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buyclub2By Lisa Cirieco-Ohlman, Editor of Know-it-all passport

I spend a lot of time on my computer so when I found out about BuyClub I was excited. Here was a place where I could try new things, new experiences, at a discount, while sitting at my computer! But would it work? I decided to give it a try before passing judgement.

Here’s how it works - taken from the website, www.buyclub.ch

1. See today's deal: Each day a discount coupon for a great local restaurant, spa, or activity is put on sale. (Today's deal is 40% off your daily pass to Aquaparc - 4.2.2011)

2. Get it : Buy the coupon online, and it will be emailed to you 24 hours after the deal ends.

3. Use group-power: The coupon is activated, and you're charged for it, only if enough people buy it. If not, then you're not charged and no one gets the coupon.

4. Enjoy the discount: Print the coupon, show it at the venue, and enjoy the great place you discovered!

My first trial was a voucher for Fr. 100.- at the Restaurant des Bastions in Geneva for only Fr. 50.-. No catch; it really meant I could order anything off the menu up to Fr. 100.-! Too good to be true. Usually these kind of vouchers require that you take some preselected menu with half portions or are only valid between 03h-04h in the morning, but not this one. I went with my husband 2 weeks ago at 20h on a Friday evening! We made sure to let the restaurant know that we had the BuyClub coupon when we reserved. We were given a good table (naturally, we were concerned they might sit us next to the toilets), and again, we showed the coupon as soon as the menus were brought (you probably have guessed by now that I have had a bad experience in the US). They honestly didn’t care about the coupon at that point.

Suffice it to say that we spent well over the Fr. 100.-, in fact we went all out and when the bill came for Fr. 156.-, we only had to pay Fr. 56.-. I looked at the waiter’s face to see if he was going to turn his nose up in distain, to judge us for having such a discount. No reaction, in fact, he looked completely normal! I was thrilled.  I had spent Fr. 106.- in total (Fr. 50.- of it was paid up front on the voucher) and had received Fr. 156.- worth of food.  A real bargain!

So, now that I am signed-up with BuyClub I am alerted by email each time there is a new deal. Last week I used the voucher for Natural Fish Spa to have a 30-minute Garra Rufa Fish Pedicure (fish nibbling the dead skin off my rough feet). Read my article about this experience and, if you can take it, the before and after photos. I would never have discovered this place had it not been for BuyClub!

The benefits for the company offering the voucher are: new clients, one-lump sum from all the clients at once, and great publicity! If you are interested in proposing your company you can contact BuyClub to offer a deal. BuyClubIf you are a potential client and haven’t yet signed-up, then do so now! You can even offer coupons to friends as a present. Past deals have been for spas, restaurants, ski passes, teeth whitening, hairdressers, etc, most at 50% off normal tariffs. You only buy the ones you want. If you are interested in a deal, act quickly to avoid disappointment as they sometimes sell out (they might have a maximum number) or the time limit expires. On the other hand, if you see that the deal is not moving fast enough and you want to make sure it gets validated (tipped), then tell your friends!

For the moment, these deals are only in the Geneva area, but plans to move into other areas of Switzerland are on the cards.

It’s important to remember, once you have decided to participate in a certain voucher, you will only charged if the deal you bought tips (is validated). If a deal does not tip, then it is canceled and no one is charged.

Enjoy!

Other websites where you can take advantage of discounts are listed here to help you compare but we would suggest reading the rules for each website before signing up to avoid any mis-interpretations.

www.buyclub.ch
Price: free to join
Valid: indefinitely
Typical advantages: 50% off price
Offers include: spas, hairdressers, restaurants, ski passes, etc.
Email informs you to the offer of the day.

www.clubloisirs.ch
Price: Fr. 39.-
Valid: one year from the date of purchase
Typical advantages: 50% off price
Offers include: 50% off Yatouland, Aquaparc, Labyrinth Aventure, Forestland, and 120 other fun activities!
Email informs you of the discount of the week.

www.passeport-loisirs.ch (sold-out)
Price: Fr. 39.-
Valid: Next edition will be out 1st December 2011 (valid one year from end-January).
Typical advantages: buy one, get one free.
Offers include: Alimentarium, Bains d’Ovronnaz, The Olympic Museum, and 185 other leisure activities!
Rules: Only valid for the person whose name is on the ticket and must be accompanied by one other person. May be used by up to 2 people free, 2 people paying.

www.bodypass.ch
Price: Fr. 70.-
Valid: 1 November, 2010 to 31 December, 2011
Typical advantages: 50% off price
Offers include: 50% off your first visit to any of their 64 spas on the list.
Rules: Only valid for the person whose name is on the ticket. Offers can be used by men or women.

www.wellnesspass.ch
Price: Fr. 29.90
Valid: one year from the date of purchase
Typical advantages: 50% off price
Offers include: 12 hairdressers and spas in the French-speaking areas of Switzerland.
Rules: Only valid one time in each of the 12 participating companies.

www.goodnightpass.ch
Price: Fr. 169.-
Valid: one year from date of purchase
Typical advantages: 50% off one room, 35% off 2 rooms, 20% off 3 rooms
Offers include: 21 hotels around Switzerland.
Rules: Hotels will require that you eat either lunch or dinner in their hotel to benefit from this offer. The discount is only valid one time per hotel and one night only.

www.lemanevents.ch InnerCircle Card
Price: Fr. 25.-
Valid: until the end of 2012
Typical advantages: various
Offers include: Autociel, MyExpatShop, selected spas and 33 other companies.
Rules: Only valid for the person whose name is on the card.