Referral Friday: Groupon

vinyl banner with homer simpson holding donut and words "woo hoo"

I am mad for deals, especially when they converge with my guilty desire for self-indulgence and my weird attraction for making a game of whatever I can.

Groupon, a daily deal for some various local goody, neatly satisfies all three needs in one digital swoop. After signing up for your city's deals at the main website, you receive a daily email with a deal which you can buy into for a specified window of time, 24 hours, usually. The trick is that the deal gets "unlocked" (i.e., available for purchase) only after the number of people willing to commit to purchase reaches some predetermined critical mass. (Here's more about the "why" behind it and the inspiration for it, The Point, on Groupon's "about" page.)

Not every deal will appeal to everyone; then again, how much money and time does any one person have? It seems like I've got less of both with each passing day. But I've scored some sweet deals for taking a small risk, not only delighted with the savings, but happy to have been introduced to some terrific new resource I might not otherwise have found out about (which is pretty much the incentive for offering door-buster deals as far as the vendors go).

One word of warning: if you're a hoarder-of-happy like I am, beware, those expiration dates creep up more quickly than you'd guess. In the last week, I've gotten a haircut, my car detailed, and $20 worth of expensive takeout. Thank the heavens the relaxation types at the place I still have a massage coming to me get that some of us are foot-draggers (especially when the feet in question have a plantar wart we'd just as soon eliminate before humiliating ourselves in front of a total stranger...)


Available Groupon cities as of this writing:

(All of those city links? Also SHILL-FREE.)

Image by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license. Especially good story and comments thread on this one, too.