Q: My friends have been taking advantage of those daily group email offers. I’ve signed up too because the deals look great. Is there a catch?
A: This is one of those unique situations where “the catch” is very much within your control. Online group coupon deals are offered by a number of companies and are a form of advertising. The time-limited offers come with big discounts to entice you to buy. If enough people take advantage of a deal, it’s yours.
Daily Email Deals are the Newest Form of Impulse Buying
The catch, however, is that this is the latest form of impulse buying. Looking at the email coupon each day and seeing what a good offer it is makes it hard to resist even if it is for something you normally wouldn’t spend any money on. As with any advertising, whether it’s a good deal or not, is something you need to decide. Advertisers bank on you deciding that it’s worth buying because of the discount and because others are buying it too.
If you’ve bought something you wouldn’t normally use, you’ll likely let it go to waste, as many people do with gift cards. Many retailers report that at least ten percent of gift cards go unused. Deals that you buy for yourself aren’t quite the same as gift cards, but if you do pass a coupon along as a gift, there’s a chance it won’t get used.
3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Impulse Spending with Daily Email Deals
The danger of impulse spending and wasting money is very real for many people, however if you’re buying a discount for something you need and will use, it can be very worthwhile. Here are some things to keep in mind as you decide what’s best for you:
1. Out of sight, out of mind
Use a separate email account to receive the offers. If you don’t have money in your budget to afford any extra purchases, don’t check the emails until you can afford to buy. You can also designate these offers as junk mail so that your email account automatically sends them to your junk mail folder. This way you won’t normally see these offers unless you are looking to buy something.
2. Keep your money safe from yourself
If you’ve subscribed to a company that isn’t sending you deals that you’re likely to use, cancel your subscription so that you’re less tempted to buy.
3. Just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean you need it
It’s age old advice, but true. Before you buy anything, make sure you have a plan how to use it, and importantly, how to pay for it. If you carry an ongoing balance on your credit card, you likely pay as much as 50% more for everything you buy.
Before jumping on what looks like a good deal, catch yourself and make sure it’s worth it for you.
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