Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Get Your GroupOn

Okay, I'm not always at the forefront of trends, but I have to admit I heard about GroupOn a while back. I just never did anything about joining until today. I confess I finally joined after reading an article on the program and its creator in the Chicago Tribune yesterday.

A friend joined GroupOn as one of the first subscribers. She swears by the service. Here's how it works...

A company offers a great deal (say, $100 in services for only $50) if --and only if -- a certain number of people buy into the offer. If the minimum number of participants is reached, then everyone gets the deal. Most companies use this as a way to get you into the store. Of course, these companies hope that you'll become regular visitors.

My girlfriend used the service to buy low-priced restaurant coupons, a speedboat ride on Lake Michigan, and theater tickets. She has had great success with it. Most of the businesses she has visited are local, not national chains. I like the idea that we're supporting local businesses.

GroupOn has offers in several dozen major cities in the United States. I was thinking that if I have good luck with the Chicago version, I might sign up for another city if we're headed their for a trip. It would require a little planning, but it's a free service, so what is there to lose?

I don't know how often I'll use it, but we all know I'm always looking for a good deal. If we can take the girls some place new at a discount, it's all good.

I signed up for the daily email to see what comes across. With a little luck, I'll find a good deal and a few new local businesses to support.

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