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We have made some serious savings through using Groupon, on experiences we thought we would never have. It’s not that we are spending money that we wouldn’t have otherwise, it’s that it opens up opportunities to try something different.
Please note – this is not a sponsored post, we just have a genuine love for using Groupon and saving lots of money!
As we continue exploring and have more and more experiences, we’ll write reviews on the Groupons that we use. Not only will it save us money, but hopefully it will save you money too on a fantastic experience. We’ll be honest and upfront so you know exactly what to expect. We’ve had good and bad experiences and feel it is good to share, so you can make your own mind up.
We have already stayed in hotels and been on cruises for a fraction of the full website price, had amazing experiences in restaurants, wineries and cafes and found activities that we love such as boat trips and water activities at well below the normal price. There were also some that we didn’t even know existed.
Some companies may offer ‘Groupon only’ products or services, so they know who their Groupon customers are, but it’s not in their best interest to treat them any differently to other customers. This wouldn’t be a true reflection of their brand.
The only time that we have thought we may have got a different level of service was staying in the Novotel hotel in Darling Harbour, Sydney. This deal has now ended, but it may come up again in the future.
The room was fine, perhaps in a need of a lick of paint and few tiny bits of maintenance, but it just felt like these were rooms that were not quite up to their normal standard, or as advertised anyway.
This wasn’t an issue for us, it was still a great weekend away in a stunning location, we just had this feeling about it. And we would stay there again.
Groupon gets a bit of a hard time with merchants. Businesses need to be savvy on how and what they promote so it also becomes a good deal for them as well as the customer. Brand awareness and relationship building are the biggest wins for business, whilst customers enjoy their products or services. As a customer though, just be aware that those that are savvy, will try and encourage extra sales through cross-sale promotions or surcharges.
Hotels often charge surcharges at the weekend so check this out first. Just compare it to the normal price of staying there first, as most rooms do increase in cost Friday and Saturdays.
How to get the most out of your Groupon
We personally only buy experiences from Groupon. Those such as experiences, stays, activities and food and drink. However, that is mainly because we are on a minimalist drive, and don’t buy much in the way of consumer goods or products anymore. We much prefer the experiences in life.
Whether you are buying a product or service (experience), do your own research first. Check out the reviews on Google; check out the company website – how do they stack up against the Groupon offer. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find it’s a great deal.
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Read the fine print
We cannot emphasise this enough. Read the fine print. This isn’t to put you off, it’s just it will make a difference in how easily you can redeem the Groupon.
To make it hassle and stress-free, check availability and book in advance. Sometimes last minute doesn’t always work. Hotels, spas, restaurants all have limited capacity on each day and if there is a rush towards the end of the Groupon expiry date, you might find yourself out of luck with the clause ‘subject to availability’.
Groupon does offer a ‘Booking Guarantee’ but you need to take this up with 7 days of purchase if you cannot get your preferred dates. They will offer a full refund.
Contact the company offering the deal before buying if you are not sure you can use the Groupon when they want to. They don’t want anything to go wrong either, so most times will be happy to help.
The fine print will tell you exactly where, when, how, why, who and what underwear you should wear when booking (well, maybe not the last bit but close enough). As long as you take this in and it all works for you, great. If you don’t read it and come up against a problem later because of this fine print, you may find it difficult to get a refund.
This fine print is done for a reason – so everyone knows what to expect and how to redeem. A lot of Groupons are sold so it is difficult for them to bend the rules. If you are in serious doubt, call the company offering the deal. Hopefully they will want your custom and try to help out where they can.
Here is a wrap up of our tips:
- Do you own research on the company offering the deal
- Check out Groupon and online reviews (including ours!)
- Read the fine print, twice
- Check for any surcharges or additional costs involved (such as weekend rates or post & packaging costs)
- For services, check availability online through the Groupon website, or if not an option, contact the company offering the deal. Also consider the different buy options, sometimes there are a few
- For products, check how many days you have between buying the Groupon to purchasing the product before the voucher code expires
- Read the fine print again
- Understand how you redeem the Groupon, whether online, by email or telephone
- Book ahead for services. Groupon works much easier when booked in advanced versus. last minute
- Check all the details such as highlights, what you get, details, location, etc and make sure you are happy with them all
- Check what the refund/return policy is
- If you are not sure about anything, check out their FAQ’s or contact Groupon direct for more information
- Purchase the Groupon option you want
- Wait for the confirmation email, which is often instantly, and will include how to redeem
- And lastly, enjoy, knowing you have saved money along the way!
If you lose the email or for some reason it doesn’t come through, you can log in to Groupon and find your voucher codes under your ‘My Groupons’ section.
Groupons open up some amazing experiences (or products) that make them more affordable, and at the same time having that feeling of saving money.
Make the most of the opportunities as these deals do come to an end, so don’t miss out.
Check out our reviews so far on Groupon experiences
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What has your experience of Groupon been? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!