Looking for date night options that are fun and affordable? Want to find a yoga class for half price? Offering deals on everything from berries to beach getaways, daily deal sites like Groupon, LivingSocial or DoubleTake Deals have become an internet phenomenon.
Group buying sites are websites that partner with businesses who offer products or services for discounted rates. Some group deals require a certain number of people to purchase the deal in order for it to become valid—hence the term “group buying” (make sure to read that fine print!). While you pay up front for the deal, your money is refunded if the deal doesn’t activate.
For the savvy consumer, these sites can be a way to score a great deal and save money, but they can also lead to wasteful spending if you’re not careful. Here are some useful tips for making the most out of your daily deal couponing:
- Only use sites you know and trust. Websites like Groupon, LivingSocial or Google Offers that have strong brand identity backing them up are good places to start.
- Ask yourself “do I really need this?” The fact is that for every online deal that’s sold, there are a percentage of them that won’t be redeemed. Take deals only for things you really need, or know you’re going to do in the near future.
- Avoid the impulse to “add on”. Many of these deals will lead you into businesses with an offer such as “$25 for $50 worth of art supplies”, with the hope that you’ll actually spend more money once you’re in the store. With your “free” money burning a hole in your pocket, it can be easy to rationalize additional purchases that go beyond the value of the coupon itself. And at the end of the day, that extra money spent can add up quickly.
While it’s important to be mindful of what and how you buy, there are many advantages to daily deal sites. The most popular sites are free to sign up, and often allow you to select deals based on your personal preferences. It’s a great way to get out, try something new and explore your town without breaking your budget!