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With Daily Deal sites and Coupon blogs popping up faster than a celebrity saying something that ends up on TMZ, it’s no wonder many shoppers, even extreme savers, are feeling a bit overwhelmed these days when it comes to figuring out the real deals.
To help navigate the coupon craze and deal daze you may be feeling, here are a few simple tips:
1. Decide If You Really Want/Need This Item. It is easy to be wowed by Buy One Get One Free (BOGOs) coupons, but decide first if this is a product that you want or even need. For example, getting a BOGO on a pizza is a good thing if you have a family of four or more to feed, but getting a BOGO on a belly button piercing may not be the best use of your cash. After all … What would your Mother say?
2. Decide If It Really Is A Good Price/Deal. Many retailers run specials because they feel they have to in order to compete with the guy down the street. Since they have been pressured into offering a special, they load these up with “fine print”. For example, some restaurants run Buy One Entrée, Get One ½ Price … with the following “fine print”: Offer Valid With Purchase Of Two Beverages. This would be OK if the drinks were 99 cents, but some places charge $2.75 or more. At $2.75 these two beverages would perhaps be even more than the savings on the second entrée. If you are trying to stay fit and keep your New Year’s resolution, you may not want those sodas and may be more inclined to share an entrée rather than get two (which then you take home leftovers only to have them get buried in the back of the fridge for two weeks or longer when you discover they have since become a science project).
3. Remember: Retailers Are Getting Smarter. Because of the Internet and growing technologies like text messaging and blogs of their own, many retailers are communicating with their customers and prospective customers more often. And instead of throwing out loss leaders they have done in the past, they are now counting on regulars to come back more often and share their activities via Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Foursquare plus good old fashioned word of mouth. So their deals and offers to the general public aren’t always as attractive as they once were. Caveat Emptor (buyer beware.)
4. Decide If You Are Actually Going To Use The Deal. Take a deep breath before clicking the BUY button on these websites. Rarely there are deals that will sell out before you have had the chance to complete the deal (i.e. Amazon Cards and Whole Foods deals are the exceptions that come to mind), and for these and these alone, I say buy recklessly. For the rest, take a moment and review Items 1 and 2. If after that, you still have the inclination to buy … whip that credit card out (and buy two if you can).
In the end … Not all coupons and deals are bad (the daily deal sites often get the bad press even though they have done nothing wrong). If your head is still spinning, take a deep breath and remember what you really need. Be wary of deals that sound too good to be true (read the fine print two or three times). And if you miss a deal, with the number of providers out there, it will only be a matter of days when you see another one pop up again. For example, Hometown Buyz, a new daily deal site currently serving the Phoenix Arizona market, has its Second Chance Sundays. Here, you will have an opportunity for a second chance at a deal that you may have missed.
About the Author
Gary Klayman is Managing Director of Hometown Buyz, a Phoenix Arizona based local daily deal website and Hometown Values Coupon Magazine, a full-color publication providing local businesses an affordable way to reach consumers. He has over 15 years of experience in developing printed, direct mail, and online advertising and marketing solutions specifically tailored for small businesses