Since Groupon started its operation in November 2008,
its founder, Andrew Mason is now a millionaire, acquireing more and more daily deals sites internationally, including the Singapore site, Groupon.sg, formed by beeconomic.com in June 2010. This forms a part of online shopping, instead of cutting out coupons from newspapers traditionally, printing out coupons is the norm now.
Today, we have more than 70 daily deals sites offering Huge and attractive discounts, some as high as 95% off the retail price to help you save money while indulging in the pleasures of life. Some deals sites are general, (anything goes) or are niched in nature, for instance, beauty salons and food outlets). However, take a step back! Are they all worthwhile?
1] Always look out for the catch
There is a catch in anything you find in these sites. It could be in the form of purchasing the coupon within the limited hours or days, for instance, you have “20 hours, 19 minutes, 18 seconds” left. Usually, these coupons come with an expiry date in which you must adhere to. Otherwise, it will be forfeited.
Besides, deals for physical products (like the iPhone case) usually carry a hidden cost. The iPhone case may cost about $3 to $5, the shipping cost is usually not spelt out on the coupon you printed. Hence, when the good arrives, it may cost you around $8-10 instead.
Usually, the service charge and other miscellaneous charges at a dining outlet is also not displayed on the voucher. Therefore, vigilance is the way to go.
2] Is there such ideals like “great local deals” in Singapore
With the efficiency of the transportation system, getting anywhere in Singapore is just a bus or MRT ride away. However, I will not travel to a participating outlet in Orchard Road for the deal because of the congestion and the sheer crowds congregating there. Moreover, how can one be sure that the shop will still have stocks waiting for you to redeem?
As this is known as social shopping, the deal site first creates the demand but not necessarily ensuring the participating retailer carries sufficient stocks to meet demand.
3] Check the expiry dates
Most deals sites in Singapore carry a 3-6 month expiry date in order you may utilize the vouchers, be it dining outlets or the movie tickets. Before you click your mouse, ask yourself if you would ever get to use them with your loved ones? Are you one who has a history of purchasing online coupons only to realize they end up in your recycling bin or the trash bin eventually? If you are one who tracks diligently and will utilize them, then, it will be great deals. I find this deal that states “Get 50% off Al Qasr gift vouchers, … Expiry 16 Aug 2012,” from here Does it appeal to you?
4] The actual cost of the product
My sister once bought a $50 discount coupon from a deals site only to realize from the newspapers advertisement that the dress was going at $40 in the retail outlet 2 days later. From this, I deduced that the agreement between and the deal site might have been negotiated weeks or months prior to the posting. Besides, the participating outlets have the freedom to promote their products at any price and time.
Another friend also bought a coupon from this site. When he went to the shop, was told he had to top up $40 more. Will consumers get to know the actual cost of the product?
5] How to determine the deals sites that are genuine
From a report dated January 17, 2011, as some sites do not have an archive, based on 31 December 2010, a comparison of 17 sites showed 1 inactive deal site, 1 did not advertise any deals for that day, 2 required you to be a user with a log-in account, 1 site focused on Hong Kong’s deals. 12 sites had at least 1 active deal and inSink had 3 coupons deals.
On the other hand, consumer’s loyalty cannot be overlooked. Although in the hunt for attractive bargains daily, once the coupons have been used, they return to the deals sites looking for more bargains, to the extent of buying similar deals from competitors/merchants. This behaviour is prevalent in the beauty and spa category.
Consequently, in order to retain customers, merchants are being forced to run deal after deal to gratify these social shoppers.
Therefore, I’d like to come back to this question if Singapore deals are really good or great deals? I shall leave you to find the answer using this article as the starting point.