Coupon Trading Basics

Posted on October 20th, 2011 by Coupon Cathy

Do you have coupons you end up throwing away every week? Maybe you don’t have a pet. Maybe your children are no longer in diapers. Maybe you’d never drink soda, even if you could get it for free. And, I’m sure there are times when you wish you had about twenty of a particular coupon, like the recent $8.00/2 Cover Girl products, $10.00/2 boxes of Pampers or even $1.00/1 Kettle Chips!

If you don’t have multiple subscriptions to the newspaper and you don’t have access to other spare newspapers, especially if you live in an area with lots of couponers (like I do), then you may be a great candidate for coupon trading.

The easiest way to trade is by simply asking friends and family members to either give you the coupons they don’t use or exchange coupons with them. My sister sends me all baby related coupons, which are always high value around this household! I’ve talked with friends about giving them all the pet coupons for their diaper coupons. It’s fairly simple. You meet or mail coupons to each other.

If you want to expand your network of coupon traders, there are lots of websites to visit to help you do just that. You could always do a Google search. I recommend A Full Cup as a trusted site for trading coupons.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when you do trade online:

  • Printable Coupons. I suggest only trading printable coupons with people you trust. You want to know that they were legitimately printed and weren’t copied (which is illegal). So, it’s safer to avoid trading printable coupons online.
  • Personal Information. Avoid using your email address on coupon forums. Instead, write out your email address. For example, if your email address is, write it out this way Thrifty Diva at facebook dot com so that you don’t get spam filling up your email box. Also, when you decide on an exchange, don’t write your address on the forum either. Send your address in a private message once you have exchanged email addresses.
  • If you are just giving away coupons (not exchanging), then it is reasonable to ask the person who will be receiving them for a stamped self-addressed envelope.

As you venture into the coupon trading world, here is a little help with some of the abbreviations that you’ll see.

Envie: Envelope

FAR: Free after Rebate

FSOT: For sale or trade

IPQ: Internet printable coupon

ISO: In Search Of

$1/1, $1/2: One dollar off one item, one dollar off two items, etc.

There’s a definite learning curve in all of this. So, take your time and enjoy the process. Whether you have two or 10 coupons, you’re saving money for your family and that is what matters! Enjoy!

Do you trade coupons? Tell us how you got started in the comments.

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