Recall of the Week: Katie Brown 12-piece tea light candle sets
Procession of the Species marchers, crowd celebrate earth’s riches

How to figure out new coupon groups such as Groupon


By Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

Since I’m interested in coupons, I signed up for Groupon. The offers it sends me look good, but I have to pay money to get them. What is Groupon anyway?

Groupon is a group buying club. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, it gets discounts for its members. Groupon serves members nationwide, some coupon groups service one or two cities.

Groupon, which recently rejected an offer from Google to buy it, is facing competition from Living Social, which is backed by Facebook recently launched its own daily-deal program for five markets, and Google is trying out coupons in several test markets.

With so many choices, how do you know when you’re getting a good deal? Andrea Woroch, consumer savings specialist, offers eight ways to get the most out of your deal-of-the-day:

1. Location

While the larger group-buying companies have expanded into smaller cities, many deals are still offered only for metropolitan areas. Before selecting an offer, consider whether you'll really make that long drive before the expiration date.

2. Travel destinations

You don't always need to live near a deal location to use the coupon. Check out potential vouchers for places you'll visit on your next vacation. You can save from 50 to 70 percent by taking advantage of group offers for restaurants, spa services, entertainment, and museum admissions.

3. Combine offers

Put together your own special deal by applying coupons and discounted gift cards to those deal-of-the-day vouchers.

4. Worthwhile deals

If you're going out of your way to try a new business, check its website to see if it has any similar offers on an everyday basis. You'll also want to compare prices at businesses you prefer regularly to figure out if the deal is really worthwhile.

5. Restaurant coupon comparisons

Many coupon offers are for restaurant meals at a discount. Some require you buy two meals to receive the deal of the day. Before you click on the offer, always review the rules and restrictions for the vouchers and look for restaurant coupons on other sites to see if you can beat the offer without paying anything.

6. Figure in the tip

Group-buying deals for services don't include the amount of money you'll spend on a tip. You'll need to tip 15 to 20 percent on the full cost of the service, not the reduced amount you paid. Keep this in mind when considering purchasing the offer.

7. Plan ahead for gifts

Some offers have extended expiration dates and would make great gifts for many occasions. You'll need to match the gift to the recipient. Free spa services or dinner at a nice restaurant are gifts many people would enjoy to celebrate a special event.

8. Resale value

People sometimes sell vouchers on sites such as Lifestra to others for a profit once the deal is no longer available.

This works well if you're the one selling, but you might want to check the original price if you're the one buying.

Good luck using these new coupon clubs. Let me know in the Comment section below if you've received any hot deals.

Copyright 2011, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Physician Assistant

I had to bookmark this site, its awesome!

Tillys Coupons

by posting coupons and ideas such as this one, you are helping all shoppers around the world, so keep posting for more.

adam and eve coupons

i have been a groupon user ever since and i must say, they definitely help me save a lot.

Space Bags

definitely some great tips. i would keep the things you said in mind. :)

Joann Fabric Printable Coupons

nice list. they are worth taking down and remember. :)

tillys coupons

thanks for this valuable info, I can use it on my site.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)