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
K

I have used Groupon before but now I'm a *huge* fan of Scoutmob.com. It has a different coupon several times a week that you *don't* have to pay for in advance (which means you don't feel like an idiot when you forget to use the certificate in time). I also got to discover a really yummy restaurant through them that I never would have seen on my own (a neighborhood I don't usually go to.)

Guest's picture
Christina Kadinger

Oddly enough I bought an Amazon gift card off of one and a few other things. I have to say I think they are a great way for businesses to get new customers and reward faithful ones!

Guest's picture
Kumi

I used it once.

Guest's picture
Brad McGilligan

I've bought & USED several Groupons - Gap, Canvas on Demand (twice it was so good!). Albeit, consumers ought not buy just because they're getting a deal. Consumers too often waste money on something they'd never use.

Guest's picture
Jessica

I have used both Groupon and Living Social. I use Groupon for local clothing boutiques. I save $ on brands I can't find anywhere else and help local business. Got a great deal for Amazon on Living Social recently as well.

Guest's picture
Julie R

I use Groupon and several other similar websites.

Guest's picture
Cathie

Yes, I do use Groupon, and Jasmere, and on occasion BuyWithMe. But I only purchase amazing deals that I know I will use. I bought the Gap $50 GC for $20, 3 Redbox rentals, a dozen specialty cupcakes for 1/2 price, a 1/2 off cert for the Nutty Guys, an eco2 water bottle (had been wanting one) and a picture "catching" the Easter Bunny. Oh yeah, and a $20 Amazon credit for $10.
I'm saving up Amazon credits to buy an exercise bike.

Guest's picture
JB

I've used Groupon but I use a site called CityDeals the most. We've bought restaurant gift certificates for up to 70% off. It's a great way to try a new spot or even get a great deal on an old favorite. It's awesome.

Guest's picture
Michelle

I use groupon - not every day but certain days really save me money on things I probably wouldn't get to do otherwise.

Guest's picture
Sandra

Groupon has come in handy a couple of times. I've used it for Gap and Nordstrom Rack deals. Great savings and easy to use.

Guest's picture
Diann

I have not found a Groupon coupon that I was interested in and/or could afford. For example, there was a discount on laser treatments. Even with the discount, (although a good price) was not affordable for me so I skipped it. I do receive Groupon deals in my inbox. If one comes along that works for me, I would participate.

Guest's picture
Darlene

Yes, I've bought a few groupons for local restaurants and wine bars. It's a great way to check out new restaurants that might be a little pricier than my usual fare -- there's less risk since you're getting such a deep discount. And honestly, I've yet to have a bad experience!

Guest's picture
Guest

HECK YEAH! I love that my small town restaurants are on their, it gives me a chance to support local businesses while saving money!

Guest's picture
kristina wittchen

I use Groupon for restaurants. I think it's a great deal.

Guest's picture
Susan

I have used Groupon a couple of times, but I don't use it regualarly. Only when the deal is something I would otherwise be spending money on.

Guest's picture
Maria S

Yes

Guest's picture
RIKKI

I have purchased a couple deals from Groupon but lately they haven't had anything I'm interested in. We have a local site, citydeals.com that has better offers. I've purchased food & massage deals for gifts and got a discount at a local B&B I've wanted to try, for our anniversary. I recently purchased 6 laser hair removal treatments on lower legs and arms for $99. I do have to be careful though, I find myself purchasing more than my budget will allow because I don't want to miss a good deal. I know citydeals.com is branching out to others cities, so check their site.

Guest's picture
Chara

I have used Groupon once. Its a good deal if its something you were planning on doing anyways. But if it just causes you to spend more money on unnecessary things, its a waste.

Guest's picture
Andrew

I use Groupon a lot: for dining, transferring old home videos to DVDs, and for experiences, such as a cruise ride around NYC!

Guest's picture
Guest

I use Groupon, maybe a few times a year. I only buy if I see a product or service that I use on a somewhat regular basis as the deals aren't big enough for me to be spending money new "stuff" all the time. I check the daily email and go on my way if it isn't something I am familiar with.

Guest's picture
terrellterp

I recently used LivingSocial for a store I have a history of using anyway. I don't think I would use it to purchase something that I had not thought about before it hit my inbox.

Guest's picture
KelR1

I have heard of Groupon but haven't visited the site or used it yet.

Guest's picture
Tammi

I use Groupon a lot. Get great deals on restaurants to try out and more. Glad my nephew turned me on to it!

Guest's picture
BRB

I do use groupon and several other sites and I think if you only buy for things you use they are great, but I can see that a lot of people could spend a ton on stuff they don't really want or need just because they think it is a good deal.

Guest's picture
Art

Nope, I don't use Groupon

Guest's picture
Megan Lee

Groupons are a great way to try new activities, food, venues, etc. for a fraction of the cost! I've purchased/used a handful already, including a wine tasting in Sonoma, a kayaking trip in Santa Cruz, a hiking yoga excursion and a boot camp subscription.

Guest's picture
Em

Yes! I really like Groupon. I have used it for things like hotel rooms, spa services and exercise classes. I try to be discerning and to keep in mind that they almost never have things I "need", just things I want.

Guest's picture
Kristine

I love Groupon. I especially love the local yoga groupon deals that appear every once in a while. I am a huge sucker for those :)

Guest's picture
Cheryl

I use it, and I love it!!

Guest's picture
Brandon

no, I have never used it.

Guest's picture
Trang

I have purchased several Groupons. If you do your research, they're a wonderful way to get discounts off on good restaurants! :)

Guest's picture
Jan

I had heard of Groupon but was leery of it until a friend recommended one of their deals. So I used Groupon once and will again if it has offers I'm interested in.

Guest's picture
Cindy

I get the daily email form Groupon and a few other social networking sites. I have the opposite problem of most people. I tend to take advantage of too few of these offers and as a result really miss out on some good deals. You do have to use a bit of discipline but I love them!!!

Guest's picture
Alicia C

I don't use groupon. I do, however, use mamapedia. I am very careful about how I spend my money and wait and wait and wait until a deal that I actually want pops up. I can see how some people might get sucked up into the deal and buy things they don't really need. It can be hard to pass up some of those "Pay only $8 for _____ worth $25!!!" deals.

Guest's picture
Erin

I do use Groupon! I look forward everyday to receiving the emails.

Guest's picture
Jeff

I subscribe to Groupon and LivingSocial.

But to me - they push buying/shopping to a daily event. I'm for getting the best deal on things I need but trying to avoid being caught up in "browsing" for extras.

So my wife and I have a "to do or purchase" list that includes big purchases, normal budget items, things we'd like to get our 22-month old, etc. If a groupon or LS deal comes in that matches to that list - we'll consider it. It's like making a list before you go grocery shopping. A bunch of others have posted similar, we just use the physical list.

Guest's picture
Lauren

I love, love, love Groupon -- almost as much as I love Wise Bread! Eversave is another favorite.

Guest's picture
McKenna

I've used Groupon for gifts (massages), trips to a local steamroom we go to anyway, a car wash and sometimes for classes or month-long memberships at local gyms. I don't belong to a local gym but benefit by mixing up my workout routine and having an expiration date on the coupon forces me to the workouts, if only because I can't stand the idea of having wasted my money by letting the certificate expire.

Guest's picture
JD

I subscribed to Groupon for a couple of months and have bought 3. I only buy things that I need and have always wanted but never had a chance until Groupon comes along. I also linked Groupon with my Discover card to get additional 20% rebate. I had good experience with Groupon.

Guest's picture
Danielle

I love Groupon and the other sites like it. I can treat myself and family to things I would not buy at full price.

Guest's picture
Guest

I never use groupon, I use bradsdeals.com. Also, I find the more I see good deals, the more I want to buy more things, so I just get real frugal and don't look at too many of those sites.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

I have never heard of BradsDeals before. I'll have to check it out!

Guest's picture
Katherine

Oh yeah! I've gone skydiving, home brewing, and to my favorite gym basically free off of Groupon, and I follow Living Social too - great sites.

Guest's picture
Joel

I use Groupon, thus far only for discounts on things I'd buy anyway.

Guest's picture
Sean

I use Groupon. I also like YoDeal.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

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

Guest's picture
Parlox

I buy groupons several times a week!

Guest's picture
Selene

I've used Groupon a couple of times.

Guest's picture
Mariel

No, but I would like that to be available to people in other countries... Not just the US. We shall see how different people see it...

Guest's picture

I'll use any daily deal site that has an attractive offer. In other words, I'm not a Groupon snob. :-)

Guest's picture
TraciFree

I'm on the Groupon e-mail list, but never seem to be in the market for the coupons they offer. However, I'm sure one day I'll need a spa day or indoor skydiving, and THEN I'll know exactly where to get it for cheap.

Guest's picture
Alan

I use Groupon and other social deals sites. I frequently pick up coupons for restaurants that we want to try or eat at anyway. The only problem that I have is I receive so many emails each day from the various sites!

Guest's picture
Liz

I do! I just got a couple great offers - Amazon, a local restaurant I have been wanting to try, and a local wine bar that my husband and I really enjoy.

Guest's picture
Mary Ann

I love Groupon because I like to give experiences, instead of physical gifts that eventually get thrown away or go out of style. Groupon has allowed me to do that for my family at half price!

Guest's picture
Geckotraveler

I have used Groupon a few times and Livingsocial for the Amazon discount they recently had. My husband purchased a coupon for eye glasses and the store highly discouraged him from using the groupon and they had nothing he liked. I purchased one for a spa treatment and could never get anyone to answer the phone, the voicemail was always full and e-mails via their personal website were not answered. The other 3 groupons I did use were great. Groupon was very helpful in giving me and my husband credit for future purchases with them and I will use them and Livingsocial again. I will also be careful in the future about which company I choose to purchase from. Smaller companies do not fully realize the flood of business that can come their way and are not able to handle all the appointments and I wonder if some of the newer businesses can financially withstand the demand of service and goods at such a reduced price. The Groupon representative I spoke with about getting a refund because I could not get an appointment at the spa advised that I should use the groupon as soon as possible because in cases where the company was small you usually had a better chance of getting an appointment earlier rather than later.

Thanks for the heads up on other sites.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

Great point about being careful when it comes to buying from smaller businesses.

Guest's picture
Kristi

I have used Groupon, too. I have used the $10. for $20. Amazon GC offer and the Barnes and Noble offer. A lot of the offers are for things I wouldn't use, but I keep watching and find things here and there that I like.

Guest's picture
Keri Ritenour

I am subscribed to Groupon, Living Social and a variety of other sites, but I have not taken advantage of any offers. The majority just don't appeal to me or don't fit into my budget at the time of the offer. I have also noticed that the offers are located in larger cities rather than the area I live in. The money I would spend in gas to redeem the offer cancels out the option of purchasing. I recently found a site that does offer deals/discounts in my area. I love it! It is called 8coupons.com. Check it out!

Guest's picture
CNelson

I like Groupon , but they often have deals that I'm not interested in.