Coupons don’t just save you money, they can also make you money!
Whether it’s electronics, clothes, online promo codes, or grocery coupons, we all use them to save money.
But today you’re going to learn how to make money by selling coupons on eBay.
At the time of writing, I counted there were 38,957 coupon listings on eBay for auction and some of these bids really look fantastic!
But isn’t selling coupons on eBay illegal?
Not illegal, but more of “not allowed”.
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Most coupons are made in a way that they’re not to be resold. eBay also insist that you use words to that effect, or risk having your listing deleted at their site.
But if you are clever enough, you can make it work!
To get around this issue, eBay sellers word the ad in a way that makes it sound like the winning price is nothing more than compensation for their time to collect, clip, and ship the coupon. So, it is not the face value of the coupon at stake here.
What will I learn?
Before I wrote this post, I gave it a shot myself to see if it actually does work.
I listed 3 different items:
- A pack of 50 Marlboro coupons with savings worth over $150 for $15
This was Buy it Now and sold just after 2 days for $15.
- A pack of 8 Lowes 10% Off Coupons
This was Bid Now and sold for $25 after 8 bids.
- A pack of 13 Save $1.00 on Cottonelle toilet paper coupons
This was also Bid Now and sold for $7 after 6 bids.
Sure, I had a few dollars in listing expenses, but the coupons themselves were free (I show you later how and where to get them).
It probably took me less than 15 minutes to get them listed.
So, taking a few dollars out for expenses leaves me with around $40 pure profit. Not bad for 15 minutes of work.
The experiment showed me that it really works and people do buy coupons. So, I did some research to learn as much as I could about this.
The most important thing I learned is that to really make money selling coupons on eBay, you have to sell “high value” coupons (more on that later).
Sure, it takes a good deal of discipline to gather enough coupons to make a decent earning, if you are after those one-of-a-kind coupons… But your time and effort could be better compensated when you lay your hands on those on-demand coupons that fetch significant dollars.
Where to Find Coupons
There are lots of places you can get coupons for anything – groceries, clothes, tools, prescriptions, etc.
Here are some of the best places to look:
- Coupon Books
The best place to find high-value coupons is in that famous Coupon Saving book by entertainment.com. You pay about 20 bucks, but you get coupons worth thousands of dollars.
Regardless of the doomsaying about the demise of newspapers, they remain the primary target to search for coupon inserts. Even discounting your actual need for specific coupons, you should have some to spare.
There are tons of magazines that have manufacturer coupons. Take a look at Woman’s Day, Red Book, Family Circle and Good Housekeeping.
- In the store
Sometimes stores have coupons on the shelves that you can grab. Also, many stores will print coupons for you when checking you out.
- Friends & Family
Another good source is friends and family. Just ask candidly if there is any unused coupon that they are happy to give.
Tons of websites that specialize in getting you coupons. Coupons.com and SmartSource are two of the big ones.
- Junk mail
Sure, junk mails are annoying, but I notice more and more of those “high value” coupons appear in those junk mail.
- Direct from the manufacturer
Most manufacturers have a coupon section on their website where you can print them out. Some even send coupons by mail.
- On products
These days almost any product you buy has a coupon attached to it (or inside of it in some cases). It’s a way for manufacturers to keep you coming back.
How to Sell Your Coupons?
Listing your coupons for sale is the same as listing any other item on eBay. Most eBay sellers sell their coupons, usually of the same type, in bundles (20 or so).
Tip: If you just want to test the waters without paying any fees, take advantage of the 5 free auction listings that eBay gives you each month.
Over time, it has occurred to me that people (buyers) don’t really care if they come in lots of 20. In fact, I have noticed a number of transactions going at the same price as the 20 lot even if the bundle had no more than 15 pieces.
One thing expected of you is to spell out clearly the corresponding specifications in your eBay listing (i.e. whether the coupon can be doubled, expiration date, exclusions, etc).
But if you feel that there is too much hassle to gather 12-15 copies of the same coupon, you may want to consider listing your coupons as a mixed collection. In this case, you may want to pitch your coupons as a sort of value-for-money offering. I would say maybe do these in lots of 100 and above.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Coupons on eBay?
It’s hard to give you an exact number.
It’ll depend on many things, like what kind of coupons you sell, how you package them, whether you list them as Buy it Now or Bid Now, etc.
During my research, I found people who seem to be making a few hundred dollars a month. I also talked (online) with a seller who claims he makes around $1000 a month selling coupons on eBay and Craigslist.
But one thing is for sure, I don’t think the majority of us can count on selling coupons on eBay as a way to make a living, but making some extra money is doable.
I would love to hear from you if you have any experience.
Are you currently a coupon seller, or have you ever sold coupons on eBay and did you make a good profit?