Daily Deal Sites Push Premium Memberships

Are the new membership programs worth the money?

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Then again, having the flexibility to exchange unused deals for credits, as offered by Groupon VIP, could be a useful feature, since it reduces the likelihood that you won't be able to redeem a deal because of time constraints, an unanticipated move, or other factors.

Typically, you can still use a voucher for the amount you paid for it after the promotional value expires. You can also resell unexpired vouchers through secondary markets like CityPockets.com and DealsGoRound.com. However, a Rice University study found that more than 21 percent of deals purchased never get redeemed, a startling statistic when you consider that those purchases were motivated by a desire to save money.

Krasilovsky says it's too soon to tell if this premium membership model will pay off for daily deal sites. At the individual consumer level, though, it's relatively simple to look at your account history and assess your buying frequency.