Daily deals website Groupon has been exploding in publicity and growth in recent months. If you’re not sure what Groupon is, I don’t blame you – it’s a relatively new concept so let me explain.
Groupon is deals website that offers 50%+ off stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in your city.
They’ll send you an email everyday with their latest deals and discounts. If a minimum number of people buy that discount the deal is on and you’ll be charged for purchasing whatever it is you selected.
You can then go and (hopefully) enjoy the shiny new product or service.
If the group deal doesn’t get the minimum number of people (unlikely), you’ll get your money back. Simple, huh?
“Sounds Cool – But Can Groupon Be Trusted? Is It A Scam?”
Groupon is not a scam and they can be trusted.
That’s how they’ve managed to build a $25 billion dollar business. However, Groupon does have distinct pros and cons which should be considered before you spend your money.
I like to criticize first so lets start with the cons
“What’s Bad About Groupon?”
Several people have talked about how businesses get a raw deal with Groupon but for this post, I’m looking at it from the point of view of an average consumer. That’s because the pros and cons of Groupon for a business are totally different and that requires a post of its own.
So here’s the word on the streets from those that hate Groupon:
- “They can’t book me in for months!”
Groupon has the power to drive hundreds or even thousands of people to a business. As a result, some users have complained of businesses not being able to book them in for whatever it is they ordered for several months.
The way to overcome this? Phone the business while the deal is running and ask them to give you an estimate on when they’ll be able to book you in bearing in mind how many Groupons have been sold. Also, if at all possible, try and estimate it for yourself. If the deal is running at your local spa which only has one treatment room and 1,000 Groupons have sold, you can be pretty sure that you’re not going to be pampered for a while.
- “The service was crap!”
Another consequence of a business experiencing a rush in demand is that the quality of service may, and sometimes does, fall into the depths of crap. As staff desperately try to match demand they can forgo the common pleasantries and take a conveyer belt approach. Low, zero or even a negative profit margin is also a cause of poor service.
You should check out reviews on the business beforehand to get an understanding of the level of service they typically provide – that should help give you a rough indicator of what to expect.
- “The product terms weren’t clear!”
There have been a few cases of Groupon not making the product or service terms crystal clear. For example, they may advertise a camera with a case in the background but forget to mention that the case isn’t included.
To prevent an unpleasant surprise, check out the Groupon seller’s website as the chances are that they’ll have more specific terms, e.g. case not included, on their site.
- “I’m not sure I got such a good deal after-all!”
Trying something that you’ve never had experience with or any idea on how much it should cost in the first place is a bad idea. See if that laser teeth whitening treatment is actually good value by comparing it against it’s competitors. Although unlikely, the price may have been slashed from a sky-high price.
- “I’m spending money on things I don’t need!”
Some of us find it harder to control our spending than others. For those that love splashing out, Groupon can be dangerous. It’s hard to say no to a 75% off a new 3d TV that you don’t really need. If you’re prone to impulse spending, it’s simply best to avoid Groupon in the first place.
“What’s Awesome About Groupon?”
Groupon wouldn’t have grown to be the massive beast it is unless it had some awesome qualities. Here they are:
- “I get amazing discounts!”
It’s not often that we get 50%+ off stuff to do, eat and see in our city – a bargain hunters paradise!
- “I get to try out cool products and services!”
The huge discounts on offer mean that you can often try out new things that may have been out of your reach.
- “Their refunds policy is great!”
Groupon are known to have a great refund policy if a product or service lets you down and many people have successfully claimed it with minimal hassle. That’s reassuring.
Groupon is legit and if you’re going to use it, you should take note of the cons mentioned above and the ways to get around them. If you do, Groupon can be a really valuable and enjoyable service.
Groupon scores high on the legitimacy chart because of it’s great discounts and refund policy that has been tried and tested by many users:
Have you had experience with Groupon? Positive or negative, leave your comments below.