- Personal Finance
Using Groupon to Save Money
Groupon: How does it work?
Many of you may have seen advertisements for a group buying website called Groupon (some maybe even on this or other hubs). Often they tout deals like "[your city here] at 90% off!" or "One ridiculous deal in [your town]". Many people simply gloss over them as a blatant advertising gimmick. You may even be thinking you have to give private information or that it is a scam. I can tell you for a fact that it is none of those things
Groupon works on the same philosophy as a supermarket when it offers "loss leaders". Loss leaders get people in the door, and when they are there, they buy other stuff. You may even return after you have seen some of the things they have to offer. Groupon works the same way. Merchants offer deep discounts (generally 50% or more) through Groupon to get people to try their service or products the first time. Hopefully people like what they have to offer and buy other products and/or return again, this time purchasing at full price. Granted, they rarely get to the advertised 90% threshold, but 75% off is still a good deal.
What can I get?
You can get a wide variety of products and services, although there is only one deal offered per day. All the merchants have been screened, and every place that I have been to through Groupon has been very classy. Just some of the services offered recently from Groupon in my area have been:
- Newspaper subscriptions (75% off)
- Exercise classes (80% off)
- Dinner Cruise (48% off)
- Movie Tickets (50% off)
- Haircut (52% off)
- Skydiving (42% off)
- Spa Package (63% off)
Are there risks?
As with every buying experience there are some risks. Some deals come with minimum purchases, others with expiration dates. All the caveats are listed on each deal near the top of the page, ironically titled "The Fine Print ". Another catch to be aware of is that if not enough people are interested, a deal may be recalled and your money refunded. This is a very rare occurrence. Even so, if it happens, you're not out anything except you might be a little upset. Once enough people buy in (when the deal "tips") a checkmark appers next to the deal stating that "The deal is on!"
How can I get the deals?
Go to the Groupon website (perhaps from an ad on this page) and choose your location. They have 93 metro areas in the U.S. and Canada, as well as operations in 21 countries. Most people, it seems, don't mind saving money.
Feel free to post comments, questions, or experiences you have had with Groupon in the comments!