When daily deal discounts aren't worth it
Got Groupons you haven't used? How about a LivingSocial deal for a business that went belly up?
This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.
I couldn't stand being on Groupon and LivingSocial mailing lists for more than a couple of weeks because the deals were usually for stuff I don't buy or places I don't go. I looked only when I wanted to buy something specific, or when someone recommended a deal to me. So, luckily, I've never been burned. But others have.
For instance, as The Huffington Post recently pointed out, there was a Groupon deal to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for $18, a value of "up to $25." The problem: You can get in for free; $25 is just the recommended donation.
That's one situation where a deal really isn't -- when you can get the same thing for less by looking somewhere else. Forbes notes that daily deal sites like to highlight percent savings, but as with any deal, it's important to see how much you save versus other outlets, not versus full price.
Some of the big sites, like Groupon and LivingSocial, are making it easier to comparison shop by offering deals over longer periods, Forbes says. Some deals are now available for two weeks or more.
Shifting from a model that encourages impulse buys to one that encourages value shopping may also fix another deal site problem -- when the business offering the deal can't meet the demand. Forbes mentions a spa that had to shut down after selling too many half-price massages.
To make sure a deal is worth it, Forbes suggests that consumers consider the product or service, not the bargain it represents. Is it something you actually want, from a company you're familiar with? Read the fine print, too. Expiration dates, exclusions, and fees and taxes that aren't included in the discount can be deal-breakers.
Have you ever been burned on a deal voucher? What's the biggest savings you've seen from one?
More on Money Talks News:
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Get your emergency fund together now if you want to avoid stumbling over costly surprises in the future.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'