Trade Your Way to Savings!
by Diane R. Schmidt
Trading coupons is an easy way to multiply your savings at the grocery store. Here are some coupon trading tips:
Tip #1: Collect & Organize Coupons
The Sunday newspaper, magazines and fliers are a great place to find coupons. Start by collecting coupons and organizing them in a binder. I use a white binder, with baseball card pages. The coupons are organized alphabetically. While it may seem overwhelming at first to cut and organize coupons, you'll find the more coupons you have, the more you'll be able to trade!
Tip #2: Your Most Wanted Coupons
Make a list of the coupons you use the most. This list can include grocery items, personal care items, baby care items and more! Also, coupons, which are good on cents off one product, such as 40 cents off one jar of baby food, is worth more than 40 cents off 3 cans of baby food.
Tip #3: Lurk and Learn
My favorite coupon trading board is on Ivillage.com. I have been trading with them for several months and have had trades go very smoothly. Check out the board and see if it's for you. If it is, post a few messages.
Tip #4: Posting Tips
You'll want to start with a little introduction about yourself and let others know you are new to trading. Offer a few coupons and post what you would like in return. At first, try not to post too many messages. You'll want to ease into trading to get the hang of what the process is all about. Also, never post your address, phone number or other identifying information. All you need to post on the board is your first name and e-mail address.
Tip #5: Get a PO Box
While a PO Box does cost money, it is a small price to pay for your privacy and peace of mind.
Tip #6: Create a Trading Web Site
Creating a web site may seem like a daunting task. However, Ivillage has a free, easy to use web site builder tool. You will need to sign up for an Ivillage account in order to build your web site.
Tip #7: Trading Etiquette
When you are trading, it's important to do the following:
- Post the type of coupon accurately, including the expiration date and if it is good on only certain brands.
- Respond to emails promptly.
- If you get a response and aren't interested, be sure to write back and say no thanks.
- Mail out your trade as soon as possible. Don't wait too long, or else your trade might expire!
- Don't get greedy. If you think you are being unreasonable, others probably think the same too.
- Consider throwing in extra coupons to your trades. Your generosity will be appreciated!
- Include enough postage on the envelope so it gets to its destination
Good luck and Happy Trading!
Diane Schmidt is editor of SavingsMania.com, your one-stop savings site for printable coupons, freebies, contests, and lots more.