Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to Use Groupon

Here's a step-by-step guide to using Groupon.

Groupon is a discount site that usually has one Main Deal (plus sometimes 2-3 Side Deals) per day. The deal usually gives 50-90% off normal prices of everything from restaurants to spas to online retail sites. Once a certain number of people pledge to buy the Groupon for the day, the deal is active.

For example, if the Deal needs 10 people to buy before the Groupon is active, and only 9 people buy it during the selling period, NO ONE gets the Groupon. On the other hand, the second that 10 people buy the deal, it is then active, and then anyone can get the deal for the price (except in VERY rare instances where there are limits to the amount of deals that can be sold).

Groupon deals typically run for 24 hours, but lately, some have been running for 3-4 days. The Groupon site will be able to tell you how long the deal goes for.

There are different Groupons for different cities. Most major cities have their own Groupon site. When you sign up to Groupon, you let them know what city you want to receive email alerts about. You can always buy Groupons from different cities though. Just make sure that you check to see if the other city's deal is an online deal, or if it's a real-live storefront. Obviously you don't want to buy a Groupon for a restaurant in DC if you live in Texas (unless you're going there on vacation, of course!)

If you do take a vacation somewhere, see what Goupons they have before you go. You might be able to snag some cool, unique souvenirs, see a local show, or eat dinner there for cheap!

Always read the fine print on the Groupon site before buying. They always post the Groupon expiration date of when the actual Groupon voucher expires. They also tell you of any exclusions, or any other details you need to know before buying the Groupon (like if shipping is included, or if they have different pricing for kids). They'll also tell you how many Groupons you can buy for yourself, and how many you can buy as gifts. Sometimes it's only first-time customers can buy a Groupon for a certain salon, or you might only be allowed to buy one Groupon  per person to try them out. ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT!

Once you place your order, it usually take a few hours from the time the deal ends BEFORE you can use your Groupon. So, if you buy your Groupon Tuesday during the day, and the Groupon deal goes until midnight on Tuesday, you might not be able to use your Groupon until Wednesday or Thursday. Again, that fine print will tell all.

If you ever feel like Groupon let you down, give them a call and they'll return your purchase. Easy peasy.

That's about it! Once you have your Groupon, just don't forget about it! Print it out, or put the Groupon app on your phone, so you can keep track of your Groupons.

And ALWAYS goes through a cash back site before buying your Groupon. It could save you some serious dough! Read more about that HERE.

If anything is still unclear, or you have more questions, please feel free to comment on this post, and I'll answer any Groupon questions you have. Thanks!


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