19 October 2011


Let's save together suggests one group buying site while another boasts We got a Deal. but do we really save on deals? not always.

group buying has been in existence since 2000 but really took off around 2009. Disclaimer: Wikipedia reference. it's a great concept since buying wholesale really does give you a much better price. it's a win-win situation for both seller and buyer. the seller will most likely reach his quota while the seller would not have to reach deep down his pocket to buy an item he likes. it also gives small businesses a chance to be known and gives consumers a chance to try such businesses at minimal cost.

so what's the deal? the idea of up to 90% savings is really appealing. a restaurant that you've always wanted to try but is expensive is now made affordable and those celebrity-like white armpits you've always wanted are now yours for more than half the price! i think 50-70% of the deals i see are underarm whitening or underarm hair removal. but do we really have time to check if such deals are really true? the deal countdown maybe enough reason to buy it immediately but we should be wary of the sly tactics of group buying sites.

it is wise to always check the deal you like. check the website. if they only have one deal a month then it's probably a good idea to wait for the site to become stable. do a little research if the site really is trustworthy. check the item. do you really save when you buy from other sources? check the fine print. more often than not, there are compromises for getting deals. don't get pressured by the countdown. it's a sales tactic to give you the urge to buy right now. who knows, the deal might even be extended or repeated.

there were these earphones that i saw on one group buying site. original price of around Php2,900 but now its selling for only Php699. i checked the manufacturer and model and it the deal seemed good. it was an old earphone model and i thought maybe that's the reason why it's cheap. i bought those akg earphones and was satisfied with the quality. but then a week after i saw another earphone deal, this time for beats by dr. dre tour high resolution in-ear headphones.  it was selling for Php599 "instead" of Php1,200. seriously? Php1,200 for beats? i did my research and an original set was really selling for 3-5k. maybe the site was fooled by the supplier. but still, i would bet that those are just class a replicas. made me question the ones i bought from them.

the fine print. 50% discount on 3 pairs contact lenses. fine print: 3 pieces, not 3 pairs. one for my left eye, one for my right, and one on my third eye. apparently my precog is no longer 20/20. an amazing 50% discount on a Php4,000 discount voucher when you buy a laptop. fine print: laptop is around 20k and bottomline is you only get a 10% discount on the whole purchase and not 50%. do the math.

time left to buy. the earphones i bought was set to be delivered 2 weeks after the deal end. i regularly looked at the countdown and wondered why it always had 1 day left everyday i checked it. 18 hours and 36 minutes before this deal ends. next day would be 1 day 12 hours and 45 minutes before this deal ends. what the f*#k? finally i got tired and just wait for the damn thing. soon enough i forgot about it until the delivery man came.

there will always be good deals. food deals more often than not are good while tech deals need more scrutiny from us customers.but i believe it is our responsibility to check everything first, just like buying a new bag and checking if there's any damage on it, 'cause once it is sold, you may have a hard time getting your money back if you found out you've been fooled.

as they say, think before you click. not only does it apply to responsible social media use, it also applies to responsible online purchases.

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