Double Check those Daily Deals

October 19, 2011

If you are among the legion enamored with the ‘great deals’ delivered to your inbox every morning, pay attention: Those deals may be inflated to look better than they really are.

A story on found that 80% of the daily deals quoted ‘standard’ prices that were higher than what you’d get by visiting or calling the stores to inflate the sense of getting a good deal.
While the sample size was small – 5 from Living Social and 5 from Groupon – the false spin on the discounted rate should raise eyebrows; and maybe a lawsuit or two for misleading advertising.


The urge to inflate is understandable, but not acceptable. In order to promote your services on daily deal sites, a company has to offer a steep discount. If the discount is too steep, and there isn’t a cap on the number of users accepted, a company may not recover from their generosity.

This tale makes for an excellent lesson in digital literacy and savvy shopping for teens and tweens just getting into online shopping – and maybe a remedial lesson for a few who have been shopping online for some time.

Just because a site offers a ‘deal’, doesn’t mean it is a good deal. Do your homework. Is the price really the best price? Is the offer from a company with a great reputation? Are you so excited by the ‘deal’ that you purchase something you don’t actually want? In cases, where you end up working directly with the company, do you end up giving more information to the company than they should have about you? Beyond the terms and conditions of their ‘offer’ do you know their terms and conditions for maintaining your privacy?

There is nothing wrong with using daily deal sites, in fact I’ve made several purchases from these sites myself. The problem comes if you assume that the offer is as good as the deal says it is. Take a few moments to check it out before you click that link. Because not all things that glitter are gold.