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Tips to get the most out of group buying sites

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Group buying websites are all the rage at the moment with online shoppers on the look out to find a great deal.

But in the rush to save money there are some buyers who get caught out when they didn’t read the fine print or simply regretted making the purchase in the first place.

LivingSocial – the world’s second largest group buying company – has revealed some handy tips to find the deals that are right for you.  

LivingSocial is the company behind two daily deal sites and which have a combined membership of more than 1.5 million people.

“Group buying sites are here to stay. We want our subscribers to make good buying decisions to get the most from the daily deal experience,” says Colin Fabig, CEO of LivingSocial Australia and New Zealand.

Here are the top 10 tips from LivingSocial to get the most put of your group buying experience:

1. Use the deal to trial a new place: You can’t expect the same deal from the same restaurant, day spa or salon so be prepared to give new places a try.

2. Do your homework on the merchant: Make sure the products you’ve been offered or the venue is to your liking and suits your tastes and preferences.

3. Think about whether you’d actually use the deal: Group buying sites shouldn’t be an excuse to buy something you don’t need cheaper. No matter how cheap it is – think twice about whether you’d actually use it.

4. Buy local: You’re more likely to use the deal if it’s not far away. Think about whether you could be bothered to travel long distances to save a few bucks.

5. Buy with family and friends: Getting your friends and family involved prevents impulse buys and forces you to think what the group would prefer.

6. Read the fine print: Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the deal – including the expiry date. Make sure you also understand the refund policies.

7. Be flexible with the redemption dates: You will never be the only person who has taken advantage of a deal so you may need to consider your first preference for the day or time you want to use it may not be available.

8. Don’t keep putting it off: If you snooze you lose so the longer you take to use your deal the greater the chances you may miss the date you want or even forget you have it in the first place.

9. Take advantage of free offers: Many group buying sites offer free vouchers if you get three or more of your friends in on the deal.

10. Keep track of unused offers: It’s easy to get caught up finding and buying deals but don’t forget the ones you’ve already purchased. If you have too many they may be too hard to find the time to use them all.

Image: Stuart Miles /