Groupon is an online discount site which offers special promotions for restaurants, travel, local events and services, and products.
Why We Love Them: Groupon is just a fun place to find local deals you may never have known about or looked for on your own. Experiences with them seem to be hit or miss but it can be exciting to be forced out of your “comfort zone” to take a chance on new restaurants, salons, or local experiences. You can find some weird activities you probably never knew about like Jedi Light Saber classes or less strange, Escape Room events (one of my personal favorites). It’s a great exploration site to look for interesting and unique gifts.
The How it Works: Groupon sells local experiences, merchandise and travel for discounted prices. There is usually a stipulation you must adhere to when using your voucher so make sure you understand the details before purchasing. For example, if you buy a voucher for $40.00 worth of food it may not be valid on certain dates like Valentine’s Day. New experiences and deals pop up daily and you can subscribe to get notifications via email. You can find a wide variety of events and places to go to, including some of your favorite local spots or popular events around town. Deals are offered for a limited amount of time or until all offers are purchased. You can usually buy one as a gift but sometimes there is a limit on how many items can be purchased by one person.
- A typical Groupon buy box and its elements:
- 1. A countdown clock which tells you how much time is left on the deal
- 2. How many items have already been purchased
- 3. What the percentage of the discount is
- 4. Option to buy as a gift.
Tips & Tricks: This is one of those sites where you absolutely have to read the fine print to understand what you are getting and the date you have to claim your voucher prior to. If a company is running a Groupon deal be aware that it might create a large backlog, making it difficult to get a reservation right away. If you have waited past your expiration date you can still claim the purchase amount for the voucher (within 5 years of the purchase) by either 1) asking the establishment to honor the paid price for the voucher, or 2) contacting Groupon and they will give you a refund for the purchase amount. Groupon is not responsible for the actual events so be careful to review the companies that you are using the Groupon voucher with, as Groupon’s customer service has been frequently criticized as not taking accountability on behalf of their vendors. This is especially critical when it comes to purchasing travel deals through Groupon which have very hit or miss reviews.
– New experiences & deals daily
– Variety of local activities & events
– Some discounts are 50% off or more
– Great for a unique gift idea
– Discounts are not always huge
– Vouchers expire
– Merchandise quality
– Customer Service Complaints