Follow us:
  1. Home
  2. Shopping
  3. Deal Websites

Find the Best Deal Websites

by Erin Huffstetler Deal Websites Contributing Editor

Deal sites offer steep discounts on retail, restaurants, travel, home services and more. Use our guide to research and discover the best deal website for you. We explain how to spot the best sites and how you can find significant savings on your favorite products and businesses. The key to working with deal sites is to only pay for the goods and services you need.

Compare Reviews for Top Deal Websites

Sort

What to look for on a deal website

Products offered

If you need it or want it, there's probably a deal site that sells it. Here's an overview of the types of products that you can expect to find.

  • Goods: Clothes, shoes, home décor, electronics, toys, cosmetics, sporting goods – deal sites have it all.
  • Restaurant vouchers: Snag a half-price restaurant voucher to your favorite restaurant or try some place new.
  • Travel vouchers: Save money on lodging, transportation, event tickets and admissions for your next trip.
  • Retail vouchers: Stretch your budget by buying discounted vouchers to national retail chains, as well as local mom-and-pop shops.
  • Experiences: Go rock climbing, take a river cruise, or sign up for a cooking class – deal sites offer bargain prices on all sorts of fun outings and experiences.
  • Discounted services: Cut the cost of dental cleanings, salon treatments, lawn care and all of those other services that you need, but hate to pay for.

Website features

A good company knows the importance of a good website. Make sure any deal site that you're considering includes all of the following features.

  • Interface: The website should be well-organized, easy to navigate and free of major problems.
  • Check out: The check-out process needs to be handled in a secure environment – if you don’t see an SSL certificate -- an “https” -- in the web address and a lock in the bottom right corner of your browser window as soon as you hit “check out”, walk away from the purchase.
  • Payment and shipping account set-up: The best deal sites allow you to set up an account for speedier check out, and offer to store your shipping and payment information for you, but do not require these actions.
  • Account requirements: On some deal sites, membership is required to view and purchase the deals. This is fine, as long as the membership is free.

Customer support

You deserve to be treated right and to be helped quickly. When evaluating a deal site, make sure they have all of the following customer support tools in place.

  • FAQs: A section of the site should be dedicated to answering common customer questions, and provide a way to contact the company, if your question isn’t addressed.
  • Email, phone and web support: The company should offer both e-mail and phone support, and make their contact information easy for you to find. The best companies also offer live-chat and may also have a support forum.
  • User reviews: It’s always nice to see user reviews on a site, but keep in mind that these can be edited or removed, if the company doesn’t find them favorable. Check outside reviews, if you want to see what people really think about a product or business.

Shipping options

Some deal purchases will land in your inbox, while others will land in your postal mailbox. Make sure you understand how and when your purchase will be delivered.

  • Vouchers: If you’re purchasing a voucher that you’ll have to print or upload yourself, it should be available shortly after purchase, and remain in your account until you use it.
  • Shipping time: Some deal sites are notorious for slow shipments. Before you buy, check the FAQ section on the site to see how soon you can expect to receive your purchase.
  • Expedited shipping: Few deal sites allow you to expedite shipping. If you need something right away, you may want to shop somewhere else.
  • Ship to APO/FPO/International addresses/P.O. Boxes: Some deal sites will ship anywhere; others will only ship to a physical address in the U.S. Check the company’s policy before you place your order.

Return options

Sometimes purchases just don't live up to our expectations. Before you buy a deal, make sure you understand what you'll be getting, and what options will be available to you if you aren't happy with your purchase.

  • Defective products: Many deal sites sell closeout merchandise and refurbished items – make sure you’ll be able to return any product that doesn’t work, look or fit the way it should. In some cases, items may be sold “as-is,” so read the fine print carefully before making a purchase.
  • Expired vouchers: Forget about a deal voucher until after it’s expired, and you’ve probably wasted your money; however, the best deal sites will still allow you to redeem your expired voucher for what you paid for it (meaning you just lose out on the promotional value). Also, many states require issuers to honor the cash value of the vouchers. You should insist on this regardless -- it’s just good business.
  • Any reason: If you change your mind about a purchase, you should be able to return it with no questions asked; a reputable deal site will give you a window of time to do that – even if it’s a small window.
  • Return policies: The company’s return policy should be clearly outlined for you on the site. If it isn’t, move on.

Alerts

Deals often sell out quickly. Stay in the loop by taking advantage of all of the alert options that a company offers you.

  • Email: The best deal sites allow you to tailor your email subscriptions to your locale and interests and to set your own delivery frequency.
  • Social media: Follow your favorite deal sites on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of deals, and to score special promo codes that can be used to sweeten the deal.
  • Mobile apps: Most deal sites offer a free mobile app that you can use to buy deals and redeem vouchers.

Types of deal websites

Product specific

Love shoes, sports, travel? You’ll find deal sites that cater to each of these niches, plus many more.

Items-per-day deals

Some sites offer just one deal a day or a small number of deals each day. These offers typically go live the same time each day, and there’s a lot of hype around them, so they tend to sell out quickly.

Local deals

Want to explore your community and support local businesses? Plenty of deal sites offer city-specific deals, and will e-mail you daily with a list of what’s available in your city.

Limited-time deals

Sites that offer deals in limited quantities or for a limited time are another industry staple. You’ve got to be quick to get in on these deals, but the savings can be huge for those who do.

Who should use a deal website?

Bargain shoppers

These are the people who don’t like to pay full price for anything. They subscribe to the e-mail alerts for all of their favorite deal sites to make sure they don’t miss a thing.

Occasional users

These are the folks who buy when they happen to hear about a good deal or think to check the deal sites. They do not actively look for deals, but are happy when they get them.

One-time users

These are the customers who buy once just to see how the process works, or who buy when they’re looking for a way to save on a particular purchase.

Businesses

National retailers and local businesses come to deal sites looking to attract new customers and to increase sales. Companies are willing to offer a deep discount on their products or services because they’re hoping it will lead to repeat business.

Deal website FAQ

What is a daily deal site?
Also known as a “deal-of-the-day” website, daily deal sites send emails with limited-time deals from various companies. Often, manufacturers, local businesses and restaurants market these promotions on daily deal websites to put a product or service on sale for 24 to 36 hours.
Where can I find deals online?
There are numerous ways to find online deals:
  • Subscribe to a deal-of-the-day website.
  • Go to a coupon website.
  • Search for the item you want and compare prices from different retailers.
Where can I find good deals online?
There are many different ways to find a good deal online, but daily deal websites make it convenient by finding current deals and putting them in one place for you. Many of these websites also email consumers directly with deal offers.

Besides daily deal sites, there are coupon and promotion code websites that also help you find the best prices.

How do coupon websites work?
Coupon websites facilitate direct group-buying deals.
  • When consumers visit a coupon website, they get access to buy exclusive online promo codes or coupons that retailers have provided.
  • If a consumer is interested, they can give their card info to opt in for the deal.
  • If enough consumers opt in, they receive the promo code or coupon via email. If not enough people are interested, the discount disappears and the coupon website does not charge anyone.
  • Consumers can use their coupons and save money at the point of purchase.

Coupon websites and the businesses that provide the deals both profit off these coupon fees.

What are flash sale sites?
A flash sale site provides consumers with information about current flash sales. A flash sale is an extremely limited-time sale that often has no advance notice.
What is a group buying site?
Group buying sites offer deals on the condition that consumers make a minimum number of coupon purchases. This allows the retailer to offer significantly lower prices because it knows enough buyers will take part for it to turn a profit. Many daily deal websites are also group buying sites.

Not sure how to choose?

Get buying tips about Deal Websites delivered to your inbox.

    By entering your email, you agree to sign up for consumer news, tips and giveaways from ConsumerAffairs. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter!

    Author reviews for deal websites

    AUTHORIZED PARTNER
    BuyDig.com

    BuyDig.com was established during the 1990s and is headquartered in Edison, N.J. The company is associated with BeachCamera.com, and both sites sell a variety of products, but they focus on electronics.

    Read more about BuyDig.com
    1Sale

    This popular site offers–as its name implies–one deal a day across seven categories. Deals go live at midnight EST, and are only available for 24 hours, or while supplies last.

    Read more about 1Sale
    Groupon

    As one of the first deal sites on the scene, Groupon has been offering discounted vouchers and merchandise since 2008.

    Read more about Groupon
    LivingSocial

    Based in Washington D.C, LivingSocial specializes in local deals. You’ll find vouchers for food, family outings, special events and travel. The site also includes a small shop with limited-time offers for merchandise and online stores.

    Read more about LivingSocial
    HauteLook

    This Nordstrom-owned company specializes in flash sales on clothing, shoes, handbags and home décor and getaways. Sales typically last 48 hours or until sell-out.

    Read more about HauteLook
    Woot

    This quirky site started out offering one deal a day but has since grown to offer one deal a day across a variety of categories.

    Read 65 Reviews
    Sweet Deals

    Owned by Cumulus Media, SweetJack’s specialty is local deals, and their offers are featured on over 1,400 radio stations around the country.

    Read more about Sweet Deals

    Compare Reviews for Top Deal Websites

    by Erin Huffstetler Deal Websites Contributing Editor

    Erin Huffstetler is the Frugal Living Guide at About.com, and the founder of MyFrugalHome.com. If there’s a way to get something for less, Erin will find it, and tell you about it.

    Comparing

    ×