How Facebook Groups can save you money, or make you take a hit on your budget.
Have you ever been sent a Facebook invite to join a “deals” page? Or are you a current member? I think I belong to about 3 or 4 and will have to say, there are both benefits and cons to being in a group like this, especially when it comes to saving money.
If you’re in a group like this, you know what I mean. You are inundated daily with multiple posts showing discounts, percentages off, or BOGO sales flying off the advertised sites.
All of these could be definite cost savings for you or could leave your wallet hurting from an impulse buy.
What are “deals” pages?
There are several kinds of pages I belong to that could be considered deals pages so I will say the true definition is open-ended. However, I will say the two main ones I have found are either a discount advertising page or a silent, online auction page.
Discount Advertising Page
From what I have learned about these pages, the administrator of this group posts daily deals that they have either received notifications about from the direct seller or deals people within the group have found and told them about.
A lot of these discounts come as an already marked-down percentage from the seller, or they give a promo code for you to enter and receive the item at the discounted rate.
If you order through the page, using the link provided in the post, then the administrator to this group will receive a certain percentage and can make a commission off items sold through that link from the seller.
Again, from what I have seen on these pages, most of these deals are coming from Amazon, Jane, and other larger online wholesalers.
Once you go through the provided link, you order the item(s), and either enter the promo code provided or watch the discounts applied at checkout. Then the item is shipped to you.
Silent Online Auction Page
These groups/pages have a bit of a different approach. Usually, the administrator of the group is the one selling the items.
In the group that I belong to the man does it as a side job, so the posts are not as consistent as the Discount Advertising Pages from what I have noticed. He is also local to my area so does not do any shipping; all sales are pick-up sales.
How he runs the page is like a silent auction. He posts the item (with a description and photos) and will either say what the starting bid is in the caption or let the first-person comment on the post be the first to throw a number out. Then if you would like to make a bid, you just leave your dollar amount in the comments section.
After 24 hours, if your bid has not been beaten, he messages you that you are the winner and shares details of how you can pick the item up.
Most of the items he is selling are surplus things he has either bought himself or gotten from auctions as well. Most of the items that I have seen are in relatively good shape or brand new. A lot of the time coming in the box, and perhaps might have some cut in the box as the reason it went to surplus. He will also share if there are any issues with the said item so you are aware when purchasing and making your bids.
The benefits of these groups
You can get some major steals if you catch the right sale.
On one of the advertising pages, they had a code provided that if you bought one shirt, at a discounted rate, you got a promo code that had free shipping AND a Bogo offer. So, I basically got two shirts for like $7.00. Granted, they were shirts I liked and had a use for so that was beneficial too. I wasn’t just buying two shirts because they were such a great price.
Another “achievement” from being in the silent auction group, I recently purchased a Baby Bjorn travel crib that usually retails on Amazon for $299.95 (or on “sale” for $269.99) for $16!!! With baby #2 on the way at the time, this was a no-brainer when I first started to bid but had no idea, I’d get it for this cheap or what the seller called it as I was picking it up, “the steal of the century”.
I have also gotten things for my daughter at amazing prices. From toys for birthdays and Christmas to everyday “just because” things (FYI - why I have a “spoil her” line in my budget!).
My sister and mom belong to the group as well and many times we have sent each other the link or tagged each other in the post to *hint* that something may be a good idea for a gifting item to someone else in the family or even a friend group we have.
The sites I belong to are not just for clothing items or toys either. A lot of the time they will have tools, car accessories, outdoor décor or gardening things, and household items featured on the page as well to name a few.
Cons to these groups
You can very easily get caught up in the “sale” of the items. Both on the discount advertising page and silent auction group.
And just because it is a good deal, doesn’t always mean you need it. Or need it RIGHT NOW. You might not have even been in the market for something, but because you see it at such a discount, sometimes you feel compelled that you may actually “need” it.
And when you are on the silent auction pages, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the excitement of “I’m winning” with a bid you put down. But is it something you truly need right now?
And what if you don’t have these items planned for in your budget? That is where the real trouble can start. Because, yes, you can get some great deals, but at the same time, if you are not planning for these expenses in your budget, the “great deal” in the end may end up being a bad decision.
Ways to help keep you in check with these pages/groups:
I have seen a lot of things while scrolling through those pages and have had to stop myself a lot of times from clicking the order button (or putting down a bid).
I have developed and used some tricks to help keep myself in line and in check with these “amazing steals”:
Add it to your cart and let it sit there for several hours to think it over more
You’ll either decide no/yes, you truly don’t/do need it. Or you will forget about it, proving you really didn’t need it after all.
Set a price point you are not willing to go over if you are placing bids
Ask yourself these questions before buying it
How long can I use this?
Is it seasonal and only be used for a short time?
How many uses will I get out of this?
Have I been looking to purchase something similar or this specific item before seeing it on sale?
Can this be used as a gift for someone – and they truly need or want this?
How good of a price discount is this?
How will this impact my overall budget if I buy this?
Ask a friend their thoughts – but be mindful of whom you ask
I suggest someone who is budget-minded like yourself to be your accountability partner with these purchases.
Capitalize on these pages, but execute with caution
As I have said throughout the article, you can find some amazing deals with these pages/groups. The key is to keep yourself in check, not go “add to cart” crazy, and think through things before impulse purchasing. I will admit I have a few items that looking back now, I got caught up in the “sale” or “deal” that they were. Thankfully they were not full-blown retail prices, but in the end, could I have saved my money and had that left in my bank account? The answer is yes.
So, I suggest if you know you’re an impulse buyer and tend to splurge on shopping, then I would not join one of these groups so they do not tempt you. However, if you are looking for some great deals, and are diligent with how you are spending your dollars, I say join one and see how you can come out on top with your purchases!
If you need help with setting up a budget or have never created one before, our Financial Coach Lindsey Curry can meet with you and help you decide the best strategies for creating one.
FACEBOOK GROUPS: THE GOOD AND BAD TO SAVING MONEY
October 15, 2022
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