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Retailers seek end to coupon sales on eBay

There's a new push by consumer product manufacturers to shut down coupon sales on eBay.
October 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's a new push by consumer product manufacturers to shut down coupon sales on eBay.

The Coupon Information Corporation, or CIC, which represents businesses, just sent multiple requests to the online auction giant eBay demanding the sale of coupons stop.

"The best solution would be for eBay to simply prohibit the sale of manufactures coupons from their websites like they do many other items," said Bud Miller of the CIC.

So what's wrong with selling coupons online? Manufacturers say look at the fine print on their coupon: Void if altered, copied, sold, purchased of transferred.

Retailers say the coupon craze is causing chaos in some stores.

"We've been seeing more and more complaints about people coming in with large numbers of coupons just stripping the shelves bare," Miller said.

There's no law against selling coupons, but sellers may get a demand letter from the CIC asking to stop or risk facing civil penalties.

However, selling altered, stolen or counterfeit coupons is against the law.

In response, eBay said it will continue to allow such sales under its active category for coupon listings, but it is "committed to preventing, detecting and combating fraud."

There's no law against buying coupons online, but the CIC warns buyers could be wasting their money. If they show up with too many or questionable coupons, the store may deny them.

On eBay's website, it says it does limit the number of coupons people can sell and does not allow the sale of expired or electronic coupons, but they don't monitor the site for possible violations.


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