With the new coupon shows and tons of couponing blogs and forums flooding the internet, most people know the value in using coupons to save money. Some people are even able to make money with coupons if they are used right.
Whether you’re interested in couponing or not, there are other ways to make money with coupons. While you can’t sell coupons, you can sell the service of clipping coupons. If you go on eBay, you’ll notice people have coupons listed for sale. The consumer isn’t paying for the coupons, they are paying the person for their time in clipping them.
Using the Internet
The internet is your best friend when it comes to running a coupon clipping service. It’s the best way to get a large number of people to pay for your service. You can use the internet at least 2 ways.
The first way is to start your own website. You can set up a shopping account and list the coupons you have in stock. Charge anywhere from 1 cent to 20 cents or so per coupon, depending on the value of the coupon.
For example, if you have a coupon that is 20 cents off a product, you might charge 3 cents. If you have a coupon that is $5 off a product, you could charge 20 to 30 cents for it.
The problem with a website is that you have to get people to find the website. However, once you’ve got lots of regular buyers, you can do well. You can promote your site on forums, through advertising, etc. It may be a while before you get regular buyers.
A good alternative, or a way to sell your services until your website is doing better, is to sell your services on eBay. Couponers often look to eBay to find coupons they need, especially in mass quantities.
For example, you can sell $20 coupons with a $1 value for $1 to $2. If the coupon is in high-demand, it’s best to sell it through an auction. That way, if there are a lot of buyers that want it, you can get top dollar. Otherwise, it’s a great idea to have a “Buy it Now” option for those who can’t wait for an auction to finish.
Low Shipping Benefit
One of the best things about selling coupon clipping services online is that it’s so cheap to ship them. You can send it in a regular envelope and pay just as much as you would a letter. If you have a large number of coupons you’re sending and it bulks up the envelope, it will cost a little more. Either way, it’s much lower than $5 to $20 for shipping. It’s cheap for you and your buyers who are money-savers to start. Don’t forget to include the cost of envelopes in your shipping and handling charges.
Make Money in your Own Backyard
If you live in a community with a lot of couponers, you might do well enough to sell your services right in your home town. Let all your friends and family know you’re available and they can help you spread the word. You can mail them or have them available for pickup.
When you send coupons, you can send full inserts or specific clipped coupons. Having both options is great because both are in demand. Couponers love to be able to order their coupons so they don’t have to spend time searching and clipping. It’s a valuable service.
Getting Lots of Coupons
So where do you get all these coupons? There are several ways you can get coupons. The most common place to get coupons is in the Sunday newspaper. They come as inserts in the center.
You can also get coupons on the internet by printing them out. Don’t add these to your service. People won’t buy them because there is too much possibility of fraud. Also, they can print these themselves.
Another way to get coupons is through packaging, from free samples, etc. However, you won’t get multiples this way and it isn’t usually worth listing these.
When people see coupon clipping services they usually expect coupons from the Sunday paper. There are 3 different inserts available. Sometimes there are others, but Red Plumb, Smart Source, and P & G are the main ones.
They aren’t all in the paper every Sunday. P & G comes out approximately once a month and the other two come out sporadically. Sometimes there are no inserts (Easter Sunday), sometimes there are doubles, etc. It’s always different. You can usually know what will be in the paper by searching the internet.
The first way to get these is by purchasing the paper. You can usually buy the Newspaper for $2 or less. Some dollar stores sell them, you can get a 20% discount if you’re a Gold Member at Rite Aid, etc.
You’d need to purchase at least 10 newspapers in order to be able to sell coupon bundles of 10 on eBay. However, it’s best to have many more if you really want to do well. In this case, you’ll either need to spend $200 to get 100 papers or get the inserts elsewhere.
Check places where inserts get discarded such as recycling bins (where you have permission), leftovers at fast food restaurants, from friends and family, outside of apartment buildings, etc. Get creative. The more coupons you get, the more you can earn.
How much Can You Earn?
Think about the math if you do decide to purchase all your papers. Let’s say you buy 100 papers at $2 each for a total of $200. If there are 2 inserts, with about 60 coupons in each, that’s 120 coupons. If you sell groups of 20 of at least 80 of the coupons (assuming only about 65% are in demand) for an average of $1.50 per bundle, that would equal a revenue of $600 and a profit of $400.
If you got the papers for a dollar, you’d make $500 or about $2,000 a month. It’s a pretty good deal, assuming you have a good process for clipping and organizing. Also, it depends on how many coupons are in each insert, how many inserts are in the paper each week, how much you sell the coupons for, and how many coupons are actually in demand (how many you can actually sell).
These results aren’t typical. It could turn out only about 20% of your coupons are in demand, meaning no one wants to buy the rest. Or, you have to lower the price to sell them. On the other hand, you could do better than this. You can never know exactly how much you’ll make until you try it out.
If you’re able to find a way to get inserts for free, especially hundreds of inserts, you could be making almost all profit. Also, the more inserts you get, the more time you’ll spend selling. It could turn into a full time job, which may be what you’re looking for or it could be too much to handle.
It’s best to use a paper cutter to clip multiple coupons at once. If possible, get a friend or two to partner up with. You’d have to share the profits, but you could clip and sell more coupons.
This business hasn’t been around long enough to say exactly what works. You’re going in nearly uncharted territory. Don’t be afraid to experiment, try new ideas, etc.
The start up costs are fairly low for this business idea aside from buying newspapers. You’ll need scissors, but get a paper cutter to do most cutting. Using scissors the whole time will take forever and hurt your hands.
Get a stapler to staple groups of coupons together. This also makes it easier to cut stacks of coupons at once without them shifting. You’ll need envelopes, stamps, paper for invoices (optional), boxes or folders for organizing, etc. You’ll also need to come up with some way to keep your coupons organized so you always know how many are there of each kind.
Start small. If possible, get coupons without having to buy a stack of papers. Start by selling groups of 10 and getting 10 to 20 inserts. You can test the market and see how you do. You never know how you’ll do until you give it a try.