Are you actually saving money on deal-a-day websites?

You're not saving money on a deal if you would not have spent that money at all.

People are buying like never before. ACMA (the Australian Communications and Media Authority) have that in the four weeks to June 2015, 7.6 million adult Australians made a purchase or sold something online. Out of the 7.6 million, there may be shoppers just buying a deal for the sake of a deal and not because they necessarily need the goods or services.

It's a marketing tactic that has worked for decades and it’s the core tactic used in the deal-a-day website space. These websites include Groupon, LivingSocial and Scoopon. There are times when it's a huge benefit to buy goods and services that will be used before their expiry date. But, it is wise to not just buy a product or service because it is on sale and then never get around cashing it in.

Does this mean you can't save money on deal-a-day websites?

You can still save some cash when you buy with a level-headed approach. There are definite deals on these platforms that can make life easier, like presenting gifts to friends and family. That's why these tips are important to bear in mind before smacking your lips at a new deal:

Stay calm

As we just mentioned, a level-headed approach will help you make objective decisions on what is truly needed.

Be strategic

Be sure you are buying goods and services that are really offered at a deal. More on this below.

Stop justifying

This goes hand-in-hand with staying calm. If you're trying to justify a buying decision, you will most likely end up with buyer's remorse and wasted money over a few items you never used.

See our ultimate guide to using group buying sites online.

Be aware of these traps when using deal-a-day websites

The below points in many ways carry the costs for many people to score great deals. There are a lot of consumers that unfortunately fall prey to these issues and carry the cost for others to save money.

  • Scam and spam

    Many websites are simply displaying information and bogus products to either scam you into a purchase or to spam you with irrelevant information in the future hoping to link you to some affiliate links they have.

  • Don’t spend too much time on them

    Deal-a-day websites are like some of the best moments in life - best when it's spontaneous. But, there's nothing wrong with intentionally visiting your favourite deal-a-day websites to see if there's anything usual and then putting a cap on it. Spending hours and hours of your time on these sites will reduce your ability to generate income to afford what you're looking for and also create some other unhealthy habits along the way.

  • Deals that aren't deals

    Some companies increase their prices and then offer a discount on those prices. This makes it look like they are giving huge discounts, but in fact are making back money as per usual markup. Which is why we mentioned above to be strategic in your choices and do your research around the deals.

  • Expiry dates

    This one will nip you sooner than you realise. Some deals just seem too good to pass by. And that's exactly why they should pass by. Some of these deals have such a short expiry date that you might not even have time to redeem your voucher, coupon or deal before it expires.

  • Goods and services that just don't work

    Some products or services simply won't live up to the standard that you would have liked and not all companies will have the same right on returns or refunds as usual.The fact that there are savings to be made on deal-a-day websites is a no-brainer. But, these savings are to be made when people keep in mind that they are working with companies that still need to make a profit and employ various marketing strategies.

If you know you make impulsive decisions, then deal-a-day websites will probably not save you money. You may be better off saving the money instead. But if you know you can approach it calmly, with only a little amount of time allocated and using the tips above, you'll get some deals worth talking about.

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