Here’s a new trend that I’m interested in trying: There are a number of people who sell coupons on eBay. Even more fascinating is the fact that there appear to be an equal number of people who buy coupons on eBay! Think about it. No inventory storage issues. Shipping is as easy as a regular envelope, a first class stamp and your mail box – no boxes, packing materials, scales or special trips to the post office! And in many cases, your source of inventory is free.
Coupons are normally sold on eBay in lots (see the restrictions below). The listing can be a simple template that includes information on the store/product, the expiration date, any restrictions or requirements specified on the coupon, and a scan or picture of the coupon (altered with a “watermark” so the scan cannot be printed and used). Sources include coupon inserts from your Sunday paper and free coupons sent via the mail. Depending on the coupon, bids currently seem to fetch about 25% – 50% of the their total worth.
Because coupons technically have no cash value, eBay coupon auction listings typically include a statement that specifies that the coupons are free and the bidder is paying the seller for the service of procuring, clipping and compiling the coupon sets.
Selling coupons on eBay is permitted, however the auction site does have some regulations that must be adhered to. Currently, these include:
- No expired coupons
- The coupons must be physically delivered (i.e. via mail). No scans sent by email.
- Free coupons (with no purchase required) are limited to 2 per auction listing.
- No more than 20 coupons for the same item. Additionally, no more than 5 coupons per item if they originated from a newspaper coupon insert.
- No more than 100 total coupons per listing.