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.
- Include enough postage on the envelope.
- Mail out your trade as soon as possible.
- Respond to messages promptly.
- Post the coupon accurately, including the expiration date and any restrictions.
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.
- Don’t add a bunch of coupons nearing their expiration date.
- Don’t add a ton of duplicate coupons. 2 or 3 of a kind is acceptable.
- Pay attention to other peoples’ wishlists (if applicable) and try to put in coupons that they are searching for.
- 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?