Selling stockpiles is a hot button issue on the couponing groups on Facebook. Most recognize that it's not right but may not be able to pinpoint exactly why. Others say, who cares? People can do what they want. I want to add my thoughts to the debate and hopefully clarify why it's wrong and why couponers should care.
(Originally posted in a Facebook group)
The reason why it is highly UNETHICAL to resell a stockpile is simple. If a person heads to a store to snag a free deal and clears the shelves, there is nothing left for those of us who DO NOT overstock or for those with a valid NEED for a particular item. I don't go get a deal that's free every time it's available because I may have plenty of that item already or it's not something I use.
Case in point - Tena pads. I watched post after post after post of 20- and 30-something couponers grabbing large amounts of these incontinence pads because they were free. And I'm wondering why 20- and 30-somethings NEED pads for incontinence (the inability to hold one's urine).... It is highly unlikely that incontinence is rampant in that particular demographic.
So now, someone's grandma heads to the store with her coupon because it's a great deal and she NEEDS those pads to live her life comfortably and the pads are wiped out because everyone else decided they need 20 packs at a time. Not cool, right?
So now, back to those resellers. They may be responsible for most of the shelf clearing because they got the pads for free and will now turn around and sell that item for full retail, they won't claim the sales on their taxes, and won't report the sales tax that they've collected because it's all in cash and who's to know? Well, we know.
You are required to report income on your tax return - making a sale of ANY item and making a profit is INCOME. You have to have a reseller's license and you have to collect sales tax and report that to the State Board of Equalization. Anyway, all of that is to say that people reselling stockpiles hurts us all in the long run. Stores will tighten up their coupon policies. You think it's unfair that Target at Shields and First only allows one coupon? That could be the norm at all stores if people don't coupon ethically. How about no coupons at all? That could happen, too. Can you trade your stockpile with friends and family? Certainly. But it unethical to maintain a stockpile for the sole purpose of selling it.
Buy only what your family needs for 3-4 months - everything will go on sale again and the coupons will be around again. Consider how your actions affect everyone else in the couponing community. Thanks!