Groupon | The secrets of social saving


Coupons can be great -- Groupon combines coupons with group discounts. Image: Flickr/barganbri

Combine the best parts of a social network and couponing, and you’ve got Groupon. Part social network, part deal-of-the-day website, Groupon is a way to save some money. Groupon currently serves 40 U.S. cities, with a sister site in Europe. Groupon isn’t the only way to save money with a group, though.

How Groupon works

A “groupon” deal is, in essence, a bulk discount. If a certain number of people sign up for the deal of the day, then everyone gets the discount. If not enough people sign up, then nobody gets the discount. Retailers can treat these like group discounts, and there isn’t much risk. Groupon works because everyone agrees to buy whatever product or service is being offered for that day.

Where you can find a Groupon

There are 40 U.S. “markets” that currently have working Groupon deals. In Europe, MyCityDeal is the “sister” deal to Groupon that works the exact same. Over the next few years, MyCityDeal is going to be entirely merged with Groupon.

Not in a Groupon city?

Groupon is a great service that can help you find a lot of great deals. If you are not lucky enough to be in one of the 40 major citites where Groupon operates, though, you can still get good deals. There are websites similar to Groupon that operate in other cities. If you do not live in a major urban center, deals from Groupon or other websites don’t prove very useful. Try typing “group coupon” with your city in a search engine. Or check with your friends; they may already be set up.

Create your own Groupon

If you want to create your own Groupon situation, then it can be done. Groupon operates on a simple principle — group discounts. If you have something you’d love to get a group discount on, then call the vendor. Find out how many people they’d need to offer a group discount, then go to work. Use your social networks and friends to find out who else might be interested. Once you’ve hit the threshold, buy away!

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