Tips before buying groupons

Groupons or group buying sites became a hit this year, and the list of groupon sites or group buying sites are increasing. Who would resist a 50% off deal from a posh hotel, a fancy restaurant, a travel deal, etc.? I am registered with plenty of group buying sites too, CashCashPinoy, Ensogo, Awesome.ph, Deal Dozen, Deal Grocer, even Ebay has Ebay Kuponan. I get pumped up just by receiving their emails in my inbox everyday and how much I can save if I availed of the deals. I got groupon crazy, I bought deals right away, sometimes buying two coupons for that deal. Blame it on my Gcash wallet and Paypal, I have enough “virtual” funds from both that it’s very easy to just buy online with a few clicks.

But can groupons really provide savings? Or it’s just a false economy? I’ve had my share of expired and unused groupons because I realized that it’s too far and I’m too lazy to find a hidden establishment in Makati. The 2 vouchers from Shui Hilot Spa also expired because they can only accommodate me during their off-peak hours, and that’s the time I’m at work. I learned my lesson and managed to keep my groupon buying at a minimum.

Here are some tips before buying those irresistible deals online:

  1. Consider the location of the merchant. If the merchant that’s offering a 50% discount is located at The Fort, and you’re living in Bulacan or any far place from Taguig, then think if the deal is really worth the travel time and transportation cost. You may be able to save 50% from that merchant but what about your other expenses going there like taxi fares, bus fares, gas, etc..
  2. Availability and reservations. It is important to read the fine print of the deal. Sometimes, the deal can only be availed on weekdays or at certain times of the day usually their off-peak hours. If you’re working on weekdays and have to use a groupon, is it worth taking a leave from work just so you can use that groupon?
  3. Browse the restaurant’s menu online. Let’s say there’s a good restaurant deal, pay only Php 250 for Php 500 worth of food. By studying the menu, you found out that an appetizer dish already costs Php 500. So, the deal is not really good unless you just plan to strictly use the voucher, meaning order the appetizer and just have water and then just leave. In our experience, we always have additional orders like drinks and desserts so we have to pay extra aside from the voucher’s worth.
  4. Do you really need it? Sometimes, a 90% off discount is very hard to pass. But do you really need it or you’re too just psyched with the huge discount? Or perhaps you saw that some 20 thousand people bought the deal and you want to be part of that crowd who thought they got the best deal?
  5. Research about the merchant’s background and feedback. Especially if you don’t know the merchant, try to google some feedback about them first. Maybe the reason why they are offering huge discounts is because they have a lot of negative feedback and they need new customers.

I hope you’ll keep these tips in mind before buying all those great deals. So you think you saved from groupons, think again…

Please share your own groupon tips and the best groupon deals you had so far at the comments section.

Comments

  1. I bought one groupon voucher last month, my first after some dilly dallying, it’s a facial care service and the place is located to a mall that is very near to us, but haven’t use it yet. Good thing I’m not an impulsive buyer(sometimes) and really took time to read the fine print. 🙂

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  2. Haha, I can relate to no.2. Once, I filed a leave from work just to use my lunch buffet voucher since it was the last day I could avail of the deal. Just like you, I’ve been trying to stay away from groupon sites despite receiving their tempting offers in my inbox almost everyday. I still have several unused vouchers and if I won’t have the time to use them, I’ll just sell them to interested parties. 🙂

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  3. research is very important. dami nang cases na kunwari discounted sa group-buying site pero pag nagresearch ka dun sa mismong store, pareho din lang pala.

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    Badet Reply:

    Agree Rochelle. Nagbabrowse din ako ng menu para alam ko if I’ll be getting value for my money. =)

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  4. I ended up wasting a lot of coupons too because they expired haha 🙂

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  5. Great tips! May mga palpak ding groupons. May nabasa ako dati na reklamo na she never got it!

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  6. Great tips!! I also research first before I buy saka kung talaga bang may ma se save ako substantial if I buy the coupon. I have bought several coupons online na and I am quite satisfied with them.

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  7. These are GREAT tips! I have friends who are Groupon “junkies” and they have told us a few things about the site but these tips are very helpful!

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  8. Well, i don’t know what groupon is all about. I just heard and seen them online. Maybe this could help me bring some savings, but not pretty sure if this will really help me since i do not buy online. What’s the matter with me huh =)) Anyway, this is really a good post. Consists of helpful and valuable tips. Thanks.

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  9. This is a must read post for those who are newbie in buying stuffs online. I heard a news a few months ago about a travel agency ditches clients? darn, that stupid travel agency, and the fact that I’m one of those victims. 🙁

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    Badet Reply:

    Oh my, the groupon site should give you a refund. And file a complaint to DTI.

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  10. I totally agree with the “do you really need it” issue. It seems like it’s a psychological thing that we face when confronted with a good deal. We often tend to buy things we normally wouldn’t or have little use for.

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  11. These are really helpful tips. I usually just buy Groupons for places that I know. Looking at the menu is key before purchasing a Groupon because you want to try something new!

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  12. nice blog ms. Berndette!…I should have read this before I purchase the ” so good to be true” travel deal I bought from a group buying site… I was a victim before but glad that I got my full refund after comlaining at the DTI… If you felt like you’re a victim of these, file a complain at the DTI through their email dtincrlegal@yahoo.com .

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    Badet Reply:

    Thanks for providing the DTI’s email. I hope others will get their refunds too.

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