Daily Deals: Deal or No Deal?

1:59 PM, Aug 19, 2012   |    comments
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Daily Deal sites like Groupon and Living Social can save you money but can also cause you to overspend.

For example, one of the daily deal sites recently ran a promotion for a pizza restaurant: $4 for $8 worth of food.  A medium pizza costs $19, beverages are $2.00 each, tax is 8% and tip is about $4.00.  Even after you redeem that $8 voucher, your out of pocket costs will run about $24.00! 

There are good deals out there but you may want to check a restaurant's menu before you buy a daily deal coupon to make sure a $4 investment doesn't end up wreaking havoc on your budget,.

There are also potential pitfalls when you buy personal services like spa treatments, waxing or hair removal. (Seriously, I would think long and hard before I bought any of these on a daily deal site) If you're tempted, do some research on the company to make sure they're reputable. And in some cases call ahead to see what you're getting. For example Laser hair removal is all over the daily deal sites. But you may need more sessions than your daily deal voucher covers, and  those additional sessions may cost you full price.

And with travel deals look at the fine print and blackout dates.  Then compare the price with similar deals on Expedia and other travel sites. A recent Jamaica trip on Groupon was $329 for four nights in a hotel. Looking at the  fine  print revealed an additional $70 in taxes and fees but that price was still $130 less than I found anywhere else on line, so it turned out to be a bargain.

A few minutes of resarch before hit the "submit" button can help you decide whether you're getting a good deal, a great deal, or no deal at all!

 

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