At a glance
LivingSocial is a website dedicated to giving you the best deal on a variety of different restaurants and activities, all right in your own neighborhood.
The website is organized by geographic location, so if you sign up to get their deals, you’ll only receive opportunities for discounts near where you live.
How It Works
The difference between LivingSocial and some other “deal of the day” websites like Woot.com is that it does not sell products. Rather, what it offers are more like gift certificates at a discount. If you sign up for the daily email, you’ll get one deeply discounted offer per day from a local business. If you find a deal to your liking, you just click on that deal, and you are emailed a link to your voucher within one business day. It’s a very simple process. Below is a sample deal from today for NYC Uptown:
I particularly like the fact that LivingSocial is broken down by geographic location. This way, you don’t have to waste time searching for deals in your area or checking to make sure the offer applies to you. You know that it is going to be something local.
Another advantage that LivingSocial has over many other similar group buying sites for daily deals and coupons is that when you buy a deal, the site sends you a link that you can share with your contacts. If three people also purchase the deal using your link, then your deal is free. This is great if you happen upon a deal that you’re pretty sure your friends or family might also be interested in buying.
This would especially come into play if there’s a certain activity or restaurant that you know you’d like to enjoy with your friends. You could purchase the deal, get three of your friends to do the same, and then yours is free. That way, you and your friends all share in the savings. That is, if you’re nice enough to let them in on the fact that you got yours for free!
The offers available at LivingSocial are somewhat limited. I saw discounts for local spas, salons, massages, and a variety of outdoors activities -nothing right off the bat that immediately appealed to me. Of course, I may discover wider variety over time; I did see a few recent deals involving restaurants, for example.
When it comes to these sites and their offers, make sure you know what you’re getting. Always read the fine print, as sometimes the offers you receive are limited to certain locations or can only be applied to specific packages that the business offers. The site says that they offer clear and simple terms, but be sure to review any offer you are thinking about purchasing. Check for expiration dates as well.
In addition, these discount websites can sometimes tempt you to spend more money that you should. They offer you a variety of different discounts and you might think, “That sounds fun…” Here at Money Crashers, we want you to spend your money wisely, which means distinguishing between your wants and your needs making it a priority to get out of debt. Be sure you are spending money on things that truly benefit you, and not just because you’re getting a “deal.”
To give you a glimpse of what LivingSocial has to offer, a quick search on their site yielded the following recent deals. Keep in mind that these are location-specific to where I live; the deals that you may receive could be slightly different:
- Half off at a holistic health center
- 60% discount at a studio salon
- 60% discount at a vision institute
- Half off a NASCAR race
As you can see, there is some variety to what they offer, but most of the deals that I found were in the areas of self-improvement and outdoorsy activities.
I signed up for the daily emails offered by LivingSocial, because you never know what you’re going to find. As long as it doesn’t encourage you to spend money on impulse, it can’t hurt. I also recommend keeping LivingSocial in mind when doing your holiday shopping. You may find a deal at a local business that you know a friend or family member may enjoy, and cross one gift off your Christmas shopping list. Overall, LivingSocial is definitely worth a look.