Ebay makes major changes to coupon sale policy

Ebay has announced new and significant changes to its policy for the resale of coupons:

Allowed: Sellers can only sell up to a maximum of $100 value in coupons or 25 valid, unexpired, original coupons per month, whichever limit is reached first. (The 25 coupons limit includes multiple coupons purchased from a multi-quantity listing.)

Not allowed: Coupons for "free" products-including coupons where the coupon holder buys some quantity of items at one price and gets some number of items for free, for example, "buy-get-one-free" offers, or offers for free shipping-may no longer be sold on eBay.

Starting September 1, 2013, listings for these coupons that don't comply with these policy changes will be removed. After September 1, listings in violation of this policy may be subject to a range of other actions, including restrictions of buying and selling privileges and a suspension of your account.

There are more details on Ebay's site about this change. And of course, Ebay's Community Forum has coupon sellers in a tizzy wondering how they're going to continue operating.

I think this change is great, though. Getting rid of all free-product coupons and Buy One Get One Free offers will eliminate a huge percentage of the counterfeits being sold on the site. And, restricting sellers to a total of $100 in value or 25 total coupons per month will reduce Ebay coupon resale to a "hobby," not a viable business model.

Hot topic on Slick Deals

Hi There are 25 pages of comments about this on Slick Deals.

This is not a sad situation for me at all

Never bought a coupon {ahem - paid for someone cutting them}. I might actually see coupons on tear pads instead of just the cardboard backing because the rest were taken to sell (I'm thinking). Of course, there will be those who will purchase items with these coupons and then garage sale, flea market or whatever. But, my chances might have gotten a little better though in case many don't want to do the OOP purchases.

Although I hope inserts continue to be put in our newspapers. I can see reliance for those that don't get the coupons.

Most of the couponing blogs not mentioning this

Hi- I've been searching on most of the other large couponing blogs, and I only found two other sites that mentioned this, and one of those sites was MUM. As a matter of fact one of the blogs still tells people to go to ebay to buy coupons.

BTW- While I was in Barnes and Noble this afternoon, I noticed that they had the book Extreme Couponing for sale, and in the book she admits that most of the free coupons that are sold on ebay are counterfeit, although she does tell you to look them up to make sure.

They are moving to ecrater

Hi- A lot of the coupon sellers on ebay are talking about moving to ecrater. There are lots of coupons for sale on ecrater right now, and supposedly the fees are much cheaper than ebay.

Apparently not..!

Have you read eCrater's Terms of Service this week?

As of July 2013, eCRATER has decided to no longer allow coupons or vouchers to be listed.
These are no longer being allowed as per the Terms of Service located here: eCRATER Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

What is not allowed to post?

Coupons and Vouchers (unless the item is a collectible item only)

1. New accounts with these items are currently not being allowed.
2. Existing merchants with coupons and vouchers must remove these items from the store by August 14, 2013.

What is Ecrater now? I never

What is Ecrater now? I never heard of that.

It is similar to ebay

Hi- I had never heard of it before either. It is supposed to be similar to ebay, but their fees are supposed to be lower,

Ebay knockoff

It's another auction site - nowhere near as large as Ebay.


Hi- Somebody on ebay just gave a link to coupon flea market. Several people have also suggested the possibility of moving to craigslist too. I've never seen coupons for sale on craigslist, and I don't know what category they would fall under there.


Hopefully this will turn things around down the road and we start seeing the types of coupons we saw 1+years ago.

Am I interpreting it correctly... sellers can only sell up to $100 in coupon values or 25 coupons for a given month total (all sales for the month) or is that the most they can sell to each individual buyer in that month?

You are reading it correctly

Yes, they can sell $100 total face value of coupons OR 25 total coupons.

So, if a seller had 25 $4 razor coupons and sold them, that's it for the entire month - whether they were sold to one person or to a bunch of different people.

How are they going to legally be able to sell coupons anyway?

Hi- If a coupon states that it is illegal to sell it, how is anybody going to be able to sell that coupon on ebay. I know the sellers have been getting around this, by saying that you are paying for the labor of cutting out the coupon, and not the actual coupon itself, but they won't be able to do that anymore will they? It is kind of like offering an item for free, but charging for shipping and handling.

I also noticed that they will not be able to sell coupons that have been printed off the internet too. Is this correct?

Thanks, Nancy

They've never -legally- been allowed to do it

While sellers have long and oft-repeated the "you're not paying for coupons, you're paying for my time" line, but Ebay's policy has always stated (and continues to state) this:

The terms on some coupons state that selling them is restricted or not allowed.

Also, you can't claim that the price of the coupon is based on the value of the labor involved in clipping the coupons instead of the coupons themselves. Under eBay rules, the coupons themselves are the items being sold.

I don't think that printables themselves are banned - I read it and understood that selling SCANS of coupons is banned. (Yes, there were auctioneers who would email SCANS of coupons to the winning bidders so they could print them themselves..!)

I am glad they are finally cracking down

Hi- I am glad they are finally cracking down. I am sure that most of the free coupons are counterfeit. Where is anybody going to get 100 legitimate coupons for free tide to sell on ebay?

I agree

Oh, I agree. This -should-go a long way to putting the counterfeit coupon resellers out of business.

You would hope, but...

I have never purchased a coupon ebay or otherwise...so I am in no way defending the sale of coupons. It took me about two seconds to see the loophole in this one. So you can not sell them....why not give them away. Meaning.....here buy my kids drawing of a stick figure and as a bonus I will pack it in these coupons or include these coupons as a gift. Seriously one number two pencil for sale..will come carefully wrapped in last weeks SS insert. I raised a couple of very sneaky teens and have gotten very good at finding the loophole.

Will still violate the terms

I doubt sellers would risk violating the terms - on the Ebay Community forums, coupon sellers are already discussing selling an envelope (and you would "pay for" the envelope) and not the coupons inside. Ebay's policy is that any coupons included in a listing is being "sold" - there are no freebies or gifts. And if those auctions are posted, they'll likely be removed.

Gift listing

The reason I know the gift trick is I ordered something from China on ebay. In the listing they said a gift included with each purchase. No biggie I thought. Well they customs invoice was marked gift because there was a gift inside, saving the seller customs hassles instead of it being handled as a retail item. I ordered some linens and they sent a handkerchief as my gift.

Gift trick is for customs, NOT Ebay

The "gift trick" is to circumvent paying duty on international shipping, not to skirt anything on Ebay. If you send paid merchandise to another country, legally you must declare the value, and the receiver may end up paying more duty on it based on the item's value. If you stick a gift in the package too, you can legally say the package is a GIFT, and the recipient will not have to pay duty on something legally declared a gift.