Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Maximizing your daily deal offers

By now, you probably have heard of Groupon, who essentially pioneered the (electronic) daily deal service, ahead of other big players that include Buy With Me and Living Social.  Although it's exciting to see what these sites offer, just be sure you read the deal's fine print before plunking down your cash.  Some deals are quite restrictive and usually have an expiration date that comes all too quickly.

What happens when your daily deal expires?  Although it does vary by state, according to this National Conference of State Legislatures chart, you may not be out of luck if the deal expires before you use it.  In most cases, you will have several years to use the value of the coupon deal you paid for, but lose the "bonus" part of it.

Example: I had a Groupon for The Grooming Lounge that I wasn't able to use before it expired.  So, I called them up and forwarded them my Groupon number.  Within a day, I got a code to use in their on-line store for the value of what I had paid.  I didn't lose any money, but I did have to spend a few bucks more than I wanted in order to take advantage of the code.  I learned my lesson.

On the topic of daily deals, I came across a site called the Deal of the Day, which tracks Groupon-like deals across the web.  Check it out, but read the deal details, too.