By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Considering the economy, it’s no surprise the number of shoppers using coupons has soared.

In fact, people are now buying and selling them online.

Melanie is one of those shoppers looking to stretch her dollar with coupons. She buys many online and says she saves a $100 a week.

Now she is selling the ones she clips and doesn’t need. “People are willing to pay up to 75% of the coupon value,” she added.

Consumer product manufacturers don’t like this growing exchange. They have asked EBay, for example, to stop allowing coupon sales on their sited.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Manufacturers say the fine print on coupons is clear: “Void if altered, copied, sold, purchased, or transferred.”

Kraft Foods said, “We discourage the sale of our coupons on the Internet.”

Bud Miller of the Coupon Information Corporation represents many of the manufacturers and said, “We’ve been seeing more and more complaints about people coming in with large numbers of coupons just stripping the shelves bare,” he said.

There is no law against selling coupons, but the Coupon Information Corporation is sending out letters to consumers and won’t rule out civil penalties in large cases.

“It violates the terms and conditions and you’re exposing yourself to a host of issues you really don’t want to,” added Miller.

Melanie says the savings are too important for her family, and doesn’t expect many other shoppers to change their habits either. “This is a way they can help themselves and other people at the same time. I think it’s a positive thing,” she added.

EBay says they plan to continue allowing consumers to buy and sell coupons. Many shoppers also use Craigs List as well.


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