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~Has any one ever noticed phrases like "Void if copied, sold, used to purchase for resale,traded or transferred" written on coupons? I noticed this phrase on quite a few of my coupons a few months ago. Personally, I no longer trade or look to buy coupons from others. I do accept "transferred" coupons because my mother and mother-in-law give me the coupons they won't be using. Does anyone know if viloating the terms of the coupon is actually illegal? Do you feel it's fraudulent to use coupons that violate their "rules"?~
 

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IMO if we have to be strictly technical about the terms, then selling newspapers which carries the inserts with coupons in them is illegal. So if a person buys multiple papers to get more coupons to buy items they like to stockpile, would that be illegal? And what's the difference between your family giving/sending you coupons from friends you meet on the net sending you coupons or you swap coupons so its a win-win situation?

Personally, I have contacted some manufacturers regarding this issue and as far as getting multiple copies of coupons by buying several copies of Sunday papers, they find nothing wrong with it and I have searched any laws against it and haven't stumbled upon any as of this writing. If there is any that anyone can share, I'd love to read about it.

What I find questionable is the practice of some people who work for the papers who get them to sell on ebay or couponing sites, although I'm not sure if its something illegal. Some acts maybe unethical but not illegal.
 

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IMO if we have to be strictly technical about the terms, then selling newspapers which carries the inserts with coupons in them is illegal.
Manufacturers allow those coupons to be distributed that way so it could never be illegal or wrong to get them that way.

And what's the difference between your family giving/sending you coupons from friends you meet on the net sending you coupons or you swap coupons so its a win-win situation?
I agree to some extent that if I'm gonna break one condition of the coupon I might as well break the others. The only difference to me is that I don't SEEK OUT coupons to trade or buy. That and the fact that I get my coupons from my moms makes a difference to me for some reason. I personally think excessive coupon use actually violates the generosity of the companies putting out coupons. People work for those companies and need their salaries too.
 

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I personally think excessive coupon use actually violates the generosity of the companies putting out coupons. People work for those companies and need their salaries too.
I doubt the link is so direct. Manufacturers release a finite number of coupons for each product, and they know how much money they will "lose" if each of those coupons is used. Most coupons go unused as not everyone is using all the coupons that are out, and the companies know that, too. Also, often by using coupons, people start buying things they weren't buying the first place, attracting more customers to the brand. Finally, if the companies were losing money they would release less coupons.
 

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I personally think excessive coupon use actually violates the generosity of the companies putting out coupons. People work for those companies and need their salaries too.
IMO, the companies aren't being "generous". Coupons are a marketing ploy designed to get consumers to buy their products. Companies make money in the long run by putting out coupons. If revenues didn't increase, the coupons would cease.
 

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IMO, the companies aren't being "generous". Coupons are a marketing ploy designed to get consumers to buy their products. Companies make money in the long run by putting out coupons. If revenues didn't increase, the coupons would cease.
~You're right, generous isn't a good description. I agree it's a ploy, but just because we know better and know how to beat them at their own game, should we use the coupons if we've broken the terms of the coupon?~
 

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I think transfering a coupon is when the coupon is actually labeled with a person's name on them. When my youngest was a baby I would get coupons in the mail from enfamil, they resembled a check and said they were for me, had my full name on it. So I think transferring the coupon would be if I no longer was using formula, or was using a different kind and I gave the coupon addressed to me to someone else. I don't feel it is wrong for the coupons to be sold with the sunday paper, I don't think newspaper companies make a profit off the inserts they have in the paper but I could be wrong. I do think it is wrong for an individual to stock pile coupons and sell them on Ebay, they are making a profit off of something they have no business selling. Coupon swaps I think are great, you get coupons for things you need another person gets the ones they need.
 

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I have to admit that I haven't thought about this much, and I only get coupons from the papers. We get two copies of the local paper at the library where I work, and the Director said that I could have the coupons from them as a perk for being the one who works every weekend (what a deal!)

I have no experience with the coupon selling/trading services, but when it is a matter of family or friends passing them around, what would be the difference (except a lot of hassle) in them giving you the coupon, or buying the item itself with the coupon, then selling the item to you for the price they paid for it? Would that be illegal? Or unethical?

I wonder if that wording is just there to give the companies a recourse if there begins to be some enormous abuse of the coupons that really did make the company incur losses. Also, there is the matter that most of them say "Do not double" but some stores double and triple them anyway. Is that just coupon-ese telling the store to give out as much money as the want, but they will only be reimbursed the face value of the coupon?

I agree with what others have said -- that this is a marketing ploy, and if it weren't profitable or benefitted the company in some way in the world as it is - which includes the coupon trading that the companies know exists -- it would be stopped.

Would it be any more unethical to take full advantage of all the coupons you can get than to go into a store and purchase only their loss leaders? Isn't the coupon in a sense a "sale by invitation only?"

Anyway, a lot of words to say I don't know much about it.
 

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I've seen lots of people selling coupons on ebay write a disclaimer,

I am not selling these coupons, you are paying for my time to cut, clip and sort them to send to you,

I don't know if that's enough to bail them out because whatever they say, they are still selling these coupons for cash. And if this is illegal per se, I'm just wondering why ebay continue to allow them although I know there are some groups pressuring ebay to prevent similar listings.
 

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Well, I sell coupons that I cut out and sell in a huge potluck. I agree with the disclaimer that eBayers put out because it takes me quite a bit of time to clip those coupons. So, I am being paid for my time, not for the coupons per se. If I came to your house and cut out 500 coupons for you, I'd like to be compensated for the time I spent, so it's the same idea.

The big problem with coupons is when companies send in coupons that customers haven't actually redeemed and ask to be paid for them. They recently cracked down on an operation like that here in NJ. A store owner was clipping all the coupons and then sending them in for reimbursement from the companies that sold the products, but no one was actually buying the products. THAT is illegal.
 
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