saving money

I’m Over Groupon’s Daily Deals

We’re all really familiar with Groupon and Living Social at this point.  These “daily deals” are supposedly really awesome because they allow you to do all sorts of fun stuff (that you would never normally do) at a fraction of the cost.  Your life is forever changed.  Sign up for Groupon, buy the certificates, have fun, live the dream.

But that’s what they want you to believe.  I’m not buying it anymore.

First of all, Groupon offers things that I don’t really need.  Sure, it’d be fun to go horse-back riding along the Missouri River or learn to crochet with crochet experts or whatever else they advertise, but, in general, it’s a waste of money.  It’s more like this:

“Ohhh, today’s Groupon is laser hair removal!  Only $150!  I’ve really been wanting to get laser hair removal, so I should definitely get this.  There is no reason to check prices at any other salons because this is a Groupon so it must be the BEST deal.”

Secondly, Groupon doesn’t want you to shop around.  They want you to believe that their special, exclusive, uber-important daily deal really is the best deal there is … and that you MUST buy this facial right this instant.  Because this is the best deal, you know.  And it’s only a one-day thing.  So, you have to buy it.  Right now.  Do it!

The other issue? Groupons expire. Don’t act like this hasn’t happened to you.  It has happened to me on at least two three occasions.

Another problem? The sheer number of Groupons sold.  You know that massage certificate that you bought yesterday? Well, about 5,648 other people bought it, too.  Good luck getting an appointment.  Unless you want to get a massage at 8:45 on a Tuesday morning.  Because it’s not like you have to work for a living – because you buy GROUPONS.

Oh, and then there’s THE EXTRA DEALS.  Did you know that there is no longer just a daily deal anymore?  I get additional e-mails about special offers and there are about a dozen other “secret” deals listed along the side of the main daily deal…

(…something tells me that if they have SO many deals, you’re probably not getting that good of a deal in the first place.)

Finally, there are the ridiculous, completely non-funny descriptions that they claim they are “famous” for.  But the descriptions seem over-fluffed and just aren’t very funny.  Case in point:

“Sharing a meal with loved ones is a way to connect, create memories, and discover which family member has been a robot all along. Refuel your clan with today’s Groupon to…”

Really not funny…

Are you over the Groupon/Living Social daily deals, too?


  • i’m over them, too much pressure to do these things i’d kind of like to do which leaves me with not enough time to do the stuff i really want to do.

  • I signed up for both Groupon & Living Social when they first became big, but I quickly became disenchanted with them. I scored the very awesome $10 for $20 Amazon gift card, which was very useful. But usually there are so many restrictions (dine-in only; doesn’t include alcohol; must spend at least $50; must tip on original amount), that I ended up spending considerably more on a restaurant visit than I would have otherwise (and it wasn’t even very good).

    And, as you mentioned, most of the deals just seem ridiculous and not something I would ever spend money on. They really try to push you with the “limited time offer” aspect.

  • I agree completely! I had one experience where my sister and I bought a pedicure and facial deal and when we went to book them the owner said that she couldn’t get us in together, ever, because she hadn’t checked with her staff first and no one else at the salon would do the pedicure and facial for that cheap so she was the only one that would do it. The only opening was 2 months from when we bought it.

  • I hear what you’re saying. When I first learned of Groupon well over a year ago we got some great deals. For example, 1 night at a really nice resort in northern Minnesota with a full afternoon of snowmobiling and a $50 credit at the fancy restaurant overlooking the lake for just $89.00. This was a wonderful deal. I haven’t seen many great deals like this in a long time. It seems that alot of companies are jumping on the bandwagon, but there deals aren’t really deals because of so many restrictions.

  • I thought Groupon was great when it first came out. I bought one of the deals for a massage, the only available time was at 8:30am when I am supposed to be at work. I have unsubscribed from receiving the emails about the daily deals.

  • Hi Amber, honestly I agree with you. Unfortunately I bought a Groupon back in May and it just expired on 9/5 and I didn’t get to use it 🙁 My boyfriend and I were so bummed but we just never had the time to go kayaking on a Sat or Sun and the place was always over booked. I used to find them more beneficial especially for restaurants or spa services but I don’t see many Groupons that I want or need anymore. I still get the emails but my attention is starting to falter.

  • In general, I don’t buy very many daily deals. However, I do subscribe to them (and have them immediately sent to a separate folder on my Gmail account). I keep an eye out specifically for certain deals like movie theaters (Not a fan of paying $12+ for a movie. This way I can see a few movies for ~$4.), or restaurants/yoga studios I already frequent. I don’t really let myself be tricked into buying random “fun” things I never knew I needed. Plus, I ALWAYS read the fine print, which I’m sure most people don’t.

    I’m also fairly good about not letting them expire, but if they do, no biggie. CA law protects me from losing out of the value I paid. Maybe I won’t get a “good deal”, but I won’t lose out on the $2.50 I paid for (insert item here).

  • I think it really depends on the deal. We normally only get them for places that we go/shop anyway. For example, this week Whole Foods ran $20 for $10 on living social. We normally do a portion of our shopping there, so we know those will be used in the next couple of weeks. There was also one for one of our favorite breakfast places a few weeks ago. The ones for most other services are not really worth it. One of the worst I have seen is for Lasik…I don’t really think of that as a service I would buy at a discount and without shopping around.

  • I find it kind of overwhelming trying to sort through all the deals that pummel my inbox these days, but I try to look at it the same way I look at the Sunday coupons. If it’s something I would already buy or have been eyeing but waiting for a discount, then I’ll get the Groupon and score a better deal. Otherwise I just delete them.

  • I unsubscribed from all deal sites maybe 6 months to a year ago. In the end, I only bought three Groupons: all for restaurants I wanted to try. But what’s hard for me to watch is my friends who are willing to buy teeth whitening, hotel ‘saving,’ etc. coupons, that have probably cost them over $500 in the last year. Love your point about the Groupons that 5,000 others have bought though, haha… ahhh, I don’t miss that site at all.

  • Hahaha, this is so funny, I have been feeling this way lately as well. There are still great deals and I do not mind buying the certificated that do not expire and waiting to redeem them, because every once in a while it is a really great deal. But lately there has been a lot of filler like photo canvases.

  • I have friends that bought the laser hair removal deals from groupon and have been burned. I think some things should not be purchased as a deal. Shop around and make sure the technician is qualified. Don’t go there just because you got a deal. It could cost you dearly with permanent scares.

  • I bought 2 living social deals and 3 groupon deals. We used everything except one of the groupons (which we returned because the company doing the groupon tried to screw us over). I will say, however, that I learned the hard way only to buy things you are planning to use right away after a debacle that, while leaving us ahead because the deals were amazing, meant that we had like 8 certificates expire without us using them. On the whole I did like living social better ($10 for $20 at Amazon and $10 for $20 at Whole Foods) than groupon (I had only heard of 1 of the 3 companies we got deals for, and only 1 of them we would use again).

    • There is a new law that coupons don’t expire. The merchants still have to redeem the coupon at face value. You won’t get the same deal you paid for but for example the coupon is $99 dollar they still have to give you that amount.

      • is a gift certificate, not a coupon, so I’m not sure it falls into that category, but if that’s true of grocery store coupons I’d love to have a link to the law!

        • New Legislation Gives Coupons “Equivalent Cash Value” | Wise Bread
 › … › Consumer Affairs
          1 Apr 2011 – Got coupons? Get cash! A new law means coupons can now be traded in for their “equivalent cash value.” – Cached

  • Totally agree, I’m 100% done with them after so many started expiring. I asked Groupon if I could get some refunds and basically this was the response:

    “The best thing to do at this point is to contact the business directly. In accordance with Groupon’s terms of service, businesses will be required to accept your Groupons for no less than the price you paid.

    To access and reprint your expired Groupons, please sign in to your account at and click on the Expired tab. ”

    So even if you don’t want to use it, you gotta. That’s the “Groupon Promise” I guess.

  • Today i tried my first groupon deal of a restaurent meal and im highly UNSATISFIED and ANGRY to say the least. Actually i feel cheated as the deal seemed to say some thing else instead was given something much lesser. On complaint they told me their own interpretation of the fine print. So be aware that the groupon deals are not what they are made to look like.

  • I have had similar problems like millions of other users…In fact the same could be said about all the daily deal sites. I found a Rosette Stone set that i wanted yesterday, but im apprehensive about spending $300. JUST IN CASE!!!

    If you want deals on the products you choose and are sick of daily deal sites try Buildablock, You get to choose what you want a discount on. JUST SAYING.


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