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A deal-of-the-day website that is localized to major markets in the United States.

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Stop cutting coupons, and Log onto Groupon

  • Jan 13, 2010

I’m always finding out about sales the day after they end. Typically, I’ll be walking into a restaurant on a weeknight only to find out that yesterday, the same meal was being offered at half the price. Or, even more often, I’ll be scrolling through all the spam in my inbox when I finally have a second on a Thursday, only to discover that the 40% off coupon from Borders was only for Tuesday and Wednesday and the $200 off coupon from Travelocity expired Wednesday at 11:59p! Forget cleanliness being next to godliness, it’s definitely timeliness.
Then I came across Groupon.com. It’s a website with a simple concept: if enough like-minded bargain-hunters “group” together and purchase a fantastic deal only available for that day – everybody wins! And the deals are ridiculous, usually somewhere between 33% and 70% off whatever the deal is that day. The only rule is that the quota of buyers has to be achieved to activate the deal. Think of it as an ebay auction, but instead of a minimum reserve price being met it’s a minimum number of bidders. And just to be sure, I’ve logged on to the site at 9:00a on three separate mornings and each time the Groupon was activated because enough people put their credit card down.
When you check out the site, sign up to receive daily emails which describe the new Groupon deal for that day. (I know, you’ve signed up for plenty of email deals already.) Groupon is a different story because every day’s email brings you a new, absurdly-priced deal. There is so much variety to the types of groupons that you begin to realize how many things you have put off because of the price. Haven’t gone out to dinner in a while? Oops, you have a Groupon for that. Haven’t learned how to play that guitar you’ve had in your closet for 2 years? Super, the Groupon today is for guitar lessons. The other Groupon offerings are just as eclectic: yoga lessons, dinner for two at various restaurants, bicycle tune-ups, and huge Travelocity discounts amongst many others.
You may select any location to see different Groupons (in case you’re traveling or want to purchase a Groupon for a family member back home). There are usually some restrictions depending on the Groupon, so be sure to read the rules. For restaurants, the groupon usually doesn’t include tax or gratuity. For other service-type deals such as lessons or massages, there is usually an “offer good until” date. But by and large, the groupons are such a significant drop in price that the fine print seems totally fair.
Just be sure to check the offer in the morning in the unlucky circumstance that the company has had to put a cap on the number of groupons because of its popularity. Seriously, sometimes the smaller companies receive so much business from one day’s groupon offering that they are fully booked for months (Hello marketers, this sounds like a brand building, new customer acquisition plan!). As I’m writing this a $105 wine club membership is going for $60, the groupon was activated at 8:30a and over 500 bargainistas have grouped-on to the deal! If this is the new capitalism, I’m all about it.

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July 13, 2010
Groupon has FINALLY come to my town! I've taken advantage of one deal so far. Some deals are great, and some are really lame, in my opinion, but of course, it might just depend on what you're looking for! Anyway, it's nice to get the deals in my inbox and have the option to use them or not.
July 15, 2010
That's great. Yes, some deals are perfect (usually the restaurant offerings) and some aren't that useful. The most recent one that a friend purchased was for a $100 boat rental on the St. Croix river (got a full day +plus gas!). Pretty fun to keep an eye out for special offers. Thanks for reading and I hope you get more great deals.
January 13, 2010
I JUST got into Groupon last week and I'm already in love with the concept. I have to admit though - either my boyfriend and I are seriously numerically challenged, or the logistics are little complex - the first (and only) time we tried to get and use a coupon we had no idea what to do. We were like, "um, are we going to get charged for this? Do we have to BUY a coupon?!"

Any enlightenment you can offer for me? I don't know why this is so hard for me to understand. Haha. Do they just take your credit card # and not charge it?!
January 14, 2010
If you haven't used it before, I can see how it might stump you! Yes, you are essentially buying a coupon (but really you're just purchasing a good deal). Once you press the BUY button they ask you for a credit card and once that's processed then the coupon is sent to you via email and you can also print it through your Groupon account. Then just bring it with you when you want to redeem it. I just bought a $65 gift certificate for $30 at my favorite wine store! Totally rocks once you start using it.  
January 14, 2010
So my credit card doesn't ever get charged?!
January 14, 2010
No, you're credit card definitely gets charged. You're paying for the deal, whatever that maybe, up front. So in the example above I pay $30 to Groupon (charged on my credit card). I print the Groupon they send to me and bring it into the wine store and I get $65 worth of wine (for only the $30 I paid to Groupon). That make sense?
January 14, 2010
Totally makes sense now, THANK YOU! A store down the street from me was a part of a Groupon sale and we asked the owner to explain it. While he was talking I'm pretty sure our eyes just glossed over. But yours makes total sense. What a weird but awesome concept!
More GroupOn reviews
review by . February 05, 2011
The world catches on... A brand new online shopping experience!
There’s a saying in Chinese, 团结是力量 (unity is strength). This is the concept behind the business model of the billion dollar company GROUPON. The site is now valued at some $6 billion after rejecting a buyout from Google last December. It’s been rumored that Groupon is on the road to an IPO for some $15 billion this year. So, with some $350-500 million annual revenue, what does this company has to offer to its consumers?          In properties, …
Quick Tip by . February 06, 2011
If you haven't bought enough over the Christmas & New Year or if you are a shopping addict, then this is the site for YOU! Otherwise, Groupon doesn't do much for someone who doesn't like shopping nor window-shopping. As a business, it is highly interesting. As a website, other than the technicality of a bidding "auction", I don't find it engaging. It does what it intends to do though & that's probably enough for its targeted audience & investors!
review by . July 19, 2009
My mother once called me cheap.  I informed her that this was impossible, because cheap people have the CHOICE about whether to spend money...I was actually, just broke.      In my quest to not be broke, I've learned that besides increasing earnings, one must look at decreasing expenditures.  On the flip-side, businesses need to market to new customers in a way that is cost effective for them.  GroupOn has satisfied both needs in one website.      …
Quick Tip by . December 22, 2010
If for no other reason, you should subscribe to Groupon just to check out their unsubscribe page. Well worth the price of admission!
About the reviewer
Bethany ()
Ranked #19
Hello Lunchers!      I am a contributing writer foran onlinelife and style website that highlights hot-spots in Minneapolis and Chicago. As such, I frequent many new boutiques, restaurants, … more
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Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website that is localized to major markets in the United States. The first market for Groupon was Chicago, followed soon thereafter by Boston and New York City. As of November 2009, Groupon serves nearly 30 markets. Groupon debuted in November 2008 as part of The Point, a platform for collective action.
Compete.com cites Groupon as one of the top 1,400 sites on the Internet, with about one-third of its traffic coming from Facebook ads. According to quantcast.com, Groupon has 321,000 unique visitors each month and is one of the top 6,000 sites on the Internet. On July 1, 2009, Groupon rolled out a new website design.

The idea for Groupon was created by, now CEO, Andrew Mason. The idea subsequently gained the attention of his former employer, Eric Lefkofsky, who provided $1 million in "seed money" to develop the idea. The site launched in November 2008

The company offers one "Groupon" per day in each of the markets it serves. The Groupon works as an assurance contract using ThePoint's platform: if a certain number of people sign up for the offer, then the deal becomes available to all; if the predetermined minimum is not met, no one gets the deal that day. This reduces risk for retailers, who can treat the coupons as quantity discounts as well as sales promotion tools. Groupon makes money by getting a cut of the deal from the retailers (typically 50%).

Groupon focuses on unusual, special or niche things in each ...
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