I hate admitting this, but I have purchased $30 in Groupons this week. One of those Groupons was from Groupon Portland, demonstrating that I’ll go out of my way to see what kind of deals they’re offering in other cities. I’m not alone in the Groupon obsession; a story I watched earlier this week on Nightline stated that Groupon has more than 11 million active subscribers and has saved them more that $488 million.
As a woman under age 35 and living in a city, I also learned that I fit right into the Groupon niche. Those of us in this demographic make up 70% of Groupon users. Yet, the more I think about it, did this service really help to save $488 million? Do I really need $40 worth of mail order brownies or $25 in Asian cuisine? I don’t. They’re impulse buys that I justify to myself because it’s “a good deal,” but it stops being a good deal when I have $100 worth of stuff in my Groupon account that don’t really need.
From this realization, I have come up with three questions I will ask myself before any Groupon purchase:
- Is this something I would buy anyway?
- Do I have room in my budget to justify buying this Groupon?
- Is it from a reputable business that I already patronize (or have seriously thought about visiting?)*
If the answer of any of these questions is “no,” I’m going to put the mouse down and step away from the Groupon. I still think they can be great, but only when they lead to genuine savings for non-impulse buys. Have you ever had Groupon remorse?