When Buying in a Group saves you Money – Group-Buying Sites

Posted on June 20, 2013 by admin in money saving tips

Group-buying is one of the best ways of saving money when purchasing goods and services online. There are many websites offering significant discounts on a wide range of items. They can negotiate special deals with sellers because of their ability to attract large numbers of buyers.

How Does Group-Buying Work?

Deals are advertised for a limited period and interested parties can sign up for those deals. The websites get their deals by buying in bulk, so sometimes deals are only activated once a certain number of buyers purchase the item. If this number is not reached, the deal may be cancelled, and those who signed up for it are reimbursed. Once a purchase has been made, a confirmation email is sent to the buyers telling them how to redeem their discount.

How to Use Group-Buying Sites

All sites work along the same principles. The basics of using these sites and the things to beware of are as follows:

  • Firstly, the purchaser must register with the site. This will entail giving your email addresses and other personal information. Read terms and conditions carefully and make sure you are using a reputable, well-established site.
  • Once the registration is complete, deal alerts will notify you of new offers. You can also browse existing deals to find those that are of interest to you.
  • Make sure you’re aware of all charges. Some sites may add postage, packing and other extras.
  • When signing up for deals for services such as restaurant and hotel bookings, think about booking constraints and availability. Make sure that you will be in a position to take up the offer before it expires. Don’t forget that the website does not guarantee the quality of the venues, so check out independent reviews before signing up.
  • Vouchers must be used within the specified time frame and payment must be made on receipt of the voucher, even though it may be some time before you receive the goods or use the service in question.

Some Group-Buying Sites to Consider

There are a number of group-buying sites which have become quite well-established. Here are some you might like to take a look at:

  • Groupon
  • Living Social
  • Google Offers
  • Amazon Local
  • KGB Deals
  • 5pm Deals
  • Wahanda
  • GoGroopie
  • Mighty Deals

What to Watch-out for

Remember, the website is not responsible for the quality of the products purchased, though the Sale of Goods Act may protect you if the goods are faulty. In addition, because this is a relatively new area of consumer law, there is no guarantee that the normal section 75 protection will apply to credit card purchases. However, consumers do have some protection under the Distance Selling Regulations. Make sure you carefully check the privacy, refund and cancellation policies of the site before signing up for any deals.

As with any online transactions, you need to make sure you read all terms and conditions carefully, in particular to check that your privacy is protected and your payments are secure. As long as you fully understand what you’re signing up for, group-buying sites can offer some fantastic discounts and are a great example of how ‘people power’ can work to the advantage of the consumer.

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