The Big Ugly Truth About Daily Deal Sites

I have been hesitant to talk about the daily deal site boom until now because I felt like there was something missing…well, now I know what it was.

I’ve used a few deal sites myself and gotten some great deals. I used Groupon and snagged a sweet Amazon gift card at half price for a $10 score. I used Living Social to buy a Fandango gift certificate, two tickets for $9 which I used to see Harry Potter 7 Part 2 with my wife, effectively destroying my record of having not been to the movie theater in five years. And I used a gift certificate to purchase a deal for a local restaurant…which after 9 months, I have yet to use.

What’s missing here?

That gift card is exactly why I can’t fully stand behind daily deal sites. I followed a few daily deal sites when they first launched and still check them every once in a while, but I had to unsubscribe from them because they were so tempting. Every day I would open my inbox to find a new deal, “Half Price On Dog Toothpaste!” or “Get Your Back Waxed for 40% less!” and that’s when it hit I really need all that junk?

I don’t usually sit on my hands when I need something until someone tells me about a deal. If I need something, I’ll do my own research, find the best deal and buy it. I don’t do research on things I don’t need because that’s just silly and I don’t buy things at the grocery store just because they are on sale, that’s just as silly!

Well ladies and gents, my concerns about daily deal sites have been confirmed. According to this article, a whopping $577 Million dollars worth of daily deals have been unredeemed! That’s almost 22% of the entire daily deal market!

It’s hard to believe that many deals go unredeemed but then again, it’s not hard to understand. You buy a deal thinking you may need such a product or service in the near future and if you buy the deal now, you save a big chunk of change. As time passes you entirely forget about the purchase, you didn’t read the fine print and it expired, or you realize you don’t fancy an all-you-can-eat buffet dinner comprised entirely of cheese even if it was half off. So there you go, deal unredeemed.

So, I’ve unsubscribed from these sites but that doesn’t mean you have to. You may enjoy spending your time and money on things like that and use nearly every deal you buy right? If that’s the case, be my guest but here’s a tip for you if you do happen to purchase a deal you can’t use..

There are services now that help facilitate the reselling of daily deals. No longer are you stuck with a deal you can’t or don’t want to use. You can list these on services like CoupRecoup, SellMyDeal and DealsGoRound to get a portion of your money back and let someone else experience the deal that isn’t right for you, but you purchased anyway 🙂

Have you ever purchased a daily deal you ended up not using?

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7 People have left comments on this post

» Alex | Perfecting DadNo Gravatar said: { Sep 27, 2011 - 10:09:39 }

This is psychology. It’s like the upsize option at restaurants or the “buy 10 get one free” instead of just 10% off. They get you to buy more than you need at the time, and like the rebate scams, have a lot of slippage.

Unlike rebates, I doubt that the business actually wants the slippage. I am sure they actually want customers to try the business so they become loyal. Many of the daily deals are for newer or struggling businesses trying to get customers, although for sure some are just to fill capacity during non-peak times.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Yep, I agree it’s a mind game and just like the upsize at restaurants, people tend to throw away what they can’t eat or use, so the business pockets the cash and the customer loses without even knowing it.

» krantcentsNo Gravatar said: { Sep 27, 2011 - 08:09:35 }

I avoid daily deals because it is an excuse to spend money. Frankly, I do not have the time to tcheck anyway.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Bingo. Time is money, and you end up spending both when you scour daily deals regularly 🙂

» Zero Passive IncomeNo Gravatar said: { Oct 4, 2011 - 07:10:16 }

Thanks for the tips! I haven’t heard of CoupRecoup, SellMyDeal or DealsGoRound I’ll have to look more into them.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

No problem, glad to help.

» STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION)No Gravatar said: { May 18, 2013 - 10:05:40 }

I agree with you. Never been a big fan of gimmicks and things I do not need or want. Great post to your readers and followers. Thanks for the information.

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