Unless you’ve been living under a humongous rock for the past year, I’m sure you’ve heard of Beeconomic, Ensogo, Deal Grocer, Metro Deal or Cash Cash Pinoy. They are some of the most popular group buying sites that have taken the Web by storm. I think I subscribed to all of them. You can’t blame me. Everybody wants to score a sweet deal at dirt cheap prices, y’know.
I have been strongly avoiding this no matter how many awesome deals have already flooded my inbox. Hesistant and scared shit to end up with a ghost merchant, I happily ignored some “nice” hotel deals. But typical me, I gave up and found a 50% discount voucher for this certain “something” to be my greatest downfall. Well, mainly because it coincided with my October plans. It was an offer too irresistible to ignore. 😀
Let me tell you though that I allowed the deal to expire before I finally decided to buy one. I told myself that if the voucher was meant for me (yes meganon!), the deal would be offered again–and lucky me, it was indeed offered again! 😀 Backed by the thought that Lady Luck wanted this for me, I did my homework to make sure I wasn’t about to waste my money on pseudo-merchants trying to hoodwink consumers.
If you’re a newbie at this like me, let me share some of the things I did before I caved in:
- Check the credibility of the group buying site. There are some sites that have been receiving a lot of bad press already for a dozen reasons. Be a responsible buyer yourself–explore the blogosphere for the real deal.
- Make sure the merchant actually exists. Having a proper and professional website, for instance, makes me more at ease that I will be purchasing a service from an established company. When they don’t have a website, I say skip the deal. When you’ve verified that this company does exist, ring them up and check the legitimacy of the offer.
- Scour the Web for *actual* photos and reviews. More often than not, pictures found in merchant’s websites aren’t the ones you will be actually seeing in person.The last thing you want to happen is to stay in a dingy hotel room you thought was four-star or “posh”. Or get a facial at some dodgy place in Manila. In my case, I found lots of blogs and Trip Advisor reviews so I felt at ease that I was getting my money’s worth.
- READ THE FINE PRINT. That’s the thing that pisses me off with some people who complain that they weren’t accommodated here-and-there, that they weren’t “informed” of the validity period, and whatnot. It’s all part of their capitalistic nature and it’s our job as consumers to outsmart them. Among the things that you should look out for are the validity period, deal inclusions and black-out dates. You can go back to Tip #2 and personally ask the merchant for additional info about the deal.
- Lastly, don’t let your voucher sit and disintegrate in your drawer–use them on time. With tens and hundreds of voucher bought from a single merchant, get ahead of everybody and book early. This is especially true when the deal you just bought is only good during weekends.
Don’t you just love the power of a thousand shoppers? It’s like asking for discounts at a hotel or even an ukay store–only we don’t do the talking. We’re just reaping the efforts of people who make it their business to convince businesses (no pun intended) to give us, consumers, a chance to experience services at super affordable prices.
Special thanks to Sam for helping me sort out this deal.