- Daily deal websites and subsites are notorious for exaggerating the discounts that they offer customers.
- Since June last year, Business Insider has tracked the accuracy of advertised daily deals on OneDayOnly and Takealot.
- Although most offer something of a discount, some of the time, your deal is almost certainly not as amazing as it sounds.
- February 2022 was no different - and of 20 random products checked by Business Insider, just one was an accurately advertised discount.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Daily deal websites and subsites on bigger stores like Takealot are notorious for advertising discounts on deals that don't check out in the real world.
For seven months, Business Insider has been checking just how good or bad the limited-time deals that OneDayOnly and Takealot advertise are - and apart from the occasional outlier, neither is particularly honest about how much they're saving you.
This month, of the 20 deals checked across both sites, just one was close to being accurate - with an overstatement of 0.5%. The next best deal across both sites was a 10% overstatement, with several product discounts overstated by as much as 200%.
This is not to say you're necessarily getting a terrible deal. On the whole, both stores offer some kind of discount on the products they sell - but rarely are they as dramatic as they advertise.
The trick daily deal stores use lies in the so-called "recommended retail price", which is set abnormally high to make the discount look far better than it is.
Although there's no universal or enforceable recommended retail pricing guideline in South Africa, Business Insider verifies how accurate these recommended retail prices are by comparing them to competing stores selling the same product on the same day.
Over seven months, both stores have fluctuated between average exaggerations of between 45% and 160%.
Although, for the most part, you're probably getting a discount, albeit overstated, there are occasionally some cases that may make you think twice before clicking "Add to Cart".
On the day in question in February, Business Insider identified three products on OneDayOnly - two different types of earbuds and a fitness tracker - that were cheaper elsewhere, even before you factor in the mandatory shipping costs.
Here's how the two stores compared in February:
On the February day in question, across ten random products, Business Insider found that OneDayOnly advertised discounts of R4,920.
Cross-checking against competitor websites, Business Insider found a more accurate cumulative discount to be R1,154 - amounting to discounts overstated to the tune of R3,766.
In percentage terms, for the products checked this amounts to a 124% overstatement.
On the February day in question, across ten random products, Business Insider found that Takealot advertised discounts of R9,536.
Cross-checking against competitor websites, Business Insider found a more accurate cumulative discount to be R5120.90 - amounting to discounts overstated to the tune of R4,415.10.
In percentage terms, for the products checked this amounts to a 60.25% overstatement.