Here are six tips and techniques to help you make the most out of group coupons like Groupon, LivingSocial and dozens of smaller sites:
- Stay local - don't accept coupons outside your normal area of travel unless you are planning to use a coupon during travel.
- Beware of un-savvy vendors - I assumed that I could use my iPhone app to redeem my coupon only to find out at a local restaurant that they required a printed coupon only. I was turned away. Also be aware that some businesses struggle to handle the surge in customers.
- Don't collect too many coupons - You can go a little crazy when you are bombarded everyday with such unbeatable bargains. My coupons soon started to stack up and I was in danger of not being able to redeem them all in time. Think twice before buying - pace yourself.
- Read the fine print and note the expiration date- I repeat "Read the fine print" It's usually short and to the point and may contain rules and conditions that are crucial in making sure your redemption is valid.
- Return to businesses you like - One of the compelling reasons small businesses use these group coupon services is to drive customers to their stores & restaurants. If you like the product or service it shouldn't be hard to patronize that business again.
- Tell your friends online or otherwise. Buy for a friend. Use the share feature for a free deal. Most of the deals are for local establishments. At LivingSocial, the deal might even end up being free for you if you recruit enough people to the same deal. For some offers, you need as few as three buddies.