Friday, January 23, 2009

eBay Coach Experiment: Selling Coupons

I am intrigued by coupon sellers and how they make a profit, so I am doing an experiment. I've been buying coupons on eBay for years but haven't ever sold any. We get a free Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper on Thursdays, filled with the same coupon inserts that will be in the following Sunday's paper. I've managed to secure 20 of these free copies a week to do this experiment. So, my inventory costs nothing.

I have always wondered how coupon sellers make money doing this. It is a very labor intensive process, and I can only see a profit if you can get the coupon inserts free. For the purposes of this experiment, I am offering a batch of 20 coupons for $1.50 with free shipping. Coupons worth $2 and more I am putting on auction with a starting price of .99 and free shipping.

Here is how the math works out:

I wonder how these coupon sellers do it after paying for the newspapers. (You can get them free - read my article on "How to Get Unlimited Grocery Coupons FREE.") Some sell thousands of coupons a month. At 50 cents profit an item, you're going to have to sell an awful lot of coupons to make any money. Also, who is doing all the clipping? Do they hire people? Of course, some of the higher valued coupons sell for much more than $1.50. Some good ones to sell are diaper coupons, medicine coupons, pet coupons, cosmetics, hair products, and any type of refill (such as air fresheners).

I'd love to know more about this. From the looks of my experiment, for the time and effort, I think this one will be a thumbs down. I'll keep you posted!

Happy Selling,
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