Are Daily Deals Actually Deals?

groupon, daily deals, group buying Many people have purchased a daily deal. There are several big daily deal websites out there right now, and the numbers of these sites continue to keep on growing and expanding. Groupon, Living Social and all the other countless sites are counting on you to buy their numerous deals. You buy this “deal” at usually a decent sized discount and then get to use it at a company.

However, there are negatives to daily deals, for both the consumer and the company which is participating in the daily deal.

Are these daily deals even good for the companies which are participating? From what I’ve read, they usually are not good for the companies. The companies who participate usually receive a very small amount of money back from what is sold. Most daily deal sites give the company 50% of the deals that are sold.

So, if a company sells $20 worth of products for only $10, then the company is actually only receiving $5 for these same $20 worth of products.

How does a company stay in business with a small profit like that!? It is said that many of these deals to not bring in long lasting customers as well, so once these daily deal customers come in, they usually won’t back.

Why is this? This is because these customers are most likely coupon shoppers and will wait for the next coupon or good deal to come out.

So now that we know that daily deals are not always great for the companies which are participating, now we can talk about the people who are buying the daily deals. Are you addicted to buying daily deals?

There are many people out there who buy these deals just to buy them, and they have no idea if or when they will ever use them. A deal is not a deal if it’s not put to good use.

Here are some tips so that you aren’t wasting your money:

1. Make sure the daily deal is something that you will actually use.
This seems like it would be an easy tip, but many people do not follow through with this. How many daily deals do you currently have sitting in your account that are waiting to be used? I bet you have some in there!

If you don’t usually drive out to a town that is 100 miles away, then buying a daily deal there is probably not worth it. Going somewhere just because you have the deal would counteract the actual deal part.

2. Figure out what the WHOLE cost will be.
One way that some companies try to recoup their cost of participating in these daily deals is by having some sort of requirement. Maybe that eye exam seems cheap, but the glasses don’t include the actual lenses.

Also, if you buy a hair certificate, how much will the total tip be afterwards? You should be tipping on the full amount of course. A $150 haircut that could’ve been done somewhere else for only $40 is a big difference when it comes to tipping on the full amount.

3.Verify that the value that you are saving is actually money saved.

A daily deal that is often seen are one’s for photography sessions. Recently, a photographer came under hysteria for heavily inflating their prices so that it would seem to be more of a good deal.

The session was one hour long, at the studio, and with a beginning photographer at a standard photography company.  Groupon stated the value of this was approximately $1,500!  The price didn’t even include any prints or clothing changes.

It should be said that even though you can possibly be saving money by not buying daily deals, there are of course instances in which you can be saving money. Daily deal sites can be used so that you can try out new things for cheap. You can then see if you actually want to spend your money on the same product or at the same company in the future.

Do you use any daily deal websites?

Photo Credit (camknows)


  1. I think when they first came and and were still gaining popularity, there were a lot of genuinely good deals out there to be had on useful stuff that people actually needed or wanted.

    Now that companies realize that this is only a mediocre form of advertising (because that’s what this is to them – an advertising expense) and the market is flooded most of the deals are centred around already over-priced services.

    For instance, you will see a lot of daily deals surrounding Niagara Falls in the off season. That’s a no brainer because the hotels would already find ways to discount their prices heavily to attract people in the off season just to keep them going and so they don’t lose money until the high season starts again. Daily deal sites are just another way to do this and they can legitimately claim big savings if they compare the prices to the high season rates or weekend rates.
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  2. I subscribe to a whole bunch and they go to my junk mail. Every once in awhile, there will be one for a restaurant that I frequent or another service I need, so I ‘ll pick it up. Not that often though.
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  3. I use Groupon and Living Social all the time. I think they are great deals because you can get a certain amount off your bill at restaurants and places like that. The prices seem a little inflated on daily deals websites that have products like Zulily or Totsy.
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  4. Yup. I use Wagjag and Groupon. I’ve generally been happy with what I’ve bought, and am pretty good at avoiding impulse buys. I think you may get worse service (e.g. haircut, or pedicure) when you use a voucher, b/c they know you are not likely to be a repeat customer.
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  5. We’ve ordered a few Groupons but we rarely buy them. The only ones I’ve purchased are for restaurants and we use them up. I think a lot of people spend money that they wouldn’t have otherwise simply because a deal popped up. If that’s the case then it’s bad for the consumer (even though they saved money) and as you mentioned, it’s typically always bad for the restaurant/company offering the deal. It is a way for cheap advertising though and that’s why I think many of them do it.
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  6. My wife and I get those deals but rarely use them. We only use them if it ‘s some place we were already going to go or similar to something we were going to do. Otherwise, it’s not really a deal for us!
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  7. I used to use daily deals a ton. I have a ton just sitting in my groupon account as well. hate that!
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  8. i used to subscribe to a bunch of these.. but then cancelled all of the emails. a deal on something that you weren’t planning on purchasing in the first place is NOT a deal.. it is a waste.
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  9. I subscribe and use them if it’s for something I need or was going to buy anyway… beyond that, I don’t know anyone who regularly shops at a store/site after they’ve gotten a Groupon. I can’t imagine there is a lot of conversion to new sales going on.
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  10. The only daily deal we picked up was for 50% off landscaping so a $100 gc cost me $50 – my referrals of $10. I think I picked up $300 worth of GC’s for under $100 after all was said and done. Either way without the referrals it was still a great deal. That’s about as much as I know about Groupon Deals as I’m just not that into it. Cheers Mr.CBB
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  11. That’s a benefit of living in a small town. No Groupon deals anywhere near here. About the closest thing we have is a discount book the high school basketball team sells for buy one get one free dinners at some local restaurants. I still have it hanging on my fridge, but always forget to use it if we go out. Not a very good deal, I guess, but I probably helped buy some really expensive shoes for scary teenagers.
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  12. I do use these sites and have certainly saved money. But I have found some duds to. Like the A/C duct cleaning guy who scammed us (still need to report him to the BBB, but I did get a $110 credit in my account from the company because we were treated so badly), and the nail mani/pedi woman whose business had shut down in between when I purchased the certificate and when I called. She wanted to honor the voucher, which I thought was great, so she came to my house to do so. Let’s just say it was interesting.
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  13. I don’t think so. They spur us to spend what we wouldn’t have anyway e.g. something vs. $0.

    Hawaiian Air has a $300 rounttrip ticket flight now for fall. I’m tempted to go, but I actually don’t feel like it. I’m going just b/c the tickets are cheap, which is not a good excuse.
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