Everyone loves a good deal. That’s why I love using websites like Groupon, WagJag, TravelZoo and others to find bargains that make my dollar go a little further! While you do have to scrounge through and assess if some offers are actually deals, others are just no brainers! Even ‘big box e-stores’ like Amazon really surprise me sometimes with the value they offer.
Groupon is by far my favourite, and I would say the leader in online bargain sites! If I’m looking for a new activity to stay active, a diner deal or a good value getaway, Groupon is my go-to because it offers a lot of variety. The site is easy to navigate – you can search for deals by sector (health, travel, food and drink), by department (baby, electronics, women’s fashion), by proximity (by city, neighbourhood or postal code) and can even literally type in the product/service/activity you want in the search bar. Flawless design! Each deal is well laid out and all the specs and fine print are very clearly marked. The only thing you have to watch with Groupon is if the costs are in CAD or USD (they now have a Groupon.ca version, but I currently only have an account on the .com site). However, I really like that they stand behind the deals they endorse and offer a satisfaction guarantee (Groupon Promise).
If you haven’t sign up yet, I say go for it! I splurged on some great deals recently on Groupon and think you could too! Although some of the deal samples below are older, they have great deals like them offered all the time! Sign up for Ebates too and earn cash back on your purchases (I recently signed up myself). And I would greatly appreciate the Groupon friend referral too.
WagJag is another good site that offers a variety of deals and a half decent interface to navigate, with similar search options like Groupon’s website. You can search by city and type in what you are looking for, or select a category (family, grocery, wellness) and there is always a good assortment of deals. I really like that both Groupon and WagJag not only show you the ‘original value’ (though I’m not sure how accurate/marked up that actually is) and the deal cost, but the percentage you are saving as well. LivingSocial is another site offering deals, although the interface is less intuitive and the deals are not as varied as Groupon. TravelZoo is yet another option offering many deals, but with more of a focus on travel getaways (hotel weekend stays, cruises, and the like).
Each site highlights featured/popular deals, so those are always a good to review when searching in your area. I’m a big fan of peer reviews and support, so I often will look up the restaurant or product first before buying to see if I want to invest my time and money in going there/using the product or service. You can also sign up for daily or weekly e-blasts with featured deals, but buyer beware – it’s really easy to find a good deal on a deal site, and if you are not careful, you might be spending more than you thought on these ‘deals’. I have definitely benefited from some sweet bargains, but I don’t welcome daily distractions via email that encourage me to spend money. I’ll do a bargain hunt on my own time and when there’s something specific I’m looking for. Need I say more?
And I mention Amazon in the deal category as well because I often find that I can buy a product from them and pay less (even if it’s only slightly less) than I would if I went into the store. And it saves me the time and effort of doing the physical part too. They also offer free shipping within Canada on orders over $35, so if I’m looking for a few items or a big purchase item, I usually cross shop on Amazon.ca.
Remember to indulge in a deal now and then, and be smart about your purchases – take a look at the featured company’s website and competitor sites too. Is it really that good of a deal? Can you get a better deal elsewhere? What exactly are the fine print limitations? Happy bargain hunting!
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.