As I stepped out of our recently-professionally-cleaned shower today, I remembered the last Living Social deal I bought months ago for a house cleaning service. It expires soon, I think. I should call and set up an appointment with them, but that would be cheating on our new housekeeping crew that just started here last week. (I still can’t decide if it’s worse than cheating on one’s hairdresser.)
Over the past year or so, I’ve bought a few of these group buying coupons or daily deal offers. With the exception of an Amazon dot com and a Barnes & Noble offer, both of which I could activate and redeem from my mobile device, they’ve all gone unused: massages, car detailing, restaurants, attractions, etc. I don’t buy them anymore. I simply do not have the bandwidth to keep track of these prepaid goods and services. In the end, they feel more like restrictions and obligations to me. (Oh, shoot, we have to go to dinner at <insert restaurant name> before next Thursday even though we have things scheduled every evening from now ‘til then, in other parts of the county.)
Plenty has been written, from a business perspective, about the pros and cons of these group buying/social coupon/daily deals sites. I get all that, but what really matters is what these things mean to me as a busy working woman, wife and mother. There are too many of these deal sites and daily coupons to count now. Checking all of them would be a full-time job, let alone comparing, buying and managing all the offers. I suspect soon there will be a spinoff of the TV show “Extreme Couponing,” featuring those who devote their lives to shopping these daily deal sites and striving to get the most out of them from all the businesses. No, seriously, there could be a reality show about a woman who pledges to live three months solely on merchandise and services she can find and buy on flash sale sites and from daily deal emails. I’d love to see how that works out.
My time and energy is much more valuable than $5, $50 or $150 potential savings. ($155 might be a different story.) Soon businesses would have to pay me to be allowed in my inbox. For everyday life stuff, I’m happy to pay full price as long as I can get what I want/need when I want/need it. Discovering good value on the spot also makes me feel like I’m really good at this spontaneity thing and that tends me make me spend more money happily. If/when a business figures out how to present the right deals to me at the right time, it can pretty much have its way with my wallet. Yep, I’m simply too busy and lazy to hunt for bargains. (Sorry, Mom.)
Image from Monkey Opus.