An interesting money-making venture has made a popular appearance in the coupon trading industry. This business entails the sale of, or a “free” give-away promotion of, a coupon certificate booklet.
How does this work? The company or organization sponsoring the coupon certificate booklet allows you to “buy into” the coupon program for a fee, generally around ten to twenty-five dollars, then in exchange you are given a coupon booklet. Inside the coupon booklet you will find a series of forms that you can fill out and send in weekly to request coupons specific to your shopping needs. These booklets are touted as being worth two-hundred to five-hundred dollars in value.
So what’s the catch?
First red flag-you are asked to invest money upfront just to obtain the coupon booklet, or have to participate in another fee-based program to obtain a coupon booklet as a “bonus” gift.
Then, the booklet arrives and you find that the coupon inventory list is a limited one. If you don’t use a lot of the specific products listed, you will not be able to get much use from the booklet.
Next, the forms limit you to choosing ten to thirty coupons and there are no guarantees on which coupons you will receive. Nor how many of each coupon you will receive, or what the overall value will be. Rather, you will have a vague promise of getting ten dollars worth of coupons returned to you, but they may not even be the same ones you requested.
Lastly, you will be required to send the form in along with a self-address double stamped envelope and a check for one to five dollars to cover the handling fees. More money spent for something you can achieve for free by clipping your own coupons, joining a coupon swap club, or signing up for manufacturer coupon mailings.
In addition, you will have no way of knowing if the coupons you are receiving are stolen or counterfeit in nature. Plus, these are often not the desirable coupons you will find in your newspaper circulars or receive directly from the manufacturer.
For example: Your Sunday circular will typically contain up to one dollar off one item product coupons. The coupons you may receive from the booklet, however, for the same product, will be thirty-five cents off the purchase of three items.
Bottom line: Proceed with caution before getting involved with these types of opportunities and always remember-the whole idea of using coupons is to save money, not to spend money to get the savings.