Have you ever noticed a cash value printed on coupons? The coupon might state that it has a value of 1/100th or 1/10th of a cent. Can you actually redeem a bunch of coupons for their cash value? The short answer is yes. But should you bother? Redeeming a coupon should depend on its value upon redemption versus the cost to do so.
If you use a paper coupon, such as a clipping from a newspaper, you will notice the fine print on the coupon designating its cash value. Most coupons are worth 1/20th of a cent. This means that you need 20 ORIGINAL (not copied) coupons to get 1 penny. It doesn’t take a math whiz to realize that you’ll need a whole ton of coupons to make any kind of money on their face value. If you stuffed a Swedish backpack full of coupons, it still wouldn’t be more than a few dollars’ worth. In general, using coupons makes much more sense.
Usually, printed coupons do not have a cash value unless they are an authorized replica of a coupon appearing in a periodical or unless they’re distributed by the manufacturer or retailer. Online coupons cannot be exchanged for cash because they are simply an electronic promotional code.
Preprinted coupons have a cash value for legal reasons dating back to trading stamp problems in the 1930s. The United States passed a law that a cash value must be included on coupons and trading stamps in order to protect consumers. Many states still have such laws on the books, so most manufacturers continue to put a cash value on coupons distributed throughout the country.
The cost of the cash value printed on the face of coupons is built into the price you pay for goods and services. But you can make up for that cost by using a coupon for your purchase. If you save a dollar off an item by using a coupon that has a cash value of 1/10th of a cent, then it’s obvious that you save more by using the coupon rather than by exchanging the coupon for cash.
The Cost of Redeeming Coupons For Their Cash Value
When you consider the cost of collecting and redeeming coupons for cash, doing all this doesn’t seem worth the trouble. Typically, your mailing costs to claim the cash value for a coupon are much more than the monetary amount you’ll actually receive for the coupon. Also, it would take endless hours and resources to collect that many coupons.
Still, large organizations sometimes benefit from coupon collection drives. People turn in coupons that they don’t need to an organization, just as they would donate an HX35 turbo, so that the organization can redeem them for the face cash value. Free coupon collecting labor and low bulk mail rates might make it worthwhile for certain large groups to trade in a good number of coupons for money.
Later on, we’ll discuss how you can make a coupon worth more than its face value.