let's talk Groupon

>> 8.19.2010

Ever since I asked for email subscription recommendations last January, I've been a Groupon subscriber. Some of the deals have been pretty amazing, but others weren't quite as impressive as the edgy writers over at Groupon made them out to be.

I've been meaning to bring Groupon.com back up on my blog, but haven't been inspired to do so until today:

People are so excited about this deal that they've crashed the site!

How do you know if a Groupon is a good deal?
Before getting wrapped up in the excitement of a Groupon offer, make sure that the coupon falls in one of the following categories.

1. Using it will save you money.
Do you plan on going to that restaurant/ shop/ car wash anyways? Will you use the coupon to replace a planned expense? Don't let them trick you into breaking your budget!

2. It will allow you to afford something you wouldn't usually be able to afford.
Maybe you wouldn't usually be able to go to the expensive restaurant downtown, but the deal puts it in your price range.

3. It's an unusual deal.
Is it rare for this business to offer other coupons, sales, or promotions? If you know you can pick up a coupon in the Sunday paper, do that instead of paying upfront!

Other things to think about:
*When does the coupon expire? Will you be able to use it by the expiration date?
*What are the restrictions? Are all menu items included? Are there blackout days/ times? 
*Can you combine Groupons? Will buying several coupons save money?

Personally, I'm skipping the Gap deal (although you know I love the Gap!):
1. I don't need any clothes right now.
2. I'm not really pining after anything particular.
3. I have a Gap card and get 50% off offers all the time.
If you planned on buying something in that price range, especially if it's on sale right now, go for it!

Do you Groupon? What deals do you usually buy or avoid?

PS No, my goal was not to see how many times I could fit the word, "Groupon," into one post... sorry about that!


Kim at Yellow Brick Home August 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM  

I jumped at the Groupon today when I saw it in my inbox. I was just telling Scott that I needed a new pair of jeans - score!

We use Groupon around our casa for new or interesting restaurants in our neighborhood. There are so many delicious places in this city, but we have to resist the urge to eat out so much. When we do treat ourselves (about once a week), we head for the Groupons we have on hand and only go there.

Life in Rehab August 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM  

I haven't Grouponed yet, but I may have to check this out.

Sarah @ Dream in Domestic August 19, 2010 at 12:46 PM  

I really like Groupon! I've only used it once so far, but I can see myself using it a lot in the future. I used it to buy a gift card to a restaurant San and I have been wanting to go to forever now. I can't wait to use it!

Hannah August 19, 2010 at 2:57 PM  

Owing to your love of (and frequent writings on) the gap, I knew as soon as I saw this groupon e-mail this morning that you would blog about it!

Shlee @ sunnysideshlee.com August 19, 2010 at 3:57 PM  

Sweet! As soon as I saw your post I checked my email for the Groupon! And bought it! I use it sometimes, mainly for premium hair cuts and spa things. Mostly just delete them for events or restaurants though. I heard restaurant.com is another good website for slashed prices.

Mrs. Chic August 19, 2010 at 6:01 PM  

Ok, I must be the only person who hasn't heard of the Groupon, going to check it out now!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno August 19, 2010 at 9:22 PM  

I signed up for Groupon, but didn't get the Gap deal, either. I need more clothes like a hole in the head!

MissMarried August 20, 2010 at 8:39 AM  

I do love Groupon and tend to fall into the #2 category that you talked about-- being able to afford something that you usually wouldn't be able to afford.

Another great thing that I have found is signing up for groupons in vacation cities that you are planning to visit. We are going to Boston this fall and I have been able to get us some great deals at restaurants, whale watching tours, and other great activities that I wouldn't have known I didn't have to pay full price for before groupon!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog August 20, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

@MissMarried~ Wow, what a great idea! I'm using it for my next trip!!

Eran Davidov August 20, 2010 at 6:56 PM  

And you can always sell your unused Groupon at http://www.lifesta.com or find a deal there that you missed when it was originally being offered.

Oonafey September 19, 2010 at 8:05 PM  

I get the Groupon emails and this Gap deal is the first one I purchased. But I still haven't used it. When I went there the other day they were already offering 30% off for card members, plus I had a coupon and a G.C. Hopefully I won't forget about it before November!

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