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Group-buying Rules:

Set a 10 kilometre limit 
Don’t buy a service or membership more than 10 kilometres from your house. The hassle of getting to these places isn’t worth the money you save with the coupon

Read the fine print
Make sure the group buying website offers a return policy and has a customer service policy. This will also let you know the site is legitimate & always read the “fine print”. 

Do your homework
Research the company or service before buying. New companies will use group buying sites to get the word out. Is this something you would feel comfortable leaving in the hands of a new company (ie wedding photos)

Play it close to the vest
When booking a service, don’t tell them you’re using a group coupon. They may not treat you the same way as someone paying full price

Factor in extra costs
Factor in extra costs in redeeming the coupon (ie do you have to buy a certain amount of product for the discount? Also, factor in the tip)

Subscribe for daily deals
Consider subscribing to a web service that aggregates multiple group buying sites, like Yipit.com. This way you get one e-mail with a list of daily deals as opposed to multiple e-mails with a bunch of stuff you may not be interested in.

Make a schedule
Factor the group buy into your Outlook or calendar before it expires.  If you’re unable to use the coupon before expiry, you can sell it through a site like CoupRecoup.com

Buy with friends
When possible, buy with a group.

Travel cheaply
Sign up for a group buying site in destinations you’re traveling to. 

Don’t put cost before safety
There are just some things in life you don’t want a discount on so consider the treatment and whether it’s better to invest full-price (like a laser treatment or anything medical)

Group-buying Sites

Best For Lifestyle And Services
Groupon www.groupon.com

Best For Travel Discounts
Living Social Escapes www.livingsocial.com/escapes

Best For Moms
Parents Canada http://deals.parentscanada.com/national

Best For Green-friendly Buys
Ethical Deal www.ethicaldeal.com

Monday, May 14, 2012