Groupon and eBay join forces to offer even more discounts!

For all you ebay users out there who take advantage of eBay Bucks, and all you Groupon lovers (like me!) here’s another way to earn eBay Bucks. If you buy your local Groupon’s via eBay’s new Groupon area, you’ll earn 5% in eBay Bucks. I’m not a heavy eBay user, but I do buy things there from time to time, so why not earn some credits for simply purchasing through their site?

Here’s what eBay has to say about this:

eBay has teamed up with Groupon to bring you even more ways to earn eBay Bucks. Members of the eBay Bucks Rewards Program can earn eBay Bucks with Groupon by (i) signing into your eBay account, (ii) accessing a Groupon offer from an eBay site page and (iii) successfully completing the transaction.

Learn more about this promotion at http://pages.ebay.com/rewards/grouponfaq.html

Another advantage to this, is that you can view deals in other cities more easily than just going to the Groupon website. You don’t even have to log in to eBay in order to do that. Simply go to http://groupon.ebay.com/ link and click on “Visit More Cities” to see the daily deal in that area.

In order to get the eBay Bucks credit, you must make your Groupon purchase from eBay, and be sure to login to your eBay account first. They offer two options–one to Login and buy to get the Bucks, and one to Buy Now without the Bucks (not sure why anyone would want that option, but okay.)  

That’s the only part that might take some remembering–since usually I look at my daily Groupon based on the email they send.  In fact, I bought one the other day and completely forgot to do it via eBay. I think Groupon needs to just somehow allow you to enter your eBay login in your account with them to earn the Bucks that way.

I’ll let you know how many eBay Bucks I rack up in the next few months, and whether it’s worth it. I’m betting it will be!

Daily deals have arrived for moms, babies and kids

After discovering Groupon and other daily deal websites a few months ago, I thought to myself–what about daily deals geared toward moms? Because I didn’t see a lot of deals coming through that really targeted things to do for kids, or baby clothes and toys.

Great minds think alike…because I found a few sites out there that offer daily deals on baby/kid stuff. So I thought I’d spread the word and share the savings.

Zulily.com is a site that offers what they call daily deals, but not in the same way that Groupon and LivingSocial do. Instead of a voucher for a local merchant, it’s more like access to “private sales” from various vendors–and they feature a lot of upscale items. Usually the deals run for a few days, and offer up to 70% off different products online.  The only catch? There’s a limited supply of the products, and when they’re gone, that’s it. But I’ve seen some really adorable clothes and toys on there, from stores like Ed Hardy, Bumkins, and Laura Dane.

For me, it’s somewhat time consuming and confusing to try to keep track of all the offers and when they’re expiring, but they do have some really nice items for sale.  And it’s free to sign up with them.

I also discovered BabySteals.com and KidSteals.com (run by the same company). They basically offer one quality baby or maternity product every day on BabySteals.com at 50%- 80% off,  and a single product from one hot brand each day at Kidsteals.com at up to 80% off until it sells out. 

They offer two “steals” per day–one at 9am MDT and another at 9pm MDT until they’re gone, and believe you me–they sell out fast!  Sometimes I’ve checked the website just a few minutes after the deal is on, and they’re gone.

Just like on Zulily.com, unfortunately once they sell out, you lost out. On the weekends though, they give you a second chance on steals they still have, and you might get lucky and find more than one Steal a Day.

I’ve snagged some great stuff on BabySteals.com (like BabyLegs for half price) but you have to make sure the shipping doesn’t add so much on to your order that it defeats the purpose of the discount.  (I always double check prices on Amazon for the items since I get free shipping there).  Also one thing I wish BabySteals would do, is allow customers to create an account. But they don’t, so you have to enter everything in each time you purchase something. They use Google Checkout for processing, so at least the information is saved there, but I prefer having an actual customer account.

In any case, these are some great sites to help you offset some of the costs of being a parent! And to be able to treat your little ones to some goodies, without breaking your bank.

Let me know if you snag any great deals!

Save 50-90% on restaurants, spas and more daily deals with sites like Groupon and LivingSocial

A few weeks ago, I came across a website called Groupon.com, that offers up a daily deal in your local area, usually at 50% off, sometimes more. Since I love a deal, I of course had to check this out further.

 The way it works is, they offer a deal with a minimum number that has to be purchased (the tipping point) in order for everyone to get the deal. Once the deal is “on” then it’s available for purchase for only that day.  You basically sign up to receive an email every day for your local area, and it changes each day. They have harnessed the power of “collective buying”, and it’s all the rage these days, with competitors popping up left and right–which is fine by me, I’ll take all the deals someone is willing to offer! And although some of the deals tend to be similar, I’ve seen very little overlap so far.

This is fantastic for people like me who hate paying full price, and fantastic for local businesses to get exposure, to get some new folks trying out their services or restaurant, and hopefully gain some repeat customers along the way. I do know Groupon takes half of the money generated from the daily deal, which earned them a pretty penny a few weeks ago when they sold about $11 million dollars worth of Groupons and crashed their servers during a Gap.com promotion.

The first Groupon I purchased (play on the words “group” and “coupon”) was for a site called ShapeLovers.com, a local service that prepares fresh and healthy lunches and dinners daily.  I snagged 3 lunches and 3 dinners delivered to me fresh for only $20.00. I bought the max amount of Groupons (there is usually a limit, most likely to prevent “scalpers, I imagine”) for that deal, which was five. And for the past five weeks, I’ve been enjoying having my lunch and dinner prepared for me and delivered to me at work.

Normally it would cost about $50 or $60 a week for what I received, so it’s been fabulous. The food has been delicious, and although I did indulge in one extra week (my Groupon also included 15% off my next purchase), I most likely won’t continue because it’s not in my budget to spend that kind of money on lunches–sadly, it’ll be back to brown-bagging it next week.

However, I’ve also gotten many other awesome deals from Groupon–like a Shutterfly photobook for only $10.00 ($30.00 value), $150 worth of services from Canvas on Demand, and $30.00 worth of credit at beauty.com for only 15.00. I have to admit, I look forward each day to see what’s waiting for me in my email inbox!

I also signed up for LivingSocial.com, which is just like Groupon (and their biggest competitor, if I’m not mistaken) but they offer a bit of a twist. If you refer three friends to the daily deal and they buy it, yours is free. I haven’t gotten my freebie yet, but hopefully soon!  Groupon does offer “Groupon Bucks” as a referral incentive; you get $10.00 in Groupon Bucks when someone you invite gets their first Groupon, which can be used toward future purchases.

There are also two new similar sites in the South Florida area:  GottaHalfIt.com and CrazyGoodDeal.com.  I purchased $25.00 worth of credit for food/drink at Bru’s Room for $5.90, as well as a 50-minute hot stone massage for $35.00 (for the hubby’s upcoming birthday) at the Diamante Day Spa from GottaHalfIt.  I got a 50 minute deep tissue massage for $25.00 at Spatopia in Ft. Lauderdale from Crazy Good Deal about a week ago.

One thing that differentiates GottaHalfIt is that the deal is on for more than one day–sometimes it’s available for4 or 5 days. I don’t know if that’s because they recently launched, but I do like the ability to find out more from a venue if need be, before purchasing. Though I wonder if it’s hurting their sales? Groupon has a really helpful feature where you can join in a discussion with questions about the daily deal, and that helps alleviate the need for a phone call. This also sets them apart from some of the other sites.

The last daily deal website I signed up for is AdilityDeal.com (strange name), where I purchased $300 worth of services at Hair Venture Salon for only $29.99 (includes a mini-facial, manicure, hair cut-style-blowdry, and eyebrow wax). Just for the mini-facial alone it was worth the money.

However, what I don’t like about Adility is instead of offering your voucher via .pdf right away like the other sites, you have to pay for shipping and handling and they mail it to you. Very old school and we of the instant gratification generation prefer to be able to get our paws on our deals immediately. Not to mention, I hate to pay any more than need be and to pay for shipping is kind of silly in this highly technical day and age.

These websites certainly offer a great way to be able to get your champagne fix on a beer budget!  Be sure to check them out in your local area today and start getting the most bang for your buck, and I’d love to hear if you have any more Daily Deal sites that you recommend or enjoy.