ScoutMob offers no-risk alternative to daily deal sites

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Are we getting all deal-ed out with the glut of too many daily deal sites? A recent article I saw on CNN reports that the number of people using daily deal sites has been falling significantly.

The deal thing was all the rage and now suddenly it’s not so hot. Groupon is the big daddy in this field. They developed a business model where they work with local businesses to offer a daily discounted deal on services or goods to subscribers. If enough people sign up for the deal, it’s on.

Groupon grew so fast that Google tried to buy them out for $6 billion…and they told the search giant to get lost! Now there are so many other daily deal sites out there, including LivingSocial, DealSwarm and MyDailyThread, among many others.

I can tell you from my own life, we don’t buy deals on these sites as often as we once did. We found that with a busy life and 3 kids, the deals were expiring on us before we could use them.

My wife loves sports cars and driving fast, so I bought her a deal through Groupon (if my memory is right) where she had up to a year to go take a fast car around on a racetrack. Well, 12 months later, the deal has now has expired…and it was not cheap. (That’s not the only one that expired on us.)

My rule now is I’ll only buy one of these deals if it costs me $20 or less. I’m willing to potentially lose up to $20 in a deal that we may or may not redeem. In general, if you do buy deals through these sites, keep a record on a calendar about what the deals are and when you have to use them.

Fortunately, though, there is a better way that I’ve discovered. There’s a company called ScoutMob that has a different business model. While everybody else requires you to buy the deal upfront, ScoutMob just tells you about the deal. You don’t pay up any money until you redeem it. So instead of paying now for the option of something you may or may not get around to using, you only purchase the deal at the time you’re about to use it. (Editor’s note: ScoutMob is only available in Atlanta, New York and San Francisco at this time.)

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Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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