“Couponing” has become quite popular in the past couple of years. With sites like Groupon, RetailMeNot, and such, as well as shows like Extreme Couponing, using coupons is no longer looked down upon (as though it was such a bad thing in the past).
The problem is that shows like Extreme Couponing where you see “professional couponers” who buy a thousand dollars worth of merchandise and end up paying only a dollar or two are a complete crock and total fake. It is flat-out impossible to do that because companies are neither stupid, nor established yesterday. Pretty much every coupon specifically says that it cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. That means that you cannot get 75% off with an in-store discount, then use a 50% off coupon, and then add a $5 off coupon, and then get $3 back with a mail-in rebate to get a $100 item for $4.50. I really had stretch reality to get even that much of a discount which isn’t that impressive compared to what you see on the show.
There is absolutely no realistic way that these people can get such massive discounts and pay with just change like they do in the shows. Yes, you can occasionally get an item for less thanks to floor-model discounts and mail-in rebates, etc. but nothing like the shows. In all likelihood, the more realistic explanation is that the show’s production company calls ahead and makes arrangements with the store or at least when the store employees see the camera crew, they play along. For all we know, the people in these shows don’t even take the merchandise home and it’s all put back on the shelves after they shoot the scene. Alternately, the producers may pay the difference after they stop filming.
These shows are fake, plain and simple.