In the past couple of years, daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social have exploded onto the scene. Now it seems like new sites are popping up every day, offering consumers a wide variety of deals. Whether it’s 6 laser treatments for $97 or half off sushi at a local restaurant, many people find themselves constantly checking their e-mail for that can’t miss deal. But how many ‘great deals’ do you buy that go unused or expire after a few months? In this article we’ll share a few tips for staying on top of your deals and give you some simple rules to follow before purchasing.
There is a reason sites turn to Groupon
Like with gift cards, businesses make a substantial profit off unused/expired deals. Let’s also not forget why companies turn to sites like Groupon. If these companies offered great services and products would they need to give such a steep discount? Most of the businesses that turn to daily deal sites are struggling to attract new customers for a reason. Their food may not be great, or their services might be way below average.
Limit your choices
Whenever I see a deal for a business I already shop at, I almost always buy it. The savings will add up significantly on places you already frequent. Another great use of these deals is for restaurants you are interested in trying. I am much more willing to try a new place a friend recommended, or that I read about on Yelp, if it will be half off. Buying deals for services you may try or that sound interesting is probably a waste of money. If you’re wavering on the decision, it’s probably best to pass it up. There will always be another deal.
Daily Deal Aggregator
There are some great sites out there that can help you keep track of all the daily deal sites. I like to use YipIt. It is a daily deal aggregator that sends you a daily e-mail that contains all the daily deals for your area. Yipit even allows you to select the types of services you’re interested in. That way if you’re not interested in skin/beauty daily deals, you’ll never be bombarded with offers for manicures, pedicures and brazilian blowouts!
Read the fine print! I can’t stress this enough because there are often restrictions that go along with these deals. For restaurant deals, check the following:
- Is it good for lunch, dinner or both?
- Are there restrictions on alcohol?
- Is it only good for regular priced menu items(No lunch specials or happy hour)?
- Dine-in or take-out
- When does it expire?
If you’re anything like me, you have a stack of deals sitting at home. Try using a simple spreadsheet to keep track of them so that you don’t forget about the expiration date. Though if you do, remember the deal still retains the value that you originally paid(this value can never expire, per CA law). It also helps to have them printed out ahead of time for convenient use.
Do you use daily deal sites? Do you think they are an advantage to consumers or the businesses?
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