A coupon culture isn’t something we have much of here. While in the US crazy couponers get their own show and savvy bloggers get groceries and pharmaceuticals for mere cents, we don’t have ANY of that. There literally are no coupons to be had. Unless you manage to find something worthwhile on ezycoupons.co.nz or vouchermate.co.nz – which is pretty unlikely – most likely any vouchers or discounts available to you will be through something like the Entertainment Book or daily deal sites.
I don’t really understand why people are still rabbiting on and debating about daily deals, to be frank. It’s pretty simple. Use your head.
- Use those vouchers straight away or make notes in your calendar to do so.
- Buy deals that you will actually use.
Now, I like saving money. I think I’m a pretty successful voucher user, to the extent that I’ve dipped my foot in the water. The Entertainment Book is great because it means I can try new restaurants that I was already interested in, but wouldn’t want to pay full price for. It means on the rare occasion we go out to weekend brunch (every couple of months) there’s no need to pay $20 for a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast and hashbrowns each, because we have our pick of excellent cafes with 25 or 50 percent discounts. It means saving moolah at the cinema, the driving range and the video store (although when will we ever learn that that’s NOT a good idea? We never manage to return DVDs on time, hence why we pay for Sky Movies).
In terms of daily deals, I have much the same MO for dining offers – places I know and love, or have piqued my interest, or other offers I know will get used (see above about movies, etc). Because I don’t have back problems, I don’t need massages or therapy – but they’re nice every once in a while. And thanks to the dozens of deal sites available to us, I’ll never pay full price for them. (And they’re a pretty awesome, relaxing gift to myself and T on occasions like our anniversary instead of trinkets.) I have wasted one deal to date (I think it cost about $20 or 30), and that was some kind of spinal examination for T, who wimped out and decided he’d rather not be prodded and is happy barrelling along not knowing exactly how bad his back is.
But as much as I like saving dosh, I get awful coupon guilt. It seems a little bit … tacky? It’s all just a little bit awkward, or so it feels – especially with those hideous A4 web printouts you get, handing those over and walking away because it’s all been pre-paid. Anyone else ever feel that way?
Coming at it from the other side of the fence, it seems that aside from all the other potentially negative effects for a business – losing money on a deal, being swamped with customers and unable to give them the usual level of service – it can also diminish their brand value.
Spa and beauty therapy places, in particular, seem to all be busy undercutting each other in a race to the bottom. As a consumer, I don’t care – I just want the best deal. But that seems unsustainable. Surely that service industry can’t survive long-term doing that.
A lot of the vendors (and really I’m just talking restaurants here, as that’s more my area) I have huge respect for would never get involved, because they’re just such niche ethnic eateries – and they’re usually popular enough not to need to. And you’ll never see the haute cuisine establishments stooping to that level. But how would you feel if somewhere you regularly frequented started putting out cutthroat daily deals? Would you think less of them? Feel cheated?