Is it illegal to buy coupons

August 16, 2013

in Beginners,Coupon Etiquette,Coupon Lessons

Is it illegal to Buy Coupons

Okay, after getting the following message on my ORDER INSERTS PAGE, I felt the need to further discuss..

“I read a feature from the CIC website.It states that the disclaimer from coupon cliping services that you are paying for thier time not the coupons is still illeagal.So if you are talking about using coupons responsibly how can you recomend these coupon clipping services if there are not leagal.Also buying coupons on ebay is illegal.I don’t understand how you could recomed these site.You are recommending sites that are not legal.Could you please explain why we should use these sites.I am really confused. Thank you.”

First of all, after further research….THERE is NO LAW at this time against buying or selling coupons online. For something to be ” illegal”, there has to be a law in place at the federal or state level.  There is not a law anywhere, (at this time) on any level of government, that deals with selling coupons.  Therefore, it is not illegal to buy, sell or trade coupons for personal use.  

The issue that raises all the red flags is the fine print on most coupons.

 The fine print on most coupons says in some form or fashion “that they cannot be transferred, sold, traded, auctioned or altered etc.”  This is not a law, these are the rules set by the manufacturer. If you violate a manufacturer’s rule, then the manufacturer has the option to void the coupon.  Technically, if you obtain a coupon from a coupon swap or from a friend then the manufacturer can VOID  the coupon. I don’t think most of us have a problem with that practice.

The CIC, which the reader is referring to, is a private organization funded by manufacturers. ( I use the CIC often to check for fraudulent coupons)  The CIC warns “Coupons being sold on the Internet or by other means may be stolen property or counterfeit. Individuals attempting to use these coupons may be subject to prosecution.”  I would NEVER tell anyone to buy stolen coupons. “Stealing” anything IS ILLEGAL. Selling any kind of “Stolen Property” is also illegal.  I have VERY good faith in my most highly recommended website’s Insert Insanity and others found HERE.  All of these places are obtaining whole newspapers legally (Therefore, I know they are NOT counterfeit) & taking the coupons out, sorting them & charging you for their time to do so.  Ebay is a different story.  You are placing your faith in the seller that they did indeed obtain the coupons legally.  If you feel you are breaking the rules by ordering coupons off eBay, then you answered your own question. Don’t do it. However, I find it no different from paying my daughters $5 bucks to cut out my coupons, which I do very often. I am the first person to speak out on using coupons ethically. I would NEVER knowingly tell anybody to do anything unethical or illegal for that matter. With that being said, I have no issues recommending the websites that I have here and other places. If the law changes, I will change, but as of now I stand by it. 

It is illegal to defraud Manufacturers.  You do this by altering coupons or counterfeiting coupons or copying coupons.  In my opinion, no matter how you obtain your coupon…as long as it was legal and as long as the coupon is used correctly when it is redeemed (right product, right size, right expiration), then the manufacturer has no issue with it.

{ 1 comment }

Heather May 17, 2013 at 9:30 am


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