Welcome To The Selling Lounge!

We are a friendly forum where sellers help sellers to help our/your online E-Commerce Business grow by having a place of resources and support along with help in promoting ourselves and each other.

I have been selling on line since 2003 in which I started out with eBay where I was doing very well as a Powerseller until all the fee hikes and changes. I then opened up my first Website almost 2 years ago and have been a member of a few very nice informative E-Commerce Forums and have learned so much about this new world of online selling that I wanted to have all my information in one place to help me succeed and by doing that helping others at the same time.

I have noticed that there is a ton of information out there on the net to help us become successful business owners and there are certain things that we must do in order to get our products out there and noticed and to get the buyers to us.

So I'm hoping that we can all share with each other "our tips" of "what works" and "what does not work".

December 16, 2008

Boosting Holiday Sales by Getting on the Coupon Bandwagon

Coupons have become downright chic this holiday season. With the economy ailing, and everyone looking to save where they can, coupons are being embraced as never before, even online. So how can you, as an eBay seller or an online merchant without the marketing budget of a Target or Wal-Mart, benefit from this trend?

Some eBay and smaller sellers are putting their discounts out there on coupon aggregator sites. One of the online sites getting a lot of attention, with recent coverage in The New York Times and USA Today, is With coupon codes listed for over 20,000 stores, RetailMeNot is "the world's largest coupon source," as it trumpets on its home page.

" is a great resource for small sellers," said Lisa Holden, spokesperson for the site. "As long as they have their own domain, they can post coupons on the site for free and expose their store to the millions of shoppers who visit every month."

Any merchant or consumer can post a coupon on by clicking here, Holden said. "Because the default eBay/PayPal payment system does not allow merchants to define custom coupon codes, the simplest way for the merchant to add a coupon is to specify in the coupon description something like, "Mention this code in the comments when you check out and we'll refund the discount." These directions can easily be posted with the coupon on The shopper community then votes on and reviews the success of each coupon."

Sellers can also simply post a plug to their small standalone web site in the "lookie here" forum on the site. "Just be sure to read the sticky note with the rules," said forum moderator "rocksburn." "You are also welcome to post coupons to them in the "coupon" forum."

So are these coupons working? It appears they are. Coupon use is up 33 percent from a year earlier, as of October. In that month, 27 million people visited a coupon site, according to comScore Media Metrix.'s Holden agreed. "We recently worked with Harris Interactive to conduct a survey of consumer shopping behavior, and found that online businesses that don't offer coupons significantly jeopardize sales, because 27% of shoppers who can't find a coupon will either wait to make a purchase or will go to another store that does offer coupons."

The strategy is paying off for some independent sellers. "RetailMeNot coupons have done wonders for our sales!" said Heidi, General Manager of, which sells paper crafting, stamping, and scrapbooking supplies. "We keep track of promo codes and how well different sales promotions do. We've seen a big increase in sales due to new customers - and repeat customers for that matter - that use these promo codes."

Sometimes it's the customers, not the sellers, doing the work of promoting the coupon codes. Marc Joseph, President of DollarDays International Inc., which offers 25,000 goods at wholesale and bulk prices, says, "We did end up with 15 orders from new customers who saw other customers post our coupons on this site in November, and 14 in October." Noting that "this is plus business for us," he said the site "has a value add to what we do."

Other coupon sites, such as and, also offer cash back rewards. (You can read about cash-back programs in this article about BigCrumbs from January.)

FatWallet focuses more on the cash back aspect, and users can post coupon codes for merchandisers. But the forums on the site "are focused on consumers helping consumers," said FatWallet's Laura Pagles, "so we discourage and many times delete content that is self-promotion; anything promoting something with which a seller is directly associated. An eBay seller posting coupons on our site for their product would be considered an advertiser."

She said their experience with eBay sellers has been associated more with their purchasing. "Some members are scouring our site for deals that provide them an opportunity to profit as a reseller on eBay or similar sites. Additionally, buyers can earn FatWallet Cash Back, currently on sale at 3%, when they make an eBay purchase." is a similar site, which offers both coupons and cash back for shopping. It boasts over 900 merchants and has featured deals on the home page, as well as alphabetical listings of stores you can click into to shop and save.

In their about pages, eBates says that if customers don't see the store they want, customers can recommend a store by emailing their Customer Care, and they "will do everything possible to add your merchant."

But some eBay sellers are finding ways to offer discounts within eBay itself, such listing virtual gift certificates in their eBay Stores. Deen (le_chat_chic) of clothing boutique/eBay Store Le_Chat_Chic_Clothing, says she just started listing certificates there. She hasn't sold one yet. She is offering a $25 certificate for a $20 Buy It Now ("save 20% holiday Christmas" is part of her listing title) and a $50 certificate with a $40 BIN.

"Here is a lovely gift idea! Buy your favorite guy or gal a gift certificate," reads the listing description. "Save 20%, so you can get more for less. Gift certificate will be sent via Email, so there is no shipping cost. Will not expire until Jan. 1, 2010." Deen also offers shoppers gift certificates in other amounts.

Whatever route they choose, it seems clear that buyers out there are hungry for discounts, and sellers who embrace coupons can look forward to a greener holiday season.

Share your coupon tips in the AuctionBytes Blog

About the author:

Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6); Her latest ebook, "Over 500 Books that Sell for $50-$5000 on eBay," is available at

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