Customer hungry manufacturers and online retailers are offering Internet coupons to consumers free for printing. There are several websites that amass these coupons into clearing houses where the Internet user can browse through categories and print up savings for him on nearly all brands and all types of consumer goods. Just a quick search on any browser will bring scores of coupon offers. Some websites have mini search engines that allow the user to enter exactly what brand or type of item he is seeking and then perform a search. The website will direct him to a source for coupons on exactly this product and some websites will bring a printable coupon directly to the screen for immediate use.
With all user-friendly atmosphere Internet coupons, why are they listed on EBAY of resale by auction? Coupons are designed to be given away for free, why bid on them?
It doesn’t make sense at first glance to go to all the trouble to register, log in search and bid on a free item like an Internet coupon when it is so easy to get them in the first place. Nevertheless, there are multiple auctions for Internet coupons under the heading of “certificates”. Why bother? Is it that people are just so taken with EBAY and other auction sites and really enjoy the thrill and competition of an online auction? At this level, probably, not. It isn’t much of an auction and the competition can’t be too much of a thrill when most coupons sell for around a dollar. More likely, it is the selection of Internet coupons that is being offered on EBAY that is the cause of the appeal. These are not “cents off” manufacturers’ coupons on grocery items.
The coupons listed on EBAY are more upscale or for more expensive purchases such as computers and related products, electronics and for retailers like Gymboree. The coupons are offered for price you must haves items and they are for significant price reductions. The average coupon for sale on EBAY is for $50 of a purchase or it may be a collection of $10 off coupons at a single retailer. Other Internet coupons offered at auction are for 25 to 30% of purchases at online retailers like Office Max and Circuit City. But by far the largest category on Internet coupons on sale at EBAY is for high-end children’s products like Gymboree and Jack n Jill where devoted Internet savvy Grannies are shopping for the perfect gift. (Let’s face it, most parents settle for Target for kid’s clothes and Toys R US for playthings).
It is fairly obvious that it is worth it to the buying to take the time to bid on and purchase an Internet coupon for $50 off purchase of an item he is planning to buy. Even after paying $1 purchase price and up to $4 shipping, the consumer is going to save nearly $59. But how can such small transactions as a dollar plus fees to EBAY result in much of an income for the seller? The answer, as in most sales related things is volume. Internet coupons are offered by sellers who have lots of hundreds of these coupons.
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