Facebook Leaps Into Coupons - Pros and Cons of Diving in with Them
Facebook recently announced the decision to leap into the group coupon business. They have launched a Groupon-style deals service in five major cities with plans for expansion assuming that the service is well-received. As someone who surely uses Facebook you may be thinking that this is a great way to get good deals. However, there are drawbacks to using the new Facebook coupons and you should consider them before you jump on the bandwagon.
Benefits of Facebook Coupons
- Local deals: The new Facebook coupons are designed to offer discounts on your local shopping and services, deals that might not be offered by nationwide coupon sites.
- One less site to visit: It's nice to be able to get deals right on Facebook, a site that you are probably already active on regularly, instead of having to bookmark yet another deals site.
- A new option: It is always good to explore different options for saving money when those options present themselves. Judicious use of new sites can assist you in finding better ways to save money over time.
- A neat social component: Facebook coupons are for group experiences so you do get to share your deal saving with friends. This can be an asset to some people.
Drawbacks of Facebook Coupons
- Encourages impulsive spending: As with other Groupon-style sites, Facebook coupons are a limited time deal requiring a near-instant decision on spending. Use of more traditional coupon code sites allows for more thoughtful purchases and better budgeting.
- Increased pressure to buy: Let's face it; you might buy something just because you see your other Facebook friends buying it. This is a 21st century way of "keeping up with the Joneses" and it can be detrimental your budget.
- Pressure to try expensive activities: Facebook coupons are for group deals (such as river rafting trips) and you may feel pressure to participate in these activities even though you previously wouldn't have spent the money on these things. You're not getting a deal if you're spending money that you wouldn't otherwise spend!
- The deals aren't always very good: Facebook coupons emphasize the social experience over the amount of money that you save so the actual savings may not be as great as it can be with other sites.
Making Facebook Coupons Work for You
There is no harm in trying out Facebook coupons to see if the deals work for you. However, you should do so with a wary eye. Focus on using your other money-saving options (such as coupon codes and clearance sales) to do the bulk of your frugal spending. Use Facebook coupons to save money on unique group experiences that you would choose to do anyway with the friends you have in your life. For example, if you and your friends have often talked about going wine tasting then keep an eye out for a Facebook coupon that will allow you to do that at a discount. Make sure to compare costs with other deals before making the purchase and encourage your friends to do the same!
Are you a Facebook user? You can find us there!