groupon http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12262/all en-US Ask the Readers: Do You Buy Vouchers? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-buy-vouchers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-buy-vouchers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/concept-city-5224235-small.jpg" alt="city" title="city" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-buy-vouchers#comment-680255">MG</a>, Monica, and Chintan for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Buying vouchers from sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Restaurant.com can be a great way to save on new experiences, from dining to vacations to auto services. Then again, the lure of a deal can also get people to spend more than they can afford.</p> <p><strong>Do you buy vouchers?</strong> What types of experiences or services do you usually look for, and what sites do you use to find them? How do you decide if a voucher is worth buying?</p> <p>Tell us whether you buy vouchers and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <p> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d46/" class="rafl" id="rc-79857d46">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a></p> <script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script><p><strong>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.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, August 19th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after August 19th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-buy-vouchers" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: Do You Buy Vouchers?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether you buy vouchers and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-buy-vouchers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-do-black-friday">Ask the Readers: Do You Do Black Friday?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-eat-healthy-on-a-budget-chance-to-win-25">Ask the Readers: How Do You Eat Healthy on a Budget? (Chance to win $25!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-i-used-to-but-now-i">Ask the Readers: I used to __, but now I __ to save money.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-trust-product-reviews-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Do You Trust Product Reviews? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Giveaways Ask the Readers groupon Living Social voucher Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:36:33 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 981180 at http://www.wisebread.com Getting the Most Out of Daily Deal Sites http://www.wisebread.com/getting-the-most-out-of-daily-deal-sites <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/getting-the-most-out-of-daily-deal-sites" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5532619024_6b054e3321.jpg" alt="Using a Groupon" title="Using a Groupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Groupon and other daily deal sites can be a great way to find and utilize new services in your community or connect with businesses online. However, it&rsquo;s easy to spend a lot of money on deals and never feel like you&rsquo;re actually getting a discount. When you know how to make the most of your daily deal opportunities, though, you&rsquo;ll be able to buy in full confidence that you&rsquo;re actually getting a deal that will work for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-groupon-getaways-a-good-idea">Are Groupon&nbsp;Getaways a Good Idea?</a>)</p> <h2>Know What&rsquo;s Out There</h2> <p><a href="http://www.groupon.com/">Groupon</a> is the most popular and well-known of the daily deal sites, but the truth is that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon">there are a lot more options</a>. Beyond the general interest ones, there are also sites specific to particular needs and interests. There are many sites with deals for <a href="http://www.babysteals.com/">babies</a>, <a href="http://www.kidsteals.com/">children</a>, <a href="http://dailydealsformoms.com/">moms</a>, <a href="http://cowboom.com/">electronics</a>, etc.</p> <p>Get a feel for a site before you buy anything. Subscribe for a few days or weeks, or check it out every time it&rsquo;s updated. This will give you a feel for what each site offers, the type and quality of deals you can get, and which sites might be the best place to buy certain deals.</p> <h2>Make Sure the Deal Will Work for You</h2> <p>Before you buy a deal, consider whether or not you&rsquo;ll use it. For instance, an outdoor photo shoot in the fall might be great if you live in Los Angeles, but much harder to use if you&rsquo;re in Minneapolis. If you like to try new restaurants, a deal to a brand new place can be a good choice, but it&rsquo;s a dubious one if you tend to frequent the same four or five places over and over again. Consider, too, any expiration date on the deal. If a deal is good for three months but you&rsquo;re going to be unavailable for two of those, you may want to reconsider.</p> <h2>Wait for What You Want</h2> <p>While there are always spur-of-the-moment deals on things like restaurants and frozen yogurt, waiting for bigger ticket items or experiences can help you save a lot of money. Photographers will occasionally put up deals for a package of family photos, and sometimes amusement parks and other attractions will offer discounted tickets in the off-season or for less busy days of the week.</p> <p>When you see a deal you&rsquo;ve been waiting for, jump on it. Often, you won&rsquo;t be the only person waiting, and many such deals can sell out. </p> <h2>Make Sure It&rsquo;s a Deal</h2> <p>Some deals are obvious, like $20 worth of food for $10. On the other hand, some deals are less of a deal than the website might present them as. For instance, tickets to your local amusement park could run $50 per adult. If the deal site offers them for $25, a 50% discount, that seems significant. However, many times you can get discounted tickets through your local grocery stores, radio stations, or your workplace. Make sure that the deal site is truly offering you the best deal you can get.</p> <p>In addition, consider <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-daily-deals-make-good-gifts">added fees that may apply to your purchase</a>. Many photography session deals include a minimal number of prints or photos on a DVD. If you want to purchase more pictures, you&rsquo;ll end up paying their a la carte price, which can be expensive. Before you buy any deal, go to the merchant&rsquo;s website and make sure you understand any additional fees, and that the deal is still a deal even with those fees.</p> <h2>Use Your Deals</h2> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve purchased a deal, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals">make sure you use it</a>. This might seem obvious, but it&rsquo;s easy to forget or lose track of your deals, especially when you have several of them purchased at a time. Find a way to keep track of your deals, or use them right away so you don&rsquo;t have to think about them anymore.</p> <p>Remember, even if you forget to use your deal for its promotional value, you can almost always still use it for the paid value. While this negates any discount you received, it does mean that you won&rsquo;t lose the money you&rsquo;ve already spent.</p> <h2>Follow Up if You Have Problems</h2> <p>While most deals go off without a hitch, sometimes things go wrong. When this happens, always <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">get in touch with customer service</a> at the website where you purchased the deal. In several years of purchasing deals, I&rsquo;ve had merchants who wouldn&rsquo;t contact me, and one company that tried to add charges several months after I&rsquo;d used my deal. In all of these situations, I simply contacted the deal site and let them handle the problem. Most of the time, I&rsquo;ve had my money refunded or I&rsquo;ve been given credit to use on the site.</p> <p>If you have any worries at all, reach out to customer service. They often have better contact information for the merchant than you do, and they want you to be happy so you come back and purchase more deals. This takes the headache away from you and means you don&rsquo;t have to deal with any unpleasantness.</p> <p>In the end, buying deals should help you save money on things that you would normally purchase or would like to purchase. If you feel like you&rsquo;re using the sites but not saving money, take a step back and reevaluate.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-the-most-out-of-daily-deal-sites" class="sharethis-link" title="Getting the Most Out of Daily Deal Sites" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-the-most-out-of-daily-deal-sites">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon">5 Awesome Alternatives to Groupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-shopping-with-fake-money-time-to-get-started">Christmas Shopping With Fake Money: Time to Get Started</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-groceries-with-these-online-tools">Save Money on Groceries With These Online Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-baby-goodies-with-daily-deal-websites">Save Money on Baby Goodies With Daily Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Shopping couponing daily deal groupon Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:36:47 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 955258 at http://www.wisebread.com The Top 5 Group Buying Sites: Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-top-5-group-buying-sites-love-em-or-hate-em <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-top-5-group-buying-sites-love-em-or-hate-em" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-top-5-group-buying-sites-love-em-or-hate-e...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/the-top-5-group-buying-sites-love-em-or-hate-em" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000013494330Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-top-5-group-buying-sites-love-em-or-hate-em" class="sharethis-link" title="The Top 5 Group Buying Sites: Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Recession-weary consumers flock to group buying sites for good reason: When times are tough, snagging deals of 50 to 75 percent off escapades, entertainment, and epicurean delights is a no-brainer.</p> <p>Things get <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/to-groupon-or-not-to-groupon-the-cost-of-offering-deep-discounts-1">a bit trickier on the merchant end</a>, however. Besides offering steep discounts, stores must pay steep commissions to the service provider&mdash;approaching 50 percent or more.</p> <p>Is it a fair trade? Online discount sites attract tens of millions of subscribers, with the average customer shelling out between $10 and $30 on powerhouses like Groupon and LivingSocial. There are no upfront costs, the exposure is huge, and they generally write all the ad copy for you.</p> <p>Group discounts make the most sense for new venues looking to get the word out, those with economies of scale that make it less expensive to operate at higher volumes, or establishments with a realistic expectation of upselling coupon-holders.</p> <p>To maximize success, social media experts recommend tailoring deals to encourage repeat visits, such as buy-three-get-two-free, offering customers incentives to redeem vouchers during down times, gathering e-mail addresses to stay in touch, and tracking buying patterns.</p> <p>At one time, Yelp, Facebook, and Google were all jockeying for a piece of the group-buying market. Recently, Facebook decided to shut down Facebook Deals after only four months, and Yelp has scaled back its deals function amid competition. Smaller, niche businesses may want to get their feet wet with more targeted deals sites, since the bigger players typically offer less favorable terms.</p> <p>The techie blog <a target="_blank" href="http://www.infogenra.com/">InfoGenra</a> recently released the top five deals sites based on Alexa rankings, popularity, sales and visibility. Here are the pros and cons of each.</p> <p><strong>Groupon</strong></p> <p>Launched in 2008, the Chicago-based behemoth had 83 million subscribers as of March 2011 and is in 175 North American markets and 43 countries. If a critical mass purchases the deal, it&rsquo;s on. As with other sites, Groupon subscribers receive daily e-mails from the site or through Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p><em>The Good</em></p> <ul> <li>As the market leader, Groupon offers merchants access to an expansive customer network and a full-service marketing shop that provides content, images and advertising.</li> <li>The site&rsquo;s deal optimization tool calculates the return-on-investment in advance.</li> <li>Groupon Now! provides greater flexibility for merchants to choose the type of discount and the duration.</li> <li>Groupon Stores are virtual storefronts, offering merchants a devoted page on Groupon featuring product deals.</li> <li>Groupon gives customers credits for encouraging their friends to purchase deals. On occasion, the site offers deals to help charities raise money.</li> </ul> <p><em>The Bad</em></p> <ul> <li>A Rice University study found that a third of surveyed merchants did not turn a profit with Groupon. Business owners complain online that Groupon customers are unnecessarily demanding and bad tippers, along with blasting the site for misrepresenting terms and extending deals for longer than agreed upon.</li> <li>Groupon is also facing a class-action lawsuit alleging that it deceived customers and flouted rules that cover expiration dates for gift certificates.</li> <li>If you&rsquo;re looking to get cash fast in the door with Groupon, think again. The site spreads out payments over three months.</li> <li>Because of its size, Groupon can demand a higher share of the sales price and force merchants to cede a lot of control.</li> </ul> <p><strong>LivingSocial</strong></p> <p>The second-largest online coupon site, LivingSocial reaches about 26 million people a day, operating in 13 countries. The site targets a largely female base by offering family-friendly discounts and advertising on women&rsquo;s lifestyle sites and mommy blogs. LivingSocial offers one gigantic deal a day with discounts of up to 90 percent at local restaurants, bars, spas and theaters. Its mobile app helps customers access local deals from wherever they are for instant gratification.</p> <p><em>The Good</em></p> <ul> <li>Unlike Groupon, LivingSocial makes good on the deal regardless of how many people buy it.</li> <li>Site staffers assist small business owners during peak redemption periods, such as right after a coupon is released or just before its expiration date.</li> <li>Customers receive perks for recruiting new users. Deals are shared through special web links and if three people sign up, the person who originally distributed the deal gets it for free.</li> <li>Because LivingSocial is smaller than Groupon, merchants say they can exert more influence over the content of the deal.</li> <li>LivingSocial also has more favorable payment terms, cutting a check within 15 days of the deal ending.</li> </ul> <p><em>The Bad</em></p> <ul> <li>Merchants complain online that LivingSocial salespeople are great until there is a problem. Then, they don&rsquo;t return phone calls.</li> <li>Others chide the company for letting customers purchase as many as 10 vouchers for a single deal and not capping deals as requested.</li> <li>Like Groupon, LivingSocial takes about 50 percent of all deal proceeds as commission.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Woot</strong></p> <p>Launched in 2004 by an electronics wholesaler and acquired by Amazon last year, the Texas-based Woot started by selling just one item a day, mostly tech-related. Two spinoffs are Sellout Woot, featured on partner Yahoo! Shopping&rsquo;s site, along with Deals Woot, which aggregates shopping deals from around the Web.</p> <p><em>The Good</em></p> <ul> <li>The site pioneered the one-product-per-day-until-sold-out deal model, though customers can often buy up to three of that day&rsquo;s items. The site takes an irreverent marketing approach.</li> <li>The wildly popular blind grab bag, &lsquo;Random Crap&rdquo; or &ldquo;Bag of Crap,&rdquo; occasionally includes expensive items and is known to sell out within seconds and crash the server.</li> </ul> <p><em>The Bad</em></p> <ul> <li>Online complaints against Woot cite broken items, slow shipping and bad customer service. Recently, Woot had to issue an open apology to customers, along with refunds, after offering discounted HP Touchpads for $379 before the $99 fire sale started.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Eversave</strong></p> <p>The Woburn, MA-based Eversave offers a daily deal in select major markets, including Chicago, Dallas, New York and Seattle.</p> <p><em>The Good</em></p> <ul> <li>Eversave boasts an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest of the five sites.</li> <li>Eversave has a robust referral program, which offers new customers credit just for signing up and distributes bonus codes to existing customers.</li> <li>Businesses can donate a portion of deal proceeds to local charities.</li> </ul> <p><em>The Bad</em></p> <ul> <li>Users are asked to provide personal information before accessing coupons.</li> </ul> <p><strong>BuyWithMe</strong></p> <p>Headquartered in New York, BuyWithMe is not yet available in every city, but it is expanding steadily and targets a mostly female audience. Rather than specializing in impulse buys, the site offers deals for up to one week, and, like Groupon, requires a minimum number of buyers.</p> <p><b>The Good</b></p> <ul> <li>Longer deals provide maximum visibility for merchants.</li> <li>The site pays businesses within 30 days of the end of a promotion, and customers often exchange vouchers for store gift cards to be used at any time.</li> <li>BuyWithMe allows merchants greater flexibility in timing discounts.</li> <li>Businesses are involved in generating and reviewing ads, providing information about awards and other differentiators.</li> <li>According to BuyWithMe statistics, 87 percent of buyers spend more than the value of their vouchers and 90 percent are new customers.</li> <li>Similar to LivingSocial users, BuyWithMe members share deals and if three friends purchase the same deal, the deal is on the house for the original member.</li> </ul> <p><b>The Bad</b></p> <ul> <li>Customers criticize BuyWithMe in online reviews for adhering to an overly strict refund policy, distributing incorrect voucher codes and partnering with &ldquo;substandard&rdquo; vendors who occasionally go out of business before users can redeem vouchers.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/margie-fishman">Margie Fishman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-top-5-group-buying-sites-love-em-or-hate-em">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-50-or-more-on-local-stuff-with-groupon-and-others">Save 50% or More on Local Stuff with Groupon and Others</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-ways-to-make-more-money-this-year">100+ Ways to Make More Money This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons">Selling Your Groupon Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Small Business Resource Center coupon sites group buy websites groupon Living Social small business Wed, 21 Sep 2011 21:36:47 +0000 Margie Fishman 705938 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Ensure You Use Your Groupons and Other Daily Deals http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/using_groupon.jpg" alt="Woman using a Groupon" title="Woman using a Groupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have an embarrassing admission &mdash; when I moved across the country six month ago, I left a small wave of unused daily deals vouchers in my wake.</p> <p>I felt awful about it &mdash; I hate wasting money! But as my life got busy preparing for a cross-country move, I found myself forgetting expiration dates, meeting friends for goodbyes at non-coupon restaurants because they were more convenient, and in the end, leaving some vouchers because I simply ran out of time and couldn't find anyone else who wanted to use them.</p> <p>Granted, I did have a lot going on at the time. That said, no matter how calm or busy your life is, it can be easy to buy a <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a>, Living Social, or other daily deal coupon on impulse and forget about it. If you're the sort of person who loves purchasing daily deals, but isn't always great at using them, follow these techniques to make sure you get the most out of your coupons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-daily-deals-make-good-gifts">Do Daily Deals Make Good Gifts?</a>)</p> <h3>1. Put Deadlines on Your Calendar &mdash; More Than Once</h3> <p>For months I put the expiration dates of my daily deals on my Google calendar, thinking that would be enough to remind me to use them. And sure, I'd remember...two days before they expired. This left me scrambling to use the coupons. Now I also put a two-week warning on my calendar as well so I have plenty of time to plan.</p> <h3>2. Get Deals With a Buddy</h3> <p>My friend Chantal is my exercise buddy. When I see an interesting deal for dancing, spinning, or another type of exercise, I'll forward it to her. If we both decide to get it, we're able to keep on each other to make sure we use the deal. This technique works for just about any deal, too &mdash; before you buy, find an interested friend to check out a restaurant with you, do a spa day, or take a tour.</p> <h3>3. Use the Voucher Immediately</h3> <p>Why procrastinate? If you're a strike-while-the-iron-is-sizzling type (or a forget-that-the-iron-is-on type), use your deal as soon as you get it.</p> <h3>4. Keep an Entertainment Folder</h3> <p>If you don't want to use your voucher immediately, you can at least print it immediately. Keep your unused vouchers in a folder somewhere prominent in your home, and when you're trying to think of where you want to eat or what you want to do, flip through your entertainment folder, grab a voucher, and go. You can also keep vouchers in your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-items-city-dwelling-dudes-should-keep-in-their-bags">bag</a> or wallet if you want to impulsively use one when you're out and about &mdash; just make sure it's not one that requires a reservation.</p> <h3>5. Remember &mdash; You Can Use Your Vouchers After Their Expiration Dates</h3> <p>Even if you pass the deadline of the &quot;promotional value&quot; of your deal, you can still redeem the purchase value of it. For example, if you paid $15 for $45 of sushi and you forget to use the deal before it expires, you can still get your $15 with your voucher. It's always best to check the terms of your individual deal, but generally, this is the case.</p> <p><em>Do you have any techniques for making sure you use your daily deal vouchers? Share in the comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Ensure You Use Your Groupons and Other Daily Deals" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse">21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-2000-uses-for-a-can-of-wd-40-1">Almost 2000 uses for a can of WD-40</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Frugal Living Life Hacks calendar daily deals expire groupon Thu, 15 Sep 2011 10:36:19 +0000 Meg Favreau 706961 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Effective Strategies For Mobile Marketing http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/8-effective-strategies-for-mobile-marketing <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/8-effective-strategies-for-mobile-marketing" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/8-effective-strategies-for-mobile-marketing</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/8-effective-strategies-for-mobile-marketing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004852792Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/8-effective-strategies-for-mobile-marketing" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Effective Strategies For Mobile Marketing" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Mobile has become the buzz word for the marketing industry, inticing businesses from all over to get in on the game. But with so many options and strategies to pursue, which one is the most effective for your business?</p> <p>Don't think that mobile marketing is only for large businesses in major metropolitan areas, either. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can effectively use mobile marketing to draw and grow their business. Kyle Agha, owner of a local restaurant situated just a few miles from an open pasture is using mobile marketing to recession-proof and strengthen his business. He has run the <a href="http://newtownbistro.com/ntbnew/" target="_blank">New Town Bistro &amp; Bar</a> in Winston-Salem, NC, for 17 years, weathering changes in the area&rsquo;s economy while keeping pace with rapid-fire technology innovations. He told me about innovative ways that he connects with customers.</p> <p>To gain even more insights about mobile marketing, I also spoke with:</p> <ul> <li>Navin Ganeshan, who leads new product development and strategic investments for <a href="http://about.networksolutions.com/" target="_blank">Network Solutions</a>;</li> <li>Tim Gorin, vice president of business development for <a href="http://www.myeyedr.com/#/home/home" target="_blank">MyEyeDr</a> with 35+ locations in the Washington, DC area and Small Business Advisory Council member for <a href="http://www.yelp.com/" target="_blank">Yelp</a>, a business review site;</li> <li>Lawren Desai, owner of <a href="http://www.aperturecinema.com/" target="_blank">a/perture cinema</a>, a movie theatre showing independent, documentary, and art films in downtown Winston-Salem, NC.</li> </ul> <p>They talked about techniques for tapping the power of mobile marketing.</p> <h3>Slow Time Marketing Tool</h3> <p>If the dinner crowd is not yet pouring in at 5 p.m., Kyle may send a text message mentioning a specific menu item appropriate for the evening. For example, he might promote a &ldquo;cool summer salad&rdquo; on a sweltering July day. Plus, he&rsquo;ll offer an incentive for customers to show the text to their servers as a way to track ROI.</p> <h3>Special Promotions with Limited Lead Times</h3> <p>Mobile marketing has also been useful in solving the problem of selling fresh seafood quickly for the restaurant, since delivery dates are rarely nailed down in time for traditional promotions. But the immediacy of texting plays in the business&rsquo;s favor. Kyle can alert customers to the availability of soft shell crab as soon as he is sure of its arrival and quickly receives requests for dinner reservations.</p> <h3>Piggyback on Another&rsquo;s App</h3> <p>New Town Bistro does not have its own app but has a presence on Open Table&rsquo;s mobile app, which comes pre-loaded on a host of smart phones. As a result, customers can find his restaurant, view a current menu, and call for a reservation easily. Kyle has been most surprised at how this particular listing has attracted out-of-town guests.</p> <h3>Search and Discovery, Not Mobile Advertising or Apps</h3> <p>Navin at Network Solutions tells me that many small business owners tend to think of mobile advertising campaigns or apps to promote their business when they first consider mobile marketing. But he recommends avoiding those low-ROI techniques in favor of establishing and managing a presence on free local directories and review sites. Focus on major players such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Urban Spoon and those ranked high in search results pertaining to your business.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s what to do so that prospects can discover your business:</p> <ul> <li>Claim and verify the listing as the owner;</li> <li>Describe your business, its products, and services;</li> <li>Add compelling elements such as photo reviews.</li> </ul> <p>Thirty percent of all searches are local searches and the intent to buy is high: 82% of users doing a local search engage in some sort of interaction with merchants on the same day; and 62% make a purchase the same day. By establishing your web presence via local listings, you are capturing business from customers who are ready to buy but need help in selecting a merchant. Help them find you.</p> <h3>Review Sites: Perfection Not Required</h3> <p>Through his marketing role with MyEyeDr and non-paid advisory gig with Yelp, Tim Gorin has learned that discriminating consumers do not expect businesses to have spotless records on review sites. However, they want to see engagement by owners or key employees when customers post unfavorable reviews, comment on poor service, etc. Prospects are interested in learning how businesses deal with complaints, not whether they have 5-star ratings.</p> <h3>Review Sites Drive Customer Service</h3> <p>Business-review sites can be a valuable tool in managing customer service, especially for businesses with multiple locations such as MyEyeDr. When lodging a complaint, customers often reveal employee names and locations, along with a way to contact the aggrieved through the site. These features can not only hold employees accountable but also offer a mechanism for dealing with customer service problems as they occur.</p> <h3>Not Just Local Business</h3> <p>Mobile marketing can attract customers who are not local to your business, Navin tells me. For example, ecommerce sellers are creating mobile catalogs to allow on-the-go shopping. Rather than listing all items for sale, they are promoting their most compelling offers with navigation designed for the mobile experience.</p> <p>Businesses are also using mobile technology at out-of-town special events, trade shows, and conferences. They might distribute literature with QR codes that direct prospects to specially-designed landing pages, invite customers to their booths or venues, and accept mobile payments.</p> <h3>Mobile Can Do It All</h3> <p>Lawren, of a/perture cinema, sees a growing reliance on mobile technology. To capitalize on this trend, she directed a mobile-friendly re-design of her cinema&rsquo;s website. Customers are visiting the website to check out film descriptions and show times, just as they always have, but they are also buying tickets on their mobile devices and redeeming mobile versions of Groupons. By facilitating transactions this way, Lawren's mobile-friendly site closes the mobile-marketing loop.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/8-effective-strategies-for-mobile-marketing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-us-at-the-new-york-times-small-business-summit">Join Us at the New York Times Small Business Summit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">7 Facebook Updates That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Small Business Resource Center groupon mobile marketing small business smart phones social media urban spoon Yelp Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:13:43 +0000 Julie Rains 572759 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_closed.jpg" alt="Closed sign" title="Closed sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="125" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What happens to a <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> if the company offering the deal closes? And how do you get your money back? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons">Selling Your Groupon Coupons</a>)</p> <p>According the <a href="http://www.groupon.com/faq">FAQ page of the Groupon website</a>, the guidelines are promising but vague:</p> <blockquote><p>What if the business for my Groupon closes down?</p> <p>If anything happens that makes it impossible for you to redeem your Groupon, we'll make sure you get your money back.</p> </blockquote> <p>I had not given this subject much thought until a few weeks ago when my inbox contained an email with this subject line:</p> <p>&ldquo;An Important Message Regarding Your <em>ABC Bistro</em> Groupon&rdquo;</p> <p>My husband and I had tried once to use the Groupon for this restaurant. We had called on a Saturday afternoon to check on seating availability and make reservations. But it was unclear why we could not reserve a table &mdash; either seating was available on a first-come, first-served basis or all tables were booked. When we stopped by to check, we found that all tables were reserved; we vowed to plan ahead for a future outing.</p> <p>So, using the Groupon was still on my radar when the email arrived. This is the message I received:</p> <blockquote><p>We are writing to inform you that ABC Bistro has closed. While most of you have already redeemed your ABC Bistro Groupon, we know that some have not, and we want to get you your money back as soon as possible.</p> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t used your Groupon, please email us at <a href="mailto:support@groupon.com">support@groupon.com</a> and we&rsquo;ll be happy to issue you a full refund to your original credit card used for the purchase or give you Groupon Credit.</p> <p>We were big fans of ABC Bistro, so we&rsquo;re especially sad to see them go. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.</p> <p>Thank you for your continued support.</p> </blockquote> <p>I was surprised to learn that the restaurant had closed. ABC Bistro (not the company&rsquo;s real name) had opened several months earlier and seemed to be doing well. It occupied a space in a new, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood shopping center in an area with a dearth of nice restaurants. On a nearly daily basis, I drove by this shopping center and had not noticed anything amiss. Nor had I heard about its closing from friends.</p> <p>This note was the first indication that anything was wrong. In retrospect, though, the inability of the restaurant staff to communicate its reservation policy was an omen.</p> <p>Groupon&rsquo;s move was fast. The email was sent to <em>everyone</em> who bought the deal. I wondered if Groupon was in such a hurry to issue refunds (and preserve its integrity) that the deal-seller decided to notify all buyers first, get responses, figure out who had redeemed the Groupon and who had not, and then issue refunds or give credit.</p> <h2>How I Got My Money Back</h2> <ul> <li>I replied soon after getting the message that the restaurant had closed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>My email message: &quot;Hi, I just got a note saying that ABC Bistro has closed; I had an unexpired coupon there. Can I get a credit card refund now? Please let me know if you need additional information from me.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Groupon support staff told me that my credit card account would be credited within 5&ndash;7 business days.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">refund</a> transaction was initiated on the same day and the credit was posted in 3 days.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Then I wondered:</p> <p>Had Groupon (or I) acted too quickly?</p> <p>No.</p> <p>Soon after sending my email, I checked the restaurant's website and saw that it had been dismantled. Its Facebook page was still active. A status update indicated that the restaurant would be closed for a few days while some business issues were resolved. Since then, the restaurant has not re-opened and the Facebook page is now empty. In this situation, Groupon knew about the restaurant's status before everyone else in town did.</p> <p><em>Do you use your Groupons immediately? Have you ever tried to use a Groupon but found that the company with the deal was closed?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">Track Your Refunds or Get Ripped Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/filler-strategies-for-amazon-s-free-super-saver-shipping">Filler Strategies for Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gift-card-scam-of-2011-don-t-be-a-victim">The Gift Card Scam of 2011: Don’t Be a Victim</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Consumer Affairs Shopping closing down groupon money back refund Mon, 02 May 2011 09:48:18 +0000 Julie Rains 532855 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Things to Consider Before Launching a Groupon Campaign http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-things-to-consider-before-launching-a-groupon-campaign <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/3-things-to-consider-before-launching-a-groupon-campaign-john-joyce" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/3-things-to-consider-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/3-things-to-consider-before-launching-a-groupon-campaign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009641445Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="83" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-things-to-consider-before-launching-a-groupon-campaign" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Things to Consider Before Launching a Groupon Campaign" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Today's hot Internet property is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658" _mce_href="http://www.groupon.com/learn">Groupon</a>, the social media coupon marketer many small businesses are adding to their marketing mix. &nbsp;Many small businesses have benefited from the Groupon's ability to generate foot traffic and introduce them to new customers. But be forewarned: a Groupon campaign can be a monster that quickly sends you thousands of customers regardless of your inventory levels or readiness to process them. So, before you make the decision to augment your marketing efforts with a Groupon campaign, you have to do your homework.</p> <p><strong>Know the Basics</strong></p> <p>These are the basic terms of a Groupon campaign<strong>:<br /> </strong></p> <ul> <li>Steep discount required &mdash; Groupon asks for a discount of at least 50 percent;</li> <li>You can limit the window of availability but not the number of people who purchase the deal (a minimum number of customers that must purchase the deal can also be set);</li> <li>Groupon is going to take at least 50 percent of the revenue generated;</li> <li>If the price of your deal is less than $10, Groupon keeps all the revenue;</li> <li>You don&rsquo;t get the revenue right away &mdash; Groupon pays you over 3 installments;</li> <li>There is a substantial human resource burden required to process in-store redemptions;</li> <li>Forty-two percent of respondents in a&nbsp;<a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1696327" _mce_href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1696327">recent study</a> said they would not use Groupon again.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Learn from Others</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, there&rsquo;s no shortage of stories illustrating the disaster that ensues when a poorly planned Groupon promotion is launched.</p> <p>Take&nbsp;<a href="http://posiescafe.com/wp/?p=316" _mce_href="http://posiescafe.com/wp/?p=316">Jesse from Posies Bakery and Café</a> in Portland Oregon. Although there were plenty of warning signs, the temptation of growing her business was too great. When the promotion ran, her staff was overwhelmed by sometimes rude Groupon customers and her cash flow was smothered by the steep discount. Groupon&rsquo;s CEO did <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-ceo-posies-2010-9" _mce_href="http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-ceo-posies-2010-9">respond</a> to this story after it went viral and cited other businesses in the Portland area that have had successful campaigns.</p> <p>On the other hand,&nbsp;<a href="http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/learning-the-hard-lessons-of-groupon/" _mce_href="http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/learning-the-hard-lessons-of-groupon/">Elizabeth Lunney</a> from ABC Language Exchange in New York learned some tough lessons but was able to adapt and make this platform work for her business. This is mainly due to the fact that her language courses come at a high price point, which is more attractive to Groupon based on per coupon revenue, and costs for her service are fixed. With careful planning, ABC was able to put new Groupon customers into empty classroom seats (teachers are paid hourly, not per student); even with the steep discount, the additional students didn't upset Lunney's cost structure. Lunney was also able to negotiate lower percentage payments to Groupon, which may not be possible for small business owners selling low-priced goods.</p> <p><strong>Do the Math</strong></p> <p>So, nevermind the hype surrounding Groupon and the great pitch you&rsquo;re getting from their salesperson, you have to make an educated decision. The only way you&rsquo;ll know if a Groupon campaign fits your business is to run the numbers. Consider the following scenario:</p> <ul> <li>You&rsquo;re going to offer your $100 product/service for $50;</li> <li>After paying Groupon, you&rsquo;re left with $25;</li> <li>You&rsquo;re not going to get all of the revenue at once.</li> </ul> <p>Then ask yourself if the revenue matches your business model:</p> <ul> <li>What are your fixed costs/variable costs?</li> <li>Can your business handle an influx of hundreds or thousands of new customers?</li> <li>Will these customers purchase more than the face value of the coupon?</li> <li>Will these customers return or are they professional &ldquo;couponers&rdquo;?</li> <li>What happens to your brand when you drop your price by 50%?</li> <li>What happens to customer service levels during this flood?</li> <li>Will this be profitable?</li> </ul> <p>Let&rsquo;s face it; business success is based on profitability. Developing a strategy that attracts unprofitable customers, cannibalizes revenue from your current loyal customers (and potentially alienates them) is counterproductive.</p> <p>Establish your marketing goals and then run the numbers against them. A Groupon campaign could work for your business, but maybe it would be disastrous. Either way, however, it&rsquo;s still incumbent upon the business owner to understand the risks and walk away if the numbers don&rsquo;t make sense, even if it's the hottest marketing strategy in town.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/john-joyce">John Joyce</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-things-to-consider-before-launching-a-groupon-campaign">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons">Selling Your Groupon Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-us-at-the-new-york-times-small-business-summit">Join Us at the New York Times Small Business Summit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Small Business Resource Center coupons groupon marketing promotion small business social media Sat, 02 Apr 2011 20:07:23 +0000 John Joyce 510554 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Awesome Alternatives to Groupon http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/groupon-alternatives605.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don&rsquo;t get me wrong. I love <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a>. Unfortunately for them (and &ldquo;yay&rdquo; for me), the market for this kind of daily deal offering is opening up, resulting in more deals, on more sites, and in more cities.</p> <p>If glancing at one good buy a day is leaving you wanting for more, check out a few of the attention-worthy sites we mention in <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2011/02/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon.html">our latest&nbsp;<strong>My Life Scoop article</strong></a> &mdash; all destined to give the original a run for its money.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/groupon-alternatives-livingsocial-logo.png" /></p> <p><strong>Living Social</strong></p> <p>This is perhaps one of the most established of the wannabes giving deals on the same kind of offerings as Groupon. Hair salons, golf packages, food, and entertainment are the core deals to this rapidly expanding site. <a href="http://www.livingsocial.com/">Living Social</a> has been a front-runner in the female audience, being advertised on many women&rsquo;s lifestyle sites and Mommy Blogs, and why not?&nbsp;The deals rarely see out, and many of them are extremely family friendly. <em>Mini-golf, anyone?</em></p> <p><strong>Hot tip</strong>: Feel like seeing the site without dropping a dime? Check the bottom of the deal page for exciting places you can visit in your area. Some won&rsquo;t cost a thing!</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/groupon-alternatives-buywithme-logo.png" /></p> <p><strong>BuyWithMe</strong></p> <p>If the 24-hour deal makes you feel rushed (and caters to your weakness for making impulsive buys), <a href="http://www.buywithme.com/">BuyWithMe</a> may be more your speed. The deals offered on this site usually last seven days, giving you time to chew on the purchase before you decide. While the cities offering deals are limited, they are growing quickly!</p> <p><b>Hot tip:</b> Don&rsquo;t count that deal chicken before it hatches. Unless there is a minimum number of buy-ins for any group deal, it won&rsquo;t be valid for anyone. Watch the progress of any deal you&rsquo;re interested in to see if it&rsquo;s popular enough to succeed. (And definitely don&rsquo;t make concrete plans around any deal that hasn&rsquo;t reached its goal.)&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/groupon-alternatives-8coupons-logo.gif" /></p> <p><strong>8Coupons</strong></p> <p>Many of the competitors that were researched require an email subscription before they&rsquo;ll even show you a deal, and worse yet, some of them bait you to enter your email, select a city, and then tell you that your city will be &ldquo;added soon.&rdquo;&nbsp;If the idea of giving out your email or cluttering up your inbox for the promise of a deal doesn&rsquo;t appeal to you, consider the user-friendliness of daily deal aggregates: <a href="http://www.8coupons.com/">8Coupons</a>.&nbsp;Not only does it list all the deals from the top sites (including Groupon, Tippr, BuyWithMe and others), it lets you search via map or zip code.</p> <p><strong>Hot tip:</strong> Some places in this world (like my town of 1,800) will never be on a daily deals site. 8Coupons gives us suburbanites some retail therapy with the sharing of deals at national franchises and small shops in the places we live. They aren&rsquo;t daily 50% - 90% off bargains, but it sure beats paying full price!</p> <p><em>Dying to see the other sites that made our &quot;hot list?&quot; <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2011/02/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon.html">Read about them all at My Life Scoop</a>! Do you have a daily deal site that&rsquo;s changed your life? Let us know why it&rsquo;s earned a top spot in your email box!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Awesome Alternatives to Groupon" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-places-to-get-coupons-online">The Best Places to Get Coupons Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-to-scoring-the-best-price-when-buying-on-ebay">7 Secrets to Scoring the Best Price When Buying on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-less-cash-for-your-jcpenney-purchase">Use Less Cash for Your JCPenney Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-grocery-shopping-techniques-you-need">The Only 5 Grocery Shopping Techniques You Need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-amazon">The Case for Amazon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Shopping deals groupon online shopping Fri, 11 Feb 2011 13:48:09 +0000 Linsey Knerl 487894 at http://www.wisebread.com Christmas Shopping With Fake Money: Time to Get Started http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-shopping-with-fake-money-time-to-get-started <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/christmas-shopping-with-fake-money-time-to-get-started" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/freewrapping.jpg" alt="free wrapping paper" title="Last year I even got my wrapping paper for free." class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year, I wrote about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-went-christmas-shopping-with-fake-money">Christmas shopping for my husband using &quot;fake money&quot;</a> and it generated some excitement among readers who wanted to try it themselves for Christmas 2010. This post is laying down the gauntlet: If you want to shop with fake money for this holiday season, it's time to get moving!</p> <p>The &quot;fake money&quot; I used last year came from <a href="http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/CarrieKirby">swagbucks</a>, an Amazon promotional credit, my <a href="http://www.paypal.com">PayPal</a> balance, store credits, coupons, and free offers. This year, I have a bigger goal: Do <em>all</em> my holiday shopping with fake money.</p> <p>Why do I feel that I can do this? Well, I have a lot more fake money this year. A little thing called <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> gained steam since last holiday season, and I have earned many, many Groupon Bucks by promoting the excellent daily deals here and on my other blog. And I have a lot more <a href="http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/CarrieKirby">SwagBucks</a> than I had last year too, thanks to readers who have signed up through me. (Seriously. <em>Thanks, readers</em>.)</p> <p>Here's what I am doing now, before the first green leaf has changed color, to prepare for Dec. 25:</p> <ol> <li>Sign up for free <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&amp;location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fprime&amp;tag=myfufufa-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957">Amazon Prime</a>, which will allow me to ship my fake-money purchases for free. Right now you can get a year of free Prime through <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&amp;location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FOff-to-College-Supplies%2Fb%3Fie%3DUTF8%26node%3D668781011%26ref_%3Dnav_swm_primecoll1&amp;tag=myfufufa-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957">Amazon Student</a> (if you have a .edu email address), or three months if you sign up for <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/frugalista/2010/09/join-amazon-mom-for-free-prime-and-30-off-diapers-and-wipes.html">Amazon Mom</a>. That would end before Christmas, but you can extend it by a month every time you spend $25 on certain products.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Build up my <a href="http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/CarrieKirby">SwagBucks</a>.&nbsp;SwagBucks earned for your own searches build up gradually over time, but you can really rack them up if you <a href="http://www.swagbucks.com/?cmd=sb-plugins">install the toolbar</a> and watch for new Swag Codes to be released, then use those to encourage your friends or contacts on Facebook and Twitter to sign up through you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Trade in <a href="http://www.swagbucks.com/?cmd=sb-plugins">SwagBucks</a> for gift cards &mdash; and not spending them. Since there are limits on how many gift cards you can redeem during each two-week period and on each day, it's a good idea to start trading in SB for gift cards now in order to shop later.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Watch <a href="http://www.groupon.com/r/uu1426341">Groupon</a> with an eye for gifts. Groupon will give you $10 for every new member who signs up through you and makes one purchase &mdash; and some deals go for as little as $5. Once you have some credits, keep an eye out for items that will make great gifts. Don't tell the people on my list, but a lot of them will be getting cashews and such from The Nutty Guys this year, since it's been featured several times on various cities' Groupon deals. (There are lots of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-50-or-more-on-local-stuff-with-groupon-and-others">other daily deal sites too</a>, many of which also <a href="http://www.youswoop.com/ainvite/carrie.purins">pay affiliate fees</a> or <a href="https://livingsocial.com/redeem_invite/5455492-carrie?ref=lnk">credits</a>.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Accumulating freebies that might go in gift baskets. Even though I'm busier than ever, I still stop into CVS and Walgreens to grab freebies using &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trying-out-cvs-madness">the drugstore game</a>,&quot; and some of the items I get are quite valued by those I love. My Grandma is notoriously hard to buy for &mdash; but her eyes lit up last Christmas when she got my basket of ThermaCare wraps and Metamucil.</li> </ol> <p>So, who's with me? I'd love to hear your ideas on how to Christmas shop for free this year.</p> <p><em>Disclosure: I used my referral links to the various stores and reward programs I&nbsp;used, so if you would like to sign up for any of them through this post, I&nbsp;will receive a small payment or credit.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-shopping-with-fake-money-time-to-get-started" class="sharethis-link" title="Christmas Shopping With Fake Money: Time to Get Started" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-shopping-with-fake-money-time-to-get-started">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-went-christmas-shopping-with-fake-money">I Went Christmas Shopping With Fake Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-gifts-for-5-or-less">25 Great Gifts for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful and Frugal Personalized Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Is it worth paying more for faster shipping?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Shopping christmas shopping frugal gifts groupon Holidays swagbucks Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 233584 at http://www.wisebread.com Selling Your Groupon Coupons http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/selling-your-groupon-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coupon_carnival.jpg" alt="Coupon Carnival" title="Coupon Carnival" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Social shopping sites like <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658" target="_blank">Groupon</a> and <a href="http://www.livingsocial.com/" target="_blank">LivingSocial</a>&nbsp;are all the rage these days. Instead of hunting for a deal on your own,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-50-or-more-on-local-stuff-with-groupon-and-others">these sites</a> create deals for a certain number of people. If that number is met and enough people are interested, the deal is on.</p> <p>Otherwise, no deal.</p> <p>Groupon is becoming so popular that <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-28/groupon-grapples-with-own-popularity-as-users-overwhelm-business-partners.html" target="_blank">stores are complaining</a> they can't handle the amount of traffic a Groupon deal can generate.&nbsp;</p> <p>So what happens if you see a fantastic deal but you can't take advantage of it for whatever reason? Well, you could try to get your money back (Groupon offers full refunds), but that won't always work. And if it's a really good deal that a lot of people want, wouldn't it be cool if you could sell it to the highest bidder?</p> <p><strong>Now you can.</strong></p> <p>Enter sites like <a href="http://www.couprecoup.com/" target="_blank">CoupRecoup</a> and <a href="http://www.dealsgoround.com/" target="_blank">DealsGoRound</a>. They bring together people who have deals they want to get rid of with people who missed out on said deals and want in. If you have a coupon you no longer want, you can sell it. If you want access to a deal that you missed, you can buy it.</p> <p>It makes sense that sites like these would pop up with the soaring popularity of services like Groupon, but there are concerns about security and fraud. Duplicating Internet coupons is a pretty simple task, and are stores really going to triple check coupons to make sure they're legit?</p> <p>I'm curious to hear what Groupon users (and other social sites) think about sites like CoupRecoup and DealsGoRound &mdash; are these valuable services that you'd use or it just extra work for no real payoff?</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons" class="sharethis-link" title="Selling Your Groupon Coupons" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/did-office-max-hire-an-accountant-with-an-i-q-of-62">Did Office Max hire an accountant with an I.Q. of 62?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/papa-murphy-s-update-nice-save">Papa Murphy’s update: nice save.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-dissatisfied-do-you-need-to-be-to-use-a-satisfaction-guaranteed-rebate">How Dissatisfied Do You Need to Be to Use a Satisfaction-Guaranteed Rebate?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Consumer Affairs coupons groupon Fri, 02 Jul 2010 13:00:05 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 143976 at http://www.wisebread.com Save 50% or More on Local Stuff with Groupon and Others http://www.wisebread.com/save-50-or-more-on-local-stuff-with-groupon-and-others <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-50-or-more-on-local-stuff-with-groupon-and-others" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/groupon.png" alt="Groupon logo" title="Groupon " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="160" height="126" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There has been an explosion of local deal-of-the-day sites in cities across the country, resulting in a windfall of 50% or more discounts on all kinds of goods and services.</p> <p>For all of these sites &mdash; the most well known are <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> and <a href="https://livingsocial.com/redeem_invite/5455492-carrie?ref=lnk">Living Social</a> &mdash; the drill is basically the same: a local business offers a voucher or service package at a steep discount for one day, or for a limited time only. Common offers are spa visits, salon treatments, restaurants, and sporting events. Sometimes you'll get a retail offering too. My favorite deals offer something totally crazy that you didn't even know existed, like <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/03/psycho-donuts-doughnut-shop-art-gallery-campbell-california.html">Demented Donuts</a>.</p> <p>In a moment, a list of daily deal sites available in major cities. But first a few tips for buying and using Groupons and other discounted vouchers:</p> <ol> <li> <p><strong>Consider the location.</strong> If you live in a large metro area like I do (Chicago), many of the deals you see for your city will be a long drive from your home or work. I made the mistake of snapping up a massage package an hour's drive away. At $100 for three hour-long massages, I couldn't pass up the deal, but now the coupon is soon to expire and I've only managed to use one of the three massages.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Is it really an exceptional deal?</strong> The daily deal sites usually tell you up front the percent of the discount, but if you'll be going out of your way to patronize this business, you might want to check their Web site to see if they offer any similar deals on an everyday basis, or see how the one-day deal compares to specials available at the businesses you usually patronize.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>How much more will you have to spend?</strong> I like deals that charge a flat fee for the whole service, but some offers sell you a discount, meaning that you'll still have to pay money beyond the coupon value. If so, check the price before buying the voucher &mdash; I recently saw an offer for $60 off hair coloring, which I thought would pay for the whole service. But when I checked the Web site, I saw that salon's coloring services started at $180. Saved from a deal-of-the-day misstep!</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Is it better than Restaurant.com?</strong> I haven't gone for any restaurant deals because they usually offer a gift certificate or voucher for the restaurant at a 50% discount. I prefer to use a coupon code at <a href="http://www.restaurant.com">Restaurant.com</a> to pay $2 or $3 for a $25 certificate, a much better discount than paying $25 for a $50 voucher.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Don't forget to tip on the full amount.</strong> When visiting the restaurant, salon, or other business where tips are appropriate, you should tip 15-20% of the service's regular cost, not of your discounted cost.</p> </li> </ol> <h3>The Daily Deals Sites</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a></strong> is now available in cities across the country and even in Vancouver. New York City, Los Angeles, Tulsa, Wichita, you name it. It has a twist: The deal is not officially available until enough people have signed up, but since it is so popular, the deal has been &ldquo;on&rdquo; every day I've looked. Groupon is a robust service that often has the companies offering the deal answer questions on the site, offers an iPhone app, and has regional meet-ups for fans. They're even paying a dude called <a href="http://liveoffgroupon.com/">the Groupawn</a> to travel for a year living on nothing but an unlimited supply of Groupons.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://livingsocial.com/redeem_invite/5455492-carrie?ref=lnk">Living Social</a></strong> lists 26 cities, including Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, LA and Washington, DC.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.tippr.com">Tippr</a></strong> lists eight cities, including Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, DC, and San Francisco. Their twist is that the deal usually gets better after a certain number of people buy.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://reviews.angieslist.com/deals.aspx">Angie's List Big Deal</a></strong> is currently in a handful of cities including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, DC, and Cleveland. Coming soon to many more.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.youvegottagetit.com">You've Gotta Get It</a></strong> is just Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.youswoop.com/invite/carrie.purins">YouSwoop</a></strong> is Chicago-only.</p> <p>There are more sites out there &mdash; more are popping up almost literally every day. But these are the bigger ones. I list all of those daily, plus a few Chicago-only sites, on my blog, <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/frugalista/2010/06/chicago-deals-of-the-day.html">Frugalista</a>, every weekday.</p> <p>Although I've made a few mistakes getting overly excited about daily deals, I've also snagged some great bargains. Using Groupon and Living Social, I've gotten my laundry washed and folded at 60% off, gotten a spa mani-pedi, and tried out pre-cooked gourmet meals.</p> <p>I've also managed to get some free Groupons and made some cash by referring friends and readers to these sites. To refer friends to Groupon, follow the <a href="http://www.groupon.com/visitor_referral">instructions here</a> and you'll get a $10 credit when your referral makes his or her first purchase. Become a YouSwoop ambassador and you can <a href="http://www.youswoop.com/ainvite/carrie.purins">get 10% of your referrals' purchases</a> &mdash; in cash. Living Social will give you a <a href="http://livingsocial.com/affiliates">$5 credit for each referral</a>.</p> <p><em>This post contains affiliate links to help me fulfill my goal of papering my bedroom in Groupons &mdash; or greenbacks.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-50-or-more-on-local-stuff-with-groupon-and-others" class="sharethis-link" title="Save 50% or More on Local Stuff with Groupon and Others" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-50-or-more-on-local-stuff-with-groupon-and-others">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon">5 Awesome Alternatives to Groupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals">How to Ensure You Use Your Groupons and Other Daily Deals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-brooke-kaelin-our-daily-deals-editor">Meet Brooke Kaelin, Our Daily Deals Editor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christmas-shopping-with-fake-money-time-to-get-started">Christmas Shopping With Fake Money: Time to Get Started</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Shopping daily deals groupon Living Social Fri, 02 Jul 2010 12:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 144924 at http://www.wisebread.com