Deal-a-day sites are a bit of double edged sword. If used judiciously, they can offer you a big savings on things you had anyway budgeted — everything from entertainment and personal care to gift-giving, clothing, and more.
Of course, these sites are built on the buy-now-before-its-gone marketing model, which can make it hard for many of us to use them judiciously.
All that said, if you can trust yourself to window shop and only buy when the “fit” is right for you, then I have to say I think deal-a-day sites are a boon to the consumer.
But with so many deal-a-day sites getting into the fray, it’s hard to know which ones are really worthwhile. You have heard me sing the praises of Groupon — including their awesome no-questions-asked guarantee — but I wanted to move beyond the standard-bearer.
So over the last couple of weeks, I’ve signed up for a number of the more popular daily deal / group buying sites to check out how they worked and how good their deals are. While this list is far from exhaustive, I’m putting together some of my favorites today based on my “market research”.
1. Mamapedia – It’s name says it all — Mamapedia’s a great deal-a-day site for moms, babies and kids. What’s novel is that you can donate 5% of your purchase to the local school of your choice. If you sign up now, you can get a $3 credit toward your first purchase by using the coupon code HOLIDAY3 at check-out. The code is good through December 14.
2. Savvy Source – From inexpensive zoo memberships to deeply discounted family photography sessions, Savvy Source is more of a cool-things-to-do-in-your-city-with-kids-at-a-discount site than a true daily deal site. Savvy Source also lets you donate to your school of choice, which I really like. Savvy Source is growing all the time and often has national offerings, but for now, it’s core local deals are targeted to 22 different cities across the United States.
3. Ideeli – Finally… a non-mom-focused deal-a-day site! Well, maybe I just think of Ideeli as non-mom because to me, being the mom of three little kids is so totally not synonymous with being fashionable. And Ideeli is all about fashion. They bring you designer brands at up to 80% off, with new brands featured daily. Sales begin at 12 p.m. EST and last for 40 hours — or until the item is sold-out. I can see how Ideeli might induce you to spend money you don’t have, but then again, so can a quick trip to Target!
4. Plum District – I just love the name of this site… “plum deals” at Plum District! They feature a lot of artsy buys, from vases to organic spa goodies, and there is a good share of children’s stuff too — including clothing and activities.
5. Zulily – Yes, I’ve got another daily deal site for moms, babies and kids on my list. But Zulily is really something special — their deals are uber-cute and very chic — from boutique clothing to high-end strollers and diaper bags (says the mom who carries a $4.99 clearance bag from Target). Me personally, I’m loving these darling Dr. Seuss onesies and PJs at 75% off!
6. EverSave – Like Groupon, EverSave brings you 50-90% savings on local restaurants (probably not many that are kosher, unfortunately), spa packages, family fun entertainment venues and more. Right now, when you sign up, you get a $2 $5 credit toward your first EverSave purchase.
7. Woot – Nothing child couture here. This site is all about technology, gadgets and other stuff my husband would probably drool over if he knew about Woot (stop reading, honey!). The site features only one deal a day until it’s sold out – the prices are excellent, but if you are challenged in the self-control department, you may want to stay away!
So there you have it: 7 Deal-a-Day sites that can potentially save us consumers a lot of money — provided we exercise the appropriate amount of self control!