Financial Friday: Groupon

>> Friday, February 26, 2010

Groupon: A great deal for the DC area and other cities in the USA
by Janinne Gardner

I am writing today to tell you of this wonderful website I have discovered. Actually I found it on Facebook which is rather amazing since those who know me know that I am rarely on Facebook. This great money saving website is called Groupon. The premise is that a company will give a great discount on an item or service if a certain number of people buy it. Usually the number of people who are required to buy (50, 75 or 100) is accomplished even before I open the email but occasionally I have to wait. So once the “group” has purchased the minimum number of “coupons,” “The deal is on!” When you sign up you request a city. Of course I have requested the DC area however I feel as though if I were going out of town I would check the groupon for where I am going for a while before I leave. Who knows where I may find a great deal. I also check cities where I have family and friends because you can purchase the groupon as a gift!

Some of the deals I have either seen or bought are three hours of game time plus snacks ($5) at the Ultimate Gaming Zone in Gaithersburg, MD for $12 a person. I checked out the website and this seemed like a great deal. Another was for $15 you get $30 of food at a Korean restaurant in DC. This one included tip and tax! Unfortunately I missed out on this one because it was sold out by 11:30 am. One day the deal was $185 for Three Laser Hair Removal Sessions at Medical Cosmetic Enhancements ($600 Value). Another was a stay at a resort in Pennsylvania during January. Some I delete after seeing others I buy. One I bought was Top Golf in Alexandria, VA. $18 for six games (bucket of balls) this is an electronic golf driving range. You hit the ball and if it goes in the hole you get points. It’s a lot of fun!

Today’s deal is $25 for $50 Worth of Fondue and Drinks at The Melting Pot in DuPont Circle, yum! So how do you get this? Click here Groupon and register. Every morning you are sent an email with the Groupon of the day. The email mail tells you the deal, time left to buy, the fine print and the details and where the company is located and often a web page. The email gives you plenty of information as to what is included. If you still have questions the answer can usually be found on the upper right hand side of the screen, this is the “discuss the deal” icon. By entering here and reading the questions already asked I usually get an answer to my question. If no one has started a question, start one yourself. Pay attention to the fine print, some are not available to use for several days or are only good for certain days.

I have had people voice concerns that this is one of those “great deals” that are found on the web, you sign up and find yourself in a circle filling out surveys and being required to buy something. I have been a victim of those ads too. Groupon is legit! I haven’t noticed an increase in spam and I have never had a problem redeeming one. To redeem a restaurant Groupon just mention it to your waiter and give it to her when you ask for the check. Everything else works like any other coupon; just give it to the counter person. When you buy a Groupon that is redeemed on the internet you may be directed to the tab on the web page for the “Groupon” and asked to put the Groupon code in somewhere during check out.
I hope you enjoy the savings as much as I do. Remember to be careful to buy only what you will use; this can get rather addicting.

Additional note from The Financial Nanny:
Make sure to check out other cities you maybe visiting. I found a great deal the other day for San Francisco for a 3 area tour package for $25 vs the normal $50.  This could come in handy if you are going to the INA conference in May and staying longer to visit.



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