What to watch out for with group-buying websites

Published by Rebecca Rutt on 08 November 2011.
Last updated on 08 November 2011

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When is the deal available?

Most deals usually have a six-month (or sometimes shorter) lifespan and they aren’t guaranteed for a set day, so it’s not recommended if you’re looking for a voucher for a specific date. And if it’s a popular deal, it will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you’re worried about when to book, it may be worth calling the company that is offering the deal to ask what the likelihood of booking on a specific date will be, before you actually pay.

As companies can limit the number of vouchers sold, you should never be in a position where you can’t use the voucher before the expiry date.

Read Nathalie Bonney's blog: The perils of Groupon

Is the company any good?

Beauty deals, such as teeth whitening, are common on these websites, but if you’re thinking about purchasing something like this it’s worth remembering that a company that offers huge discounts may not necessarily provide the level of quality needed.

So before you buy a deal, make sure you do some research on the company. User reviews online should give you a good starting point.

How can i get my money back?

If you buy a deal and it’s not what was advertised, you should contact the group-buying website directly and it should then offer you a refund.

As you’re buying goods or services online, you’re also covered by distance selling regulations, so you’re entitled to a ‘cooling-off’ period, which is seven days, during which you can cancel your order and get a refund if you change your mind.

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