What is YMMV and How Does It Affect You?

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by Cassie

what is ymmv

Has anyone ever asked you “What is YMMV?”  Have you ever asked yourself “What is YMMV?”

Here are a few example definitions it does NOT mean:

  • “Yes Mom, More Vegetables!”
  • “You’re My Main Valentine” (as opposed to my kid Valentine’s)
  • “You’re Making Me Very….” (insert rest of phrase)

You May be getting the Main point Very clearly now.  So what does it really mean? Well since this phrase was formed during the Internet age (we assume you’ve heard of that before) we turn to Wiktionary for help:

Phrase definition: Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV or ymmv)

“It may work differently in your situation, or be different in your experience.

e.g. Those batteries last nine hours in my laptop, but your mileage may vary.”

So this is the textbook web definition, but how does it affect couponing and saving money?  This is a phrase that the world of money-savers has adopted like no other phrase, and for good reason.

What is YMMV?  It means “your mileage may vary.” It means that when someone has told you about a deal they found or were able to get or even posted a deal on their site, “your mileage may vary”  – i.e. translation – you may get a totally different experience or outcome if you try to get the same deal or use the same coupon.

In this world of saving money and couponing, one must ALWAYS assume YMMV.   Why is this the case?  In our years of money saving experience and especially sharing deals with you, we find there are just so many variables that will affect the results that each of us will have when deal hunting, coupon shopping and trying to save money in every area of life.

Some of the factors are going to be:

Coupon and price match policies in your area at your store

  • How many coupons will the store take?
  • Even stores in the same chain will interpret the same couponing policies differently
  • Will they take internet printables?
  • Will they stack store and manufacturer’s coupons?
  • Do they allow buy one get one free sales with buy one get one free coupons?
  • Will they price match? If so, what are the specific policies?
  • Do they allow free product coupons?
  • Will they override overage coupons if they do not go through the first time (i.e. the register beeps)?
  • Will they allow the overage to be applied to my balance, or do they adjust the coupon?

Your store’s stock

  • Each store carries different quantities.
  • Each store carries different types of products – even from the same manufacturers.

Your stores prices

  • Depending on where you live will affect the price – Several years ago, there was a report concerning Walmart prices and how they changed so dramatically depending on the store’s location to appeal to the local crowd.  This example mostly affected the fresh produce, meat, etc. but many name brand shelf items too! This still applies today as not all Walmart prices are the same as you will find some variance.  Walmart is just one example, but this theory is applied across the board with all stores!
  • Clearances are definitely a YMMV, but some clearances have spread across the entire store’s chains.
  • Someone may have grabbed a deal at their store because it was marked incorrectly and then they tell everyone about it and others expect to get the same deal.

The mood or attitude of the cashier as well as their knowledge of the store’s coupon policy

  • In our opinion, this could be one of the biggest factors in whether or not you end up with the results you expected! The cashier is ultimately the one that makes or breaks your couponing success.

Coupons available to you

  • Each area receives different coupons as well as different values of those coupons.  In addition, there are so many sources of coupons that it can be difficult to get the same exact deal in one area compared to another!

Your own effort and resources

  • Honestly, this varies for us week to week and it may for you too! What we mean by this is that there is just times in which it seems like too much work to spend 5-minutes to get that $3.00 off coupon if it requires a survey to print (or even registration).  Or it is just going to take too many steps to pull this transaction together and “I am just not in the mood!” I think you get the idea ;)
  • We each have access and availability to different resources.   For example, we have seen many deals which will require internet printable coupons and you will need two or more computers to get all those coupons! Possibly you don’t get the newspaper.  Maybe you didn’t receive that same advertisement in the mail that had “all those coupons.” These are just a few examples, but the list goes on!

We recently shared a bad experience at a Walmart that we have shopped at with coupons for the last nine years and had a first-time terrible experience – a YMMV.  After posting, we received tons of comments from many of you demonstrating you know exactly what we are talking about above!

Hopefully after this article you can give an answer when someone asks you:  What is YMMV?  We wanted to share this with you because it is a phrase that is seen everywhere in the money saving world, but we also wanted you to understand that in order to feel successful as a couponer or as one attempting to save money – your mileage is going to vary! This is a fact!  But once you understand that everything should be approached with a YMMV attitude, you will become a more successful money-saver because you won’t allow those experiences to bring you down as you are prepared to handle each and every YMMV situation.

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Alex & Cassie
 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Danae H September 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I have had many of these YMMV experiences lately and just have to remember sometimes that is the way it goes and think about all the times my shopping trips did go exactly as planned or better. This post just struck a cord with me this week :) Thanks!

Reply

Danae H September 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I have had many of these YMMV experiences lately and just have to remember sometimes that is the way it goes and think about all the times my shopping trips did go exactly as planned or better. This post just struck a cord with me this week :) Thanks!

Reply

jen September 12, 2011 at 7:55 am

No joke, I get tired of different couponing experiences at the same store and it all depending on the cashier (whether they want to double your coupons or not) – apparently store policy which is to double up to .50 – applies to cashier whim when the coupon says “do not double”. Its the store that pays for the double – not the manufacturer…so really? ugh…just a useless rant, it just gets annoying when you never know what to expect..

Reply

jen September 12, 2011 at 7:55 am

No joke, I get tired of different couponing experiences at the same store and it all depending on the cashier (whether they want to double your coupons or not) – apparently store policy which is to double up to .50 – applies to cashier whim when the coupon says “do not double”. Its the store that pays for the double – not the manufacturer…so really? ugh…just a useless rant, it just gets annoying when you never know what to expect..

Reply

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