Want to Gift a Daily Deal? Here's How:

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GrouponThanks to the rise of daily deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial, holiday shopping is no longer limited to material possessions. Now the thoughtful gift-giver can dole out experiences as well. Whether it's a few laps around the track in a race car or a relaxing day at the spa, there's an unlimited number of interesting options.

In fact, a recent poll from Ipsos Public Affairs found 24% of shoppers are likely to purchase a daily deal as a gift this holiday season. Though the values can be great, not every offer is a bargain. If you have some daily deals on your shopping list, consider these tips before you buy.

1. Get Creative

A daily deal makes for a fun present, but ripping open an envelope for a piece of paper lacks in excitement. To add a more personal touch, include a small gift that's related to the experience. For example, pair a voucher for golf lessons with a set of golf balls, or a bottle of lotion with a massage certificate.

2. Stop Self-Gifting

When you're searching several sites to find the right deal, odds are you'll find a few things you wouldn't mind gifting to yourself. Before you know it, your budget is gone and your gift list is still full. To cut down on temptation, pick one site and stick with it. What you don't know can't hurt you, right?

3. Efficiency is Key

It seems like every local newspaper and TV station is now partnered with some sort of daily-deal provider. With so many different options available, you can waste hours skipping from site to site. To streamline the process, try using an aggregator such as Dealery.com. They collect all of the latest local offers in one place to increase convenience.

4. Dedicated to Deals

Most daily deal sites require you provide an email address to view their offers. Many might even send you several emails a day when new offers become available. If these are being delivered to your main email account, they can clutter everything up and provide some serious distraction. Keep your worlds separate by setting up an email account dedicated to incoming offers. This way you only have to check in once per day.

5. Go With Gift Cards

Some think gift cards are impersonal, but that number is shrinking. Considering they've been the most requested present six years in a row, the demand is definitely there. Gift cards have options a daily deal can't provide, including no blackout or expiration dates for usage. Not only do gift cards provide more flexibility, they can be purchased at discount prices from sites like GiftCardGranny.com.

6. Read the Fine Print

Before you buy, make sure you know all of the deal's details. Many times they have speedy expirations or are limited to select locations. If the recipient has to drive two hours just to redeem the offer, it'll likely go unused. When giving daily deals as a gift, give them a more personal touch by taking a little extra time to write up the rules and restrictions. This way there's no confusion about how it can be used.

7. Unload Extras

Despite our best intentions, some gifts just don't work out. Whether you forget to deliver it or it's apparent the deal you selected isn't the right fit, there's still a second-hand market where you can get rid of it. Sites like CoupRecoup allow you to sell unused daily deals for cash online, and shop for unwanted deals that have been discounted even further.

8. Read the Reviews

It's important to remember daily deals ultimately serve as a promotional tool for businesses. Spending $10 for $20 worth of food might seem like a bargain, but it's not so attractive if the restaurant repeatedly fails health inspections. Keep from getting burned by reading reviews before you buy. Yelp is a great place to study up on local businesses with reviews from thousands of users who've already sampled the fare.

 

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers.

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa
Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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