You may have heard the term “coupon barcode decoding” or “coupon decoding”. What this refers to is the ability to understand the barcode on coupons. The purpose of this could be to learn more about the coupon or to cheat the system. The information I am providing below is to help you understand how coupons are coded and how they work. I do not endorse scamming the coupon system.
So, basically coupons have a standard barcode format: a-bbbbb-cccdd-e
a and e = tells the computer where to start reading the code and where to finish reading
bbbb = 5 digit manufacturer code.
ccc = family code. This tells you what product/s the coupon is valid on. Often the family includes items that may not be listed on the coupon. A family code that ends in one or more 0 is valid on multiple items. The 0 is treated like a wild card or free space.
For example, if a product is in the family 123, the following family codes will work on that product – 123, 120, 100, 000
If a coupon has the family code 992 this stand for “no product verification”, which means the computer will not verify whether you bought the item. This is used when the coupon is very general like “$1 off any eggs” or “$2 off Kellogs, General Mills, or Kashi cereal”.
dd = coupon value. For example, if dd=50, the coupon is for 50 cents off. There are a few exceptions
01 – free
14 – b1g1 free
16 – b2g1 free
19 – b3g1 free
02 – b4g1 free
If you still aren’t sure how to decode or you have a more complicated coupon, check out the coupon barcode decoder. You can find out for which products your coupon is coded to work.
When you enter the bar code in the decoder make sure you put in all 12 numbers with no spaces.