Groupon.com is one of the most well-known deal-of-the-day websites. It has partnered with businesses in over 500 cities worldwide, so you not only find deals in more places, but you also find deals on all sorts of things -- from merchandise to event tickets, from health and beauty treatments to car repair. Not only can you score big savings on specialty stuff, but you can also use Groupon to get coupons and find sales for things that you buy every day.
However, you have to make sure to read the fine print when buying a voucher on Groupon, as there may be restrictions on how it can be used. Also, since you have to buy the voucher ahead of time, there is always the chance that a deal will be undersold (causing the business to cancel it) or oversold (so the product or service that your voucher is for is no longer available). This means that you have to do a bit of research ahead of time and make sure that the business in question is still offering the deal.
There are lots of other sites like Groupon out there. The most similar ones are LivingSocial.com or the Canadian-only WagJag.com. However, there are also several specialty deal websites like Groupon, such as ScoutMob.com (for handmade items) or TripAlertz.com (for travel accommodations).
If you're not getting your money's worth on Groupon, there are Groupon alternatives out there that you might want to try. Here are twelve of the most popular ones.
WagJag is one of the largest Groupon competitors in Canada. It works similarly to Groupon: businesses authorize WagJag to sell discounted vouchers for their stuff on their behalf, customers (like you) buy those vouchers, and if enough vouchers are sold, you can cash one in for a product or service at a reduced price. WagJag only operates in Canada, but has more city-specific locations throughout Canada than Groupon does, so you can find deals closer to home. WagJag has also reportedly been steadily improving its customer service.
ScoutMob is a competitor to Groupon with a twist. While Groupon and other sites like it mostly offer deals for big-box retail chains and established businesses, ScoutMob takes a different route. Instead, it offers deals on items from independent artisans in your area. These items can include clothing, jewelry, artwork, decorations, and even stuff you can eat or drink! It's a lot like websites like Etsy.com, in that way.
Out of all of the deal websites like Groupon, Woot is definitely one of the most... colourful ones. It offers daily deals on various items, including electronics, home maintenance tools, clothing, toys, pet supplies, sports equipment, jewelry, and even wine! Plus, you can buy up to three of an item at a time, and ship them all at a flat rate (though most items only ship to the U.S.).
There are two things to keep in mind about Woot. One is that its product descriptions and policies are often written in rather casual and whimsical language, so it might be a little confusing or just generally not appealing. The other is that Woot is a relatively small company doing some big things, so its customer support options are a little lacking.
LivingSocial allows you to find and buy vouchers for goods and services near you. Tell LivingSocial where you are and what you're looking for, and they'll point you to discounts on everything from tours to live shows, from spa packages to three-course restaurant meals and more. Similar to Groupon, LivingSocial has a promotion called "Me + 3": if you buy a voucher and then share the deal your friends, and then at least 3 of your other friends each buy the same voucher, then your voucher is free!
A problem with some discount websites similar to Groupon is that you find a deal that you like, then go to redeem it, only to find that the deal has expired or is otherwise not being offered anymore. Slickdeals addresses this problem by fostering a community of users who are relentless in their pursuit of deals that are not only great, but legitimate, too. Every deal submitted to Slickdeals is tested, voted on, and discussed to make sure that it's both actually a deal and that it's still available. Based on the community's feedback, Slickdeals populates its front page with the best deals from around the Internet.
FatWallet is an interesting alternative to Groupon in that it not only features deals and coupons for online shopping, but it also has its own "cash back" program. This means that when you shop with an online store by getting there through FatWallet, FatWallet gets paid a commission, and they share part of that commission with you. Then, once you've saved up enough money on your FatWallet account, you can have FatWallet send you a cheque in the mail, or send the money to your electronic transaction account (such as PayPal). Win-win!
Previously known as "1 Sale a Day", 1Sale is a Groupon alternative that has daily discounts in six categories of merchandise: electronics, home & family, fashion & jewelry, entertainment, kids & toys, and credit cards. As their name implies, their deals change every day, so you'll never know what you could save on from one day to the next! They also have other popular discounts from around the Internet, and you can submit your own deal if you know of one. Plus, if you join the 1Sale community, you'll get tips on how to save money at businesses in your area, and can even enter to win free stuff!
Part of the TripAdvisor family of travel sites, Jetsetter offers extensive reviews on travel and tourism hotspots around the globe from over 200 of the world's leading travel publication journalists. Plus, you might be able to find deals of up to 40% off on certain getaways, but hurry... they usually only last for 5 to 10 days!
TripAlertz is one of the more Groupon-like sites out there, in that it encourages you to share the deals that you find with other members. The more people who buy the deal, the lower the overall price goes. TripAlertz also features free trip giveaways, available concierge service, Trip cash, and more.
Travelzoo offers deals on travel, accommodations, and local tourist activities from around the world, curated by "Deal Experts" (mostly ex-journalists and researchers). You can also compare travel costs across different booking websites by using the "SuperSearch" function.
Restaurant.com allows you to search for deals at restaurants based on their name, location, or type of cuisine. Read reviews on over 18,000 restaurants from professional food critics, then purchase vouchers for your favourite restaurant. Present them when you go to eat, and save on your total bill!
BlackboardEats features reviews for hundreds of restaurants across the U.S. (with a focus in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco), whether they've just opened or are well-kept local secrets. You can also sign up to receive special passcodes via email that will let you save on your restaurant bill when you tell them to your waiter. You can also subscribe to a paid "V.I.P." account with additional perks.
Have you shopped with any of these deal websites? Did you save big, or get a raw deal? Are there any other sites similar to Groupon that you've tried and liked, and think our users would get benefit out of? Let us know in the comments below, or drop us a line on our Facebook or Twitter pages!
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