Nov 8, 2010

Ways to Make & Save Money #16: Shop Selectively at Daily Deal Sites

You can read the rest of the Ways to Make & Save Money series here.

A recent phenomenon on the internet is "deal of the day" sites like Groupon, Eversave, Jasmere, Plum District, and so on. These sites offer a different discounted deal each day, and you can get tremendous bargains if you shop carefully.

I have to admit that at first, I wasn't too excited about these sites but then I bought some great Groupons and I turned into a convert. For example, I was able to order two dozen cookies from Insomnia Cookies for just $22, including shipping, and it was the perfect birthday gift for a foodie friend who literally has everything she wants. That was an online deal, so it didn't matter where I lived, since I ordered the cookies online and had them shipped to my friend.

Many deal of the day sites offer such online deals, which you can purchase regardless of where you live. There is usually a minimum number of deals that must be purchased to activate the deal with the seller, and there is often a maximum number as well.

Many of the daily deals are regional or local. For example, I live in Los Angeles, and usually the daily Los Angeles Groupon is for a local merchant - a couple of months ago, I bought a voucher for a dozen Mrs. Beasley's cupcakes for $18, or half off. Most of the other cities on Groupon also feature local deals, but there are always some cities that have online deals that anyone can use regardless of location. Of course, it can be tedious to find the best online deals, and of course some sites list the best online deals each day. I find that it gets repetitive, so I try to post them only if they're truly exceptional.

The most important thing to remember is to only buy deals that you really, really want and will definitely use. The vouchers usually have a pretty long expiration date, so you will have plenty of time to use them. But if you're buying a voucher just to buy one, then you could easily end up spending more money than you normally would have. I find that it's usually better to let a deal go by, because another one will likely come along later, than to snatch one up and regret spending the money.

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Camille said...

I am LOVING these sites! I can't believe the deals I've gotten. I especially love the on-line treats to send to family far away. I've been stockpiling them for the holidays.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Camille - Yes! I love the food deals, because I'm totally into consumable gifts right now :)