Friday, December 10, 2010

Just Because it calls itself a Deal doesn't mean it is one!

I posted my thoughts on this subject a month or so ago, but one of today's deals that's going around made me think about it again. There are so many "daily deal" sites, sites like Groupon, and Living Social, as well as more retail oriented sites like HouseWaresDeals, Swirl and many others that if you bought everything you were told was "deal" you'd have no money and tons of junk.

Before you buy that "deal" do some checking and make sure it really is a deal. If you aren't familiar with the restaurant or brand that is being offered, check it out first.

We had a local deal a couple of weeks ago for 2 wine tastings for $20 to a wine shop that normally only charges $10/person anyway (granted this deal gave you two wine glasses with the deal, but really if you are going to wine tastings chances are you have a few of those at home).

Another thing that throws many retail deals out of the land of "good deal" is shipping. While the deal itself may be an ok deal, when you add in their inflated shipping charges, it becomes a "bad deal". Before you buy an item at one of these daily deal sites do some searching on Froogle to see what the item normally goes for.

Today's deal on HouseWareDeals, for instance, claims to be a $51 savings ($70msrp) for $19. Except that when I checked this brand on Froogle*, I found that these baking sheets & cake pans typically only go for $6-$10 each anyway. The 5 items in this deal would go for...
2 round pans @ $5.99 each = $12
2 cookie sheets @ $8.99 = $18
1 loaf pan @ $7.99 = $8 (rounding up for ease of math)
= $38 (a far cry from $70, but still an ok deal at $19)
Shipping is a flat rate of $4.95, so it's still a decent deal.

This time of year, especially, it's easy to get caught up in the idea of a good deal, especially on items you aren't familiar with. So, do your homework before you buy.

*If you aren't familiar with Froogle, it's Google's Price Comparison site. It basically scours the web for any item you type in and returns the various sites that offer that item and the prices.

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