This question has been asked over and over and I felt the answer needed it’s own post. The question is:
“What is your opinion about buying and selling coupons on Ebay?”
Most of you know I’m an avid Ebayer…I’ve obtained Power Seller status over the years and I’m just as active as a buyer. I’m aware of the coupon listings on ebay, as well as various other ways to obtain coupons and inserts. Before I give you my “opinion” which is what was asked for, and also the “facts” from various coupon and manufacturer sites, let me tell you that I have never bought or sold coupons on ebay.
People that have never practiced extreme couponing or stockpiling will read this article like it was written in a foreign language. Those people can’t imagine “buying” coupons that you “get for free” in the newspaper. So, I’ll clarify quickly on that note. Extreme Couponing and stockpiling is obtaining items FREE or nearly Free by smart couponing, stacking coupons and matching to sales. Here’s an example:
Drug Store A has a HairCare product, which is regularly priced at $12.00 on sale for 50% off. There is a store coupon for $3.00 off and you also have a manufacturer coupon for $2.00 off. This brings the final cost to $1.00.
Those of us that stockpile immediately want to buy as many of that item at that price as possible for future savings.
It’s at a moment like this that we hope we have lots of those same coupons so we can stock up while at this awesome price.
This is where the idea of “buying coupons” comes in.
This is also why I stay aware in advance of the New Coupons coming out each week, and make sure to purchase as many papers as I can, always in multiples of 2, so that I can use 2 coupons for items on 2/$$ sales and BOGO sales.
If you don’t do that, you may find yourself in a situation where you want to “buy coupons”.
“Buying Coupons” – in that terminology is illegal.
The Ebay Auctions you see and other options to obtain coupons are based on the idea that you are paying a handling fee for the clipping of the coupons and not paying for the actual coupon itself.
OK…that’s the legal jargon.
Now, for my opinion.
Selling coupons or Buying coupons is illegal. Buyers & Sellers sugar coat the act by stating the fee is for their time (organizing and/or clipping).
Hello???…Are you aware that Escort Agencies exist because they are not “selling” sex, they are just taking a donation for that persons time. Guess what, they can and do still get arrested, because there is money exchanging hands directly in relation to an act that is illegal.
If the legality exists in how we phrase something, I choose to stay far away from that issue.
I apply this thought to buying and selling coupons. We all know you are really paying for the coupons and they are really selling them. So, to try to say that it is something else, is just silly.
If you want to buy or sell coupons, I have no problem with it, but to me it just doesn’t feel right to have to lie about what you’re doing. And I’m really not willing to risk being arrested should the authorities be watching a certain ebayer who is “selling a service” which is actually “selling coupons”.
I am sure 90% of couponers completely disagree with me and I will hear about it either in comments or email. But having been asked my opinion, I feel obligated to make sure you know the facts. What you do with my opinion, after you are aware of the facts, is up to you!
At the end of the day, we each have to answer for our own decisions. I make no judgements to others decisions. I choose to live by the principle that God provides and I do not have to try to “make” things happen with my own efforts or energy, especially when it means crossing a line, breaking a law or anything that could be seen as such.
I hope that answers some questions! As with all things, knowledge is the best way to make a decision to do or not do something, and I hope, if nothing else, the links I gave can provide you with that!