Using Online Social Coupons Like Groupon
Online social coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are taking the nation by storm, with thousands of people opting in to receive daily deals through their e-mail. For deal-seekers like me, these programs have really been beneficial, allowing me to save on things I use already and also encouraging me to try new things. I have purchased dozens of deals for favorite restaurants and foods, and popular vendors such as Amazon, Vistaprint, and Shutterfly. I have also gotten deals for new restaurants, stores, and experiences - I got a deal on tickets to my first professional football game. I am getting married next year and have gotten deals on my engagement photos, invitations and save-the-dates, guestbook, and more!
Viewing a deal in your e-mail makes it very easy to buy, especially when you know the deal may only be available for a day or two. It's important to keep your wits about you when you are going to make a purchase and to keep a few things in mind.
- Is it really a good deal? I like to do a little research to see if it's worth buying the deal. Sometimes there are deals for restaurants, such as $15 for $30 worth of food - however, the menu is full of expensive items and I see I would end up spending much more than I would like and should go to another restaurant instead. Also, for deals to stores and other vendors, I think if I would really end up using the amount of the deal. When I saw a deal for The Body Shop, it was for $20 for $40 worth of merchandise. I wasn't sure if I needed $40 worth of skin care products at the time, so I went online and planned what I would buy with the coupon before I purchased it.
- Will I really use this? It's tempting to buy a deal that sounds fun, exotic, and exciting. As much as indoor skydiving sounds fun and as great as the deal might be, I really don't think I need to shell out the dough for the coupon. I'll save my money for the deals I'll really use, like half-marathon deals and deals on Indian food.
- When does it expire? Sometimes the deals expire in a year, sometimes a few months, sometimes less than a month! Be sure that you can use it before it is void.
- When can I use it? There are some that you can only use at certain times, such as deals for vacations that can only be used during weekdays, or restaurant deals that can't be used on Friday or Saturday nights. Try not to use the deal right after you buy it if it's for a single location because that will probably be when everyone else decides to use it, and you may get stuck in long lines or get poor service.
- Where can I use it? Some deals for big-name places can only be used at certain locations.
- Can I get a refund? Groupon makes it easy to get a refund if your deal doesn't add up. I got a coupon through Facebook Deals that advertised for a certain service, but when I called the vendor, they said I could not use it for that service, so I had to go on Facebook and submit a request for a refund.
- Will my friends be interested in this deal? When you buy a deal, the coupon site will give you a link to post on Facebook and other social networking sites so people can click the link and help you to earn credits or a free deal. The more people who use your link, the better for you. Also, check to see if an acquaintance has already purchased a deal that has interested you so you can use their link to buy the deal. Hopefully people do the same for you!
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