Shopping Tips for Online Group Deals
Group daily deal sites burst onto the bargain shopping scene last year and show no signs of slowing down. Nearly every week, it seems that a new site is launched. If you are not familiar with this shopping phenomenom, read my Mom's Guide to Group Buying Sites primer.
My family has enjoyed many new experiences thanks to sites like Groupon and Living Social. Meals at new restaurants, go-kart adventures, shoes on the cheap, and several other frugal entertainment options. Apps even sit on my iPhone for instant updates on the daily deals, which is so convenient - or is it? In a way, the deals I select have the power to shape our weekends. That makes it even more important to use them wisely and responsibly.
Have you ever had buyers' remorse over a deal? Perhaps it seems like an amazing price on something you know you will use, but later after the rush fades, you realize you could have done without it.
Here are five questions to ask yourself before clicking "purchase":
1. Is this really something I will use? A restaurant meal is easily redeemed, since you know you have to eat. But that voucher to the a local family attraction may go unused. Packing up the kids, snacks, sunscreen and gas are other factors to consider.
2. Is it really a good deal? Saving 50% or more off the regular price is my minimum price point to consider something a bargain.
3. Did I read the fine print? Sometimes vouchers for online shopping do not include shipping, sometimes they require a phone order. Read all of the fine print and restrictions before your decision.
4. Will I use it before it expires? I have allowed some of my vouchers expire accidentally (hanging my head in shame). Keeping tabs on expiration dates is vital for getting your money's worth!
5. Is this in the budget? A fantastic bargain is very tempting, but if you do not have room in your monthly budget for it, it's not really a bargain at all.
If you ask yourself these questions, and the answers are all yes, go for it! Smart spending can include daily deal sites, if done right. Vouchers even make great gifts for friends and loved ones. Who doesn't appreciate a free meal?