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Central & South Alabama
BBB Advice for Getting Deals on Collective Buying Sites
May 24, 2010
BBB Advice for Getting Deals on Collective Buying Sites

Central Alabama – May 20, 2010 - Everyone is looking for ways to pinch pennies and collective buying Web sites are becoming an extremely popular option to save on goods and services from local businesses. Before signing up for the next big deal, Better Business Bureau recommends researching all businesses involved and reading the fine print thoroughly.

Collective buying sites have become increasingly popular in a short amount of time. Groupon.com, which is a BBB Accredited Business, is one of the pioneers of collective buying and has 2.6 million subscribers. According to Groupon, they have made 1.8 million transactions that saved shoppers 85 million in their relatively short history.

Collective buying sites typically offer one deal every day such as for products or gift cards redeemable at local businesses—including restaurants, retail stores and spas. If enough people sign up to buy it, they’ll get it at a significant discount. If not enough people are interested, the deal is canceled and no one is charged.

“Collective buying is a great way for businesses to attract new customers and for savvy consumers to land a great deal,” said David C. Smitherman, BBB President & CEO. “It can be a win-win situation for everyone involved as long as the customer does their research and understands all of the restrictions and stipulations.”

Before signing up for a deal on a collective buying Web site, BBB recommends that online shoppers:

Check every business with BBB. Not only do you want to research the collective buying Web site with BBB, you also want to research the business that is offering the deal. Look for the BBB Accredited Business seal on both Web sites and only go with businesses that have a good rating with BBB.

Buy what you will use.
While the idea of skydiving at half the usual cost sounds like a great deal, if you aren’t actually going to go through with it, you’re wasting your money.  Focus on items and services you’ll use from stores and locations that are close by. If you experience buyer’s remorse, you might not have a way to get your money back.

Read the fine print—all of it. Don’t assume that every deal is like the next.  The fine print on every offer is going to be different because every business has a different policy when it comes to eligibility, expiration dates, refunds, and black-out dates. Read the terms and conditions on the collective buying Web site, the specific terms and conditions listed with the offer and seek out the fine print on the business’s own Web site as well.

About BBB Serving Central Alabama & the Wiregrass:
BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior.   Incorporated locally in 1955, today your BBB services 41 counties in Central Alabama, supported by over 3,500 Accredited Businesses.  BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 125 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring nearly 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about BBB.