Just so you know, you could get banned from Tesco if you use the TikTok method
It’s been called ‘the biggest coupon fraud scam that has ever hit the UK’
If you’ve spent any time on TikTok over the past week then you will have heard of the Tesco method. You may not understand what it is or how it actually works, but you will have definitely seen videos of people rocking up to the Tesco self-checkout with a trolley full of sweets and paying for them only a fraction of what they actually cost.
People have been able to pull this off thanks to a loophole in Tesco’s couponing system, allowing the customer to repeatedly scan a coupon until the price of the items they’re purchasing is incredibly low. No one has known how it really worked but no one cared as they were getting loads of free sweets out of it. But now someone on TikTok has explained exactly how the Tesco method works and it could actually get you in trouble.
A girl called Holly on TikTok, who is a self declared coupon expert and has appeared on Extreme Couponing UK, made a video addressing the TikTok Tesco method and how it could get you banned. In her TikTok, she refers to the viral method as “the biggest coupon fraud scam that has ever hit the UK”.
Holly explains exactly how the coupon works, saying it is actually a loophole for manufacturers. Apparently the coupon everyone has been using was a unique coupon issued to one person in particular and was not meant to be shared with anyone else.
According to Holly, this coupon was originally issued to someone who had made a complaint to the manufacturer as a “goodwill gesture”. This then allowed them to redeem a packet of sweets at a discounted rate.
This type of coupon allows the customer to purchase the item, in this case sweets, for a reduced price or even for free. The seller, Tesco, can then take this coupon and claim the money back from the sweet manufacturer, meaning that Tesco doesn’t actually lose any money from the discount.
The coupon in question has two barcodes printed on it. The bigger barcode is used by the customer at the till to redeem their discount. The smaller barcode hidden in the corner is then to be scanned by the manufacturer in order to give Tesco back the money it lost by selling the sweets at a discounted rate.
However, the catch is, the customer barcode can be scanned any number of times whilst the smaller manufacturer one can only be scanned once. This means that for each number of times people use the coupon in the Tesco method, Tesco is only receiving the money back for one packet of sweets, even though people have been purchasing loads with the same coupon.
It is in this way the TikTok Tesco method is deemed a “scam” by Holly, and Tesco has banned people who use it. She says that Tesco and other retailers have lost “hundreds of thousands of pounds” from this coupon loophole.
Holly concludes her video by warning others that by using the Tesco method, they could get banned from supermarkets, saying that it is “just like stealing.”
People on TikTok have already been sharing videos saying they’ve been caught out trying to use the method, with some people being denied huge trolleys of sweets by the checkout staff. One person even made a video showing a letter he apparently received from Tesco where they fined him £4o0 for using the method.