Acquiring a stockpile for the purpose of reselling it at a profit is always a controversial subject among couponers. Some say it’s an unseemly way to take advantage of the system, while others say the products are theirs to do with as they please, especially if they obtain everything honestly through savvy couponing.

It’s when stockpiles are obtained less than honestly, though, that the subject goes from controversial, to criminal.

This morning, a judge in Jackson County, Michigan sentenced 32-year-old Randall Woodard to six months behind bars. Police say he and his accomplice, 28-year-old Amanda Snuggs, engaged in coupon fraud and abused Walmart’s “ad match” policy to obtain a massive stockpile of high-priced health and beauty items. They’d visit Walmart “three or four times a day,” police said, scooping up things like razors, shampoo, vitamins, shaving cream, deodorant and toothbrushes.

And it was all discovered, neatly displayed, in a “mini-Walmart” set up in the basement of a home. “It was set up on shelves like it was a store,” the investigating officer told MLive when the two were arrested last year. “It appeared that people had access to the basement and could come in to shop.” Police seized about $30,000 worth of merchandise, and estimated that the pair had accumulated about $100,000 worth in the six months or so they had pulled off their scheme.

So how did they manage to fool Walmart into letting them get so much, for so long, for next to nothing? They had help – from a Walmart cashier.

24-year-old Anthony Jon Stevens, an employee of the Walmart store in Jackson, Michigan, was also arrested last year in connection with the case. Police said he was part of the scam, though his attorney claimed he was an unwitting accomplice.

Here’s how it all went down. Woodard and Snuggs were accused of using high-value coupons on lower-priced items for which they were not intended (sound familiar?). If the coupons didn’t go through, they’d allegedly encourage Stevens to manually override them. And if they didn’t have enough coupons to get all of their high-priced purchases at low low prices, they’d invoke Walmart’s “ad match” policy – using allegedly made-up competitors’ prices.

“This guy was kind of a dupe,” Stevens’ attorney told a judge last year, calling his client “somewhat slow.” That’s why Woodard and Snuggs chose Stevens’ checkout lane, his attorney said. Stevens received less than $100 as a “thank you” for his troubles, the attorney claimed. He was ultimately sentenced to a year’s probation, lost his job, and agreed to testify against the others.

Instead, the others pleaded guilty. Snuggs was sentenced in June to 20 months in prison, for larceny. (“I am going to throw up,” she was quoted as saying in court, after which she proceeded to do precisely that.) “If this is extreme couponing, you’ve taken it to a whole new level,” the judge admonished her.

With Snuggs and Woodard behind bars, and Stevens having recently completed his year’s probation (but banned from going onto any Walmart property), the items that they obtained have since been returned to Walmart – possibly, presumably, to be put back on the shelves and sold once again. So, if it gets to sell many of the same items twice, Walmart may actually come out ahead in the end – just as long as no one asks them to ad match that “store” with all the cheap health and beauty items that used to be in someone’s basement.


22 Comments

  1. To Walley & Martin says:

    Nobody cares if you rant it out or whatever but you should stop being so ignorant. America was NEVER “red, blue, and white” to begin with. If history was correct this land belongs to the Native Americans…. and then the “white men” came along and took over using unimaginable tatics. This article is clearly about “couponers” and not about the United States or Walmart/China. Its a shame, no matter what the article is about, it will always come back to racism.Communist or not most if not all products are made in China because its cheaper. You really think Chinese people enjoy making thousands and thousands of toys everyday for other countries, yet working twice as hard? Sure, maybe the Chinese economy is booming because so many jobs are being transferred over but the people in that country are still all very poor compare to America. Not only that, they also work in harsher condition and for less. Seriously, don’t blame other countries for what the United States is responsible for. Its nobody’s fault but the United States. Correct me if I am wrong, anywhere at any given time there are always more “white” than “yellow!” No matter if its on the streets or tv or where ever.

  2. Wally & Martin says:

    Well Walmart has been getting people into trouble with the intention of having the public hear about it so that they will be left alone when it comes to illegal activities used against them. But no one goes after Walmart when the constantly break the law and harm the consumer. For instance, Their return policy states “No receipt, no problem.” Well then why is it a problem when I go try to return something and am always told that they need the receipt to return these? They say there’s too many so we have to know where you bought them. Now why do they need to know this? Their policy also states”Any item purchased from walmart can be returned to ANY walmart.” SO I take my items that I had purchased(Crystal Light Powdered Drink Mix) back to walmart and am told “NO,not without a receipt!” To me this is false advertising and since I am also not satisfied, I try to evoke their “100% Satisfaction Guarantee” which means absolutely nothing because what happens when they say No, you just go away unsatisfied even though they guarantee you will be. That’s a lie as well. So California civil code sates every return policy must be displayed at each entrance and exit or at each register, which walmart’s is not, plus when thy make up policies right then and there and expect them to be legal but it is not stated on the policy in customer service such as “Manager’s discretion” they break the law again. Therefore, Walmart goes out of their way to Lie, Cheat, and Steal from everyone yet no one does a damn thing about punishing Walmart and their Managers who break the law daily. I say we rise up and show Walmart that we the consumer will not take it anymore!!!Everyone should go and buy a bunch of items and return them without receipts to a different walmart and then every time they are told no, document it and send it into their district atty’s office or states atty general, and then maybe Walmart will learn, with out us American Consumers spending our hard earned cash in their stores filled Chinese Factory products which they pay next to nothing to produce/procure they would not be the #1 retailer in the world and let us also Put and end to China taking all of out money and jobs away from us and force walmart to bring the jobs back here and pay us Americans and not their communist associates! Walmart is China’s #1 distributor of crap to the US. The Chinese economy is booming because of this and our debt is skyrocketing. Yet no one talks about the Walmart/China pipeline. Crap to the USA and US dollars back to China. Which I do believe is still a Communist country to which our citizens have gone to war and died to halt the spreading of communism. Yet we fuel communism every time we buy anything from the RED Walmart who looks at us like morons because we are just sheep being led to the slaughter of financial ruin and the only winner will be Walmart and China. Us Americans will then have to have Walmart bail us out and at what price? Maybe just a name change if we are lucky..Wally World!!!Goodbye America, We will no longer be the red, white and blue, just Blue and YELLOW!<===Also for lack of courage to stand up and stop them.

    • You should add Target into your rant. I am against the China/ US outsourcing but its beyond Walmart, most everything is made there and brought back to the US. Look at all the toys by the likes of Hasbro, Mattel, Parker Bros. Go to any store and try to buy,say a bicycle made in the US. Even parts for your car are most likely made in China. This is because the US does not impose tariffs on imported Chinese goods so bringing foreign made merchandise to the US is still a fraction of domestic production. That’s on the senate for leaving that stake in the heart of the US economy when they can very easily remove it.

      As far as bad practices I have those problems with Target. More than once I went and bought something that was a great deal on sale and when I got up to cash out was told “oh THAT one isn’t on sale/ it must of been placed there my mistake, blah blah blah”. One time they had pants for $10 so I made sure it was the right manufacturer and style and got up there and it rang up $20. I quickly stopped him and the manager was called over and I was told “oh well that size isn’t on sale”. I had over $200 in stuff, I told them to forget the entire sale because I was done with them. I had this problem at 4 different Targets over the years. One time I had them tell me the sale had ended the day before, I explained in Arizona as long as the sale sign is posted its on sale but the manager still said he can’t override it to give it to me at the lower price. I have battled them over not posting the price anywhere and been told “we have the price checker machines that’s all we need”. All big box stores are just shady as can be. In the end I can shop online for the same exact stuff for bigger savings and avoid being trapped in a checkout line from hell, too.

      I actually went to Walmart one time with my son and we went to check out, after a few minutes the woman 2 in front of us told us to go to another line, the woman in front of her had 2 carts worth of stuff and a coupon for every one of them. The other woman had already been there 30 minutes and got there when she started with the coupons. We got out of there and went to another line. Took about 10 minutes to check out and when we left the coupon queen was still checking out.

  3. First off, most walmart stores have to have “keyed” coupons overidden by a manager. Second, the cashier should not have gotten in trouble.

    • if they would of had to key it in then he deff should of not gotten in trouble I think my Walmart does this manger has to say it is okay …….. as far as walmarts return poloicy I have no problem returning at my Walmart store near me how ever I usually have my receipt. an if I don’t they just ask for my license.

    • The cashier knew the policy, make sure the product on the coupon matches the product described on the coupon, if not then no coupon credit, it’s as simple as that. Walmart instituted their new policy that all coupons must be scannable & cashiers are no longer allowed to manually override, but I don’t think this policy was in effect at the time this crime was committed, not sure on that, but it is stated clearly in the corporate coupon policy.

  4. “…Woodard and Snuggs were accused of using high-value coupons on lower-priced items.”

    I think this statement could also be misinterpreted by some readers. We can use high-value coupons on lower-priced items if the coupon states no restrictions. Some stores will allow the overage and some stores will have to adjust the coupon down.

    What is illegal is when some greedy #*5tard$ try to use high-value coupons on trial and travel sizes when it is obviously stated on the coupons “not valid on travel or trial items” or when they use the high-value coupons on items that don’t match it at all. People like these are the reason why some honest couponers are treated like criminals at the registers. It serves these scammers right. When someone is involved in a scam like this, they better have enough funds set aside to bail themselves out and to pay their lawyers. They don’t understand that once the stores spot the discrepancies, they will let you get away with it once and then wait and watch until you commit the scam again and Hello Jail!

  5. Walmart is such a trash store. They prosecuted a “slow” employee. Why’d they have him cashiering to begin with???

  6. Pingback: Walmart Couponers Imprisoned Selling Stolen Stockpile | Budget Savvy Diva

  7. Pingback: AND THIS IS WHY I’M GLAD I’M NOT INTO COUPONS ANYMORE | POINTLESS GIBBERISH

  8. Pingback: Daily News ~ Other Walmart Couponers Imprisoned for Stolen Stockpile

  9. Denise Helton says:

    This would be the perfect opportunity for WalMart to show their giving side and donate all that stuff to a shelter. That is the perfect solution and a happy ending for all except the cheats.

  10. You’re right, ladies – they were imprisoned, and they were selling their stockpile, but the two shouldn’t have been conflated in the headline. No pot-stirring intended, just imprecise shorthand that’s been corrected.

  11. I have to agree with the first comment, your title is VERY misleading. They were not imprisoned for selling their stockpile, they were imprisoned for theft (larceny). I don’t even use coupons anymore, but I do know that its not illegal to sell your stockpile. Providing that you have any permits or business licenses you may need, and the goods are bought legally, of course. Its the beauty of free enterprise and living in America. I don’t appreciate misleading information for the sake of stirring the pot. If you are going to report “news” you should at least make sure its accurate.

    • Actually, if you read the verbiage on the coupons, if you purchase items with a coupon with the intent to sell that item, it voids the coupon.

      • I thought the verbiage on the coupon was for the coupon itself not the product. That is why there are coupon clipping services and not coupon selling sites.
        It states “VOID if altered, reproduced, scanned, transferred, sold, or auctioned.”
        The coupon is void, not the product!

        • Most coupons (especially P&G, I’ve noticed) also have a line that says “Coupon not authorized if purchasing products for resell”

  12. This is misleading, they are NOT in trouble for selling their stockpile. They STOLE ( by FAKE ad matches) from the store, and sold STOLEN merchandise!

    This store however needs to think twice about selling the stuff again though. They already redeemed coupons on the specific items. Reselling stuff they already took coupons on could be considered FRAUD on WALMARTS end. esp if they are going to allow a SECOND coupon to be redeemed on the same item!

    • I fully believe that Wal-Mart has every intention of RESELLING those items, making a double profit, and will NOT be prosecuted in ANY WAY. To believe otherwise is naive.

    • Not to mention as a consumer, I really don’t want to buy products that have been sitting around in someone’s basement for months. Walmart should not resell these as “NEW.”

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