Not every “daily deal site” is created equal. Some sites, like Hautelook, GILT and RueLaLa offer flash sales but items are not around long. Hautelook is great, but items only stay in your cart for 15 minutes, so others can get ahold of really limited quantities of high-end and popular items- but it can lead to impulse shopping.
Some sites offer returns, but others do not. Zulily is one of my personal favorites- it’s not just for babies and kids, I’ve scored a ton of great clothes, home goods and pet items from my favorite brands for super cheap, but they do not allow for returns. Take advantage of their “free shipping on any same day purchases” policy so you’re sure when you buy something, you truly want it!
Each site has advantages and disadvantages when you shop in terms of quantities available, shipping prices and return policies- be sure to read through before you buy. A great deal on a dress is not so great if it’s too small and you can’t exchange it!
When times are lean, I have to unsubscribe from all of the daily emails from my favorite daily deal sites. It’s painful, but if I don’t know how fabulously cheap the Sperrys are on closeout, I won’t know to miss them! Seriously, it can be painful to see your favorite brand flash on the screen for 50-70% off, but if you don’t have the money, you do not have it.
These daily deal sites can be an amazing way to score brands for uber cheap. I’ve purchased most of my baby shower gifts from Zulily for $5 for onesies in the same order as the fabulous shift dress and wedges I’ll wear to the party and it’s fabulous- but be mindful of how much you can spend on here. The more time you spend, the more money you spend! If you feel you’re getting out of control, unsubscribe for awhile until there’s a specific type of item (like work clothes or a baby shower gift) that you know you need.
Groupon & Gilt are two great sites to get classes, excursions and dining for cheap- but if only if you’re mindful of the expiration date. Several times, we’ve purchased restaurant vouchers, only to forget the expiration date. While your voucher is still good for the value you’ve paid, it can really suck if $25 gets you absolutely nothing at the restaurant you were planning to attend, causing you to spend more to use the voucher!
Once, I purchased a voucher for dog boarding…which was misleadingly labeled as “great for the holidays.” Well, I purchased the voucher, called right away and the kennel was booked for every major holiday- Thanksgiving, Christmas and NYE, any time I could have used the voucher. The deal site (not Groupon) gave me a $50 credit to their site, but never had an applicable deal I could use it on. I’m out $50 and am still miffed about it 3 years later. Buyer beware!
This is one of my favorite perks of the daily deal sites- a signup bonus! When you find a daily deal site you like, or there’s a flash sale on a brand you know your friends adore as much as you do, a quick share on Facebook could put $15 in your pocket! You don’t have to be a big blogger to benefit from referrals- chances are, you could get a few shop credits by sharing your fave deals on social media or if your coworkers and friends want to sign up.
Every once in awhile, I get a referral to Hautelook, Zulily or Gilt without really trying. I’ve also used my friend’s Groupon links before, so it’s a win-win for you if you only share things you know your friends or family can benefit from (and not just any deal you find!) You can save money through daily deal sites, but you can make a few bucks too!
(and yes, they’re referral links if you’d like to sign up, thank you!)