Created on Thursday, 08 September 2011 20:43
Written by Steve Phua
Do you often open your wardrobe only to give out a loud sigh upon seeing the same apparels and accessories over and over again? Are you attracted to the menu of mid- to high-range restaurants only to walk away upon seeing the prices? Or, do you often window shop for travel packages gleefully because your wallet simply can’t take the blow? Well, I do. At least till of late.
The recent presence of online group purchasing sites and their respective deals provides a great and convenient way to shop for the budget-conscious. Popular sites locally would include Groupon Singapore (formerly known as Beeconomic) and Deal.com.sg.
However, these online deals are different from online shopping sites. One such major difference is that on top of highlighting certain merchants, especially new ones worthy of note, these group purchasing sites bring us discounts previously available only for bulk or wholesale purchases, which is unavailable even at the online shopping sites of a particular brand for example.
Sounds unbelievable that deals could actually go up to 70-80 per cent off their usual prices? Don’t be. Like all promotions, there are good deals that require some effort on your part to sift out.
While there may be some dishonest merchants that would mark up their prices before offering a “discount” on these deal sites, these deals are generally legitimate. And if you are unwilling to be conned by the above mentioned black sheep, you could simply do a quick Google check on their website or the forums to find out their real usual price.
Also, read what is offered on the site carefully and check out the terms and conditions usually listed at the bottom of the deal for hidden costs or clauses. For those who prefer to be extra careful, you may want to call the merchant to verify the terms offered on the site as well. I, for one, was almost fooled by “cheap” travel deals such as a trip to Shanghai with all accommodations and sightseeing covered only to realise the airfare’s not included. Had I not call the travel agency to check, I might have bought the deal only to land up with an expensive airfare.
Many of us would tend to believe that there is no free lunch in this world. To this, I have to agree. In this case, I suppose the downside to these deals is that they are usually offered for a limited time period only and some may require you to use the voucher by the end of a certain time frame.
Nonetheless, I find the time sifting out such good deals well worth my time and efforts for they are often much cheaper. Signing up for the newsletters of such sites often brings attention to good restaurants that I may not be aware of, or new restaurants in need of the initial awareness.
Besides, it is real convenient. With a few clicks of my mouse, I would have purchased the deal in less than five minutes. The deal could also easily be bought and sent instantly as a gift for your friends.
Get smart by joining us on our group-purchasing journey!