When a daily deal is not a deal

Bargain? Yes please! (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/art_directter/Photozou)

When is a daily deal not a deal? When a better price can be had, of course. Even if you see 50 percent off discounts, continuing your search for the best prices on all the things you buy is a good idea. Here are some tips to help.

Don’t cave under pressure

A common element of the “daily deal” propounded by sources ranging from Groupon and Living Social to eBay is the pressure to “buy it now.” That can get you into plenty of trouble if your heart is set on paying the least amount of coin possible for goods and services, notes family finance expert Ellie Kay.

“Just because they say it’s a deal, doesn’t mean it really is the best price you can get,” she says.

Don’t give in simply because a crafty orator with a pretty face has told you that you won’t find a better deal and that you have to hurry and buy before your wallet turns into a pumpkin and someone else absconds with all the bargaining mojo.

Just because the Sham-Wow guy yells that you can walk away with a $35 plus $5.95 shipping and handling deal for a 14-piece ceramic kitchen knife set doesn’t mean that you should suddenly be as excited as the late Billy Mays in an OxiClean commercial. The price at the corner shop might be $10 less, and you’ll be spared the crushing assault of “buy it now” pressure.

Always check prices online before you buy

While this may not necessarily apply to small incidentals from the grocery store, most things are worth doing some comparison shopping. The World Wide Web is a fabulous tool in this regard. Search coupon websites like Groupon Goods, but don’t stop there. Simple Google searches will provide you with a treasure trove of comparative pricing information.

Sometimes, a daily deal is a great deal. But it isn’t unheard of for a product barker to overstate a discount. Making mountains out of molehills can work well for product marketers. With a little research, you can learn to spot the phonies.

Don’t be taken in

  • Find out how items are shipped before you buy. If a retailer doesn’t combine shipping, things can get expensive, nullifying the promised discount
  • Returns are a fact of life, particularly with mail-order items. Know whether it’s going to cost you extra to make returns, and see whether your retailer reverses charges or merely offers store credit before you buy
  • Always double-check the price against your online research before clicking “Buy”



Daily Deal Media

New York Times

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