When is it okay to buy coupons on eBay?
When new couponers ask me where to find coupons in Canada, I always mention my top 4 sources:
They’re a bunch of other ways to get coupons, but those are the top 4.
Sometimes, a new couponer will ask me if it’s okay to buy coupons off of eBay, and this is when I hear the most confusion. Some people believe buying coupons off of eBay is illegal (it’s not), and some people feel that buying coupons off of eBay is the best way to get them (it’s not).
So first of all – here are the rules when selling coupons on eBay (these rules were set by eBay themselves):
Bulk coupon sales: In a single listing, sellers cannot list more than 100 total coupons, 20 identical coupons, or 5 coupon inserts (like those that come with a newspaper). Make sure you clearly state in your description how many coupons you’re selling. If we can’t tell how many coupons are offered, the listing violates our policy.
Coupons for “free” products: You can only list 2 coupons for free products, with no purchase required, per listing.
Coupons printed off the Internet: You can’t list more than 2 printed Internet coupons per listing.
Expired or used coupons: You can’t list recently expired coupons or used coupons on eBay because they could be used to commit fraud. Collectible coupons that clearly can’t be redeemed may be allowed.
Electronic “scanned” coupons: All coupons sold through eBay must be physical coupons printed on paper, not coupons that can be sent electronically to the buyer to be printed. Also, to reduce the potential for coupon fraud, we ask sellers not to include unaltered scans of coupons in their listings that could be copied, printed, and redeemed in stores.
Coupons for recalled items: Coupons for items that have been recalled by the manufacturer can’t be listed on eBay.
Recalled coupons: Coupons that have been recalled by the manufacturer can’t be listed on eBay.
So, when is it okay to buy coupons off of eBay?
Buying coupons from sellers on eBay is a personal choice. I choose not to do it, simply because it is helping to support those that steal coupon inserts an entire tear pads full of coupons, just to sell on eBay to make a profit. I don’t want to support that kind of behavior, so I avoid shopping for coupons on eBay.
However, I know that not everyone selling coupons on eBay has stolen them, and are just looking to get rid of coupons that they already have on hand and don’t plan on using. This is when, in my opinion, it would be “okay” to buy coupons off of eBay.
How do you know if coupons are stolen?
If a seller is trying to get rid of a large amount of the same coupon (for example, 10 or more of the exact same coupon), these coupons have likely been taken from tear pads for the sole purpose of selling them.
If you find a seller that has a “lot” of coupons ($50 worth of various coupons, for example), these are likely just extra coupons from the seller and have probably not been stolen.
It’s up to you whether or not you buy coupons from eBay, but with how many sources for coupons we have available to us, you may not even need eBay at all!
Note: This post reflects my personal opinion. I am not stating that all coupon posters on eBay are thieves just trying to make a buck.