This image was sent to me and I thought it was very interesting. The Tampa Tribune is offering a reward for information that stops people from getting newspapers in unauthorized ways (i.e. stealing them). They’ve even set up a webiste page to accept information turning in sellers.
Long time MSM friends know that I don’t support buying or selling coupons for several reasons.
(1) When we buy coupons we are paying for something that is free with the purchase of a newspaper.
(2) Many coupon sellers obtain their coupons in less than honest ways. Many times they steal (or have a newspaper employee steal) the newspapers to sell the inserts from them. That’s why many stores and boxes have coupon-less newspapers.
(3) I’ve seen reports of people paying for coupons only to get copied printables or even flat out fake coupons.
I’ve heard stories of people meeting to sell inserts with vans full of newspapers- newspapers that aren’t even scheduled to be delivered for a few days! Clearly they didn’t get them in an authorized manner.
If newspapers begin cracking down (and I hope they do!) on theft of coupons and newspapers- it may be the ones easier to go after are the ones buying and redeeming the stolen inserts…and that could possibly mean charges of receiving stolen property- or even worse Dealing in Stolen Property, which in Florida is a Second Degree (F2) felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine….regardless if the item is a 1/100th of a cent valued coupon or not….
So just a thought before we hope on the buying coupons train…and I know it’s tempting! With that HOT Barilla Pasta Sauce deal at Harris Teeter, my area didn’t get the Barilla coupon so I was sorely tempted to give in but I knew I couldn’t and so I will head to Harris Teeter coupon-less and pay 80¢ a jar after catalina!
Another organization, the Coupon Information Center is looking for information specifically about Facebook Groups that sell coupons or promote coupon fraud.
We’ve already seen Ebay make a change last year (although I think it was not really a strong enough change) on the coupon selling policy.
What do you think?