“Deal of the Day” Sites: Your Friend or Foe?

You may be familiar with Groupon, LivingSocial and other daily deal services. These websites offer discounts up to 90% on anything from restaurants, hotels, theaters, magazines and everything else. From 80% off teeth whitening to 60% off flight lessons, we’ve seen it all. But are these sites your friend or foe?

Although we will admit, the deals are often truly unbeatable; we can’t help but wonder if the sites lead to wasted dollars and impulsive spending. Take a look at this clip from the Ellen Show about Groupon.

Ellen jokingly over exaggerates the bundled deals, a 4-hand massage, a this, a that… but she really does have a point! Who needs the items previously mentioned?

Are these deals tempting consumers to make unplanned purchases they have not budgeted for? Are consumers making rash and impulsive decisions on purchases?

Here’s the good and the bad about the ‘daily deals’

  • Good: great way to save money at places you visit frequently. If you see a daily deal for something you usually pay full price for, why not buy it for a discounted price?
  • Bad: just because you can save big doesn’t mean you still aren’t spending money. It might be the great deal, but that doesn’t mean it’s in your budget to buy it.
  • Good: can be a good strategy for saving money on dates or nights out with your friends. You may be able to find a great deal on a restaurant you and your significant other have always wanted to try or a deal for a spa you and your friends have always wanted to go to.
  • Bad: most deals have a limited number of vouchers and are only available only for about 24 hours. This pressures you to act quickly and not really think about the purchase.
  • Good: can be an incentive to try new things and treat yourself! Groupon, Living Social and sister sites offer great deals for things you won’t think of trying or doing in your free time.
  • Bad: these deals trigger unnecessary spending! Which is a bad habit, especially for people who already have troubles managing their money!
  • Good: smart method for stretching your gift budget. Most daily deal sites allow you to give the voucher as a gift!
  • Bad: Beware! Most, if not all, daily deals come with an expiration date.  Keep an eye on those dates and warn anyone who you may have gifted the deal to so your money doesn’t completely go to waste!

Think Groupon and LivingSocial are the only sites dishing out the deals? Check out these other emerging daily deal sites that you might not have discovered yet:


-Woot! : Offers a great deal on one item a day, new item is posted everynight at midnight (central time).
-Eversave: Enter your city and recieve 50-90% percent off a local business daily.
-KGB deals: Save up to 90% on deals around you, multiple options, changed daily.
-TIPPR: Another portal for finding great deals in your city!
-Scout Mob: Mobile app and website that offers one outstanding deal a day somwhere in your city or in a city near you.
-Homerun: Features “hot minute deals” — no time to deliberate about these, they can be gone in the blink of an eye!
-Amazon Gold Box: Offers deals on products, like technology and jewelry, that are  avaliable for one day (or less), from a website you can trust.

 

What do you think about daily deals? Friend or foe? Leave a comment and let us know how you use daily deals or if you stay away from them at all costs!

 

Leslie H. Tayne, Esq. founder of Tayne Law Group, P.C. (Formerly The Law Offices of Leslie H. Tayne, P.C.), assists consumers and individuals with the resolution of their unsecured debts.  The firm’s flexible and well established policies and procedures have helped thousands of individuals lead a debt-free life.  Law Offices of Leslie H. Tayne, P.C. has offices in Long Island, White Plains, Mount Kisco and New York City.   For more information, call 1-631-470-8204 or visit www.attorney-newyork.com

 

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Comments

  1. The thing to keep in mind when using any coupons, deal sites or shopping sales is to make sure you are getting something you want, need or can afford. If, for instance, you’re looking for an affordable way to treat your spouse or a loved one to lunch on Valentine’s Day, look for a coupon or deal at a restaurant you like, or have wanted to try, AND can afford. If a sale or a good deal fits your needs and your budget, then it really is a good deal.

    • Thanks for your insight Tanya! I think you’re spot-on and that readers should take that advice. It gets tricky when people feel pressured into buying these deals and wind up spending more money than they originally budgeted for. But there is no denying that they usually are GREAT deals– and on special occassions– like valentine’s day next week, these sites and coupons can be great tools to celebrate on a budget!

  2. These daily deal websites are definitely a bittersweet thing. On the one hand, it’s great when you see something you’ve wanted a deal on or whatnot, but it’s a problem (like what’s mentioned in the article) when it triggers unnecessary spending (which is my biggest problem, haha). Many things I’ve bought on these websites I wouldn’t have bought otherwise–I just couldn’t pass on the deal! It’s like a mind game with your money for sure.

    • It’s great that you are aware that these sites are causing you to spend out of your budget/ on things you don’t necessarily need. Awareness is the first step to breaking these habits! Remeber– It’s ok to take the deal once in a while! But don’t be pressured to buy it because it’s a ‘now or never’ kind of thing. Try this– everytime you see something that is a good deal follow these steps before you make the purchase; think if you really need the item/voucher, if it’s in your budget and if now is the right time to purchase it! If the answer is yes to all of those questions, go ahead and buy it! If not, wait it out, I am sure if you keep checking you’ll find a similar deal again!

  3. Good post, thanks for the insight. Ultimately, I think common sense needs to guide our purchase decisions. Groupon can be a good way to save on something you were going to buy anyway. Getting sucked in… sucks! In my personal Groupon experiences, the service tends to suffer as employees are busy due to the volume of Grouponers like me. So is it really a deal if you don’t have an enjoyable experience. Hmmm.

    • I totally agree, the only problem is that maybe people aren’t using common sense or budgeting skills as much because they are blinded by the 50%,60%,70% (and so forth) off. It defintely isn’t a good deal either if the service you recieve isn’t up to par because of so many people buying these deals, but that’s something that the companies themselves need to work on!

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  7. You did a great work writing and revealing the hidden beneficial features of daily deal sites

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