For those of you who are concerned about whether or not you should still keep listing coupons and still keep getting inserts, here’s an exchange I had with a new customer. She placed her first order with us on March 23. So far, she’s placed 6 orders with us. I’ve changed her name to Suzy Q in this exchange…
Question from Suzy Q: Hello! Quarantine has me learning all about couponing. I made several different orders on your site and wanted to apologize for not doing them all in one order. I’m new and learning!
My response: Welcome to The Happy Couponer Marketplace! Yes, this quarantine has a lot of us learning new things. I’m teaching myself to quilt! LOL
As for placing multiple orders, that’s no problem at all. In fact, we encourage it. Our site is set up for ‘first come, first served’ service. When hot coupons pop up – and you’ll soon learn which ones are ‘hot’ – you need to put them in your cart and buy them ASAP before the stock disappears. So we always have customers buy one coupon on this order, one coupon on that order, another one on another order… It happens all the time and we don’t mind a bit 🙂
I hope you and all your loved ones and friends are all staying safe and healthy 🙂
Next question from Suzy Q: Thanks! As far as I can tell it is legal to purchase through your website because you charge only for the service of clipping and mailing (not the coupons themselves) correct?
Can’t be too safe. 😂
My response: Yes, it’s perfectly legal to purchase from us. The Happy Couponer Marketplace has been online since January 2013 and nobody’s been arrested yet 🙂
Next email from Suzy Q: Girl, I just ordered coupon holders and a binder from Amazon. I’m already addicted. 😂 You’ve probably noticed I mostly ordered clippings of coupons dated through like Christmas… I’m excited for post-apocalyptic couponing. How sad is that???? 😂
I’m a teacher and child behavioral specialist in real life so I have a LOT of free time right now.
I befriended the spider in the corner of my bathroom ceiling. Just saying. 😂
Thanks again: Health and toilet paper to you and yours!
My response: I have GOT to find someone who can needlepoint this email onto a pillow for me! LOLOLOL This is the best email I’ve ever received!!!!! Since I can’t actually send you toilet paper right now (we’re holding tight to every roll we have!) I just refunded one of your earlier orders. You should see it in your Paypal account. And if you tell anyone I did this I will send an exterminator to your house and have him stomp on all your spidey friends!!! LOLOL
Health, happiness and safety to you and yours
Suzy Q’s response: What!? You are the best! My lips are sealed. When I checked out yesterday the cashier high-fived me through the plexiglass sneeze guard and said, “Damn girl! Nice job!” And though we couldn’t see each other’s smiles beneath our face masks… we both felt that. As she went through my coupons the woman 6 feet socially distanced behind me rolled her eyes at me for taking a little more of her time and I swear to you I’d never felt more like a real Couponer. Proud! 😂
My takeaway from this and other customer interactions I’ve had, and this is just my opinion…
I completely understand your caution and concerns. None of us is independently wealthy. If we were, we sure as hell wouldn’t be spending our time clipping coupons 🙂
While sales at THCM have definitely slowed down, people are still buying groceries. People will always need to buy groceries.
I think our sales have slowed for a couple of reasons:
People are watching their spending right now. They’re buying fewer specialty grocery items and shopping the basic pantry items and there aren’t a lot of coupons for the basics.
People are shopping less frequently, because of social distancing, so they’re stocking up when they do shop.
And let’s face it… it’s hard to ‘plan’ a shopping trip right now because you don’t know what you’re going to find on the shelves when you get there.
But I also think that once this thing is over people are going to need coupons more than ever. Everybody’s going to have a lot of financial catching up to do and they’re going to be looking for ways to save money on essentials. What’s more essential than food? And what’s the best way to save money on food? Coupons!
People are still ordering from us. And new customers are still coming to us. So I’m guessing THCM is going to be hopping when all of this passes.
Only you can decide what’s best for your business and I’m not trying to sway you one way or the other. I’ve just had a few vendors ask me what I think so I thought I’d put it out here for all of you to see. I’ll admit, I’m a risk-taker. Always have been. And trust me, it doesn’t always pay off 🙂
But here’s what I think…
When Jessica and I first set up this website it was not with the intention to make a ton of money. Our mission was to help people FIND coupons so they could save money on groceries, and help people SELL coupons because sellers were getting kicked off ebay and other websites. We have always kept that mission in mind. We’ve never been at this to make money, in fact we donate a lot of what we make after expenses. I firmly believe that when you take a risk with good intentions, God or the Universe, or Karma or whoever or whatever you believe in, does see it and does reward you. And we’ve been rewarded with a great community of couponing friends – buyers and sellers.
So here’s what I think about the business…
Keep in mind that I don’t know how or where you get your stock or how much it costs you. I also know nothing about your personal needs.
If it were me and I wasn’t a ‘dare devil’, I would try to find out what’s in the insert before I order. I know that’s not always possible. Klip2save usually has previews but they’re running late right now so it might not give you enough time to order. I’ll try searching around to see if I can find another source.
You guys know how it works. Manufacturers have regular schedules for the hot coupons. Customers are still buying the hot coupons. You know which ones sell and most of you should know when they’re coming out. So, for example, if you know it’s time for the TIDE coupons, I’d definitely get those inserts.
Order a week at a time if you can. If you feel like you should cut down on stock, just do it this week and see what happens. Then, if it looks like you could have sold more, increase your order a little for the next week.
Those of you who’ve been around for a while – and that’s most of you – I definitely would not close down your shop, even if it’s only temporarily. Keep something in your shop so customers can see you’re still here because trust me, they ask me where you are when they see your shop disappear.
Jessica and I and the mini-couponers (who aren’t really ‘mini’ anymore!) are doing fine. A little bored, a little stir-crazy, but safe and healthy. I hope you’re all well and tucked up safe somewhere. And I hope your loved ones are, too.