What Is Groupon and How Do I Use It?

We all know what coupons are. But, just as the Internet has upended basically everything in our daily lives, so has it affected those little, money-saving slips of paper. Although you’re still bound to see some deals in the Sunday paper, coupons are becoming ever-more ubiquitous online, and Groupon is a great place to find them. Whether you’re a Groupon newbie or you’ve tried the service and you’re looking for some tips, here’s what you need to know about the e-coupon service.

Groupon: The Online Coupon Book

Simply put, Groupon is just like those big books of coupons you can buy each year. The main difference, of course, is that you have to be online (or on your phone) to use it. Simply type in your area, and Groupon will load up offers from local businesses. These deals range from everything from half-off dinners at the burger joint to savings on local sports and events. While the main Groupon page serves you a barrage of the best deals near you, you can get more specific by browsing deals by categories that include beauty, health, electronics, and things to do. Once you get in the habit, you’ll never want to shop without first checking Groupon.

What Makes the Service Different

The first, and obvious, quality that makes Groupon different from traditional couponing is that it’s online. That means that you don’t need to carry a bulky coupon book around with you whenever you head into town – if you have a smartphone, you can simply load up the website or app to get your deal. You should know that when you find a deal via Groupon, you have to make a payment through their site using a credit card, after which you’ll be spent a coupon that you can either print out or pull up on your device when you’re ready to use it. Unfortunately for those who don’t like sharing their financials online, Groupon might lose points here.

Advanced Grouponing

One of the additional benefits of downloading the Groupon app to your phone is that you won’t necessarily have to seek out offers – rather, they’ll seek you out as well. If you have the phone app, Groupon will notify you regularly of the best deals near you, so you never have to miss out. Plus, as the service has grown, it’s expanded its offerings to more in-depth offspring, like Groupon Live for tickets and Groupon Getaways for trips. So, if there’s something specific you’re looking for, you might do well to check these offshoots as well. The best tip, though? Seek out other services that are similar to Groupon. Using services like Flipp and Coupon.com may net you that deal you won’t find anywhere else.

Remember that, despite Groupon’s additional features over traditional couponing, the old rules still apply. It’s generally advised that you avoid spending major money on a deal that you wouldn’t otherwise drop cash on. After all, you’re still spending money! However, you may find that some deals are just too good to pass up, and they allow you access to some worthy experiences you wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?

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