I know, I've been a bit slack in continuing this series. Life has just been a bit hectic and well, if I'm honest, I probably also stink at planning sometimes. I'm sorry. I know that doesn't necessarily make you want to keep reading this blog, but it makes me feel better at least. :)
Today's tip for obtaining coupons is to use a coupon trading site. For quite a long time I had heard about people swapping coupons on these trading sites but somehow it just seemed daunting and so I kept avoiding them. Then one day I was really wishing for more of a rare Finish dishwasher detergent coupon and decided maybe I should give this whole coupon trading thing a whirl. I found it relatively easy to do and have had great success trading.
I've checked out several other coupon trading websites, but the one that I've found the easiest to navigate and ultimately have stuck with is Southern Saver's Traders. (There is also a coupon trading group here that split off the Southern Saver's Traders because they didn't like the new format that SST was using.) You will have to join the group in order to participate, but I don't remember it being that difficult to do.
I'll be honest, I don't use coupon trading sites nearly every day, or even every week. That is simply because I typically can get the coupons I need in other ways that are absolutely free. You might say that coupon trading is free too, but remember you have to pay for postage to mail your coupons to the other person. And for myself, often when I figure in the $0.44 for the stamp, it hardly makes it worth it.
However, there are definitely times I have found it to be very worth it, even if I do have to pay $0.44 postage. For instance, if there are coupons that are high value and ones that I don't see very often, I will trade for them. Last summer there was a coupon for $2.50/1 Finish Dishwasher Detergent. I knew that this coupon was both high value and rare and I also knew that it would get me some free or nearly free detergent. So I did a request post and soon had 2 people offering me a total of 10 coupons. I traded them for some veggie coupons, which I rarely use, and with the $2.50 Finish coupons was able to get 10 packages of Finish gelcaps for free or less than $0.50 each! I'm thinking they should last me about a year and hopefully by that time there will be another hot coupon available.
Also, back when the $10 Amazon Baby coupons were popular I was successful in trading some random coupons that I wasn't going to use for several of the $10 Amazon coupons and as a result I got some packs of diapers and wipes for pennies.
So once you join a coupon trading site, how does it work? Well, you can either post coupons that you are looking for or offer coupons that you don't want but are willing to trade to someone. For instance, say you know that there is $2.50 Pampers you'd really like to have. You'd post something like this on the trader website:
ISO- $2.50 Pampers Coupon Looking for the $2.50 Pampers coupon from the May '11 Parenting magazine. Will trade for veggie coupons.
ISO simply means In Search Of. Then you want to list the coupon or coupons you want and where it can be found if possible. You'll also want to list what you are willing to trade the coupon for. You can list specific coupons or just say that you will try to swap whatever the other person wants.
Or maybe you don't have kids and you have a bunch of Huggies coupons that you'd love to trade for something else. You'd say something like this:
For Trade- Lots of Huggies Coupons Have lots of Huggies coupons: three $1.50/1, four $1/1, two $2/1 diapers. All have at least an expiration date of 6/30/11. Would love to have coupons for Wisk detergent, General Mills cereal and/or Hunts ketchup in exchange.
And then you just wait and hope for someone to bite! :)
A couple of tips for trading coupons:
* Trade fair. If someone is offering a $3 Wisk coupon don't offer to trade for a $1 Huggies coupon. Offer 3 $1 coupons to give a more equal trade. This seems obvious, but unfortunately not everyone does this.
* Coupons for veggies, baby items, dishwasher detergent, and pet food are some of the easiest coupons to trade from my experience. I think it is because so many people don't have a need for these items (veggies maybe being the exception) and so they are more than happy to trade for something else.
* Be specific about exactly what you are looking for. The more specific you are, especially about where to locate the coupon, the more chance you have of someone helping you out.
* Be specific about the coupons you are posting. It is helpful to list the number of coupons you are offering and the dollar value as well as the expiration date.
Did you miss the first two posts in this series? Read them now: Websites; Contacting Companies.
Have you used coupon trading sites? Has it been a good experience? What tips do you have?