“The best tip for buyers is to choose offers in your local area. Take the path of least resistance: if it’s a restaurant or a day spa you already walk past, you’re more likely to use it than one 25km away – no matter how far you think you’ll travel for a deal.
“There’s no better person to help keep your head on your shoulders than your partner or best mate. Buying deals together can stop you making impulse purchases and gives you someone to get out and about with, to make sure you use your coupon.”
And don’t get too panicky watching the countdown clock. “Take your time to check the terms and conditions and see what’s included in the deal,” Fabig said.
10 tips for getting the most from group buying sites:
1. View a deal as a way to trial a new place. While it’s tempting to use group buying sites for all your beauty experiences, they can’t substitute your usual routine. Regularly “hopping” between salons may not bring you the personalised service your own therapist can provide.
- Do some research on the merchant. Do some research to make sure the food, skincare products, or venue suit your preferences. If you are unsure about a deal, call the merchant for more details before buying.
3. Be realistic about whether you will use the deal. A facial peel might sound exciting at the time, but if you don’t generally visit salons will you really use it?
4. Buy local. Take the path of least resistance: if the deal is in your local area, you are more likely to use it, no matter how far you think you’ll travel for a deal.
- Buy with family and friends. Buying with others can stop you buying on impulse. It prompts you to think about your plans and motivates you to use the deal.
- Check the deal and read the fine print. Be aware of the conditions of the deal – including the expiry date – to avoid disappointment when you’re ready to use it. Additionally, read the group buying site’s full terms to understand their refund policies and more.
- Be flexible with redemption dates. Group sales can create a lot of demand and merchants have a limited number of available bookings per day. You might not be able to redeem your coupon within a week of booking or on a specific day.
- Don’t sit on it. The longer you leave it without booking, the more likely you will forget you have bought it or miss out on the date you want.
- Take advantage of “free voucher” offers. A group buying site usually offers a free voucher for yourself if you get three-plus friends in on the deal.
- Keep track of your unused vouchers. Before buying another dining deal, check that you don’t already have unused vouchers offering the same. Impulse buying may leave you with a large number of vouchers that are too hard to manage.