Guest Blog Post from Angie Chladek, SVP Marketing and Communications
The recent craze of Groupon, or deep discount-type websites, really piqued my interest in the beginning. I was blown away that they could discount products and services by half, and jumped on the bandwagon to promote the deals. We’ve even purchased from many of the websites I’ll discuss in this blog post. As with anything, “Buyer Beware” should be your mantra. In my post today, I’d like to offer you the other side of the great deal to increase your awareness next time you go to shop these sites. As always, read the fine print BEFORE you get emotionally attached to a deal. If it still seems worth it, by all means, buy away (as long as it’s within your budget, of course). My grandma always says, “It’s not a good deal if you don’t need it.”
Not a deal site, per se, but they’ve been offering LOTS of discounts lately, and have fabulous coupon codes: Subscribe & Save, Amazon Mom, and others that are found in select magazine ads. However, after watching these deals and getting excited myself, I realized something… they are still making money or they wouldn’t waste the website space. For instance, 4 boxes of Apple Jacks were on sale a couple weeks ago for $5.07 ($1.27 apiece) after using the Subscribe & Save Coupon code and taking advantage of their free 2-day shipping. The catch was this: the boxes were each 12.2 oz. (average cereal box size is 15 oz). That’s less than the size of a box you would find of the Apple Jacks at a regular grocery store. Granted, you didn’t pay tax and you didn’t leave the house to get your cereal. However, you would likely be disappointed when you finally received your boxes of cereal. There are deals on cereal all the time and if you watch prices like I do, you quickly realize that this is not a deal.
LivingSocial.com, Mucharoo.com, and LuckyMonkey.com
A common deal I’ve noticed is something like, “$50 for $25 in products and services at X establishment.” However, sometimes the fine print will say that you actually receive 5, $10 gift certificates to use in separate visits to the store/restaurant. What that means is that you are guaranteed to return multiple times to use your certificates. If it’s a place you frequent, this can still be a good deal, but make sure you understand what you’re purchasing. Not all of the deals are like my example above, but this is another type of tactic to watch for before you purchase.
I have signed up for this website (the first deal has been revealed and they’ve started with some fun Fort Worth, TX businesses, but will later expand to Kansas City). I’m interested to see what truly comes of this site. I didn’t find any discrediting information on it, so I signed myself up and invited friends to do so via my unique link. The premise is that you make money when people in your “dish” purchase the deals. It’s your basic pyramid, and the attraction is that the more people you invite, the larger your pyramid (mine is 37 people strong in 4 “degrees” as I write this). If you see people posting about it on Facebook (and I could be one of them), you’ll likely be lead to Social Dish via that person’s unique link. How much each person stands to make is still up for debate. I remain cautiously optimistic that their strategy will work and look forward to seeing more deals as they become available.
There are several more deal sites that I’ve found that are not quite common place yet that I wanted to make you aware of, as well:
www.nomorerack.com: Daily email with 8 deals – the highest level deals are GREAT and they go fast.
www.zulily.com: Daily email with multiple deals each day for moms and kids.
www.6pm.com: They have fabulous sales – the most recent ones I’ve seen- ½ off North Face and Nike.
Again, read the fine print and please feel free to comment on this post with deals or non-deals you’d like others to be aware of. John and I would love to compile a nice list to help benefit and/or protect our clients and friends.
Angie Chladek is a mom to a toddler (with #2 on the way), SVP of Marketingand Communications for Chladek Wealth Management, and part-time staff development facilitator for elementary school educators. She is also currently serving as the Coordinator for the Mothers of Young Children group at Cure’ of Ars Catholic church, Leawood, KS.
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