Clipping coupons is so yesterday: The best discounts are now online. Log on to those “deals” websites and get up to 100 percent — yes, 100 per cent! — off your favourite services and products. We browsed seven of these websites:
Get great deals online; check out
these seven recommendations. Image: Corbis
1. BRANDS FEVER
Find a great selection of fashion and lifestyle brands on this website, with items ranging from cooking tools, utensils and kitchenware to clothing, accessories, footwear, sportswear, bed linen, jewellery, toys and gadgets. Brandsfever calls itself an exclusive private shopping club.
Once you sign up as a member (membership is free), you will get daily emails inviting you to log on to the site and shop. Items are available in limited quantities, and the online sale campaigns are only for a limited time (usually a few days).
PRICES: When we logged on, a ladies’ watch was slashed from $768 to $384. Eggshell Ipad 2 cases were selling at $20 each, down from $49.90 and cooler bags were priced at $21.40 each (originally $42.90 each). Invite a friend to sign up and you could earn a $10 store credit for use on future purchases. Orders above $100 are delivered free of charge.
WE LIKE: On top of the excellent variety of products, there is a new campaign every few days; the items for sale are 100 per cent authentic and usually up to 70 per cent off regular retail prices.
2. TREATS OF THE DAY
Three new “treats” daily, from three broad categories, namely Eat, Shop and Play. If you like the treat on offer, you can reserve it – your credit card is only charged if the deal is on and the minimum number of buyers is reached. The site offers discount coupons on meals (set lunches at popular restaurants) and personal services, like manicures and pedicures, golfing and tennis lessons, tanning sessions, car maintenance services and more.
PRICES: The treats are quite attractive; past deals have included a $28 mani-pedi (usual price $56), and a three-course set lunch at a famous, high-end Italian restaurant for just $24 (usual price $42).
WE LIKE: The prices are quite low and often good value.
This website has a mind-boggling variety of products and services at substantial discounts of between 35 and about 95 per cent. The main categories are Food & Drink, Fun & Travel, Beauty & Health, and Others (flowers, pet grooming services, fitness club memberships, etc). Aside from good deals, this site is a practical way to try out a new service, product or establishment without having to fork out a large sum of money.
PRICES: We spotted one 60-minute massage going for $35 (usual price $150), a two night’s stay at a Phuket resort priced at $150, inclusive of return flights (original price $275), and a macaron-making workshop at a mere $28 (usual price $68).
WE LIKE: With numerous deals that vary daily, you’ll always be in for a surprise.
This private, members-only online sales club covers several categories, including fashion apparel, kidswear, homeware, skincare and makeup, electronics and footwear – all from well-known brands.
PRICES: Sales are for a limited time only (usually a few days), and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Past deals include 50 per cent off a Korean brand of shoes, and 43 per cent off a French brand of swimwear for kids. Invite friends to register, and get $10 off your next purchase.
WE LIKE: Think of it as a vast online factory outlet, with all the products you love and use in one location. Unlike real factory outlets, however, if you’re not happy with your purchase, simply return it within seven days for a full refund.
5. SHARE 2 DEAL
The site outlines the five steps you need to take in order to enjoy your deal. First, check out the deal online. Next, reserve it. Once the minimum number of buyers has been achieved, you will be notified by e-mail and then sent a link to print your redemption voucher. Note, you will only be charged if the deal goes ahead, and you can also purchase a deal as a gift for a friend. There is one deal a day – including things to see, do, eat and buy.
PRICES: When we logged on, a skin whitening treatment was selling for just $27; its usual price is $150.
WE LIKE: All the terms and conditions related to the deal are listed, including any restrictions related to the use of your voucher, so you can make an informed decision before you purchase. You are also given plenty of information about the company that’s offering the deal, plus details about the deal itself.
Find amazing deals on meals on this website. The discounts can be enjoyed at a variety of establishments, from upscale restaurants to more casual-dining eateries. The discounts vary, from about 40 per cent to even 100 per cent. There is a minimum buyer quota (what the website calls “group buying power”), so if you want to score a deal, you’re advised to spread the word to friends and family – the higher the number of people purchasing the deal, the better your chances of getting it.
PRICES: When we logged on, a four- course dinner (including wine) at a French-fusion bistro was going for $39.90 (usual price $90.20), while a $28.80 buffet cost just $16.80.
WE LIKE: A great site for foodies scouting freebies, especially if you eat out a lot or like to try new restaurants.
7. GREAT DEALS
You’ll find not just two or three, but 22 categories in all on this website; this includes Online Services, Concerts, Travel, Music, Cosmetics, Sports, Fashion, Foodstuff, and Dining and Restaurants. In addition to the daily deal, you can log on (or sign up for the daily newsletter) to find out when the next big sale is, what’s on offer, and how much you can expect to save.
PRICES: Their daily deals were pretty impressive. When we logged on, a three-day, two-night hotel stay with daily breakfast was selling for $160 nett (usual price $225 per person). Highlights of the deal plus its terms and conditions were fully listed, so we knew exactly what we were buying. Like most of the other sites, each deal also relies on collective buying power.
WE LIKE: It may not be one of the most user-friendly sites in terms of layout, but it has all the information you need on various shopping events around town, including malls, department stores, warehouses and even online.
All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine’s publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.
This article was first published in SimplyHer July 2011.