Are “deal-a-day” sites a good deal?

I recently began subscribing to several “Deal-a-day” sites and even purchased a few deals – getting $10 off a $20 purchase to Office Max and $20 off a $40 purchase to Body Shop. I regularly shop at Office Max and love their Max Perks program and the Body Shop Groupon made two holiday gifts more affordable.

However, I recently began wondering if all of these deals are such a good deal. I purchased a magazine subscription that said it was more than 80% off. Then when I looked the magazine up on Amazon I realized I was saving only $6, not the $48 advertised on the deal site. So here are some tips to follow before making a purchase on one of these types of sites:

1) Don’t let these emails clutter your Inbox. See my post on “Managing the mass of emails in my inbox” to organize your emails more efficiently.

2) Check the price of the item or service on other reputable sites before making a purchase. Make sure the savings are really there.

3) Make these purchases useful instead of just a splurge on something you might not have bought otherwise. Think about saving these deals to give as a gift cards or to purchase a gift for later. See my post on “Happy Birthday to you, and you, and you.”

4) Ask yourself “Do I really need this item, service, or gift certificate or am I just buying it because I am getting a good discount?” Ultimately if you are spending money you wouldn’t have spent otherwise or going over your budget, it is not a good deal, NO MATTER WHAT THE SAVINGS!

5) Check the expiration date on the deal to make sure you will be able to use it before it expires.

Fdny calendar
Image via Wikipedia

6) Does the site offer products you like and can afford or is the service a reasonable enough price that you would buy it anyway? If you get a deal on a website that sells clothes that are too pricey for your budget, even the savings from the deal might not make it worth it!

Here are my favorite deal sites that I subscribe to:

 Groupon
∞ Mamasource
∞ 
Living Social
∞ 
Plum District
∞ 
Jewpon

Please feel free to comment on any great deals you have found through these sites!

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