A coupon exchange is a group of people who clip and trade money-saving coupons. It could be a church group, a senior citizen's club or people that belong to an online coupon forum. Coupon exchanges are usually very informal and in some cases an exchange may be as simple as leaving coupons in a certain drawer at work that employees take and replenish. Coupons used in a coupon exchange may be sourced from newspapers, magazines, fliers or from websites.
Coupon exchange groups can work well when group members are collecting different coupons. For example, a parent of an infant may want coupons for diapers and baby food, while an older person could donate those types of coupons and take coupons for food products. Coupons that are past the expiration date should always be discarded promptly by members.
Coupons may be for grocery and drug items as well as for local services such as restaurants and dry cleaners. Some coupon exchange groups keep a list of members and what kinds of coupons they're looking for. Coupon exchanges in workplaces are often done in the break room. A table, bulletin board or drawer could be reserved for workers to take coupons from and replace with coupons they can't use. Some coupon exchange groups ask for coupon donations from people that don't use coupons, but may have access to them from newspapers or other sources.
A coupon group may be started by anyone. Some coupon groups may also have a recipe exchange with photocopies of favorite recipes used. Online coupon exchanges usually require registration. Forum members list the coupons they have along with the ones they want. Links to sites that have coupons to print out are often included in members' posts. Care should be taken to avoid scams as no coupon exchange should ever require anyone to pay a fee for any reason.
A coupon train is started by a person that has collected a large quantity of coupons -- at least $100-150 US Dollars (USD) worth in value. He or she announces the start of the train in a coupon exchange forum. Members give the coupon train starter member their addresses and lists of coupons they're looking for. The train starter prepares a sheet with all of the members' information and mails it to the first name on the list. That member selects the coupons he or she wants and then adds more coupons in the envelope to mail to the next name on the list and the coupon "train" continues in this manner.