Ebay Updates Coupon Selling Policy – Effective Today!


Oh oh! If you buy coupons on Ebay it’s going to get a whole lot harder to do so! Ebay just sent out this email to sellers who have sold coupons:

We’re writing to let you know that as of today, updates to Ebay’s manufacturer’s coupon policy take effect and may impact your listings.

•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.)

•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.

I’m personally excited to see them banning the sale of “FREE” coupons, there was so many fraudulent coupons making their rounds on Ebay! I’d love to hear what you have to say…leave a comment….

Thanks Ashlyn & Jessica!

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  1. Henry K says

    I know the response to this has been overwhelmingly negative, and while I feel that 25 coupons/month is a bit extreme, I think it’s a step in the right direction. For many years, one of my neighbors steals newspapers from all the houses on the block just to get coupons to sell on eBay. Hopefully this new policy will limit that practice.

    • LF says

      Henry: I see your point and I’m sure he’s not the only one but there are plenty of ethical sellers out there, like me. I don’t give people fake coupons, I don’t steal what I’m listing, and my buyers get hard to find, health-related coupons. It is NOT a step in the right direction because it’s putting a lot of people out of business in an already messed up economy.

      Do you even know what 25 coupons is to the person who lists them? Usually a couple of dollars at most. I wouldn’t call the limit “a bit extreme”. I call it absurd considering their other policies on coupons (I noted them in my other comment).

      • Henry K says

        I don’t doubt that most coupon sellers are ethical, and I’m sure most of them get coupons legitimately from friends, family, co-workers, etc. It’s those who steal newspapers to get coupons that are ruining it for us. Yes, times are tough and the economy is bad. I live in a working-class neighborhood and appreciate whatever coupons I get – that is, if I can get them before my neighbor does, and even getting up at 6:30 on Sunday morning isn’t early enough! People like me get hurt when someone steals our coupons. And legitimate couponers are hurt when they have to compete with these thieves for sales.

        Yes, I sell on eBay and know that the profit margin after all fees are calculated is often quite low, and I agree that 25 is far too low. I would’ve liked to see a higher limit. But change has to start somewhere.

        • LF says

          But they didn’t need to change the coupon policies at all. You think so because of your precious newspaper. But don’t rejoice yet because if your neighbor has been stealing it for years, he probably won’t stop now anyway.

          Fortunately for me, my coupons are not of the same ilk as the Sunday paper coupons so I don’t compete with your neighbor and even if I did, a little competition doesn’t hurt. You stated that we both get hurt because of thieves like him but don’t make him the scapegoat. If the unethical and the thieves were the targets of Ebay’s B.S. then Ebay would be shutting down the fencing operations and the people selling knockoffs and stolen iphones and all that…not the $2 couponers.

        • sarah says

          Henry K:
          I regret the comment that you made about most sellers being unethical. I sell more than 200 coupon lots a month on ebay and i legitimately purchase my newspapers or get the coupons from my co-workers. I have 100% feedback score and if any customer states they are unhappy I refund their money. Ebay has a very strict customer satisfaction plan and so does paypal. If at any point a customer is not happy they can file a claim and get a refund if the seller is not ethical enough to return the money so they have a satisfied customer. Maybe you should do your homework before making wreckless comments about something you dont know about. As for my thoughts on ebay. I will discontinue my use with them entirely. They make a lot of money off of my sellers fees and final value fees.

        • Missy says

          This is fascism straight up. The big companies want to look benevolent and use coupons in their advertising, BANKING ON THE FACT THAT MOST WON’T USE THEM. So they want the people who DO use them to be prevented from getting more than one. The argument of stopping people from selling them because OTHER people are too stupid to adhere to caveat emptor, or stop their neighbors from stealing their papers (a crime that any police department will investigate) is absurd on it’s face. Another step down the rabbit hole of fascism straight into communism. Good grief.

      • Starr Nichols says

        I am a legitimate seller on Ebay and get my coupon inserts the honest way. Selling on Ebay allowed me to make ends meet every month and sometimes have a little mad money to spend on my daughter and son. I am now listing my coupons under “Coins and Paper Money” since the Definition for the word Coupon is: A Voucher which entitles the bearer to a discount on a product or service. This definition would lead one to believe that a Coupon or Manufacturer Voucher is a form of legal tender since it is taken in millions of stores across the world as a form of payment. Thus “Paper Money”. We should not have a problem listing these as “Manufacturer Vouchers” under the Ebay Category of “Coins and Paper Money”. Our customers just need to know where to look for their “Manufacturer Vouchers”.

        • says

          Good luck with that Star — I hope it works.

          But in reality it will only be a matter of time before some busybody reports your listings and eBay pulls them.

        • Mary K says

          Well I just did a blanket search for the Coins and Paper Money category looking for coupons and nope, either she didn’t do it or she got called out on it. BTW, coupons are NOT money and no way can you try to twist the language as you tried to make them so.
          No surprise they aren’t on eBay under that category. eBay probably took her down fast on this one.

        • Ruth says

          With a little work, you can set up your own website and still use paypal for buyers to pay you. I buy coupons on eBay because I’m a personal shopper. I had to figure out other ways to buy coupons. A lot of sellers have their own website now. I buy from this seller, https://www.shop.dons4579.com since her prices are cheaper.

    • Starr Nichols says

      I am a legitimate seller on Ebay and get my coupon inserts the honest way. Selling on Ebay allowed me to make ends meet every month and sometimes have a little mad money to spend on my daughter and son. I am now listing my coupons under “Coins and Paper Money” since the Definition for the word Coupon is: A Voucher which entitles the bearer to a discount on a product on service. This definition would lead one to believe that a Coupon or Manufacturer Voucher is a form of legal tender since it is taken in millions of stores across the world. Thus “Paper Money”. We should not have a problem listing these as “Manufacturer Vouchers” under the Ebay Category of “Coins and Paper Money”. Our customers just need to know where to look for their “Manufacturer Vouchers”.

    • Ruth says

      This change will only hurt people. Your neighbor is a dishonest person and he/she will always be one. This policy change will affect people who are struggling and need to use coupons to be able to feed their family. eBay’s popularity is low now because they becoming obsolete. I used to sell on eBay all the time. I imported items from Mexico and sold it on eBay. Their fees and the fact that most people are looking for a bargain made it almost impossible for me to make any money.

  2. LF says

    For years it’s been against Ebay policy to sell coupons. In fact due to a pre-existing Ebay rule, coupons are not sold at all. What is sold is an envelope and coupons are free gifts. It must be specified on all listings. Sellers used to (and still do, but erronoeously) clarify in their listings that what’s being sold is their time for cliiping, etc. That’s now incorrect since the rules changed several years ago and Ebay disallowed the sale of intangible items, such a service or time.

    I fail to see how they can put a limit on something that, as per their own rules, isn’t being sold at all. I think they are also shooting themselves in the foot because they are shutting down A LOT of sellers who have been on Ebay since the 90s and they’re going to lose that business. Since Ebay has been widely known as venue for fencing stolen goods and does nothing to curb that, the coupon thing is absurd. Rather than punishing the sellers who make money hand over fist on stolen electronics, textiles, etc. they choose to go after the people whose listings sell for a couple dollars each. The lack of intelligence at Ebay headquarters is staggering.

    • Mary K says

      WRONG. eBay policies for coupons have ALWAYS stated that you are selling the coupons themselves, NOT your “time, the envelope, etc….”
      I know, I sold coupons on eBay 2 years ago and before I did I read their policy. It was very explicit. They stated unambiguously that you were selling the coupons themselves.

  3. Erika says

    What always bugs me about coupon sellers is when they sell 20 $0.50/1 of item XX for $0.99 but if another one is in higher demand, they charge $6.00 for 10 of them. If they are getting all of the coupons from the same flyer (i.e. SS 05/19/13) than there is no way it cost them more for their “time cutting” and whatever other BS line they insert to try and get out of the fact that they are in fact reselling coupons that clearly state they should not be sold.


    • LF says

      That’s the truth of all commerce, supply and demand. If that’s what bugs you about coupon sellers, then it should bug you about every type of merchant there is. They all do the same thing. But as I replied to Henry about his neighbor, not every seller is the obnoxious kind and not every seller engages in price gouging. Besides, it’s a pretty competitive part of Ebay which seems to keep things reasonable. It seems like for every price gouger, there’s someone else who’s much cheaper.

    • Brian says

      It’s called cost averaging, Einstein. The seller’s time is not worth it if they only ever get 20/$1. It’s the higher ones that make it worth doing in the first place.

  4. says

    Kind of a bummer. I just got an ebay account yesterday and planned on trying to sell some of the coupons I don’t use. I think its great that they have banned FREE coupons though. Those we mainly fake. It’s great news for some of the coupon clipper services that don’t use ebay. Maybe they will be able to lower their prices some with more people buying from them.

  5. Tina L. says

    I actually sold on ebay, I am finishing 2 years worth of college in a year and this income is all I have and now its gone. It did take time an effort to find and clip coupons which is what people were paying for (the service). I was so excited to turn a hobby such as couponing into something that would help me get through school and allow me to make my own schedule. Now as I got this email through ebay today I am at a loss of what t do now.. :(

    • Ruth says

      You can set up your own website and still use paypal. It takes a little more work than on eBay but there are a lot of free sites offering free websites. You can email your customers and let them know you are now online.

  6. Caroline says

    So, this means that I can only list 1 auction for 25 coupons, so then I am done for the month also I was wondering this September 1 date, can i still list multiplies until then or do I have to stop as of today.

    • LF says

      From what the Ebay e-mail states about September 1st, it seems to me that September 1 is the first day Ebay will enforce this new policy. What I took from all this is that even though the new policy is effective today, the enforcement (and subsequent penalties) will start on 9/1. So you could probably keep listing and as long as all of your listings are done by 8/31, you’ll be okay.

      • Caroline says

        That is what I was wondering, I was going to keep listing to see if they would kick off my auctions. I Guess I better make as much as I can until then. Thanks

        • LF says

          Yeah, I just put 50 auctions on yesterday. I’m not taking them down until they’re done. Even Ebay cannot make an announcement like this and expect that auctions that already have bids are going to be removed immediately. That would violate Ebay’s own policies.

          • LF says

            And I guess we can still hope for enough of an outcry that Ebay will pull a Bank of America and reverse the decision.

    • Miche says

      It will not be enforced until Sept 1. After that if you decide to ignore the policy they will remove your listings, bids or not. More times then not if you do it again they will suspend your account..and good luck getting them to reinstate it. They love to see people squirm.

  7. Amy Patton says

    Ok I have mixed feelings about this as I do buy coupons on ebay frequently. There are plenty of less than honest sellers (I am currently the proud owner of 30 tearpad deoderant coupons that can be used ONLY at a military base commissary and says right on the coupon illegal both to sell or to distribute outside of a military base.) I am fed up with postings for coupons with no description AND no pic. And the person that said they should not be allowed to charge whatever they want is correct. They are charging for a service not the item itself, it should be cents on the dollar like any other clipping service if they choose not to let people bid. I think it should be policed better, but the limits are a little ridiculous.

    • LF says

      No photo and no description? Then don’t bother.

      As I replied to Erika about the pricing, there is plenty of competition if you don’t like a seller’s prices. Trust me, none of us labor under the illusion that we are going to make our first million with coupons so whatever you’re paying can’t be a fortune, even for the most expensive ones. Don’t expect to get something for nothing.

      Additionally, everyone on Ebay is allowed to charge what they want. Why do you think coupon servicers should be the only ones who can’t? If you want to complain about pricing, understand first that Ebay recently doubled insertion fees for coupon listings AND Ebay charges fees on the shipping charge. Yes, they make money off something we’re not allowed to. It’s just another fee. Not to me mention the Final Value fee and the forced Paypal fee since Ebay only allows payment through Paypal. So after sourcing my coupons, processing them, listing them, and processing sales, those “pennies on the dollar” really are pennies after Ebay eats its way through the transaction. Like any other sellers, we are here to make money, not lose it.

      I do agree with you about the policing but rather than a price cap, they should start by monitoring listings for images and descriptions. I know they implemented the rule requiring photos but it doesn’t seem to matter what the photo is as long there is one.

  8. Amy Patton says

    To answer your question for those selling, I’m not sure about cancelling your auctions but i can tell you this week I had two payments returned to me for coupons (one i purchased, one i bid on and won) because according to ebay the seller/listing was not in compliance with policy.

    • LF says

      That was probably unrelated to the new rule. This only happened today and from what we can tell they not enforcing until 9/1.

  9. erik says

    I spoke to Ebay today and they told me that selling Rebate Forms online falls under the coupon category. I repeated to them over and over Rebate forms are never, ever fraudently reproduced considering the fact that they are MAILED to the rebate company, i.e. P&G, Heinken, Kimberly-Clark, ect… please give them a call…

  10. Jess says

    Well, this is just silly. I do not mind the FREE coupons because those are fraud but what about us families that sell a few especially during the winter months to help the budget? this stinks.

  11. Jean says

    It’s sad that the counterfeit coupons have ruined it for everyone. I am so glad I already had a source for inserts and coupons. I use West Coast Clipping. They are the only service I trust. Tammy runs the place and I can email or text and get an answer right away if I have question. They also ship FAST. The same day I order if I place it in the morning. I am SC and I always get my coupons within a couple of days. I order from Ebay only if they are out of stock and it’s hit and miss with them. Some ship right away other take a couple of da y. I like working with a place that is so closely connected to their customers.

    • Mary K says

      That is funny, since I had just the opposite experience with them. Never will order from them again. Had much better luck with eBay.

  12. Tricia says

    I’m glad they banned free without purchase coupons (considering most are fake) but in my opinion most buy one get one free coupons are legitimate (P&G has a few in almost every insert and most cat/dog food are buy X amount and get 1 free) and should be allowed. I know it’s due to so many fake coupons and thats sad.

  13. Britt says

    As a girl who lives in a state that gets no good coupons this is going to hurt a lot of us here. I buy all the time on eBay but never the free coupons. But when we get $1/4 I want the $0.75/1 I’m really at lost where to go. Coupon buying sites are way to much money. I love paying $1.50 free shipping for 20 coupons.

  14. says

    Brand new coupon site called couponeshop.com , cheaper fees, free listing fees for September for new sellers and unlimited listings available. I am done with selling coupons on ebay, only t send my buyers to my new store on couponeshop.com Sellers have to verify identity to become a verified seller. The site does a good job of verification and sellers have to be paypal verified too which is another reason to trust the site. Good luck

  15. Linda says

    I ALSO get coupons legitimately and posted on EBAY. After their high fees, I gave whatever was left to our local American Cancer Society. I set ups a team in our Relay for Life called Coupons4Cancer. It JUST ended for 2012-13 – I gave more than $3,400. MOST not from EBAY people but people I met in coupon trade groups. My coupon inserts come from relatives, friends, and neighbors. What bothers me is that there are so many people on EBAY who sell in bulk and NEVER got stopped by EBAY. Perhaps because they have an EBAY store and EBAY likes them because of that. THey persistently break rules selling tens and twenty inserts while when I list fice mine never sell and all I do is pay a listing fee. They list multiple listings by changing one letter or symbol in an item listing. They have been reorted and EBAY does nothing. If they monitored those people and the ones with all the “free” items (It is OBVIOUS that there are not so many free coupons out there at such high values” this would not have happened to the honest people. I think that the Extremem couponing show was partially responsible for all of this also.

    • Ruth says

      That show is the worst thing that has ever happened to couponing. I really can’t wait until they cancel it. It is staged and it gives people a false impression of what couponing is all about.

  16. Ruth says

    The sad thing is that the manufactures who put out these coupons will go after the online stores for coupon clipping services. Most high volume eBay coupon clipping services now have their own websites.

  17. says

    I agree with LF. This coupon policy will discourage me from selling on ebay. At first I couldn’t sell my jewelry on ebay because of the economy. I went to Graphic design school and can’t find a design job no matter how creative I am. I thought of selling my coupons that I’ve clipped on ebay as a means of supporting myself, I guess since I can’t no need to buy or sell on ebay.

    I’ll continue trading my coupons on couponsparee.

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