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Selling Travel Certificates on eBay

Written by Nickel - 10 Comments

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.

Published on November 15th, 2005 - 10 Comments
Filed under: Online, Travel

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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10 Responses to “Selling Travel Certificates on eBay”

  1. 1
    Jay's Financial Blog Says:

    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!!!

  2. 2
    nickel Says:

    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.

  3. 3
    jim Says:

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

  4. 4
    Flexo Says:

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

  5. 5
    Jeremy Says:

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

  6. 6
    Mike Says:

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

  7. 7
    Jeremy Says:

    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…

  8. 8
    stephen Says:

    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. :)

  9. 9
    Micah Says:

    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


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