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Learn how to swap coupons with other couponers!

Coupon trading is a great way to load up coupons that you’re looking for, and offloading all of the ones that you don’t need.  And once you’re settled into a trading community that matches your tradesies & keepsies list, it can add a fun social element to your couponing! The trick is finding other couponers that have what you want, and who need what you don’t.  Enter CouponSpare!

CouponSpare is a coupon trading website that is set up to make trading easy.  Here’s how it works:
1. Set up your personal account

2. Type in the details of the coupons that you want to trade away –the form is incredibly easy to fill in

3. Describe the kinds of coupons that you’d like to receive by adding them to your Wish List

4. Find other couponers that you’d like to trade with either by looking through their Wish Lists or browsing through the coupons being offered

5. Once you find a couponer with multiple items to trade (few traders send just one coupon out at a time – stamps are too costly!) contact them by “opening a trade”  and wait for them to reply and negotiate terms of the trade.  Don’t agree to the trade until your negotiations are completed.

6. After both parties have added coupons and confirmed that they’re happy with the trade, “Agree to the Trade” and write the mailing address on your envelope (it won’t show until both parties have accepted)

7. Mail out the coupons right away and wait for yours to arrive in the mail

Some things to keep in mind:

  • you’re likely to have more invitations to trade if both your coupon list and wish list are well stocked.
  • adding a picture or image to your profile helps build trust with other couponers that will be mailing you envelopes of their carefully clipped coupons.
  • if you don’t have many “tradesies”, consider offering postage stamps as tender.  Serious traders always need stamps!
  • don’t get stuck in the dollar-for-dollar mind-set.  The value of a coupon sometimes far exceeds it’s face value, especially if you end up getting the item for free, so don’t get stuck in a negotiation stand-off if you cannot come up with a seemingly equal trade. Etiquette dictates that we try to match approximate coupon values, but sometimes it’s worth it to take a loss and get the coupon in your hands quickly if the product is going on sale soon.
  • make sure that the timing is good for you and that you have enough time allotted that week to complete your trades.
  • keep a supply of envelopes and stamps in your coupon binder.  (I re-purpose the ones that come with bills and junk mail as long as they don’t have the postage paid markings on the top right corner.  I also clip out my name & address from each sheet of WebSaver, Save.ca and P&G coupons that I get – they’re perfect for glueing on trade envies as the return address and the recipient of the envelope will get a little chuckle when they recognize the typeface and glossy paper!)
  • log into your Coupon Spare account on a daily basis while you have open trades to check on updates from your traders and to thank them for the envie when it arrives
  • be punctual – fellow traders will appreciate your efforts in sending out the envelope right away.  If you can’t slip your envie in the mail within the next business day, be sure to communicate that with your trading partner and stick to the timeline that you’ve set.

There’s nothing worse than throwing out expired coupons at the end of each month, knowing that someone could have put them to good use.  If you have the time to commit to a few negotiations back and forth (these sometimes are firmed up within a matter of minutes!) and a quick walk to the mail box, why not consider trading a few coupons on CouponSpare to see if it’s for you.

Happy Couponing!

Christa Clips ~ October 16, 2012

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