By this point, you’ve probably scoured over every page on SaveaLoonie.com, ordered every available coupon from webSaver, Save.ca, P&G and printed so many coupons you are running out of ink. But you still want more!
Coupon trading and trains are among the best ways to get multiples of coupons you want and to get rid of coupons you aren’t likely to use. It is also a great way to make friends and find contacts in this crazy coupon world.
First we will cover Coupon Trading. Here are some basic tips!
Make Your List And Check It Twice
The first thing you must do if you want to trade coupons is to create your trade list. There are a multitude of ways to do this. I recommend writing it out on an Excel or Word document to start. This way you always have a hard copy of it.
Begin by going through all of the coupons you have. Sort them into piles according to what you will and won’t likely be using. Anything that is in the Won’t pile should go on your Trade List. You can order your Trade List however is best for you. Most people use a category format (Grocery, Household, Baby etc) or simple list them in alphabetically order or by expiry date. Be sure to include any restrictions or limitations on the coupon as well as the expiry date when you are listing them.
The more coupons you collect (inserts, tear pads etc) the more you have at your disposal to trade. So collect, collect, collect!
Write Out a Wish List
Coupon Trading really is a give and get kind of thing! You’ve spent the time figuring out what coupons you are willing to trade off, now you need to figure out what types of coupons you want in return. Having a wish list is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. A wish list lets potential trade partners know in advanced if they have anything that may interest you.
You can be as specific ($0.50 tear pad upc #xxx) or as vague (cereal coupons) as you want with the types of coupons on your wish list. Others simply use it as a guideline if there is potential for a possible trade.
Put Yourself Out There
If you want to trade your coupons, you have to get out there and get social! Post your Trade List on multiple forums, page and Facebook Groups to gain the most exposure. This is why it is a good idea to have a copy on your hard drive, so you can copy and paste it in multiple locations.
Once you’ve posted your list, browse through the Trade Lists of others to find coupons that interest you. If you see someone has a coupon you want up for trade, leave a comment or send them a private message and let them know your interested. The more message you send the more coupons you will be able to swap!
You Don’t Have To Do It All Online
Although forums are an excellent resource for coupon trading, it isn’t the only way. Talk with friends, family members and neighbours and offer to trade coupons with them. If they don’t coupon (why they wouldn’t, I don’t know!) offer to trade something in exchange for any inserts or extra coupons that they won’t be using. Trade your brother a hair cut if he saves his inserts for a month or trade your sister a night of baby sitting for her Pampers coupons. There are so many options out there for obtaining extra coupons through trades.
It is important in the trade world to keep your list up-to-date. If you don’t list the coupons you have, how is anyone ever going to know if they are up for trade? It is also important to mail all of your trades out in a timely fashion. Coupons do expire and you want to make sure your trade partner gets to use their coupons before they are no good!
Trade One Step Ahead
Once you’ve got proficient at trading coupons you may also want to consider trading for coupons to trade. Yes, that sounds complicated but really it’s not. Say Jane has a coupon that you really want but have nothing she is interested in. Then you check Sue’s list and she has some coupons that Jane wants. Offer to do a trade with Sue for those coupons. When you receive them, turn around and trade with Jane for what you are after. It all works out and now there are 3 happy couponers!
Think Outside The Box
When trading, you don’t just have to trade coupons. Think of anything else you have to offer and put it up there. Some suggestions may be Pampers or Huggies codes, Box Tops for Education, Canadian Tire money, gift cards or stamps. If you have it, probably won’t use and think some one else may – post it on your list!
Coupon Trains are another way of getting even more coupons! The basic idea of a coupon train is that you can get coupons you want and replace them with coupons that you don’t need. Trains are different from trading in that trades usually take place between 2 people and a train generally carries 6 – 10 people.
How To Get On A Train
You can start a train yourself or you can join a train that is already forming. Trains usually start in forums – check the SaveaLoonie Discussion Boards for any trains that might be forming in your area! Once a train is full, the “conductor” will create a list with all of the names and addresses and send it out. Some sites may require a Trade Rating before you can join a train.
I’m Riding, Now What?
Depending on the type of train you are on, it varies. Be sure you’ve done your research to make sure you’ve joined the right type of train for you and that you are following the rules. Most types usually work like this:
You receive the Train envelope and take out any coupons you could use. You then replace the coupons on a dollar for dollar basis (eg. You take $10 in coupons, you replace $10 of coupons into the envelope). When refilling your train envelope, you want to be sure to include coupons with a long expiry (usually at least a month) and don’t include too many duplicates of a single coupons. Once you’ve finished with the Train envelope you then send it off to the next person on the list as soon as possible!
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