Extreme Couponing Canada Tip: Scanning Code of Practice Explained

extreme couponing canada

I guarantee it’s happened to you before. The shelf tag has a price on it, so you think “great deal!” and head up to the register but the item rings in for more then the advertised price. Chances are you either got them to adjust the price or said you didn’t want the item. Well, you could have gotten the item for free by mentioning the Scanning Code ofPractice (SCOP)!

So what is it exactly? It’s a voluntary code that most Canadian Retailers follow to ensure that consumers receive accurate pricing based on advertised prices. If the item is below $10, the customer receives the item for free.  If the item is above $10, the customer receives $10 off the purchase price of the item.

The scanning code of practice is endorsed by the Competition Bureau of Canada. At participating retailers you should see this sign either near customer service or at every checkout till. It reads:

Scanning Code of Practice: If the scanned price of a non-price ticketed item is higher than the shelf price or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the first item free, up to a $10 maximum. If a code of practice problem cannot be resolved at the store level, please call 1-866-499-4599 to register your complaint.

A retailer only has to abide by the rules of SCOP if they are a participating retailer.

Click here for the list of participating retailers in Canada.

Click on Read More to see some extra Extreme Couponing Canada SCOP Tips ———–>

Extreme Couponing Canada: Scanning code of Practice Rules

  • SCOP only applies to non-ticketed items, so if a bottle of shampoo is tagged at $3 but rings in at $5 this item is not eligible for a SCOP.
  • SCOP applies to shelf tag prices and prices advertised in the store flyer
  • Only the first item of each product scanning in at a higher price is eligible for SCOP, the prices of the others should be adjusted to the advertised price.
  • The cashier will most likely not mention SCOP if an item rings in at a higher price, so it’s up to you to speak up!
  • Some cashiers are unaware of the scanning code of practice policy and if their retailer participates. If necessary ask to speak to a supervisor or member of management.

Have a read over our other Extreme Couponing Canada tips to ensure you’re well prepared to maximize your savings during every shopping trip!


  1. Have you ever had trouble enforcing this policy?? I’m kinda shy so I find it awkward to speak up.. and if I do speak up the other people in line just give me the stare down..

    I would love to take advantage of this policy so any advice would be awesome!

    Thanks so much for the amazing website! I’m a faithful follower!


    • Tanya

      I did have trouble once at Walmart when I tried to SCOP different flavours of Canned tomatoes. I was entitled to one of each flavour free since they have different UPC codes but the CSR would not budge. I did get it sorted out, but had to speak to a supervisor. Other then that, stores are generally aware that they have to follow SCOP policy, especially when that SCOP information sticker is right there next to the till :)

      I usually take it to customer service though, as they’re more knowledgeable about the policy.

      Thanks for reading Jenna, hope this helps!

  2. Staples does not do this, I recently found out, and they are not on the list of participating stores. I will not shop at Staples again because of it.

  3. Recently I thought I found a great deal at zellers *buy one get one free on clearance shoes* but instead I was charged *buy one get one half off* I brought my reciept to the appropriate cash register but the cashier didn’t even read the entire reciept he did call a supervisor who said they can’t do anything about it i was not in the mood to argue by then my baby was overheating he already had his. Winter suit on so I just left with my items as it was birthday presents but when I got home I realized the cashier thought I was complaining about a $1-2 cost as he didn’t fully read the reciept I did email customer service and included the details on the reciept but no response it has been almost a month I just stopped shopping there I find sears usually has better sales anyway.

    • I had problems at Zellers as well. Was buying a baby outfit for my nephew. Sale said 40% off. (except sleepwear) I was trying to buy a onesie/pants/bib/slippers set. Rang in wrong at the cash register and I mentioned it was wrong to the cashier. She rolls her eyes and says Just a minute I’ll call. Calls the department says uh-huh ok. Looks at me and says excludes sleepwear… WTH. Since when does sleepwear include a bib? I was so disgusted by their customer service I just left it and walked out. Another time I had a SCOP item and the lady says: Honey we don’t follow Scanning code of practice here because if we did we’d have closed our doors a long time ago. Are they on the SCOP list of stores? I couldn’t access the list.

  4. What does it mean “non-ticketed items”

    • The ‘ticketed’ items are the ones that have the sticker right on them.For example,items in a reduced/clearance bin that are marked with a red tag.They are supposed to have the bar code scratched out so that we know to punch the price in and that it wont work if scanned.(I have been a cashier at Metro for over a decade)If the price on the shelf does not match what rings in..ASK..I have no problems checking any item and giving it for free if it is wrong.Some girls still don’t know to,or are too lazy to do this.It’s not a big deal,I stand there all day anyway.Giving out a free item is not a huge hassle,and if a cashier acts like it is,tell her to check her attitude ;) I rather enjoy informing customers that “hey,you were right,it is on sale..so guess what!Now it’s FREE!”..lol

  5. Non-ticketed don’t have a price sticker on them (like groceries). I have used this before and it’s GREAT. Just pay attention to what things are advertised for and watch the prices as the are scanned. Cashier will always try to just adjust the price until you mention SCOP – so don’t be afraid to speak up! On a side note, one of them made a mistake and gave me 2 juices for free instead of 1. Didn’t notice until I got home and for $1.99 I wasn’t going to bandkrupt them, so didn’t go back. Also, some stores will let you go back with the receipt within 24 hours (ex. Metro).

  6. i just want to mention there is one more exception that people do not realise. It is NOT SCOP, if you pick up one item that a previous customer misplaced, i.e. decided they no longer wanted: (example a hot house tomato that a previous customer left in the plum tomato bin) then it does not apply. It applies only to miss-stocking/labelling on the shelf. Sometimes store associates are not fast enough to clean up after all the inconsiderate shoppers!

  7. The 1-866-499-2599 you have posted is for a old aged home not for SCOP

    • Tanya

      Sorry Amanda! A digit was mistyped, the correct number is 1-866-499-4599 and has been fixed above

  8. I always keep an eagle eye on scanned items as the cashier rings them through. Our Sobeys has the SCOP notice on their debit machine and I’ve gotten a few items FREE and even told a customer ahead of me that his juice should be FREE since the item did not scan correctly.
    I’ve also had this happen at Wal-Mart. Cashiers are usually very cooperative since the notice for SCOP is stickered at the check-out.

  9. Pleased to say that my local Canadian Tire accepted my comment about an item being mispriced at the checkout and refunded the full purchase price without my having to ask for it! On the other hand, when I had a wrongly-priced item at the checkout of my local Zellers, they pointed out they didn’t participate in this scheme (“we’re not like WalMart, you know!”). How very true!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


  1. Extreme Couponing Canada: Shoppers Drug Mart 20x Points Deals 64% Retail Savings - Extreme Couponing Canada - [...] shop. The Alka Seltzer rang up as $5.99 instead of the shelf tag of $5.49 so I was able ...
  2. Extreme Couponing Canada: Thursday Walmart shopping! | Extreme Couponing Canada - [...] baby items, so they really appreciate these!So, the shopping trip:2 x Aero 4 pack bars $2.50 – 1 scop ...
  3. Extreme Couponing Canada Walmart and Rexall Shopping Trip, 80% coupon savings, 90% off regular price | Extreme Couponing Canada - [...] I grabbed 6 since I had 3 coupons! At cash they rang up as $1.97 instead of $1 so ...