November 2, 2009

Groupon – Get Together for a Discount


Put down the scissors and step away from the newspaper because clipping coupons is a thing of the past—at least now that Groupon has arrived. Groupon is an online service that utilizes the collective power of groups to score its users incredible deals on a variety of goods and services. From 50 percent off spa days to 75 percent off concert tickets—Groupon is able to get unheard of discounts for its users by promising businesses that its deals won’t become active until a pre-set number of people have signed up.

Each morning, Groupon users get an email with information about that day’s deal. Listed next to the deal’s price is a description of the product or service and an estimate of its retail value. If the deal looks enticing, simply click “Buy” and print out the receipt as a proof of purchase. Of course, your credit card won’t be charged until Groupon hits its pre-set “tipping” number and the deal becomes valid, so you don’t need to worry about paying for a deal that never goes through.

For users who prefer not to clog their e-mail inbox any additional clutter, you can find Groupon’s daily deals on its Twitter feed as well. And for anyone who’s struggling to find a good birthday or holiday gift, the site allows you to purchase its deals as presents for others, too. Unfortunately, because Groupon’s deals are city-specific, you’ll need to live in one of the 30+ cities where Groupon currently serves in order to get in on the action. For anyone who likes the idea of getting a bargain, Groupon is definitely a site worth checking out.

Practical Uses:

  • Save money on a designer hair cut
  • Take an SAT prep course for half the cost
  • Treat yourself to a relaxing massage
  • Learn to golf without paying full price for lessons

Insider Tips:

  • Discuss deals with others on Groupon’s discussion pages
  • Follow Groupon on Twitter rather than getting daily email alerts
  • Take advantage of daily “Side Deals” for additional discounts
  • Easily share bargains with others by using Facebook, Twitter, or email

What we liked:

  • Groupon let’s you know how many people have purchased each day’s deal
  • Reviews of each service or product are posted right on Groupon’s site
  • Ability to buy Groupon deals as gifts for others
  • Display shows how much time is left before the end of each day’s deal

What we didn’t like:

  • Not yet available in all cities


Company Info:

  • Launched: November 2008
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
  • Founded by: Andrew Mason
  • Web site:


  • Free to join

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