With So Many Coupon Exclusions at Kmart, What’s Left to Buy?

A couple of months ago, we showed you a six-foot-long disclaimer that Sears used to limit applicability of its Family & Friends sale. While its corporate cousin, Kmart, wasn’t quite as bad, they had a doozie just before Black Friday when they offered a very enticing deal.

10 off 20

Pretty generous to get $10 off a $20 purchase. But, of course… there are “details.”


Purchase requirement is before taxes and after discounts. Not valid on Nicki Minaj or Adam Levine merchandise; BOGO; gift cards; non-merchandise; concessions; federal or state regulated items; alcohol; tobacco; fuel; items behind the pharmacy counter; prescriptions; prior purchases; clearance items; partial-paid special order items; Lands End merchandise; Scrubology; at Sears HomeTown, Outlet, Appliance Showroom, Hardware and Parts & Repair stores; or during Family & Friends or Member events. Redeemable at kmart.com, sears.com and shopyourway.com. Limit one coupon per member. Valid on regular and sale priced merchandise. Not valid on Levis, Two Hearts Maternity, Scrubology, Sears Fan Shop, Insane Deals, Shaw rug gallery, recliners, Colormate 2.5 oz mini jar candles, generators, Weber, Mattresses, Jenn-Air, Dacor, appliance and floorcare accessories, appliance closeouts, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, water heaters, water softeners, air conditioners, air cleaners, fans, everyday great price items, propane tanks, automotive, video game hardware, Bose, Onkyo, prepaid calling cards, iTunes, computers, tablets, eReaders, Canon DSLR, Sony camcorders, Sony DSLR and lenses, Nikon DSLR and lenses, Samsung, Sharp and Sony UPP merchandise, Panasonic VT series TVs, installed Home Improvements, Home Services, PartsDirect, catalog orders, Gift Cards, money orders, wire transfers, protection agreements, Sears licensed business, Nicki Minaj and Adam Levine merchandise, BOGO, non-merchandise, concessions, federal or state regulated items, alcohol, tobacco, fuel, items behind the pharmacy counter, prescriptions, prior purchases, clearance, partial-paid special order items, and Lands End merchandise. Additional Sears online exclusions: Custom, family, and Moissanite jewelry, items powered by ShoeBuy, compact refrigerators, range hoods, compactors, Fisher & Paykel, fragrances and Hot Buys, Additional Kmart online exclusions: gaming hardware, computers, laptops, snow throwers, clearance, Hot Buys, Fruit of the Loom and Hanes. Void if copied, transferred or obtained via unapproved means and where prohibited. Any other use constitutes fraud. Cash value 1/20. On return, coupon savings may be deducted from refund. Online code limited to one-time use only and applies to merchandise marked sold by Sears or sold by Kmart. Sears Holdings reserves the right to terminate or modify this offer at any time for failure to comply with its terms and/or due to any operational malfunction of the software, hardware or equipment required to process this offer. Use of this coupon constitutes your acceptance of the Shop Your Way terms and conditions, available at www.shopyourway.com/terms. Not valid at Sears Home Town, Outlet, Appliance Showroom, Hardware and Parts & Repair stores; or during Family & Friends or Member events.

The above font is many times larger than the real disclaimer. Who has the patience to wade through all that mumbo jumbo?

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13 thoughts on “With So Many Coupon Exclusions at Kmart, What’s Left to Buy?”

  1. Macy’s does the same thing and it backfires, their coupons go right in the recycle bin and I take my business elsewhere. Phony enticements are a dealbreaker for me.

  2. Sears and Kmart distribute an insulting number of coupons at the register, it is no surprise that they would have many limitations on what those coupons apply to. They’re probably trying to deceive consumers into thinking that the coupon discounts apply to any purchase, and once the consumer already has their goods at the register it’s too annoying to go shop somewhere else. I like much of the merchandise at Sears and Kmart, but the excessive couponing should stop.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if those stores lost money on the cost of coupon ink alone.

  3. JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts does something similar. They offer fabulous 60% off one item that is NOT on sale (or excluded), then they put everything in the store that is not excluded on sale (a tiny bit) except for inexpensive items! Makes the coupon almost useless. Frustrating.

  4. They may have learned this from Boscov’s. Everything I tried to use the coupon for was excluded, so the best thing to do in that situation is to walk out empty handed. They use these coupons to lure you into the store, and hope that you still buy something without using the coupon.

  5. Did they even proof read this thing or did they just want to REALLLLLLY make it clear that

    Nicki Minaj or Adam Levine merchandise; BOGO; non-merchandise, concessions, federal or state regulated items, alcohol, tobacco, fuel, items behind the pharmacy counter, prescriptions, prior purchases, clearance, partial-paid special order items, and Lands End merchandise are NOT included in the discount…

    They appear TWICE!

    OPPSS I did a small typo in my first post,

  6. Pretty much everything is excluded unless you’d like to go on a fabulous shopping spree for almost expired food and useless knick knacks. What’s so great about the 2.5 oz jar candles? Are they afraid you might get a deal with those?

    I’m so sick of Sears and Kmart coupons. Most of the time I can’t even find anything I’d want in either store even without the coupon exclusions.

  7. The coupon exclusions are getting so ridiculous it’s putting me off from shopping anymore. And I’m a dedicated shopper, too. I have no problem putting stuff down and walking out. Sears has angered me so many times I don’t shop there anymore. Their policies are becoming less and less customer friendly all the time. And then they wonder why they’re continually circling the drain!

    Don’t get me started on the product coupons for supermarket products. The expiration dates are so close to the present, you literally would have to drop everything and RUN to the store before they expire. Plus the product prices go up but the discounts are still ridiculously low at like 50 cents – not worth the hassle for items that cost close to $5.00! No wonder TLC’s show “Extreme Couponing” is gone, they’ve gotten wise to that stuff and have found ways to put a stop to it.

  8. I used to shop at Bon-Ton, but their coupons became so restrictive that to even issue them amounts to fraud. That’s because, for the most part, you have to bring the merchandise to the checkout before you can even tell if a coupon applies to your purchase. I suppose they want to embarrass you into making a purchase. Kohl’s has a similar arrangement. By keeping price-check scanners away from any department that could use one for comparison, they make it purposely difficult to determine the price of an item. Where are all the consumer protection people? One thing they should look into are so-called fraudulent “sales”. Many stores price the same items week after week at the same or similar prices to lure people in. In short, there really are no sales any more. A bunch a smart guys on the fifth floor have finally figured out how to monetize any good will these stores may have acquired before the great recession. And, they will move on with their careers, successfully, no doubt. But, it pays to remember, what goes around, comes around.

  9. Except it’s not always the store’s fault. I’ve never been to a Bon-Ton store but they’re connected with Younkers. They also have coupons with small type with a lot of exclusions. But the store I go to has a customer price scanner which will say what discounts are already on the item. Meaning: If it’s a Yellow Dot clearance, Bonus Buy, etc.. That way you know the coupon can’t be used. These scanner are only about 15 feet away from their main clothing checkout counters.

    It was ridiculous what was going on during Black Friday. People waited in line only to find out “This is a Bonus Buy/Door Buster, it doesn’t count.” Which was clearly posted on the shelf. And was in BOLD print on the coupon. I pointed the scanner out to several customers and half the line formed a new one in front of it.

    Here’s a tip: Take a picture of the coupon with your phone camera and then zoom in on the image. Makes it way easier to see the fine print.

    Which BTW, brings up a side question: Did anyone else notice that Under Armour clothes were never more than 25% off and were always excluded from other sales? I double checked even at online stores which were having close outs of old styles. Do companies still have contracts which state you can’t sell their stuff below a certain price? (BTW, 25% was as low as Under Armour’s own outlets were willing to go as well.)

    Edgar replies: Scott, yes… resale price maintenance (RPM) or minimum advertised prices (MAP) are alive and well (unfortunately for consumers). That is why, for example, certain Samsung HDTVs are virtually the same price on sale anywhere you go.

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