Monday, November 26, 2012

"Deal" Sites - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Let me start off by saying.. I love a good deal. I really do. But with the introduction of SOOOOO many deal sites out there, how do you know which ones are truly giving you a good deal? How do you know if they are a legitimate company? It seems like nearly daily I'm hearing about a "great new deal site." By no means have I bought from even 10% of the sites out there. But I have had experiences with several and wanted to share.

Topping my "good list" is I'm not 100% sure it was the original "deal" site, but it seems to be dang legit and I have NEVER had a problem. I have scored some amazing deals. And better yet, if you go use Ebates, you can earn cash back rebates for your Groupon purchases. These lovely little rebates get direct deposited into your Paypal account quarterly.

The majority of my Groupon purchases have been for hotel stays, passes to the local aquarium, etc. I haven't done much Groupon goods shopping. But I have been 100% pleased with every transaction so far.

My "deal site" days started with Zulily and Totsy. I still shop them occassionally, but have found the "deals" aren't always great deals. Sometimes you can find the same brands elsewhere on better sales, and you don't have to wait 3 - 6 weeks to receive your items either.

Among my deal sites favorites are Plum District, The Clymb, and SniqueAway.

One site, I used to watch a lot was VeryJane. But lately, I've seen soooo disappointed in the items offered. For example:

This lovely necklace is on right now for $7.99 with $2.99 shipping. $11 for a cute J Crew inspired necklace sure. Not bad.

But sadly enough you can buy that same necklace direct from China for $5.95 each with free shipping. (to buy direct from China via AliExpress... Click Here)

I know.. wholesale > retail > consumer. Right? I just don't think items like this have a place on a "deal site." Especially one that represents sellers who genuinely sell hand crafted, made local items. I believe it de-values the sellers that do craft their items. They are forced to sell cheaper, their time is worth less, just to compete with someone who just buys their goods from overseas sellers.

I've heard mixed reviews about Living Social, No More Rack, and the likes. I haven't purchased from them myself though. I tried once and found the situation horribly frustrating to claim my voucher, but it worked in the end and was worth the deal.

Now for the ugly.... Absolutely nothing tops the horrible experience I've had with I do have to credit for opening my eyes to the deal site world and all the bad it could hold. My first order with SneakPeeq was for a nail polish. They bragged it was 60% off or something like that. It took almost 2 months to arrive, and when I loved it and went online to find it elsewhere... I found you can buy it direct from many websites for $3 - $5 less than what I'd paid from the "deal site." Ok, my bad, I didn't do my research.

The wait had seemed a bit long... but I was used to Totsy and Zulily, so it was ok. Wasn't anything I needed in a rush. My second order with I placed on October 16th for a Diamond Candle. It was a good sale, and I couldn't resist. I knew it was a good price. So around November 9th, I contacted SneakPeeq for status, since the listing said 2-3 weeks from order it would be shipped and I'd heard nothing. No response to several emails to until 11/21, they told me they couldn't help or refund me and to contact Diamond Candles directly. So I did. I heard from them 11/24. They told me that by the time they received my order from SP on 11/1, the scent I ordered was out of stock.

Ok, my first question here... Why didn't DC's contact me to advise me of the backorder. Their response? They are still a small company that is growing. Ok, nice canned response, but really, don't they at least have an automated system that could send a backorder notice and give the customer options? So, they tell me my scent will be in this week if I want to wait for it. So I write back and tell them yes please, send ASAP, but if they cannot send this week to refund. They respond they have cancelled my shipment and I need to go back to SP to obtain a refund.

Now it's been a couple more days of "the runaround" and no resolution still. I will not be purchasing from again, and will likely never purchase from Diamond Candles again either. By choosing to vend through they are vouching for that service, and I feel the overall service is a joke.

To end my ranting here, I want to say, the best deals are going to be found by the educated consumer. Making sure you are getting a good deal by shopping around, making sure you are buying from a legit company, and being wise enough to recognize the deals you need and the deals you only want to buy because it's a steal.

What shopping secrets do you have? What deal sites are your favorites? I would love to hear your experiences with deal sites! Please share!

Oh and here's a fun update.... Petti Rompers on SassySteals... Because $11.99 with $2.99 shipping isn't bad... but to tell the consumer regular price is $55.00... Oh my wow. #nowords.


  1. Hey Ricki!
    My favorite spot for deals is I always go there before buying anything online. It doesn't always work but its worth a lookyloo before buying. By the way, I'm snagging your button for my blog. I'm sure you don't mind. :o)
    Esther Norine Designs

  2. I'm a new follower! :) Cute blog you have!

  3. Found your blog on the etsy success blog team! Great blog :)



Total Pageviews