September 8, 2014
The Pros and Cons of Groupon
The best and the worst of daily deals sites.
Pro #1: Huge Discounts on Everything
Of course the biggest advantage to daily deals sites like
Groupon and Living Social is the savings you get on everything from
restaurants, local activities like kayaking, fitness classes, auto care, and
more. There are even separate travel sections for accommodations, car rentals,
and tourist activities’ discounts that are generally between 20-60 percent off
the regular price. Why pay $100 for a massage if you can get the same exact
service on Groupon for $25? However, it’s worth mentioning that if you purchase
a service on Groupon, tipping etiquette suggests that you tip the person a
percentage based on the
value of the service, not the Groupon value. You’ll still end up saving a lot
of money, though!
Con #1: Better Alternatives for You
Just because Groupon is cheap doesn’t mean it is the
cheapest or even the best option for you. For example, you might find
coupons for electronics
that save you more than a Groupon would for a similar tech product. Or you
might find a few small things you don’t like about a particular Groupon deal
and you might be able to find the perfect item, service, or getaway from a
different source. Keep your eyes peeled for alternatives, rather than relying
solely on Groupon.
Pro #2: Quick & Convenient
Groupon is an incredibly fast platform for purchasing goods
and services and it’s almost entirely hassle-free (you just have to submit your
email prior to seeing what’s available in your local area). If you have a
smartphone, you can download the Groupon app and make a purchase with just a
tap on the screen (once your credit card information is on file, that is). If
you’re out looking for some place to eat – locally or while on vacation – you
can simply search for restaurants in the area and find a good Groupon deal to
help you save money while dining out.
Con #2: Impulsive Purchases
This convenience can be a little too irresistible, however.
When tapping on a screen is all you need to do to make a purchase, the temptation
to simply buy something and not worry about the financials behind it is
powerful. After all, psychology studies have shown that we’re more hesitant to
spend money when the transaction involves cold, hard cash leaving our wallets.
With Groupon, it’s easy to ignore the drain on your bank account in pursuit of
some really great deals, regardless of whether they’re necessities or simply
wants. Beware the impulsive shopping mentality that comes with this
Pro #3: Great Gift Ideas
Buying presents for a bunch of people around the winter
holidays – or even birthdays for family and friends all year long – can be
quite a drag on your wallet. However, Groupon makes it easy to save money on
gifts without skimping on the fun and enjoyment the recipient will get from it.
So rather than paying $20 for a so-so gift (or a boring gift card), you can get
something worth a lot more for the same price on Groupon.
Con #3: Expiration Dates
One last downside to Groupon is that these deals must be
used quickly (within 90 days of the purchase, usually). If you wait several
months to use the deals, the Groupon deal might expire and you’ll have to pay
full price minus whatever you paid for the Groupon initially.
Kehoe is a staff writer for Money Street Smart and works with
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