Groupon and other "daily deal" sites are great places to snag discounted meals, outings, and—somewhat counter-intuitively—medical services. When you're looking at paying $2,400 for a $5,000 dental procedure or getting 81% off an eye exam, it probably seems pretty tempting. But is it a good idea? SmartMoney talks to experts who aren't so sure. "You shouldn't be doing procedures on a whim," says one.
Plus, bargain hunters may pay more attention to the price than to the reputation of the provider, meaning they could be putting themselves at risk. And then there's the up-sell, where suddenly your half-price procedure leads to a more expensive one at full cost. But the trend seems to be increasing regardless of the risks: The first quarter of this year saw more than 2,500 medical, health, and dental offers on deal sites, an eight-fold jump from last year.