Coupons / Shopping

Groupon

Groupon

Groupon is a deal-of-the-day recommendation service for consumers, it is considered to be the mother of all daily deal sites. Every 24 hours, Groupon broadcasts an electronic coupon for a restaurant or store in your city; it recommends that local service while also offering you a 50% to 75% discount if you purchase that service. The site is able to do this by harnessing the power of group purchasing and turning that into daily deal on something fun to do in various cities across the country.

How It Works For You

Groupon negotiates deals with businesses that are only possible by guaranteeing a certain volume of sales. Groupon members only get the day’s deal if the specified number of people sign up during the specified time. The deals include deep discounts at restaurants, concerts, events, lessons, tours, spas, salons, retail shops, and more.  Groupon is a free service; you do not have to pay to join. Each day, Groupon sends  an email announcement, describing the deal-of-the-day in the metro area you select. Commonly, the deals are 50% discounts at a particular restaurant, or 50% discounts at a particular store; the discounts can be larger. If you like the deal-of-the-day, then you purchase an electronic coupon directly from Groupon using your credit card or PayPal account. You print that coupon, take it to the restaurant or store, and redeem it for commonly double the value you paid.

How It Works for the Seller

Groupon is a commission-based middleman service for businesses. They deliver a motivated customer base to the seller, and a promise to achieve X number of sales per day. If Groupon doesn’t meet that promised quota, there is no need for the seller to provide any discount services, nor is any commission paid to Groupon.  Most commonly Groupon exceeds their quota of daily interested customers, and then all of the Groupon customers enjoy a half-price deal while the seller enjoys a big rush of new customers.

Register

Registration on the Groupon site requires that you fill out a form with your real name, email account and password. You will then receive an email verification which you will need to click on in order to activate your account.  Once you have registered, you can check daily to see what the deal is for your city. You can also receive daily email alerts.

Purchase

If you are interested in purchasing you click view and then click the “BUY” button before the offer ends; you find these tools and information on the left side of the screen. You will then give your credit card information; if too few people sign up for the same deal, your credit card will not be charged.  Your card is charged only if the deal goes through.  At that point you will receive an email with a link to print your coupon.

Refunds

Customer satisfaction is a top priority for the company. They have what they call the The Groupon Promise which states: “If Groupon ever lets you down, they will return your purchase.”  They also offer an active forum for people to comment on their experiences; good or bad.  You will have a better rate of  success is if you stick to purchasing coupons from national chains or established businesses with a good reputation.

Cities

Groupon has both a US and a presence internationally.  The city list seems to grow monthly, so you can always check the site for the current list city list.  You can search your city under location on the top left of the main screen.

Beware

Groupons is a great site for people who like to get out and do things and not pay full price, but if you tend to change your plans frequently, you might want to be cautious in using Groupon.  Even if you do lean towards making plans you do not keep you can sell your coupons on sites like DealsGoRound, or CoupReCoup.

Summary

Groupons is a great way to save 50 to 75% on entertainment costs. It has maintained relatively good service standard even through a period of very rapid growth.  The site is engaging and easy to navigate. Questions are answered quickly on the forums. This is a really creative way save on fun things to do.

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