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How to Trade Coupons in Canada

How to Trade Coupons in Canada

Is coupon trading a big mystery to you? If so, this post should help to answer any questions you might have about how to get coupons for coupons.

As I’ve mentioned here before, as well as in my eBook, Money in Your Pocket, coupon trading is one of the best ways to get coupons that you really want. Get rid of the coupons you don’t want to get coupons you do want!

Who to Trade Coupons With

If you have friends or family members that use coupons, you can always start there. If not, I would highly recommend signing up to coupon trading forums. There are many couponers that trade coupons on a daily basis. Simply post your coupon trade list (the coupons you have but don’t need) in the forum and wait for people to message you asking to trade.

Alternatively, you can search the forum and look at everyone else’s coupon trade lists. If they have coupons you would like, send them a message and ask if they would like to trade coupons for coupons with you.

How to Trade Coupons

Unless you are trading with friends or family that you see frequently, you will most likely be trading by mail. That means you would mail your coupons to another person and they mail their coupons to you.

Since the cost of postage keeps getting higher and higher, many traders don’t like to trade coupons with a combined value of less than $10. Of course, this varies from person to person.

Tip #1: Collect coupons. When you’re out at the stores and see tear pads, take some coupons. Even if you won’t use them, someone might. Take a few and keep them in your “to trade” pile.

There are lots of coupons available through Canadian online coupon companies as well. Order as many as you can and put aside the coupons you want to trade, instead of keep. You never know who may be looking for the coupons that you have no interest in.

Tip #2: Make a wishlist. List all of the coupons you would like to have. You can list a food item like peanut butter, a brand like St. Ives or a specific coupon like $2 Cottonelle Bathroom Tissue. Make your list as long as you can. The more coupons you are looking for, the more likely you are to get a trade request.

Coupon Trading Etiquette

When trading coupons, there are a few rules you must follow.

  1. Include enough postage on the envelope.
  2. Mail out your trade as soon as possible.
  3. Respond to messages promptly.
  4. Post the coupon accurately, including the expiration date and any restrictions.

Coupon Trains

Just like coupon trading, coupon trains are a great way to trade coupons for coupons. Trade the coupons you can’t use for coupons that you can use. The person who starts the train (conductor) puts together a bunch of coupons that she/he isn’t going to use, and posts on the forum that they are starting a new train.

The members who want to join send a private message with their name, address, and their wishlist (if necessary). The conductor then creates a sheet with all that information, and mails it to the first person on the list.

That person takes out whatever coupons she/he wants, and replaces them with new ones of equal value. Then they mail it to the next person on list. And so on and so forth.

Coupon Train Tips

  1. Don’t add a bunch of coupons nearing their expiration date.
  2. Don’t add a ton of duplicate coupons. 2 or 3 of a kind is acceptable.
  3. Pay attention to other peoples’ wishlists (if applicable) and try to put in coupons that they are searching for.
  4. Be quick about getting the train in the mail to the next person. Within 48 hours is standard practice.

Virtual Wish Train (VWT)

A virtual wish train (VWT) is a coupon train that only delivers your most sought after coupons. What you do is send the conductor your coupon wishlist and the conductor then sends everyone on the train the wishlist of each rider.

Each person has to send a certain amount of coupons (usually 3) to each person from those wishlists (and if you don’t have any of the coupons on a rider’s wishlist, you send a stamp or 2). You then mail all of these coupons to the conductor and the conductor distributes the coupons to everyone on the train.

VWTs are my favourite type of train and really the only kind that I will join now. I love knowing that the coupons I am going to receive are ones I actually want! With regular trains, you sometimes end up with a bunch of coupons you really have no desire for.

If you would like to receive multiples of the same coupon, coupons for coupons trading is the way to go. It’s a fantastic way to collect coupons for products you are actually going to buy.

Remember to be courteous with the other trader and get your coupon trade in the mail in a reasonable amount of time. Nothing will kill your coupon trading reputation faster than late mail!

Do you trade coupons? Do you like it?


  1. Ashley

    Great tips as always. I agree, VWT’s are the way to go!

  2. AryanasMommy

    This is a wonderful Blog you have here. Great tips. I was scared to join a train, but I am now considering it ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Michelle

    Good post.. interesting. Have never traded coupons but usually just give away the ones I dont need.

  4. Cassie Howard

    Thanks, gals! Coupon trading is totally worth it and trains are super fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Olivia

    This may be a dumb question…but where you do you find the coupon trains to join? I now have a TON of coupons I wont use…


    • Pollyanna

      Hi Olivia did you get an answer for where to go for train coupons? I am new at this. Thanks

  6. Cathy

    If I am in a store and I see a person (like a senior or a person with small kids) and they are checking out the prices on something (like tylenol or listerine, which I always print tons of) I rush over and offer them coupons for that product. It is very satisfying to help in a little way. Try it and that is my train.

  7. Mare from Owen Sound

    Dear Cassie, I have found that I have printed off several coupons that say… Good only inUSA, APOs,&FPOs. Are these good in Ontario? These are all Manufacturers coupons of different companies, ie: Geral Mills etc. I’m a newby at this. Thanks M.

    • DonnaB

      No, these coupons are not valid in Canada. They are only valid for the United States.

      APO stands for Army Post Office and is a designated address for the U.S. military, specifically their Army or Air Force installations. FPO stands for Fleet Post Office and refers to the U.S. Navy installations and ships.

      Coupons that are valid at APO’s and FPO’s allow Americans posted overseas at military installations to purchase consumer goods from their commissaries on the base and obtain the same coupon savings as if they used the coupon at a grocery store back home in their state. Many military personnel have their families living with them when they are stationed at U.S bases overseas. These installations have commissaries which are basically “stores” with groceries and other consumer goods where military personnel and their families shop.

  8. Kodi

    I have to ask!! Where did you get the little coupon holders in the pic??? They are adorable!!

  9. Cassie Howard

    Kodi: I found them at Dollarama years ago.

  10. Wai

    This may be a silly question but can someone please tell me what a stamp is? I have a feeling it’s not the postage type ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cassie Howard

      Yep, it’s a postage stamp!

  11. brenda

    Good evening .Cassie question please I have troubles with food coupons you don’t see a lot of them here in B.C oh you see a few and you see everything else. Iike coffee no coupons , I did sent a email to afew and yes they sent me 2 coupons,But that was a 1 time only can you go back and ask a second time.??? Also what gets people here some of the coupon people here they clean the shelve don’t leave any thing. This 1 store I went to, to get coffee on sale she was ahead fo me well she took it all. I asked her if there was any left she said nope I should have got there sooner.I was stunded.So asked the manager if there was any in back and yes there was But he only gave me what i want and didn’t refill.Thanks again Brenda

    • Cassie Howard

      Unfortunately, yes, there are shelf clearers (so rude). They are right though, you do need to beat them to the store if you want to get in on a good deal. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.

      And yes, you can contact a company more than once. I don’t suggest any more than every 6 months, though.

  12. Kathleen

    I have many coupons that expired in December last year. Do our Canadian troops use expired coupons up to 6 months or is that only in the US?

    • Cassie Howard

      Not in Canada. ๐Ÿ™

      • Kathleen

        Rats. It would be great for our troops to take part in our savings!

        Thanks Cassie

  13. Tanya

    Can we trade printed coupons?? I’m brand new to the couponing world and am still learning the ropes!!!

    • Cassie Howard

      Some people will trade for them, some will not. It’s up to you and the other party!

  14. Margaret Hirst

    What happened to the Coupon Spare Site? I know it showed up before Christmas as but for the last three days I have a blank screen come up when I click on the site button. Do you know what happened to this site.

  15. tanya

    When trading coupons for things like similac cheques do you trade one coupon for one 10$ cheque or say the coupon is for a dollar off do you trade for the same savings?

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