Well we all knew one day it would happen. The retaliation by the retailers against the consumer as a whole as well as the extreme couponer has been taken to a whole new level. The massive and seller-killing eBay coupon policy change effective 9.1.13.
I won't rehash the policy here. You've all seen it 1,000 times. What I want to talk about is the who, what , when, where and why this has happened. Not the bullshit boasting about my own humility feel good stories on "Good Mary's Savings" or some other garbage coupon forum site. No, not that. The Truth. Every couponer or eBay seller or coupon buyer needs to know that.
Ebay has allowed coupon sales since its' inception. It has changed alot over the years. From the Golden Era where anything went, including fakes, to the most recent and plausible 20 coupon per listing, 5 insert situation. Why the change and why now?
If you actually come out of your bubble and do some investigating, you'll see deep in the anals of the internet that Smart Source, Red Plum and P&G have had "coupon clipping" (Front for "coupon selling") sites taken down many many times over the past three years in response to that nightmare of a show , TLC's "Extreme Couponing." But their real goal the whole time, has been shutting it down on the worldwide marketplace known as Ebay.
The fake coupons. Yes they are abundant. Yes you are stupid if you believe that somewhere out there someone has 150 coupons for free 50 lb dog food bags, 200 coupons for free $10 a pack bacon, 125 Free Tide $15 coupons or 150 free 36 pack Bounty $30 paper towel roll coupons. The only place those exist is on someone's printer with good photoshop software. Those people do need to be prosecuted and shut down to the fullest extent of the law. I agree, that's theft. But what about the honest seller?
You are officially screwed. And why are you screwed? Not because eBay has decided to take money out of the sellers' pocket, the food out of the buyer's mouth and fees out of their and PayPal's coffer, because the threat of a $20 million dollar lawsuit from Smart Source, Red Plum and P&G. That's why.
They make so much money on their products it is disgusting. The selection of coupons in the past two years from Smart Source and Red Plum are absolutely nauseating compared to where they were three years ago. Unilever hasn't put a food product coupon in my newspaper since January of 2012 and those didn't even work in the stores I tried to use them in. I haven't bought a Unilever product since.
The legality of buying coupons. I am tired of seeing these goody two shoes posters on internet forums saying how "all coupon sellers should be shut down." Shut the fuck up already. There's no law on the books indicating you cannot sell a coupon. These are all manufacturer "Threats" printed on each and every coupon. Is a major corporation going to sue you for $2 worth of coupons? No. These are published as a deterrent. That's the simple truth of it. What is illegal is running a printer and making your own then selling them or trying to use them. That is what coupon fraud is - theft. But taking a valid coupon to the store and using them on be it one or a hundred items that the coupon is valid for is not coupon fraud no matter how you obtain them.
The problem with that is the corporation has to reimburse the retailer for the valid coupon and if they simply don't like the amount of valid coupons sent to them or redeemed, they get pissy because it cuts a small fraction into their billion dollar a year profits. In the past this would lead to them not to make the coupon anymore or reduce its' face value. But now, with the price of food and household products at an all time high despite what you hear on the news, people are struggling and are turning to any means necessary to feed their families and make ends meet. The corporations and their billions do not care about you. All they care about is their golden jets and finding new ways to squeeze money out of the already burnt out people, one coupon at a time.
Ecrater, the closest thing to an Ebay competitor, is so afraid of success (as usual) that they decided to not allow new coupon sellers once this is announced. Then they took it a step further by banning all coupon sales after 8/14/2013. Why would someone do this? Because they know a lawsuit is pending, that's why.
The only viable resource post 9/1/13 to buy and sell coupons on now is webstore.com. How long that lasts remains to be seen. But with their pitiful user count (100,000) and turtle volume, it might take awhile before any of the Big 3 ( P&G, Smart Source and Red Plum) take notice. Best to head over there while the getting is good, fellow couponers. Coupon Flea Market is a joke. Takes a month plus for a 15,000+ eBay seller to get a return phone call to sell there and those forum sites are just full of self boasting about how civil they are to others people and waste of your time. I can't stand reading them. And the people who run them ip ban me or not publish my posts because I tell the truth about who's to blame and tell them to shut the fuck up when all I see are "feel good about sharing and doing what's right" stories. Fuck off. We're all trying to survive here and make money and it's high time someone told it like it is.
So if you want to blame anyone for eBay's new coupon policy effective 9/1/2013, blame the following:
2. Smart Source
3. Red Plum
4. The people that truly commit coupon fraud
5. TLC's "Extreme Couponing."
Those are the real culprits in this issue. Not the hustler selling tear pads, coupons and inserts 20 at a time, not the person using coupons to feed their families, no, not us, blame the greed of P&G and the companies that publish coupons in the paper. Those are the ones taking money out of your pockets and food out of your family's mouth. That' the truth. Anything else about legality and "doing what's right" is well, simple bullshit.