Groupon sites are the new trend today. And why wouldn't it boom -- it's a great way to save money on service and product purchases, and can be easily accessed at home or in the office.
For a complete newbie with Groupons, here's a more detailed explanation:
"Groupon is derived from group coupon. It is a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies." (from Wikipedia)
"Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in cities around the world. There is a new deal each day and you can sign up for daily alerts or visit the site each day. These deals can be tricky – first it has to meet a quota. Meaning the deal is not good until a certain number of people sign up for it and buy it – the collective buying power. If that number is not reached, you are not charged. If it is met, then the deal is live and rolling! Anyone can buy." (from Frugal Coupon Living)
As I personally put it, Groupons are basically websites offering e-coupons for restaurants, services, shopping goods, etc. The deals in groupon sites usually have really big discounts -- 50% and sometimes up to 70%. This whole groupon system includes a merchant or vendor who will offer discounted items/services, a groupon site who will act as a broker, and us who are the consumers.
Why do they sell it so cheap?
Businesses who do not get a lot of sales are usually the merchants or vendors in groupon sites. They utilize this groupon system to gain more sales fast as deals in groupon sites are only available for a very limited amount of time. So instead of Company A waiting to sell 100 units in 6 months, they work with groupon sites and offer 50% off the price to sell 100 units in 1 week.
However, not only businesses with low sales utilize groupons. With its current success, even the famous and most sought-after stores are offering deals at groupon sites.
Is it safe?
Well, basically yes and no. With the groupon site in perspective, one should check if it is legit. Look for reviews and check if the groupon site is not a scam. With the merchant or vendor in perspective, on the other hand, one should also do some research about the company. Is it legit? Are the products or services of good quality? Is the price and discount true?
Another tip is to READ. Read everything on the deal's detail, even the fine print. Groupon vouchers have expiry dates and some cannot be used until the specified date comes. Some groupon buyers even go an extra mile and will call the merchant or vendor to check if the deal is legit and valid. This is also a good way to clear any confusion if there are any misleading or confusing details about the deal.
How do I buy one?
Purchasing deals on groupon sites will only require you to sign up on their site, click the "buy" button and pay. Payment methods vary though. Some groupon sites offer online bank transfer, some only have PayPal or credit card payment options, some have options for bank deposit at bank counters, some carry G-Cash services, etc.
How's the after-sales service?
If suddenly one decides that he/she doesn't want the voucher anymore, usually, it will not be entitled for refund. Refunds are only given for unexpected circumstances like the store closed, reservations for the service or product are already closed until the coupon expiry, if the deal was deceiving, etc.
Upon using the voucher, or even before or after, if there are any problems with the product or service, the groupon site shouldn't be immediately blamed. The merchant or vendor is the one responsible for providing the product or service. So negative feedbacks should be directed to them by default. However, these problems can also be reported to the groupon site as they may give you a refund or just for their future reference.
What are the locally available groupon sites?
Honestly, there are so many! Although I've been a fan, there are a lot of groupon sites locally that I have never heard, tried, known.
But here is a list of the ones I know:
- Cash Cash Pinoy
- Deal Dozen
- Deal Grocer
- Deals Happy
- Ebay's Kuponan
- Metro Deal
Metro Deal - vouchers arrived the next day after payment; bank deposit
2 1/2 pounds of Buffalo Wings & 4 Iced Teas at Sunrise Buckets
- Reservation was hassle-free, and food was good
2 Fully Loaded Super Jumbo Hungarian Sausage Sandwiches & Citrus Juices by Hero Sausages
- No need for reservations already, and food was good
Fruit Magic's Heavenly Smoothies for P55 instead of P110
- Bought 4 of these and it was also hassle-free, although the deal is only available for limited types of drinks
Buyanihan - voucher arrived the next day after payment; bank deposit
50% Off at Ristorante Bigoli!
- Reservation was hassle-free, no discrimination among the voucher users, and food and service were good
Ebay's Kuponan - 2-3 days before the voucher arrived; bank deposit
- Both my RO2 Bedrock Spa + oxygen rejuvenation+ RO2 Massage and Flirt Waxing Lounge's Lash Extension vouchers were unused and expired. Too bad for me for not having the time to redeem them.
Deal Grocer - voucher arrived the next day after payment; bank deposit with required proof of deposit
Pepper Lunch: 500 Worth of Food and Drinks at MoA Branch
- No need for reservations already, no discrimination among the voucher users, and food and service were good
Aside from these deals, I've also got some buffet vouchers. But I'll post about them on the part 2 of my Groupons: Where and what I bought blog entry.
If you have tried using groupon sites and vouchers, please share your experience by leaving a comment below. Thanks for reading and have a happy groupon shopping!