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Selling Travel Certificates on eBay

Every month we get a packet of coupons in the mail. You know the type… It comes complete with coupons/ads for carpet cleaning, check printing, oil changes, handyman services, local restaurants, and more. And almost without fail it includes a discount certificate for air travel on a major US airline. One day awhile back I noticed that people were selling these on eBay so, curious guy that I am, I slapped together an ad and threw one up for auction. Well, the auction ended and I cleared about $15. So now I’ve gotten into a silly little habit of selling one of these every month when that coupon packet show up in the mail. I know, I know… Just like the Credit Protector rebate coupons, this hardly seems like it’s worth the effort. But it has sort of turned into a game for me and, like I’ve said before, stuff like this amuses me (yes, I’m easily amused). Besides, now that I have the ad written, it literally takes about 2-3 minutes to put up the auction, and another 2-3 minutes to send off the discount code to the winning bidder when all is said and done. And $15 for five minutes of ‘work’ isn’t too bad.

Posted by on November 15, 2005.

Categories: Online, Travel

9 Responses

  1. I don;t understand — people are actually bidding for a package of coupons? Whoa! No way! Here in Canada I get a similar kinda pack once a month too — hummm…you have spawned a great new money making idea — I love it!!!

    by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2005 at 8:10 pm

  2. No, they’re bidding on the travel certificate. It’s a Northwest Airlines certificate that allows people to purchase tickets for flights within or between ‘zones’ for a relatively low flat rate. As it turns out, these are pretty hot items in places like Fargo, ND where NWA has a stranglehold on air traffic, and charges accordingly.

    by Nickel on Nov 15, 2005 at 9:11 pm

  3. Thanks for the tip, i’ll be turning some of those into cash the next time I get them…

    by Anonymous on Nov 15, 2005 at 10:26 pm

  4. I checked my coupon pack… nothing worthwhile, including travel certificates. Oh well.

    by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2005 at 7:32 pm

  5. I noticed that these transactions weren’t included in your free money summary. Have you been able to do this multiple times?

    by Anonymous on Jan 2, 2006 at 4:36 pm

  6. I thought selling of such e-certs was illegal, or does NWA such say that you can’t sell them to discourage?

    by Anonymous on Jan 25, 2006 at 9:18 pm

  7. The certs do say that you can’t sell or auction them. That’s probably why some folks on eBay are selling envelopes and giving away the certificates. I doubt that would ever hold up though.

    Given the pure number of these certs trading on eBay, I would guess people aren’t having any problems.

    BTW, I noticed people are selling just about any kind of coupon on eBay: Linens & Things, Office Depot, Dunkin Donuts, etc…

    by Anonymous on Jan 26, 2006 at 6:42 pm

  8. Buyer beware… I’m not sure if this is “illegal,” but Northwest Airlines will void any tickets they think might have been purchased using a certificate:

    I’m not sure how they would know, but… Let your conscience be your guide. 🙂

    by Anonymous on Sep 11, 2006 at 2:28 pm

  9. Any chance one of you “lucky” recipients of these NWA E-Certs would be willing to share one at no charge out of the kindness of your heart to a fellow thrifty and struggling gal from MN?

    Let me know at MKING19 (at) aol (dot) com


    by Anonymous on Sep 14, 2006 at 11:25 pm

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Hello and welcome. I’m “nickel”, and I’m the guy who runs this place. I’m a thirty-something family man with a loving wife and four wonderful kids. I’ve been sharing my thoughts on various topics related to money and finance here on FiveCentNickel since May 1, 2005. While my wife and I have always been pretty […]more →