Groupon Review – No More Clipping Coupons
Couponing has never been easier. Arguably, it’s never been more fun, either, now that you can do everything digitally instead of having to organize stacks of physical coupons.
At the same time, it’s also never been more confusing. There are so many coupons sites out there that it’s hard to tell who’s saving you the most money.
We might not have a clear answer on who’s the best, but Groupon is definitely a titan among coupon sites.
Read on to see why you should sign up for Groupon.
What is Groupon?
Groupon is a coupon website run by a company of the same name. It lets you browse discounts, deals, and coupons for all sorts of activities in your area. They have a mobile app as well.
Founded in November 2008, Groupon now brings in billions of revenue each year.
Funnily enough, the founder, Andrew Mason, originally came up with Groupon after a frustrating experience trying to cancel his phone contract.
He thought there must be a way to leverage the collective bargaining power of the consumer public. He first launched an app called The Point that would rally people around a cause.
Andrew wasn’t sure what cause he wanted to rally people around, but a group of users eventually decided the cause would be saving money. They’d save by buying the same product in big groups to negotiate group discounts.
This would eventually morph into Groupon, a combination of “group” and “coupon”.
How Does Groupon Work?
Groupon makes money by funneling customers to businesses in their local areas. It does this by selling coupon vouchers at a deep discount relative to the items associated with the coupons. Customers can then buy these vouchers and redeem them for the item or service associated with the voucher to save money.
In essence, they serve as an advertising platform with giant reach for local businesses. They keep a portion of the money in exchange for sending customers to businesses.
By providing access to deep discounts for products and services, deal hunters who otherwise wouldn’t have given certain businesses any attention will check that business out. Thus, these businesses can take a small revenue hit through discounts in exchange for expanding their reach to new customers.
On Groupon, you can scroll through hundreds of coupons to businesses all over your city. The front page has the most popular Groupon deals, but the site provides endless other ways to search and filter for the deals you want.
You can then click on these coupons to learn more about the specific discounts offered as well as the terms of the coupon.
When you click on a coupon, there’s a ton of information available to you. Naturally, there’s the coupon details. At the bottom of the page lies a short bio about the business the coupon belongs to.
Groupon also lets you rate the business in question and leave a review. You can see a business’s overall rating at the top of the screen, or you can scroll down to read comments about it.
Of course, it’s important to read the fine print on any coupon or discount. Groupon fortunately makes the “fine print” easy for you to find and read. Scroll down past the reviews and you’ll see “The Fine Print” followed by all your typical fine print items.
Purchasing a Groupon Voucher
Buying a voucher is like buying something form any e-commerce site. You add it to your cart, check out, then Groupon adds the voucher to your account within 24 hours.
The voucher will contain all the instructions you need to successfully use the discount. Many times, you just have to flash the app to an employee at the business to get the discount. Some might require you to print the coupon, so make sure you understand how to use the coupons before going to redeem it.
Looking for a gift for someone’s birthday? Groupon lets you gift basically any deal on their website to friends and family.
Types of Offers on Groupon
Many sites offer only coupons for your groceries, or maybe for online purchases.
They have one of the most diverse selections of discounts and deals we’ve ever seen. They have several general categories for their vouchers:
- Things to do
- Beauty and Spas
- Health & fitness
Some of these categories operate slightly differently than others depending on the nature of the industry. A travel deal won’t be the same as a deal for a restaurant.
Groupon is constantly updating its offers. Take a peek at the most popular page each day and you’ll see some new hot deals going.
Don’t see the coupon for you? You can search using the Groupon search bar instead. You can select your location for more local search results.
Now, it’s hard to distinguish between all the different kinds of deals Groupon has, as they aren’t all simple coupons offered by companies.
The coupons section has coupons and promo codes for thousands of stores both online and in the real world.
Groupon also aggregates sales running at various companies that don’t currently have any coupons or coupon codes, helping you save at all your favorite stores.
Anyways, Groupon displays its top deals, coupons, and coupon codes on most of the page. They also have a daily-rotating selection of featured merchants, typically businesses with several available coupons.
For example, we saw Amazon featured one day. They had 45 coupons available. That’s a lot of savings!
Groupon offers travel deals, as you might expect. To improve their offerings, they partnered with Expedia to offer exclusive Groupon Getaways.
Obviously, this helps you get great deals on attractive travel packages. And boy are the deals great.
However, Groupon is able to offer deep insights into the local area beyond just the general area.
Makes for an easier time planning your trip!
Speaking of ease, Groupon does most of the heavy lifting for booking. Once you buy the voucher, all you do is contact the merchant, mention your voucher, book the dates specified in the package, and give them your credit card info if necessary.
You aren’t limited to a bargain vacation just because you’re saving money, though. Many Groupon Getaways offer several booking options at different price points so you can adjust depending on how much you want to splurge.
Groupon automatically lists the most popular deals in your area on the front page.
If you don’t see what you like, there are a lot of other ways to search for what you do want.
First is the search bar. You can choose your location, then perform a search for whatever it is you’re looking for. You can then sort and filter your search results many ways to find the best deals.
The search bar is especially useful if you’re targeting a specific type of coupon. For example, if you’re looking for a fancy dinner date but want to save some money, you can look for restaurants in the search bar then filter by price or popularity.
There’s also the dropdown at the top of the site. You can search by several categories.
If you’re just a savvy couponer looking for any deals near you, you can also click “shop all” and look at all the deals near you.
In recent years, Groupon launched Groupon+, a service that lets you link your credit or debit cards for more convenience.
It’s geared solely towards restaurants. By linking your card, you no longer have to worry about forgetting paper coupons at home or whipping out your phone while dining out.
All you do is claim specific linked-card offers then use it at the restaurant. Instead of knocking down your price up front, Groupon credits you with cash back once you spend with your linked card.
Groupon claims you can earn up to 30% cash back by using your linked cards. That’s a solid number for such a passive couponing activity.
Groupon Bucks are a currency exclusive to Groupon’s site. You can earn these by either buying deals with a “bucks back” icon as illustrated on Groupon’s site, or by referring friends.
Referring friends is an excellent way to earn Groupon Bucks. Each referral earns you $10 once they buy their first deal.
Groupon pays Groupon Bucks out on the first of every month. Once you earn some Groupon Bucks, you can apply them directly to your Groupon purchases.
This makes for a cool “stacking” effect on your coupon savings. Not only are you saving money with the vouchers at first, but you’ll be saving money ON your coupon purchases with your Groupon Bucks.
This adds up to a lot of savings over the long haul!