eBay recently announced some new guidelines for coupon sellers which restrict the sale of coupons on their site. eBay may have some valid reasons for making these changes, but it’s clear that this change is going to affect what sellers can list, and also what will be made available to buyers.
The most restrictive guideline is that sellers will now only be allowed to sell $100 in coupons and/or up to 25 coupons per month (whichever one comes first). Additionally, sellers can no longer list coupons for free products, including buy-one-get-one (BOGO) type coupons.
Below are the new guidelines:
- You may sell up to $100 or 25 valid, unexpired, original coupons per month.
- Multi-quantity listings: You can’t sell more than 25 coupons in a single listing. The allowed 25 coupons per month include multi-quantity listings.
- Make sure you clearly state in your description how many coupons you’re selling. If we can’t tell how many coupons are offered, the listing violates our policy.
- Coupons for “free” products: You can’t sell coupons for “free” products. This restriction includes coupons for free items, or coupons where the coupon holder buys a quantity of items at one price, and receives additional items for free.
- Electronic “scanned” coupons: All coupons sold through eBay must be physical coupons printed on paper, not coupons that can be sent electronically to the buyer to be printed. Also, to reduce the potential for coupon fraud, don’t include unaltered scans of coupons in their listings that could be copied, printed, and redeemed in stores.
- Note: The sale of scanned or photocopied coupons may violate federal copyright laws, and sellers of unlawful items like these could face prosecution under federal law. We don’t allow the sale of these kinds of coupons.
- Coupons for recalled items: Coupons for items that have been recalled by the manufacturer can’t be listed on eBay.
- Recalled coupons: Coupons that have been recalled by the manufacturer can’t be listed on eBay.
Although eBay hasn’t exactly issued an official statement as to why they are making this type of policy change, there has been some speculation that it is due in part to an increasing number of fraudulent coupons circulating around on the Internet. In fact on last week’s eBay Radio episode, Griff spoke about this issue, acknowledging the rampant fraud in the industry and eBay’s attempt to help curb this.
Much of this seems to have come to light after it was revealed in February of 2012 that some members of the Extreme Couponing show (TLC) had used counterfeit coupons during an All-Star episode. There is also some speculation that eBay has been under pressure from the Coupon Information Center (CIC) (an organization dedicated to fighting coupon fraud) and other organizations that are trying to fight coupon fraud.
Regardless of the reason why, sellers that wish to continue selling coupons on eBay must be in compliance with the new policy by September 1, 2013.
This guest post was contributed by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio and an active Facebook Group ThatKat.