With the economy still sitting in tepid waters, we’re all being ever mindful of our wallets. Even if we were in times that were less lean – we should still be diligent of our bottom line because that just makes fiscal sense. So, when the daily deal sites started cropping up, I was pretty excited.
Admittedly, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon immediately and start scooping up deal after deal. I have watched my inbox with cautious enthusiasm for a while, only pickingÃ‚Â occasionalÃ‚Â deals from time to time to see how they worked out for me in my local community to ensure I was actually getting my money’s worth. And I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised.
For example, I received a deal for a local photographer who put on a workshop through a Living Social deal. He provided a 4-hour class at a local museum that I paid $40 for and the advice he offered was invaluable. I learned more about my camera than I would have otherwise.
Now, admittedly, the class was pretty packed with people, and he had a few typos in his slideshow presentation (which, as a writer, irked me) but overall, my money was well spent.
My advice to you would be as follows when considering a deal on Living Social or other deal sites like it:
- Read the fine print. There are multiple tabs to each deal that you should read – one says “description” which tells you about your deal, the other tab talks about where the location of the local business is and the other says fine print. You’ll want to make sure that you read that in great detail. Often times there are specifics about locations, dates you can use your coupons and more. This will let you know if the deal is a good fit for you.
- Start slow.Ã‚Â Buy one or two deals and then use them before you purchase more deals. See how they pan out and if you feel satisfied with how the system works out. Purchase two different types of deals. For example, I have used oneÃ‚Â restaurantÃ‚Â deal and one workshop deal and both worked out well overall – so I feel pretty confident using the deal sites.
- Be reasonable.Ã‚Â When you go into aÃ‚Â restaurantÃ‚Â with a $20 for $10 coupon and only spend $18 don’t expect $2 back. That’s ridiculous. You only spent $10 for the coupon. The reason theÃ‚Â restaurant went with the deal site was to get you into their place with the hopes that you would either A.) spend above your coupon, not below Ã‚Â or B.) You would love their establishment so much, you would return for another meal at a later date. Keep in mind that they are a business; be respectful of that fact or those deals will stop showing up in your inbox.
Overall, I dig the deal sites. I think they’re a great concept because they help me find places, classes and shops I might not otherwise find locally, and supporting small businesses is a positive no matter how you look at it.
Additionally, they’ve rolled out national deals that offer things like magazine subscriptions at a great discount rate – last week they had US Weekly had a huge discount. They keep holidays in mind when they make their deals as well. For Father’s Day, they offered special dad-friendly deals as seen below:
I also like that they offer travel deals at such a reduced rate that it’s now possible for me to consider vacations in places I might not go to if I had not been exposed to them by visiting their site.Ã‚Â It really is a great marketing option for hotels, B&B’s, etc. My small, otherwise unknown hometown actually had their golf resort on Living Social last week – I was very proud.
A final thought, after reading this article about how Living Social works with businesses, I’m thinking they’re the better site to go with overall.
Do you use deal sites? Are you a Groupon or Living Social fan?Ã‚Â