A salon haircut. A sailing excursion of San Francisco Bay. An annual wine pass good for hundreds of Napa and Sonoma wineries.
Those are just some of the deals I scored–on discount!–via Groupon and LivingSocial. These daily-deal sites harness crowdsourcing to give you the best retail, travel, and services deals in your city or region.
Now, both sites have Windows Phone apps so you’ll be instantly notified of the best deals in health and fitness, dining, travel, and more. I give the nitty-gritty of each one below, and I’ve added one more WP app that’s made especially for our good friends in the U.K.
But first, just in case you don’t know, how do these daily deals work? The local and national businesses who use these sites offer great discounts if a certain number of people click and buy the deals.
If you buy a deal and share it with three friends, who also purchase it — you get yours for free! If not enough people bite, then the deal is canceled, and their credit cards won’t be charged.
LivingSocial is available in 15 countries and 390 cities around the globe. The corresponding free app (Windows Phone 8 and above) is similar to Groupon, but offers more categories to search deals, such as Food, Health, Home, Families and Activities.
I especially like the Escapes category, which offers deals not just on hotels, but also multi-day tours to Rome, Amsterdam, and other exotic locales.
Be sure to regularly click on My Vouchers to track your daily-deal purchases and their expiration dates. Want to keep an eagle eye on deals? You can set LivingSocial as your Lock Screen–just go to Settings > Options to do so.
The grand-daddy of daily-deal sites, Groupon is available in 48 countries and 500 markets around the world.
The free app (Windows Phone 7.5 and above) shows you all the deals near you in categories such as Goods, Getaways, Hotels, and Featured. You can also find deals in other cities and countries–just click the location icon next to the app’s search bar and scroll through the city/country lists.
When you click a deal, you’re given all the details, including a map and contact info, time left to purchase, and how many people have already bought it (most deals are limited in number).
Of course, you can buy and redeem Groupon deals directly from your Lumia as well as track your purchased vouchers by expiration date and location. You can also pin the app to your Start screen.
Available only in the U.K., Wowcher offers deals from entertainment and electronics to toys and gifts. The Windows Phone 8.1 app is free and features categories such as Local, Travel and Shopping, as well as a search bar so you can better find deals.
Wowcher will award you loyalty points when you share deals with friends and family, which you can redeem for deals. You can also sign up for “Wowcherching,” a program that gives you cash back the more you shop.
Have you scored great deals with one of these apps? Let us know!