The recent social coupon movement takes traditional "couponing" to a whole new level. Forget cutting around the dotted lines on your weekly ads. Online social coupons can be purchased directly through your email account, and they offer huge savings (often 50% or more) on a variety of local products and services.
So here's the idea... Companies work with social coupon sites like Groupon or Living Social to offer special deals to costumers, but only if a predetermined minimum number of people purchase the coupon. If this number is met by the end of the time frame, the deal is on. If not, the deal is off and those that did purchase the coupon are reimbursed--thus the term "social coupon."
It's a win-win situation, great deals for consumers and excellent exposure for companies to a wide, attentive audience. The catch? The coupon sites often take about half of the coupon proceeds, making the deal difficult for companies to front unless their coupon costumers return again and pay full price. But there are still plenty of great deals out there, just don't forget to read the fine print to make sure you really qualify for the deal (often returning customers do not).
There are so many social coupon sites, so here's a round-up of our top 5 to get you started:
- GROUPON The instigator of the social coupon movement. Why Groupon? Easy to use, only one e-mail per day, ability to personalize your deals, $10 referral incentive, iPhone + Android app, excellent customer service.
- LIVING SOCIAL The most social of the online coupon sites. Why Living Social? Refer 3 people to the deal and you get the deal free, extensive variety of deals spanning 89 U.S. cities, only one e-mail per day, iPhone app.
- YELP DEALS The most intuitive place to find deals while searching for local businesses. Why Yelp Deals? Can be purchased directly from business pages on Yelp, not required to sign up for daily e-mails, simple integration with Yelp website or app, longer window of availability.
- DEAL GOODER Cause-related social couponing. Why Deal Gooder? 50% of the coupon sale goes to the local Charity of the Day, only one deal per day per city, available in Orange County and Los Angeles.
- OC REGISTER DEALS Coupons recommended by writers who know Orange County. Why OC Register? Specific to the Orange County area, multiple deals each day based on specific area, easy to use.
For a more extensive list, check out this article. Happy couponing!
Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools