CONSUMERWATCH: Deal websites
Published Sunday, January 29, 2012 5:57PM CST
Deal websites such as groupon.com, dealfind.com and wag-jag.com offer discounts on everything from haircuts to travel packages. It's free for consumers to join, but businesses pay a price.
Sometimes companies pay for up to half of the deal they sign on for.
Salon owner Crystal Evanochko says that's a risk she's willing to take. She's posted a voucher on dealfind.com.
"They receive a haircut, shampoo, a treatment, five minute scalp massage and eyebrow and lip wax," says Evanochko, who owns Shear Image Salon.
Customers get a $90.00 deal for $19.00. However, Evanochko says she'll only make $9.00 off the voucher and the website gets the other $10.00.
"You have to give away a little for free to gain people," says Evanochko. "Hopefully we will gain some new clients from it."
However, not all business owners are willing to take that risk.
"There's no money in it," says Brett Hogan, manager of Gags Unlimited. "It just gets people in the door. We break even that's about it."
Hogan says instead of advertising discounts on deal sites, he turns to free sites like Facebook and wipiji.com.
Wipiji.com is a local coupon site where business can post deals at no cost to them. If customers want to get their hands on those deals they're the ones that have to pay a membership fee.
"It works like an Entertainment Book or Show and Save in that you have to buy those books to get the savings," says Hogan.
So far, Hogan says he hasn't seen too many coupons from wipiji.com come through the store, but he's hopeful that will change.
Deal websites are free for consumers to join, but businesses pay a price; sometimes up to half of the deal they sign on for.