Groupon

Louise writes:

Groupon is an online service offering discount deals on shops, services and lots more. You can set your Groupon page to bring up local deals, or search national deals depending on what you’re looking for: national deals tend to be discounts on things like products, whereas the local ones are just that, local businesses usually offering some sort of service, so things like spas, restaurants etc. Deals change daily so you are sure to find something that appeals to you sooner or later. The discounts themselves can be huge, so although you don’t get much say in what comes up when, if you find something you like the look on you’ll definitely save money. The deals have a set number being offered, so depending on what they are, can be snapped up rather quickly. They also feature a countdown timer which shows you how long you have left to get that deal.

The system itself is a little complicated, but worth seeing through. If you see something you like, you click ‘Buy Now’ and purchase a Groupon voucher. When the deal is over, this will be emailed to you with a link where you can print your Groupon. You can also access the Groupon codes in your account. Depending on what you’ve bought, you either then take the voucher with you, or you visit the website of the company making the offer, purchase the item as you would normally, but enter the code given at the checkout, which should then make the necessary deduction.

I made a few purchases, with mixed results:

4GB MP3 Players With Portable Speakers and In-Car FM Transmitter from Nanolite.co.uk

Not my best purchase. The deal sounded too good to be true (an MP3 player for just £29 – a saving of £51), and to be perfectly honest it was. The MP3 player was incredibly shoddy, difficult to use and broke within a week of using it. However, this isn’t really a reflection on Groupon, as they just offer the deal, they don’t make the product.

 

Plain or Patterened Duvet Cover Set With Pillowcases for from Matching Bedrooms

Great deal: a really good quality duvet set for just £19 – a saving of £40.00. The transaction was easy and they arrived quickly.

 

Decorative Wall Stickers from Moskys

Another good one: two wall stickers for £17, rather than nearly £50. The products themselves are great, but the transaction was a bit of a nightmare. The code didn’t work at first, then they took a long time to arrive.

 

Generally speaking, any problems were more to do with the products, or with the companies in question not being prepared for the influx of new customers than with the offer itself. The Groupon system is a little convoluted but it works, and I’d definitely use it again. I’m keen to use it for some sort of local service so any recommendations are welcome!

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