But the hype doesn’t always match the reality. As part of a Which? magazine investigation, the consumer group signed up to the major buying websites to check out their deals. The conclusion? A mixed experience.
Some offers are brilliant - but some discounts are exaggerated. Customers have also reported problems trying to book paid-for deals, due to retailers or other firms becoming overloaded with the interest.
Check out offers before you buy:
1) Check every discount with the provider direct before you buy. So if it’s a deal to secure 10 gym passes for £30, ask the gym group how much they would charge for them: the big percentage discounts can be misleading.
2) Read the terms and conditions. A recent GROUPON deal offered a personalised picture canvas up to 20x30 inches. But the photo seemed to show a much-larger canvas, so check exactly what you’re buying. Some deals are only available in the week, or for a certain period: make sure they fulfil your needs.
3) Check out the company offering the deal. Is the hairdresser any good? Does a restaurant offer nice food? Is the hotel 100 miles away from where it seems? It’s worth a quick Google for reviews.
4) Look at all the group-buying options. Families might like Littlebird or LikeBees, which both have deal on family days out. A recent one from LittleBird offered adult tickets to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden for £5: it’s usually £13.50. Incahoot is a group-buying site specialising in phone, energy and broadband bills.