Buying junk mail
A while back I found myself wanting to make a large purchase of $250 from a major retailer, Dicks Sporting Goods. It isn’t important that the store happened to be Dicks, but the fact it was a big nationwide store is critical to this trick. I found a way to save a big chunk of cash by buying other people’s junk mail that I hadn’t thought of before. It is so easy, you will want to try it every time you make a big purchase. Here is how to do it.
Since I was going to be spending a lot of money, of course I needed to use the ol giftcard trick, and that was going to save me about 9% or so. That still left me at about $228 before taxes, so I was looking to cut my bill down even more. I did a google search for a coupon code to apply at checkout and I found something strange.
I didn’t find any electronic coupon codes I could apply at checkout, but instead found that on ebay people were selling actual coupons they had received in junk mail. In my case somebody was selling a coupon for $20 off a purchase of at least $100 and was charging $5 for it. I instantly realised the idea of selling coupons on ebay wasn’t as silly as it seems. I save $15 and he makes $5 of something that didn’t cost him a dime. A win-win.
I gave it a try and everything worked out as planned. I bought the coupon from ebay and it showed up in the mail a day or 2 later. I bought the gift card from whichever gift card exchange had the biggest discount that day, at about 9%, and it also arrived within a few days.
When I went into Dicks Sporting Goods to pick up my $250 purchase I only had to pay $209.30 before taxes. That is $250- $20 coupon= $230. Then take 9% off the $230 to get my before tax price of $209.30, a savings of over $40. Not bad!
I don’t make large purchases at big retailers very often, but from now on I’m not going to even think about not buying somebody else’s junk mail.
How often can you use this
While this is a good trick to keep in your back pocket, I’m really not going to use it very often. Whenever I make a large purchase I usually try to buy used off of Craigslist, so it is pretty rare that I make a big purchase at a retailer.
Selling junk mail
I loved this trick so much I decided to try selling it, but I didn’t have much luck. Over the next couple of weeks I got some kind of $20 coupon to JC Penny’s in the mail and my wife got $10 in Kohl’s cash. I didn’t want to mess around with Ebay so I listed them both on Craigslist for $5 each. No luck, I didn’t get any interest at all. So it appears if you want to make a little profit selling your junk mail then ebay is the marketplace you want to do it at.
How much can you really make doing it? My opinion is not very much. I wouldn’t bother selling anything that is less than $10 and how often do you get a transferable coupon worth $10? Once or twice a week maybe? If you get one coupon a week that you can sell for $5 minus ebay’s fees minus paypal’s fees minus the cost of a stamp and envelope is it really worth your time dealing with ebay, paypal, and customer questions? Not to me it isn’t. So I will forget about trying to make money off of this deal and stick to saving money off of my purchases.