Have I got a (group) deal for you!

Sandra is still a deal-of-the-day holdout. Will this new site change her mind?

Credit: rick

A friend recently sent out a broadcast email announcing that she’d bought fall lawn-care services through a group-buy website. The upshot was that one mom can only have so many leaves to rake — so would any of us like to form a kind of sub-group, sharing in her group-buy deal?

This goes right to the heart of why I haven’t yet tried those deal-of-the-day websites — the ones that go by names like TeamBuy, Groupon and WagJag. The concept is, you sign up, and get alerts every time a special buy you might be interested comes up. If a specific number of other people also sign up before the deadline, you all get a group deal on the item. The follow through is that you pay upfront for the item, which could be a series of mani-pedis, or a whole whack of frozen beef, or whatever. Then, in the case of pre-paid services, you may also need to redeem your group deal vouchers within a specific time frame, or you lose your investment. If you want to know more, check out our recent article from Today’s Parent magazine, which, incidentally, I edited (so I do know something about them, and am not holding off out of ignorance).

I don’t doubt that the discounts are real. A recent Reuters Money article revealed that business often lose revenue — big bucks — when there’s a run on group deal redemptions.

And I love a bargain. So what’s holding me back? Fear of the unknown? Possibly; I like to shop with companies I know and trust. And not only are these deal sites new (to me) — the method of buying is different, too.

I’m wondering if Rdeals.ca  — which launches November 29 — will change my mind. For starters, it’s run by Rogers, the company that pays me every two weeks, and to which I pay for my Internet and phone service. So they’re a known quantity.

Hmm. I need to know more. Stay tuned.

Photo by rick via Flickr.

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