A Survival Guide to the Deluge of Daily Deals

How to manage daily deals and ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

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Daily deal sites have become the new golden child of the Internet. Ever since Groupon turned down a $6 billion offer from Google, these sites have multiplied faster than GOP candidates for president.

For consumers, the array of daily deals can be a bit overwhelming. Not only are there now hundreds of sites clamoring for our attention, but once you sign up for one, your inbox gets flooded with deals many of us have no time to read.

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Thankfully, there are tools to help folks manage their daily deals and ensure you get the most bang for your buck. We will review two of these tools and discuss exactly how you can use them to organize your deals. First, let’s review some of the popular daily deal sites.

Local Daily Deals: Sites like Groupon and Living Social offer deals each day from local merchants in your area. These sites do a good job of covering just about every area in the United States, and they offer a variety of deals. You can elect to receive updates via email or access the deals right from your Smartphone. Once you purchase a deal, you can either print off a voucher or show the merchant the voucher right from your phone.

Product Daily Deals: Some sites focus on product deals instead of deals from local merchants. For example, 1SaleaDay.com buys products in bulk at large discounts and pass the savings on to consumers. As the name suggests, it features one sale each day. More established websites like Amazon and eBay also have daily sale pages.

Specialty Sites: Finally, some daily deals sites focus on unique specialties. Restaurant.com, for example, focuses on all things dining. Zozi.com specializes in outdoor activities, like hot air balloon rides and paintball outings.

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For an exhaustive list of daily deal sites, you can check out a list we put together at DoughRoller.net. And as you can see from the variety of sites, managing these accounts can get overwhelming. Two of the tools we are going to cover are Citypockets.com and Manilla.com, both of which are available to help you keep tabs on your deals.

Citypocket.com. Citypockets.com offers subscribers two great features. First, the site automatically imports all your daily deal vouchers from the various deal sites so you can keep track of them in one place. City Pockets also sends you email updates reminding you when your deals expire so you don’t miss out on the savings.

The second feature is a secondary market for daily deal vouchers. If you have ever had a deal expire on you, then you’ll see the value in this feature. If you can’t use a daily deal you’ve already purchased, you can list it for sale on City Pockets. While you’ll likely have to sell it for less than what you paid, it’s better than letting the voucher expire. And if you are in the market for a daily deal, you may want to check out these sales first.

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Manilla.com. Manilla is an online service that allows you to manage your bills, financial accounts, and travel rewards programs. Now Manilla also lets you manage your daily deals. Recently, Manillia partnered with Groupon and Living Social so users can keep track of their deals from these sites within Manilla. The downside to Manilla is that there are many daily deal sites that are not part of its program.

DR is the founder of the popular personal finance blog, the Dough Roller, and author of 99 Painless Ways to Save Money.