Group Buying Websites (GBW); you have probably heard or saw them advertised on one of the websites or search engines you frequent. Simply put these are internet-based sites that sell products and services, supposedly for a bargain.
This article will provide a primer, as well as a few of my insights and analysis regarding the same.
The Allure of Group Buying Websites
What drives most consumers, at least me, my family members, and friends, to look at GBW is the promise of bargain. Indeed if you look closely at some of the pages, you will see just how much of a discount you are getting. More often than not, this ranges from 25% to 50%, sometimes even going as high as 75%.
Do They Really Offer Bargains?
One of my colleagues once asked me, “Do those discounts reflect actual differences in market value?” In short, when it says 50% discount, will I be able to go to a mall, see the actual product and then see the difference in sticker price? Based on my experience you will not. This is because most of these offers are over stock or old stocks. This means other sellers are no longer carrying them. Some GBW even have exclusivity on some of the products and services.
My Top 5 Group Buying Sites?
I personally favor these five GBW’s because they not only offer worthwhile deals, but they regularly change their offerings. This usually means you have to check their site at least 2x a week.
The first thing you need to understand is that you can only buy if you register as a member. Registration is simple; all you need to have is a functional website and a few personal details. I personally recommend centralizing your BBW username and password. This way you won’t get confused. Trust me, you don’t want to be rushing to buy a deal that is about to end, only to realize you forgot your user name and password for this particular GBW.
Pay Using Your Credit Card
In most cases GBW and/or the affiliate seller allows you to pay using one some or all of the payment options:
- Credit Card
- Cash on Delivery
- Bank Deposit
In my opinion, it is best to use a credit card or your PayPal account. This is because you can ask for a refund from the credit card company or from PayPal in case you receive a damaged item or you do not receive the item. This is usually faster than calling up the GBW or the affiliate seller and asking for a refund from them. If you plan to pay via direct deposit then make sure to keep your deposit receipt. To be extra safe, take a picture of the same using your camera phone and save the electronic copy.
Last but Not the Least: Delivery/Shipping
Pay attention to how you will receive the item, as well as the policy for claiming. In some cases, a separate shipping fee is required. Sometimes the same is only available for pick up.