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What to Do When Your Daily Deal Site Closes


Your daily deal site closes. You’re left holding the coupon. Who pays?

It was perhaps only a matter of time: The daily deal bubble has burst for many of the smaller sites that sprang up in the wake of sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Nearly one-third of all daily-deal sites nationwide—170 of 530—have shut down or been sold so far this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

On the one hand, that’s good news for consumers: as more sites have scrambled to get merchants to offer deals, critics say they have allowed for inflated prices and some disreputable business practices.

But what do you do if you have a valid coupon for a daily deal site that’s no longer in existence? The good news: It’s still the retailer’s obligation to honor your bargain. The deal site is just a middleman, brokering a deal between you and the merchant, says Dan Hess, CEO and co-founder of Local Offer Network, a daily deal aggregator, says a deal site typically serves as a sales agent for the merchant. “The merchant ultimately responsible,” he says.

For bargain hunters, the short shelf-life of these deal sites may give a second life to old-fashioned coupon sites like Coupon Cabin look more attractive. Coupons may not offer discounts quite as deep, but you don’t pay up front, either, which means you never get stuck with a service you’ve paid for but haven’t used.

Pay Dirt readers, are you still using daily deal sites? Or coupons? Or both? And what do you find to be the better savings?


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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.