According to Seeking Alpha, up to 30% of coupons purchased from deal-a-day web sites like Groupon go unused. That’s easy to believe, when you consider that the average Groupon is bought by 550 people. While deal-a-day web sites can offer tremendous savings to savvy customers, others find themselves wasting money on a regular basis. Here are a few tips from the Five Cent Nickel on ways to make sure that you get your money’s worth out of these deals.
First, a few facts and figures: The average cost of a Groupon is $34. If you were to buy two a month, that’s about $816 a year spent on coupons. Use them all? Great! You’ve most likely racked up substantial savings. Are you one of the average consumers who let 30% of their purchased coupons expire? Then you’ve just wasted $244.
Here are some ways to make sure that doesn’t happen to you:
- Check to see if there is a Groupon app available for your phone. If so, you can have alerts sent to you when your Groupons are about to expire.
- Have coupons that you know you won’t be able to use in time? Consider selling them. Several websites have popped up to allow you to sell unwanted Groupons and coupons. Some of the most popular are Lifesta.com, DealsGoRound.com, CoupRecoup.com, and Dealigee.com.
- Trade Groupons with friends or acquantainces. Try posting them on Twitter, Facebook, or even Craigslist.
- Have you had a Groupon turned down by a merchant? If so, don’t write it off. If Groupons have not expired and the merchant denies them, that’s a problem between Groupon and the merchant, not the merchant and you, the consumer. Contact Groupon and let them know about the problem, and they will most likely either refund your money or resolve the issue with the merchant.
- Make sure you read the fine print before purchasing the deal to make sure that you qualify. Some deals are specified as “new customer only” or are only valid on certain days or times. Do your homework to avoid disappointment and frustration.
- Finally, make sure you understand the coupon site’s policy. Groupon’s policy clearly states that after expiration, the coupons are still redeemable for the purchase price (meaning, you don’t get the deal but you’re not out the cash). For example, if you paid $10 for a coupon redeemable for $20 in merchandise, but it has expired, you should still be able to go to the store and redeem the coupon for the $10 you paid for it.