Daily Deal sites can help you save money on holiday shopping, but there are some things you should consider before purchasing a deal, shoving the voucher in a card and calling it a gift. There are good and bad ways to gift daily deals. These are my personal guidelines.
- Finding the deals: Check out Living on the Cheap Daily Deal Roundup Page for a list of current deals. In the past I’ve purchased photo gifts, touchscreen gloves, toys, housewares, jewelry and clothing as gifts from daily deals sites, saving me at least 50% off each gift.
- Giving the gift: The best way to use daily deal sites for gift buying is to purchase and redeem vouchers for actual gifts instead of giving the vouchers. If you purchase a daily deal, order or pick up the item yourself. This will ensure that the recipient doesn’t have to pay any additional money, such as tax or shipping. If the daily deal is for a store or a website, go to the store or website and buy something for the recipient. It’s always more fun to open an actual gift than to get a paper voucher.
- Giving a service or experience: If you want to give a service or experience using a daily deal, such as a massage, be certain that the recipient will have the time (or desire) to use the service or attend the event. There’s no use giving someone who is busy 24/7 a full-day spa package that expires in four months if they can’t find time to redeem it – or if they would have to pay for a babysitter in addition to tips for services. I stay away from giving services for those reasons.
- Giving a meal: I avoid daily deals for restaurants as gifts because a voucher rarely covers the entire meal cost, including drinks, and it certainly doesn’t cover tax or tip. A better solution would be to buy the voucher and then arrange to take a friend to dinner, so you can pick up the remaining tab and tip and spend some quality time together.
- Giving a voucher: If you are giving a voucher as a gift, try to pair it with something so the recipient has a gift to open. For example, you could give a yoga mat with a yoga class voucher, a basket of movie treats with a movie rental gift certificate, nail polish with a pedicure voucher, golf balls/towel with a round of golf — something to show that you put a little extra thought into your gift.