5 Tips for Evaluating Group-Coupon Deals
Laura_B. on 25 Feb 2011 at 12:00am
Groupon, Living Social – we’re all obsessed, aren’t we? Nothing like getting services or goods for rock-bottom prices. But what about when those deals are on cosmetic treatments – is it worth chasing a bargain where your body is concerned?
Like any business, the cosmetic procedure industry is a competitive one, and marketing can help bring in new clients. Group-buying-power deals can motivate consumers who were merely considering a treatment, into decision-making.
But choosing a procedure, from Restylane to Smart Lipo or laser hair removal, is a decision to be made carefully, in consultation with a board-certified professional. Just because the treatment is “on sale” doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for everyone.
Five tips to keep in mind when debating that deal:
1. Investigate the credentials of the doctor offering the deal using RealSelf. Read reviews from other patients, check out before & after photos, and look for comments the doctor has shared on RealSelf forums. Is this a person you feel comfortable with?
2. Determine if the deal gives you the important option of consulting with the doctor beforehand; schedule this consultation to talk through any questions and concerns. Decide if you’re comfortable with any potential risks from the procedure.
3. Research the refund policy on the deal, if any, in case you change my mind after your consultation.
4. Do your homework on the procedure. RealSelf offers unique Worth It ratings, which reflect the actual input of patients who’ve undergone the procedure, resulting in a ranked score. Check out actual reported prices for the treatment, too – don’t just rely on what the group coupon site tells you is the retail value of the deal.
5. As with any impulse purchase, ask yourself, am I just interested in this procedure because it’s on sale, or am I comfortable that this is a smart decision for me?
A few passionate comments from RealSelf doctors about Groupon (specifically lipo):
- "I personally think that sending discount coupons for Plastic Surgery...by any of my colleagues and the legions of wannabe "Plastic surgeons", greatly cheapens me, my work and our entire profession." - Peter A. Aldea, Memphis plastic surgeon.
- "This kind of advertising is inappropriate and scandalous and devalues the importance of the relationship between a patient and a properly trained and ethical plastic surgeon. The implication is that you can have whatever you want regardless of your body's condition, from whomever you want regardless of their training or lack of training, for the lowest price possible. What a quintessential commentary on our society!" - Richard P. Rand, Seattle plastic surgeon.
Click here to see other opinions, and form some for yourself.