Daily Deal Sites: A Waste of Money?

What are Daily Deal websites?

Daily Deal websites are promotional sales websites offering discounts on certain products - they rely on group-buying to ‘activate’ a special deal at a special price and operate on a limited time basis - 24 hours - before you ‘miss out’ forever.

Deals listed on these websites can be anything; one day it might be a set-menu dinner for two at 50% off, and the next it could be a spa day normally valued at $200 discounted to $30.

Many people are lured in by how fantastic these deals look on paper. To their credit, sometimes the offers are truly amazing and really can save you good money - but deciding on whether they’re suitable for you will require looking a little deeper into this business model and understanding why these deals aren’t always as great as they are made out to be.

What are examples of Daily Deal websites?

Some examples of Daily Deal websites include: 

  • Cudo (www.cudo.com.au) 
  • Catch of the Day (www.catchoftheday.com.au) 
  • Ouffer (www.ouffer.com) 
  • Our Deal (www.ourdeal.com.au) 
  • Spreets (www.spreets.com.au)

How Daily Deal sales work and what to look out for

With Daily Deal sites, the idea behind the discounted product is simple: If enough people purchase the daily deal, it will unlock a reduced cost for everyone. This does sound like a good and easy way to save money, though there are a few things you must consider: 

  • Do you really need the product, or are you buying out of impulse? 
  • What are the conditions of the discounted deal? E.g. is it limited to a certain day, or a certain time of day? 
  • Are you taking the deal because of the price alone, or because of the business you can use it at?

Daily Deal websites work on impulse-buying mentalities

Regardless of whether it is a good deal or not, were you really in the market for a spa day or massage? They aren’t giving you this deal because they are nice people - It’s a marketing technique. They sell these deals to be used on ‘special days’ – these days are normally weekdays, aka the times when they struggle to get business. 

This is an example of impulse-buying marketing, simply covered up by the promise of a great deal and price for a limited time. You wouldn’t want to miss out, would you? But do you really need the deal you’re drawn to? Don’t ever let a discounted price draw you in - be smarter than that and take note of whether what you are about to buy is necessary and needed. You could even check the amount of money you’d usually spend on the product in your Budget Planner Spreadsheet.

The other consideration is why the deal is being offered. Every retailer has quiet days and, if you are purchasing a deal through one of these websites, odds are you are purchasing a deal offered only in this slow period, where any amount of money for the business would be better than nothing.

Benefits of Daily Deal website offers

So when are Daily Deal offers really worth it? When you truly need what is on sale. In other words, if you were already looking for that product, dinner deal, spa package or other item in that same week. 

A great example of this is on something incredibly simple, like a hair stylist offer: If you’re planning to head out to a special event, such as a wedding, you could instantly benefit from a half-price deal on hair styling for the day. It’s the kind of unique purchase you wouldn’t often factor into your budgeting, and isn’t necessarily affected by downtime within the business.

Otherwise, it’s always worth staying wary of these deals, and ensuring that what you’re buying is both something you truly want, and isn’t going to be a disappointment or waste of even a small amount of money.