Gaggle of Chicks' most popular deal: Susie's Supper Club

“Hurry, hurry. The Plan Toy dollhouse voted Best “blah blah” is on sale for the next 24 hours!!” Since signing up for many of the sites (strictly as research for this article!), my in-box has been filled with spending possibilities. As I scroll through my emails in the morning, I consider the possibilities: a facial for half the normal price, a discounted wine tasting, a new class for my daughter…hmmm. Ultimately, I haven’t felt compelled yet try to buy any of those deals,  but my interest has been piqued.  So maybe I didn’t buy that sailboat cruise (brrrr!), but I like the idea so maybe I’ll look into it when summer rolls back around. And maybe next time I’ll buy the wine tasting because don’t we all need an outing?  (Note to husband:  I do!)

But all of the deals whip me into momentary frenzies: “Ohh…great doll house and why not? It’s on sale!” Sites offering daily deals count on shoppers like me to feel the heat of the race and rush to take advantage of the deal before it sells out, which is why more sites are popping up daily.

What is each site like, how does it operate and which ones are the best?

The first online shopping daily discount side I had heard about was Groupon – but now there are many others. The premise for most is similar: group buying allows consumers better deals and businesses huge exposure.  You sign up and have the option to buy the service, product or activity they are offering at a discounted price. For some sites, a certain numbers of people need to buy the deal for it to be available, and most sites offer further discounts or rebates if you pass on the deals to your friends and all of the sites have the deal for a limited amount of time, adding to the frenzy. Of course, there’s more to it than that and you can read a better description than I can ever give you at sitejabber.com.  And if you missed a deal or bought one you don’t really want, check out lifesta.com, where you can buy or sell the certificates for deals that have already ended. (Yes, it seemed shady to me at first, too.  But now I think it might be neat and from what I can tell, it’s legit and guaranteed.)
Here are some of the popular group deals for New York (Not for kids!) Share with us some of your favorites, and if you have tried any of them- what you thought was worth it:

Groupon.com
Groupon leads the market in the new-ish online “group buying” industry. In selected cities, Groupon offers a daily discount for an item, outing, or service, be it a pedicure, dance class or tapas dinner. If you want to partake and enough other people sign up to “buy” the deal, the deal goes through and your credit card is charged. If the minimum number of participants is not reached, the deal is cancelled. I haven’t bought any of the Groupons yet, though some mornings I consider it.

Tippr.com
Similar to Groupon but Tippr offers three deals a day, so even more chances to spend money! The offerings are varied – boxing classes, laser hair removal, salsa classes, hair cuts.

Livingsocial.com
Livingsocial is different than Groupon and some others as there doesn’t have to be a minimum of the daily deal purchased. Also different:  if you buy the deal and share it with friends and three of your friends buy in, your deal is free.  Their recent deals include a steak dinner, lots of laser hair removal (most of the different sites offer a fair bit of laser hair removal – we must be the smoothest city in the country) and a sailboat cruise.

Group Deals for New York KIDS AND PARENTS

Doodledeals.com

From the people at Diapers.com, this parent/child-focused site has a deal-a-day that members can buy regardless of whether anybody else wants the deal. If enough folks buy the deal, you get an additional few dollars off as a bonus. You simply need to sign up to receive their daily email to participate. The deals are interesting and include lots of classes, though not many in Brooklyn.

Gaggleofchicks.com

Similar to the Groupon model – once you sign up, you can opt to buy the day’s deal and if enough others do too, the deal “hatches” and you get whatever you bought.  Gaggle of Chicks is parent/child specific and seems to have great deals, like family photography packages, meal delivery services and gourmet cookies. Their most popular deal so far was with Susie’s Supper Club– one of the best home catering companies in NY and Brooklyn.

KidSteals.com and BabySteals.com
This family of sites offers product “steals” daily that members can buy, by checking their website daily or by signing up for their daily emails. BabySteals, with two products a day, has things for expecting mothers and babies and (predictably), KidSteals, with one product a day, has things for toddlers and older kids. Once a particular deal is sold-out, you’re out of luck, though you can also check their archive to snag something you might have missed.  Both have a devoted fan base and I thought the maternity clothes on BabySteals and some of the kids’ clothes on KidSteals did seem like great deals.

Plum District
These daily deals for moms and families are available in 28 cities. They range from theater classes to facials to kids’ toys. Share the deal with friends and you get a referral bonus for every friend. Once a deal is over, that’s it, you’ll have to wait around for another one.

zulily.com
Once signing up, members can shop at this online private-sale that has daily offerings of discounted clothes and gear for moms and their kids of all ages. The sales last for three days and then new deals come in. The site is full of clothing and shoes and various other items. I thought a lot of the clothing was very cute (I ordered my Jenn a party dress!), but some was too expensive for my three and five-year olds.  The sleeping bags available on the site while I write this are haunting me because they’re way cuter than my kids’ sleeping bags and I desperately want to ditch our old ones in favor of these.

Here are some other bargain deal-a-day shopping sites for children and their adults – there seems to be an endless supply of them, many of which often have similar items. Which other ones do you swear by? Let us know!

http://kids.woot.com

www.minibargainz.com
http://www.mamabargains.com
www.greenbabybargains.com
http://babyhalfoff.com
www.ecobabybuys.com
http://oliviaplace.com