Any of you ever use these? They can be great deals, often something like pay $10 and get a coupon for $25 off at a restaurant with very few restrictions about how you can use it – usually doesn’t cover alcohol.

I don’t think the company has even been around that long – maybe a few years? The NYTimes is reporting Google may be buying them for $5-6B. That’s just staggering to me that they are worth that much.

And numerous competitors have already sprung up. I get three other similar email offers in my email every day, and there’s nothing special about Groupon’s offer to distinguish it from the others. I feel absolutely no loyalty to Groupon and in fact I don’t even read their snarky writeups anymore. I’m tired of the snark.

So already to me Groupons are just one of many. I guess they have the advantage of being national while others are local, as far as I can tell – I get three others and two are certainly local but I don’t know about the third.

I remember buying a pack of Topps baseball cards for ten cents. All these billions – sheesh.

Yeah, I’ve started using these too, and they’ve been great. I like that you don’t even need to print them, you can just show them the email on your smartphone.

And I’ve never seen the alcohol restriction, thank god.

I got dragged to a restaurant last week to help spend a $30 Groupon (which I had never heard of). It covered alcohol, just not drink specials.

Yeah, being able to show it on your phone is nice.

I talked to a restaurant owner about these and he had soured on them. The way Groupon works it is they take half of the fee, so if you buy one for $10 the restaurant gets $5. Then they give away $25 in food.

What the guy didn’t like is that a lot of regular customers used them so he felt they weren’t bringing in new business.

My own personal experience as a consumer is that with four different Groupon-like places sending me daily offers, I seldom dine out now without using some kind of coupon. Rather than pick a restaurant because it sounds interesting, we usually pick one based on a coupon we’ve purchased. Great for us, but if we don’t turn into repeat business at full price the Groupon really didn’t work.

FWIW, we did use it to try out a new restaurant.

I used one that basically bought me a movie ticket from Fandango for $4. I’d buy that whenever I see it.

If there’s something I’ve learned from Kitchen Nightmares is that coupons very rarely work for restaurants. For some it’s a desperation measure of a floundering business.

Though the few that I’ve bought don’t seem to be that way… the latest one in San Fran was for Goat Hill Pizza, which is a long-established establishment here from everything I gather. As for new business… hard to tell.

The one for Nordstrom Rack just recently is a pretty good deal.

— Alan


Groupon is a ponzi scheme, or at least it’ll fail in the same manner. It’s great for the consumer, but the majority of businesses end up hosed in some way or another, and they won’t be up for a round two. So when Groupon runs out of good businesses to leech off of, they’ll die.

Google spending what they’re gonna spend to buy them is utterly insane.

I agree. My wife has bought several offers from a Groupon competitor. Discounts have been essentially 50% or better, and monitoring the deal on the site, they’re not capped. These businesses are signing up for an awful lot of discounted service. They can’t possibly be making any money on these deals, so the hope must be that this bring in repeat business. But so far, we’ve not gone back to a single one of the deals we’ve cashed in. Too many other deals to go with.

Yeah, that’s the problem. There are a few restaurants we’ve tried that we would go back to, but why pay full price when there’s always a deal somewhere else?

And then if a groupon comes out for a place we like, we both buy one and sometimes you can gift a groupon too, so that allows us to buy a couple extra. I know there’s one place we’ve gone to four times now and each time we used a groupon. I’m sure they’ve lost money on us each time. We didn’t drink.

I don’t think we’ve eaten out and paid full price anywhere lately.

I bought two groupons for one restaurant nearby that basically gave us $15 off each meal. We decided to make the place a regular haunt because we liked the food, but they closed down shortly afterward before the groupons expired. We had used ours, but we found that a lot of people had not had a chance to redeem theirs. I believe Groupon worked out a refund for those people.

However, every other experience with Groupon has been great. We get a good deal and the offers that Groupon has are better suited to my lifestyle than say, LivingSocial.

Yeah, there’s no downside to getting a daily email with deals. They do tend to be good deals if you’re interested in the product or service – I’m never buying a spa treatment but I guess some people like those.

I do get four groupon-like offers a day, plus is always out offering me deals too. I don’t see any point in dining out and not using some kind of discount when so many are available. It’s just food. I may be in the mood for chinese food, but if I have a coupon for pub fare, pub fare it is.

I am still shocked that Groupon is worth $5B, if the rumors are true. It’s a service with an email list and sales people in place in various cities. kind of sucks. I ended up buying a bunch of coupons on there, but once I got my money back going to a few places, I haven’t really bothered since. There’s a shitload of restrictions as to what days you can use them, what time you can use them, what food is covered, how many people need to be in your party and how much you need to spend before the coupon will be accepted. I got one of them to use at a favorite restaurant of mine and didn’t realize until it was too late that I was there on a day when the coupon didn’t apply. They know me there though, so they went ahead and let it go through. Even so, after that I felt like a complete asshole.

My experiences with Groupon have been better than most people here, it seems. I’ve used them a few times for local businesses and every time the people I ended up working with at the business were super happy to see people coming in and buying stuff. None were restaurants, but I’ve still returned to three of the four. The fourth business, a Newbury St place that sells bedding made with down, was more of a one-time expenditure so I really had no need to go back.

Know someone who did groupon for Spurs tickets: 15$. Got some ridiculous seats. They were better than advertised.

Yeah, coupons are too restrictive. The worst part is that they are usually require you to spend $35 and alcohol isn’t included in that amount. It’s not that easy at those places to spend that much if it’s just two people since the entrees are usually about $10. They work better if there are four of you going out, but even then they often aren’t good on Friday and Saturday. I think I only purchased one and have never found another I thought I’d use.

Groupon offered Rams tickets for half price. I went and saw the Rams beat the Chargers. The seats were bad – way up and endzone – but it was still fun to go. And the offer even included a free hot dog and soda. It was a really good deal.

I’ve been to countless new restaurants because they appeared on Groupon. I hope they’re able to hang around.

For our smoothie store in Maryland, we had a pretty good return for the Groupon blast that went out to all the regional stores a few months back, with our manager reporting a decent number of new faces/customers. We’ll probably try them again in the spring to see if we get similar results. The normal coupon mailings that go out with the papers haven’t done much for us.

I’m too lazy to find out what the sections were listed on the Groupon ad, but apparently the actual seats were by the net on the floor. It seems silly but I guess that particular Groupon ticket was just randomly assigned to random seats? I know the dude was worried when he showed up to the stadium with vouchers for seats ‘to be determined.’

And general Groupon talk, I’ve used them in Austin a lot. Usually wind up spending more on drinks after.