A Guide to Coupon Trains (Coupon Trading)

While extreme couponing may be harder in Canada, it’s not entirely impossible to achieve. In fact, coupon trains are one of the best ways to accumulate the best coupons for your family and consequently save loads on grocery bills. Keep reading to find out more about coupon trains, typical guidelines as well as how to join one.

What is a Coupon Train?

A form of coupon trading, coupons are passed along between participants (train riders) via the post. Initially sent by the leader of the train (train conductor), each member receives a set number of coupons that he or she must then replace by the same amount as they have taken out.

Most coupon trains are divided into two types:
Opposing needs: each participant (train rider) is looking for different types of coupons (i.e. the first person only wants pet-related coupons, while the second is specifically interested in baby-related ones, etc.)
Similar needs: the coupon train revolves around specific categories such as only for one brand or type of product.

Typical Rules of a Coupon Train

Although each coupon train has its own set rules and guidelines, general rules include but are not limited to:
Only take the coupon you actually plan on redeeming;
Any coupons taken out of the envelope must be replaced with an equal number of one’s own coupons;
Added coupons to the envelope must have a long expiry date unless otherwise agreed upon (i.e. in the event that the next passenger can use the coupon before it expires);
Unless otherwise agreed on, printable coupons and rebate forms are typically not allowed;
Remove any expired coupons from the train;
If wish lists are included, try to help others as much as possible;
Any train derailments (delays) will result in penalties (most envelopes need to be sent on its way within a maximum of 3 days).

Where Can I Find Coupon Trains?

The easiest way to find coupon trains is by either Googling them or asking around on Canadian coupon trading forums. Or if you’re interested please leave a comment and see if we can get some people together here.

Keep in mind that certain trains have strict guidelines for new members looking to join a coupon train. This isn’t meant to deter anyone from participating, but it is a safeguard to make sure that no one runs away with an envelope full of loot (coupons) and disappears off the radar. While some may require a certain number of posts to the forum beforehand, others require new members to trade gifts cards, Canadian Tire money and other such products in exchange for coupons. But don’t worry about this last requirement because you’re certain to get your money back regardless, oftentimes at a profit.

Above all, make sure to have fun and help as much as you can — you never know when the favours will be returned to you!

Have you ever participated in a coupon train? Share with us below your experience(s). And let us know if you want to join one!

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