group buying sites
A 75% discount at the hair salon, spa or local restaurant? You rarely see such offers in the weekly flyer. On the Web, on the other hand, they abound: they can be unearthed on numerous group buying sites, a phenomenon also known as team buying. This is the principle of “wholesale price”: the site owner negotiates a substantial discount at various merchants, provided that he finds a large number of people willing to pay for the good or service. To take advantage of the offers, you must first become a member of a group purchasing site (see the clickable link): it’s free and without obligation.
From there, we are notified of new offers every day, by email. These are prepaid coupons or gift certificates for products or services, sold at a much lower price than their actual market value (for example: $40 for an $80 coupon at a good restaurant) . An offer interests us? We buy it! At maturity, if a sufficient number of buyers have been reached, our credit card is debited and we receive the coupon in the following days. It only remains to go and spoil yourself at the trader.
What do we find there? Mainly offers to save money at restaurants, spas and hair salons, but sometimes discounts on sports, tourist or cultural activities (hotel package, zoo, paintball, concert, show, etc.) or on various products.
How much do we save? From 40% to 90%.
The expiry date of the offer. Offers are only displayed for one or two days. And sometimes you have to
be quick, because places are limited!
The number of buyers required. The transaction materializes if the minimum number of buyers required by the merchant is met. If you absolutely want to take advantage of an offer that is a little less coveted, it is to your advantage to spread the word to your friends.
Conditions. They are indicated and vary according to the offer, so we take the time to read them carefully. For example, it will generally be necessary to mention the promotion at the time of booking. Taxes and tip are not included. For offers in large banners, we check if the coupon applies in all branches.
The period of validity. Some promotions must be used before a deadline or display exclusions (you cannot take advantage of them during spring break, for example). Good to know: even if there is an expiration date, under the Consumer Protection Act, a coupon remains valid for its purchase value. So we shouldn’t lose our initial investment, only the promotion.
Classifieds and auctions
You don’t have to wait for the summer to browse through garage sales and shop around: on the Web, you have access to classified ads and auctions all year round. Before paying for new, it’s worth taking a look.
What do we find there? Really everything: in addition to furniture, electronics, cars and pets, some even offer to find love there… The classifieds are also perfect for unearthing antiques and collectibles.
How much do we save? It is very variable.
The seller’s reputation. We favor sites of which you must be a member and which display the profile of the sellers: you can thus check the satisfaction of previous buyers and be reassured (or not) as to the seriousness of the person before trading.
The jargon of occasions. The regulars of the classifieds have developed a jargon and sometimes use acronyms, with which one should become familiar before buying: just type the unknown terms into a search engine. We will thus discover that the NWT pants are new with tags (new with tags), that the iPod NIB is new in box (still in the box) and that an HTF item is hard to find (rare). You can also consult a list of the most common acronyms on the eBay auction site .
The conformity of the goods. At the time of purchase, we inspect the coveted item before paying: we make sure that it is in good condition and that no parts are missing. If it is electronic equipment, it is turned on in the presence of the seller and it is checked that the characteristics (memory, hard disk, version of the system) comply with those announced. We cannot physically meet the seller and we conclude the transaction remotely? So we prefer Paypal as a payment solution: if the goods do not turn out to be compliant, mechanisms are provided to resolve the dispute.
Incredible offers. If an opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is: the classifieds are sometimes used to conceal stolen goods. If we have the slightest doubt, it is better to move on.
You can get great deals just before the products leave the store shelves, but you get even better ones once they’re gone! Good news: some sites specialize in the resale of surplus inventory and end of line… To take advantage of this, you must register and leave your email address. A few times a week, we will receive new offers by email. If you are interested, you have to act quickly: sales rarely last more than one or two days and some items are only available in a few copies.
What do we find there? A wide variety of items: designer clothes and branded accessories, but also homewares, cosmetics and toys, all at a fraction of the price.
How much do we save? From 35% to 80%.
The delivery time. In some cases, the site acts as an intermediary: when you buy an item, it leaves the manufacturer’s warehouse, then goes to the warehouse of the liquidation site, from where it is finally shipped to us. The process can take up to 4 weeks: it’s long!
Our real needs and our means. The pressure is strong to encourage us to go to the checkout: the articles are in very limited quantity, and when we put an article in our basket, there are only 15-20 minutes left. If you have a tendency to compulsive consumption, it is better not to register.
Sales and liquidations
Merchandise turnover is high in store: to make room for new arrivals, last season’s items are quickly sold. Most merchants group sales together in a special section of their website, which is worth exploring.
What do we find there? In addition to the discounts offered in stores, we sometimes come across exclusive offers on the Web. Visiting the site sometimes allows you to get your hands on an item out of stock at the corner store…
How much do we save? From 20% to 70%.
Fake discounts. On the Web as well as in stores, some unscrupulous merchants display a fabulous discount ($100, 40%) when the item has never been offered at the regular price. Before being seduced by an “unmissable” offer, one should compare the price of the same item at several merchants.
Delivery fees. Delivery is often free when our purchases total a certain amount: sometimes adding an inexpensive item to our shopping cart allows us to take advantage of this. If you order in the United States, you avoid private carriers (which impose expensive “customs clearance fees”) and favor shipments by USPS (regular mail).