The Problem with Groupon

When Groupon hit the Internet, it was nothing less than a sensation. The daily deal coupon phenomena really took off and inspired many other local daily deal copycats. Many of these daily deals are irresistible, especially the ones that offer 50 percent off of your favorite restaurant or gym. But many people are discovering that at the end of the month, they’ve actually spent more by using these deals.

Groupon and the other daily deals sites make it so easy to score your deal. A one-time registration and you are authorized to get any deal that is available, from a cup of coffee to a stunning island vacation. Used wisely, a daily deal site can save you money, but there is a real problem with it for most people.

First of all, you are probably very likely to buy something that you will either never use or later decide you didn’t need. That is part of the immediacy of these deals. Act now or they go away. But overwhelmingly, users of these services are finding that their sense of buyers remorse is quite high.

Many of these deals actually cost more than you might think. For example, are there a lot of hoops to jump through or additional costs to be paid? What if the minimum amount that you have to spend is greater than the certificate you bought? What if you can only use it at certain times that aren’t compatible with your schedule? What if that great gym membership requires another fee in order for you to take advantage of the deal? Make sure you know about the fine print as well as whether or not you even want to patronize the establishment.

Back to not using the deal. Many of these certificates have short expiration dates. If you never get around to having your day at the salon, you’ll be out the money you paid for the deal.

I have to admit that I have never personally tried Groupon or any other local daily deal site, so my opinion is admittedly limited to conducting research and speaking with others who have used these services.

What do you think? Do you Groupon? Why or why not?

This entry was posted in Shopping (See Also Deals Blog) by Mary Ann Romans. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog