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Using Online Social Coupons Like Groupon

Updated on June 14, 2014
My first 49ers football game, against the Raiders to boot... thanks to LivingSocial!
My first 49ers football game, against the Raiders to boot... thanks to LivingSocial!

Do you use online social coupon sites?

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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!

Services Like Groupon are 21st Century Coupons

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    • cosmomed profile image

      cosmomed 4 years ago from Sarawak. Malaysia

      Most of the Groupon deals are for massaging services. I don't go for massaging everyday!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      I am a big fan of Groupon, so I'm happy to see that there are even more sites like it out there!

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great knowledge sharing! I was unaware of so many things you have written.

    • shadowprancer profile image

      shadowprancer 5 years ago from Washington

      Great questions for groupons. I am subscribed to get their e-mails, but I haven't yet found a deal that is worth buying. Thanks for the hub!

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      I agree familytoolkit! I almost almost bought a Groupon yesterday for a PC tablet because it seemed like a good deal... until I realized that I really don't need one :)

    • thefamilytoolkit profile image

      thefamilytoolkit 5 years ago

      Thanks for a great summary on social coupons. I sometimes get suckered into buying a groupon because it's a good discount even if I don't need the item. A 100% discount for not buying an item is better than a 50% discount. But, I have to admit, it really brings me joy to find a great deal!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      You have Satisfied my curiosity about Groupons. Several friends have tried them. I will certainly try them.

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all for your comments. Doodlebugs, some social coupon sites will still let you use an expired coupon; if you paid $10 for a coupon, you can still use the coupon for the value that you paid.

    • doodlebugs profile image

      doodlebugs 5 years ago from Southwest

      Groupon and Living Social are great, except when you buy the coupon and let it expire. I've done that more than once, so it pays to think long and hard about whether you will actually use it before buying.

    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 5 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      Thanks for writing this hub. The only site I was familure with bhefore was groupons.

    • profile image

      Ausseye 5 years ago

      Hell I might just do a deal on my life, can anyone refund me on that??? Makes the dollar fly far and wide even if you never eat there!!!! Beware o the e-mail as it might all be a scam leaving you with a very spicy experience or the food of fools. Happy shopping. Good hub as a warning to keeper real.!!! Ausseye.

    • tdarby profile image

      tdarby 5 years ago

      Very helpful hub. Thanks

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Well written and comprehensive article about using online social coupons like Groupon. I like the way you listed pros and cons and ideas for evaluating whether a "daily deal" is a bargain and is something you need or would be purchasing even without the coupon.

      I am signed up for daily deals with Groupon but haven't purchased any coupons yet.

      I was unaware of the fact that after purchasing a deal the coupon site will give you a link to post on Facebook and other social networking sites so friends can click the link which will help you earn credits or a free deal.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      I get Groupon's emails every day, but I have yet to actually purchase any of the great deals I see. The one time I decided I was going to, I guess I was too late. I think there were only a limited number of coupons available. I will have to try again. It sounds like you've saved a lot for purchases you probably would already be making anyway.

    • Keeley Shea profile image

      Keeley Shea 5 years ago from Norwich, CT

      Lots of great information in this hub! Always looking for new ways to save money!!! Thanks! You make a good point about researching to see if it will really save you money. I need to do that more often!

    • Ibrahim Danaba profile image

      Ibrahim Danaba 5 years ago

      Usher Raymond is the best dancer of all time...!!!