Ask the Readers: Do You Use Groupon?

By Ashley Jacobs on 15 February 2011 159 comments
Photo: shironosov

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Liz, WinnM75, and Kathleen Martinez for winning this week's contest!

Last week, Linsey made us aware of 5 Awesome Alternatives to Groupon. Daily deals websites are really taking off and helping people get great discounts at various businesses. However, some people try to steer clear of these websites in order to avoid spending money on stuff they wouldn't normally buy.

Do you use Groupon? Or are you a fan of a different daily deals website? Do you think these websites are a great way to save money or a horrible way to spend money on goods and services you wouldn't normally purchase?

Tell us whether or not you use Groupon and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Enter 1 of 3 Ways:

  • Post your answer in the comments below, or
  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, then "Like" the update mentioning this giveaway (you can comment, as well — but you don't have to for entry), or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, February 21st at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after February 21st on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email, Facebook, and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
maggie

I love groupon!! I got $150 worth of furniture, and it cost me $39!!!

Guest's picture
Raina

I visit Groupon on a somewhat-regular babies, but I have yet to buy anything. I've definitely been tempted a few times, but in the end, I haven't seen anything that I thought I absolutely must have. I continue to visit on the off-chance that it might happen someday.

Guest's picture
Sweta

Yes, I buy Groupons, probably too often. I recently unsubscribed from their daily deals email. Before I buy a Groupon I always go to ebates.com to get a 6% rebate.

Guest's picture
Susan D.

I use Groupon and LivingSocial--but only for book discounts. They had good offers for both Amazon and Barnes & Noble lately!

Guest's picture
Guest

I get emails from a bunch of daily deals websites. I'm always really cautious about them. DH and I rarely go out to eat, but sometimes I will take a 50%+ off coupon for sushi or some sort of thing we buy regularly. Still, we so rarely buy anything regularly that buying from these sites is just a way for me to spend extra money.

Guest's picture
Kristin

I was subcribed to Groupon for quite a while before I saw something that I actually wanted. I'm not interested in expensive haircuts or spa treatments, but I am interested in discounts to local restaurants. My sweetie and I had a lovely dinner at a nice local Italian restaurant the Saturday before Valentine's Day for $25 (price of the $50 Groupon coupon) plus another $5 and the full tip. We were both quite pleased with that deal.

I have to be really vigilant after I buy a Groupon or the coupons can easily expire before I get around to using them (in which case the good "deals" turn into what I call an "idiot tax").

Guest's picture
Andrew

I check out Groupon everyday, but haven't ever made a purchase. I have ordered a few things from LivingSocial, but just haven't found a worthwhile deal on Groupon.

Guest's picture
Patrick

I to use and enjoy groupon. It is what got me into home brewing.

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Jennifer E

I use Groupon occasionally when there is a deal that I'm sure I will use.

Guest's picture
Jen

Not anymore I don't. Living Social or Woot.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

I've never heard of Woot. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

Guest's picture
Laura D

Definitely! I've gotten some great deals through Groupon.

Guest's picture
Nicholas

I don't use groupon. I do follow slickdeals.net for deals that are active.

Guest's picture
paulke

I use it occasionally.

Guest's picture
Heather

I do use Groupon, but only on services I would normally use. I also link to Groupon thru eBates or similar service. This adds a bit more to my pocket.

Guest's picture
Kathleen P

I've bought & used two (Redbox, Barnes & Noble) and keep my eyes open for more good deals that I will use.

Guest's picture
RebeccaKate

I use Groupon occasionally - I will admit that I think at first it persuaded me into spending money on things I wouldn't have otherwise. Now I am more smart about evaluating whether I am really saving money on something I need. I am planning a wedding so I have bought Groupons for photo sites as well as some deals for our honeymoon. I think it is a great tool if used with discretion!

Guest's picture
Leah

Abso-freakin-loutely. I don't buy crap from Groupon (or other deal sites) but I do "stock up" when I can on things I spend money on anyway. For instance, a few nearby restaurants that we enjoy have had Groupon promotions. Why not eat for 1/2 off if you can?

Guest's picture
Lisa

Since I got an iPhone a few months ago I've been using the Groupon App to check for deals. I'm trying to save money and be healthy by not eating out very often, so seeing all the food/restaurant deals are tempting me to spend money that I otherwise wouldn't spend without Groupon. So far I've been able to avoid the temptation. The only deal I've purchased was a discount ticket to a museum within walking distance of my house. I'd already been wanting to visit since I thought it was a shame to live so close to the museum and not check it out, so the Groupon just had the effect of making me commit to it.

Guest's picture
Rae

I let them send me e-mails, but the only thing I’ve purchased was a $10 for $20 Barnes and Noble certificate. (Like Susan D. I also picked up the Living Social Amazon deal also)

Of course, they don’t target my town, just the slightly larger city 45 min away, so only the nationwide stuff really appeals.

Guest's picture
Jen

I love Groupon and Scoutmob! I use it to return to places I've already enjoyed, or as a relatively inexpensive way to try out new places in the neighborhood.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

I've never heard of Scoutmob. I'll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing!

Guest's picture
Amanda O.

I use Groupon! I've bought about 6 now. One to a grocery store I shop at all the time, a few to restaurants I know we like, another to some new restaurants I wanted to try, and one to a clothing store I already shop at. I used Living Social for the Amazon gift card one a few weeks back, but I haven't found another I liked there yet. I use another similar site specific for my campus which has had some good ones, but mostly, I use Groupon. I subscribe to all the ones I can find for my city, but Groupon has been the best so far.

Guest's picture
srah

I just started using Groupon this month and have already bought three!

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Stormy R

I get the daily emails for groupon, but so far have not purchased any of the deals.

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Amanda N

I have used Groupon a couple of times and loved it. I keep my eyes open for deals that are for something I would buy anyway, so I am not spending extra money just to get a deal.

Guest's picture
cace

Though comes rare, I love Groupon and Living Social for credits to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks - for stuff I can actually use. Combine with my credit card's rewards program for bonus points to really maximize savings. Recently, I managed to get $20 worth of books and toys for a just $3, net of all promotions.

Guest's picture
Lana Malone

Yea- I've used Groupon a few times! Especially for things that I know I will use at some point in the future- like salon services and restaurants!

Guest's picture
raene

I subscribe to their RSS feeds for the cities around me. I think they are a great way to try out new places that I have been interested in. I may not normally purchase them a lot of the times, but I keep a check on what I do purchase from Groupon and make sure that they are something that could be worthwhile.

Guest's picture
Stephanie G

I use it occasionally, and some of the other similar site occasionally, but I try to limit it to only things I would normally buy anyhow, but they can be a huge temptation to overspend since everything seems like a great deal.

Guest's picture

We have used Groupon for two or three deals. We also signed up for Living Social when they did the half off Amazon gift card deal a couple of weeks back. So far, so good, though I don't think these companies are worth tens of billions of dollars as many market analysts seem to be suggesting!

Guest's picture
Aaron M

I keep an eye on groupon, as well as a bunch of other local daily deal sites. They are a great idea, but it does kind of get old when the same zip line company gets offered every other weekend. Hopefully more businesses will get into the fray.

Guest's picture

I do, and other sites like LivingSocial as well. I'd say I've spent around 100 dollars total among all my deals (I got the recent LivingSocial Amazon deal for free for referring people to it)... almost always, they're on offers and places I was already in need of or considering going to, so it's really just extra savings. I've been tempted to splurge many times, but it's all about self-control!

Guest's picture
ChopstickHero

I use Groupon, TeamBuy, Snaggies, LivingSocial, WebPiggy, DealFind and a few others consistently. I'm a foodie and love finding great deals on new places to try. It's addictive!

Ashley Jacobs's picture

I haven't heard of TeamBuy, Snaggies, WebPiggy, or DealFind before. I will have to check those out! Thanks for sharing!

Guest's picture
Carson

I use Groupon and Living Social occasionally, and only when I see something I really need. Not a big fan of spending money just for the sheer fact that things cost less than usual, so I don't spend TOO much time on those kinds of sites, but they do serve a pretty decent function when the time calls for it.

Guest's picture
Jennifer

Yes, I have purchased 3 Groupons since September. One was for a 2-for-1 deal to go to the AZ Science Center, the other was for hiking yoga, and the third was purchased today for a 2-for-1 deal to go to the Body Worlds exhibit. I've been dying to go to that, but $50 for two tickets was ridiculous. I ended up getting 2 tickets for $22.56 thanks to the deal, plus a Groupon buck in my account, plust 6% cash back from E-Bates. Woot! A lot of the deals aren't anything I'd be interested in, but once in awhile, a really good one comes along.

Guest's picture
HighOrderGuiltComplex

no, I do not use Groupons

Guest's picture
Kelly

Groupon (and Living Social) is awesome! Every now and then I have to remind myself "Even though this is a great deal, you don't even LIKE tae kwon doe," but it is fantastic as long as I use it to save on stuff I would be spending money on anyway - like getting my hair colored or favorite restaurants. And it makes massages affordable, which is the greatest.

Sweta - I didn't know you could use ebates with groupon! Awesome!

Guest's picture
Hannah

I do purchase Groupons and Living Social deals from time to time. My rule of thumb is I only get something if it's something I really want, not just because it's a good deal. I also try to stay away from restaurant Groupons that are several miles from my home. I've found I'm much more likely to use Groupons in my neighborhood. Overall, it's been a great way to try new restaurants as well as get discounts and places I already frequent.

Guest's picture
Guest

I love Groupon. It's my favorite. Good deals and they remind me periodically of purchases I have not yet used. Great feature!

Guest's picture
Chris

I love Groupon! I'm selective about which offers I purchase. I've saved 50% or more on local restaurants, and I recently got a fantastic deal at a local spa that I've been wanting to try.

Guest's picture
Emily

I subscribe to Groupon's daily emails, though while I've been tempted by many, I haven't actually bought anything...yet.

Guest's picture
Wendy

I've had just one, really wonderful, experience using Groupon.
Everything went exactly as expected, but even better was that when I used the offer, I could not believe how helpful the merchant was and how quickly I received my order (it was an online offer).
I've also had one experience with Living Social -- it was the Amazon offer. I can't begin to express how very disappointed I was. While I know some claim they got the offer, I did not. I ended up cancelling after 5 days of "pending" because I was getting such bad customer service responses and was totally uncomfortable having shared my credit card information. I've since been round and round with their customer advocates, but bottom line is that I will not ever use Living Social again.A

Guest's picture
Dana V.

I've only bought Groupons for restaurants I have wanted to try. The nearest big city for me is a 45 minute drive away which impedes the number of deals that I'll go for.

Guest's picture
gt0163c

I subscribe to a few of the deal-a-day websites/emails. The only ones I have used have been the ones which offer 50% off gift cards/codes to chain stores or Amazon. I've gotten small denomination gift cards for Target, Chick-fil-a and CVS so far. They haven't been huge money savers, but those are stores that I shop at anyway, so I've enjoyed getting the deals.

Guest's picture

no! I find it only tempts me to buy things I don't really need..the ultimate plea to impulse spenders everywhere!

Guest's picture
Guest

I signed up for it about a month ago but have not actually used a Groupon yet.

Guest's picture
Kristy

I bought 2 or 3 things from them, but have yet to actually redeem the coupons, so I should probably stop.

Guest's picture
Jay

I am starting to use Groupon more. When I was in Chicago the deals rarely were attractive because I lived in the suburbs. Now that I moved to a smaller city, the deals are much more relevant for both Groupon and Living Social. I only buy what I may use anyway, such as discounts to restaurants, retailers (Barnes & Noble, Amazon), and personal care for my wife.

Guest's picture
David S

Yup- once for the Amazon deal, and once for a local bike shop tune-up.

Guest's picture

I have used Groupon occasionally, as well as other similar sites like Mamapedia, WeBuy, and Living Social.

Guest's picture

I haven't actually used Groupon yet, but I have signed up for their emails.

Guest's picture
Molly's Mom

I love Groupon, LivingSocial, and Mamapedia. We are going to Chicago for the weekend; I was able to find a couple deals for local restaurants (made sure they didn't have restrictions on when they can be used) and a deal on admission to the Art Institute (2 for 1). I try not to buy things I don't need or won't use.

Guest's picture
Sushi

I've never used Groupon or any similar sites. This may be because my spending income is practically nonexistent at the moment. When it does go up, I'll probably start checking it out, but only to buy things I've wanted to try anyway.

Guest's picture
Laurie

Yes - I love GROUPON! They have great deals!

Guest's picture

Yes! Groupon & Living Social - and we've been very happy with everything so far. As a matter of fact, my Valentine's Day present was a Living Social spa day.

Guest's picture
Marla's Daughter

Yes! $50 worth of American Apparel clothing for $25 was my favorite.

Guest's picture
jay w

i haven't used groupon yet. i've heard good things about it though

Guest's picture
Charline Williams

I have never used Groupon before

Guest's picture

I look at these types of coupon websites ALL the time, but I worry I'll pay for it and it won't work, so I don't ever actually buy them...

- Brittany Elizabeth
@eatsomethingnew
http://eatnew.wordpress.com

Guest's picture
Ally

I'ved used Groupon before

Guest's picture
Kandace

I've used Groupon for a few deals, things I was going to buy anyway, but think that deal sites like Groupon are sometimes dangerous because of the temptation/thrill of the deal.

Guest's picture
Maureen

Yes! I buy them or my son who is in college in Chicago!

Guest's picture
Betty

I look, but don't buy! The deals always sound good, but I ask if I really need it. I'm more for grocery coupons. Never a waste of money.

Guest's picture
caitlin

yes!

Guest's picture
Brian

I do use Groupon, but I have a will of steel. The only things that I would consider buying because of the site would be things I already planned for. Example: Date night is a weekly occurrence, so maybe a local restaurant would make the cut. However I wouldn't purchase the spa packages I've seen so often...

Guest's picture
Eric

I use Groupon a fair amount, as well as LivingSocial, DealPulp and occasional others.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

I've never heard of DealPulp and will be sure to check it out!

Guest's picture
lsharp

I have been subscribing to groupon for the last few months. Just purchased yesterday for the first time coupons for a local pub we frequent at least once a month. Those deals are only deals if you use them.

Guest's picture
Alex

Nope. They still don't have offers in Po-Dunk, Idaho.

Guest's picture
Sarah

Yes - a bit too much, perhaps.

Guest's picture
PF

I've used Groupon once for a restaurant deal, and once for 1/2 off a harbor cruise. It's awesome for things that you were going to do anyway, but I see the temptation when there's something that i "might do" and suddenly I can do it for half off. Groupon with Restraint!

Guest's picture
Alan S

I have used Groupon. I like getting a deal for places that I utilize often or infrequently.

Guest's picture
Lacy

I love the social deal sites! I use them to buy gifts and to try new restaurants that I've been meaning to go to - especially if they're a bit pricier than my budget might allow otherwise. I use several - Groupon, LivingSocial, and local DC-based deal sites. There's so many you have to be careful about not buying more than you'll use, or would use anyway.

Guest's picture
Maria

Yes! I do.

Guest's picture

I've bought from Groupon and several other similar sites. I've not had an issue yet *knock wood* and I've gotten some great deals.

Guest's picture
Jen

I have used it for a couple purchases already.

Guest's picture
Therese

I use groupon, as well as some other deal sites.

Guest's picture

I am a huge fan of Groupon and Living Social. I bought six cleaning sessions from two different vendors through Living Social and saved nearly 50% off the cost. So far I've been pleased with their work. The best part of all of these sites is the credit you can earn from referrals. I recently purchased two items completely for free because of them.

Guest's picture
Lynda

yes i do use them but with caution. they can be very useful to explore places/services that you would otherwise not have gone to, but they can also cause overspending very easily.

Guest's picture
Lynda

yes i do use them but with caution. they can be very useful to explore places/services that you would otherwise not have gone to, but they can also cause overspending very easily.

Guest's picture
Katie R

I love Groupon ! But after a few crazy buys, I now try to be more mindful of my Groupon purchases. My best buy was a month of yoga at Purple Yoga. I liked it so much, that I became a member of the studio. Now I can't imagine my life without this yoga practice.

Guest's picture
molly_b

I know a lot of people love the writing style. It varies regionally, and in my area, I think it's pretty awful. They try waaaaayyyy too hard to be cute, and often this keeps me from figuring out what the business of the day actually does. If I can't figure it out in a couple of sentences, I'm not going to spend any money on it. Even with businesses I'm familiar with, sometimes I can't tell what the discounted service or product is. So no, I don't use Groupon.

Guest's picture
McKenna

Amen, sister. I actually like Groupon as a service. But copy that sounds like a pretentious but uneducated 13-year-old using a thesaurus unsupervised kills my enthusiasm and understanding of what it is Groupon is trying to sell me.

Guest's picture
Guest

I have used Groupon, LivingSocial and plum district...all have had some great deals lately. I check blogs to see what is coming soon!

Guest's picture
Crystal

I subscribe to groupon's emails, but haven't bought anything yet. The nearest groupon city is 1.5 hours away, so the drive time severely limits my enthusiasm to get a great deal.

Guest's picture
Hollie

I think it's worth it as long as you are vigilant about only buying deals you can really use. We've bought restaurant deals, toy stores and zoo passes - things we'll make a point of using. I also only let myself have 2 unused restaurant vouchers at any given time - it's a weird personal rule, but it keeps me from buying too many and letting then to go waste.

Guest's picture
Newmobile

I use Groupon, sometimes it offer very interesting opportunities!

Guest's picture
Lucy

I use Groupon and love it. I've saved money on books, oil changes, ice cream etc.

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Tammy C

Yes I do. It's a great way to save money!

Guest's picture
Christie Struck

I haven't, but we live in a small town, so I'm not even sure if it is around here! I did sign up for a trip we were going to take, but didn't end up going, so I cancelled it. Maybe I'll look again!

Guest's picture
Crystal

I've bought several Groupons - one for a massage, one for a restaurant and one for Bath and Body Works. Love it.

Guest's picture
Scotty

I have bought one thing from Groupon. It was a golf deal at a local course for my hubby to enjoy a day with his son for Father's Day. They had a great time. I think Groupon, and sites of this nature, is great when you are going to spend the money anyway...something that is already in your budget. But it is also a huge temptation to overspend for things you wouldn't have normally bought, if you aren'tobje very disciplined.

Guest's picture
Eva

We've had the luck of being able to use Groupon to buy at our local butcher. We'd buy there anyway, but it's nice to get a discount. It's a win-win, because our butcher gets more exposure and will have a better customer base.

I've used LivingSocial as well, but Groupon seems to have more offers for things I would use.

Guest's picture

I buy from Groupon, Eversave, Woot, Jasmere and Living Social on a fairly regular basis. I love trying out local businesses (and eco-friendly ones on jasmere)- I just have to be really careful about noting the expiration dates. I've missed the due date on one or two vouchers which is definitely NOT saving me money.

Guest's picture
Ruth

For me, these daily deals are a great way to save money. I don't have a ton of cash to spend, so I am very choosy about the deals I buy. Our family has been able to do so many things we enjoy, but wouldn't have been able to do without the deals. As a home educating family, we especially appreciate the discounted admissions for popular attractions like the art & science museums, family entertainment centers and restaurants. We spend a lot of time on the road to various learning destinations and saving money on food allows us to eat out at fun spots we wouldn't have been able to visit without the deal. We usually use Groupon and Living Social.

Guest's picture
Eva

We've had the luck of being able to use Groupon to buy at our local butcher. We'd buy there anyway, but it's nice to get a discount. It's a win-win, because our butcher gets more exposure and will have a better customer base.

I've used LivingSocial as well, but Groupon seems to have more offers for things I would use.

Guest's picture
Kevin Bell

I've used Groupon three times so far, one for a family fun place, another for Barnes and Noble and the third for Redbox rentals. I've been well pleased so far, except most of their deals are in a city about an hour for here.

Guest's picture
Dean

I've used Groupon once so far