Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Today, saving money is easier than ever for shoppers. With the click of a mouse, thousands are cashing-in on deals of the day, with the Groupon craze.
When it comes to getting a good deal, reading the fine print is a must.
From Super Bowl ads, to daily e-mails, Facebook and twitter posts, to special apps on your iPhone, sites like groupon.com are cashing-in on helping consumers save money through on-line deals.
"Groupon drives hundreds of thousands of consumers to your restaurant, or your spa, or your salon, or your rock climbing studio," said Kelsey O'Neill, Groupon Spokeswoman.
Groupon launched its first site in Chicago in November 2008.
Now, the site is available in 500 markets in 41 countries.
It expanded to Wichita in May 2010.
"We have saved local users over $3 million to date, and have worked with over 300 local businesses," said O'Neill.
The deals do not stop at Groupon.
Sites like homerunsavings.com, livingsocial.com and getmyperks.com also offer 50% to 90% discounts on entertainment, restaurants, shopping and services.
About a year ago, Carolyn Erickson joined the group coupon craze, launching wichitaonthecheap.com.
An extension of citiesonthecheap.com, it's a site that puts all the local deals on one webpage.
"There are so many deal sites, that you could spend all day trying to find the good deals, and trying to track them down, and that's what I do," said Erickson.
Beware, just because good deals are available on dozens of sites every day, does not mean they are all for you.
"A lot of people will hear something is on sale, and automatically assume it's a good deal," said Jim Graham, President of Kansas Council on Economic Education.
Graham says Groupon deals can be just as 'costly' as store sales.
"We hear lots of cases of people who, so to speak, go broke saving money, because they think it's a good deal, so they just keep buying, and they buy things they don't really need, and in some cases things they don't want, so, they spend money they don't have on just what they think is a good deal," said Graham.
If it's a deal you know you need or will use, a group coupon could save you big bucks.
If you'd like to check out these group coupon sites, just click on the words "Related Link" below this story.