If used the wrong way, deal sites cost consumers money rather than offering big savings, according to a Christian Science Monitor article. These are five things to watch out for when using popular sites like Groupon, Woot or Living Social.
All deals from these sites eventually expire. For those who do forget to use it before expiration, some sites offer a refund that could come as credit for a future deal, or some merchants will allow you to use the coupon for the price you actually paid.
When a coupon is especially popular, sometimes the businesses can’t handle the response. In some of these cases they can’t schedule all who bought the coupon to fit in the schedule before expiration. Businesses can choose to increase the time frame, but if they don’t the consumer is out of luck.
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Some businesses view couponers as second-class compared to regular customers, according to the article. Let businesses know it is a first-time visit. This may help them treat the couponer better in order to have returning business.
As with all things, it’s important to read the fine print before buying a coupon. Sometimes the deal can only be used at specific places or can only be used for specific things that don’t actually save the customer any money.
Do the homework before buying a coupon. A “deal” may actually not be a deal. Look at the original price as well as competing prices. Advertised savings may only look impressive because the price was inflated 50 percent.