5 Things To Triple-check When Group Buying
Fancy getting a RM385 haircut and colour for only RM88? A soothing spa massage for RM40? Or perhaps a buffet dinner worth RM92 per person for just RM38? These sound like a pretty good bargains, especially in these post-GST times. These are just some of the deals offered by group buying websites such as Groupon and Ensogo.
These websites offer killer deals and taking advantage of them can be tempting. But should you really take them?
You might skip reading the fine print on your iTunes agreement but the fine print on these group buying websites will have a direct impact on whether or not you can actually use it when you want to use it. Here are five things you need to look out for in the fine print before you purchase or redeem a deal.
1. Redemption period
Often, there are many conditions, expiry dates and exceptions that could throw your plans out of the way.
For example, you might be restricted to redeeming on a specific date, day or by a certain expiry date. If you are planning to buy a deal to be used on the same day or the next day, you might be disappointed, as some coupons are only available on a specified period.
2. Additional surcharge
Found the perfect coupon to send your car for waxing or washing without costing a bomb? Look at the fine print. Additional surcharge may apply, making the deal not such a big deal anymore.
For example, spas may charge additional fees for appointments made during weekends, and not many can afford to go for spa on weekdays.
To avoid missing out, check the fine print for such clauses and try to schedule your appointment or service as soon as you purchase the deal.
3. Items or services included in the package
Just because something is listed on a group buying site, it doesn’t by default make it a good deal. The group deal may not be good bargain if half the usual services or products are not included in the package.
While a discounted deal can be exciting, don’t let the thrill of the hunt stop you from doing your research. In some cases, you might be able to get a cheaper deals without having to use a group buying website.
Find out what are the services or items that are usually included in the package and how much is it priced normally. Also do a quick Google search for discounts elsewhere, and don’t forget to compare the terms and conditions of the deal. For example, if you can get a deal elsewhere for RM30 cheaper, but can’t use the cheaper deal on weekends – it is still a better bargain.
4. Safe, reputable and certified products or services
Group buying sites advertise laser hair removal, laser skin treatments or even Botox injections for heavily discounted prices. These are tedious procedures and often need a certified professional to carry out the service, as they can turn dangerous in the wrong hands.
You should always get a full consultation in person before agreeing to go ahead with the procedure. Remember to consult your doctor on this too. There’s no point buying six sessions of these treatments if you are not a suitable candidate for it in the first place.
Check the brand of the products they will be using and also the background of the professionals who will be conducting the service. Make sure the establishment is reputable and the staffs are experienced. Do an Internet search on the company in question, look for reviews or find their phone number and make some enquiries.
5. Redemption location
When getting a deal, ensure the location is within reach for your convenience and also if there is a time restriction on the outlet that is nearest to you. Typically, group buying sites attach a location map on their deal page. Deals are sometimes offered at only one, and not at all locations or branches. It could end up being a nasty shock if you show up at your nearest branch and you are not able to redeem your coupon.
What could be a great deal for someone else, could be a bad deal for you if it’s unnecessary or has terms and conditions that incur more cost or difficult to redeem. Buying things that you don’t really need will only hurt your wallet, since buying deals frequently can add up quickly and burn a hole in your pocket. A 90% discount can be exciting, but make sure you really need it before you hit “Buy Now”.
Do your homework before you buy, and avoid making impulsive decisions on such purchases. If you miss a deal, don’t sweat it. Chances are that it or something similar will come around again soon.