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How Coupon Trains Work

Updated on September 25, 2012

How to start a coupon swap club

Have you ever heard of a Coupon Train? It's not a real train of course, It's a coupon sharing club, basically! I was in a group called a coupon train on Yahoo. What people would do is sign up for a "Train" (they'd usually have about 7 in each "train")...once it was filled up, then the first person on the list sent an envelope with 30 coupons to the next person on the list.

Here's a break down of how that works. Maybe you would like to start your own coupon train with friends.


Have you ever participated in a Coupon Train?

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How our coupon train operated

The 1st person would post to the group that they sent the envelope to the 2nd person on the list. The 2nd person on the list takes out the coupons they want, and replaces those coupons with the same number of coupons. All the replacement coupons put in need to be at least 2 weeks away from the expiration date. Each person receiving needs to send the envelope back out again ASAP or within a day or two (so the coupons will make the rounds before they expire). It can work very well if everyone follows the rules. People would also get to know the next people down the list and insert the coupons they knew they could use. The group kept a database where people would list the types of coupons and products they used and wanted coupons for.

The Train's Conductor

It seems kind of bad to be the "Conductor" of the train, after all, he or she is the one who has to start it with 30 coupons! BUT, the other people in the group sent their spare or unused coupons to the conductors, so they'd have plenty to start the trains with.

Once the coupon train makes it back to the Conductor, that ends that train route. There would be different lists for different things, like baby products, cleaning products, baking products, be the best use to people.

How to start or join a Coupon Train

It works well in a Yahoo group. You can create your own group, or you can look up coupon trains on Yahoo. Just be careful, sometimes there were people who had to be kicked out of the group for not following the rules, not sending back the coupons like they agreed, so there is SOME risk, but not much more than a few coupons!

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