire case to special order in most cases. In my case, I would only want to order 5. The bonus is that they would probably order an entire case…thus my special-ordering will leave even more on the shelf for others as well.