Deal-a-day websites are crazy-hot these days (just ask Google, which recently had its $5 billion bid turned down by Groupon.com). They offer huge discounts on local services for a limited time -- often just one day -- to entice (hopefully) large numbers of consumers to buy in, on the theory that the businesses will attract new customers who will pay full price next time. That short buying window, however, can breed regret from two angles: You could get stuck with something you can't use, or later wish you'd anted up when the offer was still available. The solution: deal-reselling websites.
Related: How to Buy Anything Secondhand
Lifesta.com, CoupRecoup.com, and DealsGoRound.com are like eBays or Craig's Lists for bygone daily deals, where posters unload purchases they no longer want, and latecomers win out over their hesitation (and sometimes even benefit, if desperate sellers are willing to go below the prices they paid).
Related: How to Find Local Deals
To buy, select your city, then browse away -- all include links or screenshots of the original deals, so you can read the fine print. On Lifesta, you can sort results by category (event tickets, for example). CoupRecoup and DealsGoRound let you home in by keyword (say, "yoga" or "facial"), and DealGoRound lets you post "wanted" ads. Selling is just as simple: Just paste in the link to the original offer and include your asking price (for Lifesta and DealsGoRound, you'll need to create an account first).
The more eBay-like Lifesta, which offers a deal guarantee, charges the seller 99 cents plus 8 percent of the sale price to cover operating costs and the use of Amazon for electronic payment; the other two don't charge fees, although as the seller, you may incur them if you use PayPal or other electronic payment method -- however, many users simply meet and exchange money for certificate, as in a Craig's List transaction.
Which websites do you use to find holiday deals?
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.