Box Tops deal update

Now, I know that you, my loyal readers, sometimes read a post such as this one where I mention a Meijer Box tops for Education deal and wonder to yourselves, “Now I wonder what ever happened to all those box tops coupons that Dan got?”

In fact, I can visualize you crying yourselves to sleep in pain from not knowing.

But fear not! I have been waiting to give you an update until my final box tops sold, which they just did yesterday. After a disastrous first auction, where 210 box tops only sold for $17.50, I had more success with buy it nows. The final box tops sold yesterday, and the 1260 box tops sold for a gross price of $166.44, an average of 13.21 cents per box top. After ebay and paypal fees, the net profit was $138.08, or 10.96 cents per box top.

In an odd twist of coincidence, the total cost of all the food was $87.08 (the coincidence that they were both some dollars and 8 cents).

So, the final report is 24 bisquik 40 oz, 20 brownie mixes, 44 chex mix, 38 frosting, 20 muffin mix, 4 boxes of potatoes, 13 helper, 1 honey nut cheerio snack mix and a net profit of $51.

Sleep well, faithful readers!!!!

Meijer Box Tops deal report

Okay so Meijer had a promotion this week where if you bought 10 participating products, you got a custom coupon for 70 box tops for education. Each BTFE has a face value of 10 cents, and you can turn them into your kid’s school, or, in my case, sell them on eBay.

This is actually somewhat stingier than similar deals that they have had in the past (the best was one where you got 100 BTFE for buying 12 products, and it was on the same week as super double coupons!)

As is usually the case with deals like this, with coupons it’s fairly straight forward to buy the 10 products for less than the $7 face value of the coupon, making it a moneymaker.

My report:

40 Chex Mix
24 Bisquick 40 oz
20 things that I can’t tell Carolyn about
38 Jars of frosting
20 Muffin mix
13 Hamburger Helper
4 Boxed potatoes
1 Cheerios Snack mix

I paid a total of $87.08 and if you add that all up, you’ll see that is 160 products, or 16 coupons worth. So they have a face value of $112, but I think I can eBay them for a net profit (after ebay and paypal fees) of $8 each at least, which would make them $128. So a net profit overall of about $40 or more (plus all that food).

As an added bonus, that $87 came out of the “Dan” envelope because I’m treating it as an investment in selling the box tops, so the total weekly grocery bill was only $53.

Exploiting inefficiencies in the secondary BTFE market

Could there be a more boring post title?

But yet, read on, gentle reader, and I think that you will be intrigued by what I have to say. For awhile, I have been interested in some of the ineffeciences in the second-hand Box Tops for Education (BTFE) market.

For those of you without school-aged children, BTFE are found on various food products (typically your General Mills / Betty Crocker products but some others). You clip them out and send them in to your kids’ (or any participating) school and then the school turns them in for 10 cents a box top. So far, so good.

Here’s where it gets interesting. If you do a search on ebay for BTFE, you will see that many times they sell for more than 10 cents a box top. In some cases, MUCH more than 10 cents – I’ve seen them go for over 20 cents per box top.

Why do people pay that much? Here’s the only thing I can think of: many times schools will have a pizza party for the class that brings in the msot box tops. So Mommy and Daddy don’t want to take the time to actually clip these, and little Janie or Junior simply MUST have their class party. So they buy them off eBay and send them in.

Recently my co-worker Kerry (again, not to be confused with my sister Kerry) and I noticed that there seemed to be a spike in the raw cost per BTFE on eBay. And we found that twice a year (I believe on 10/31 and 3/30), the schools have to send in their box tops to the Box Tops folks. So many times, schools will send out reminders to parents to send them in. Which in turn reminds them to check eBay and buy them.

A few times, my local Meijer has run promotions where if you buy a certain number of products, you get certificates for 100 or 120 box tops. You can read some of my reports here or here. On the last one, we decided we would hold off on selling our box tops on eBay until October, when we thought the prices would be at their peak. Our coupons for 120 box tops each ($12 face value) sold for about $17 each, though counting Paypal and eBay fees, it wasn’t as great of a deal. But still not bad given for the most part, we paid about $6 for the certificates (not to mention all the food that we picked up alongside)

But even though the October date just passed, I am still seeing pretty good rates for box tops. I have set up an RSS feed that I subscribe to with my handy Google Reader. It searches for only BTFE that are Buy it Nows. So I periodically look for good deals. A few weeks ago, I bought 75 BTFE for $5 shipped (6.67 cents per box top).

Then today I was alerted to a certificate for 1000 box tops selling for $89.99. eBay has sent me a 10% off coupon, so I decided to take the plunge. So it cost me $80.99. I think that I can turn around and sell it Buy it Now for $119.99, which, after fees (handy eBay fee calculator), will net a handy profit of $27.46

I’ll keep you posted!