Credit: Wikimedia Commons--Public Domain

What is Groupon?
Groupon is a group coupon site (Get it? Group-on).  Everyday Groupon has dozens of daily deals and offers available for purchase that will save you money.  Once you sign up, they will send you e-mails with all of the daily deals they have to offer.  Typically, the e-mail sent to you will have offers specifically targeted to you based upon where you love with offers from local merchants in your neighborhood. However, you will also receive e-mails with National deals from online retailers or for vacations.  These daily deal offers that you receive via e-mail are often for savings of 50-90% off the retail price at local restaurants, salons, stores, and more.  Groupon also offers discounts and deals on vacations and merchandise

How Can Groupon Offer Such Great Deals?
They are able to offer these deep discounts to their members by harnessing the power of group buying (hence the group coupon name and the term "social buying" site).  Because retailers know that they are guaranteed a certain amount of customers and a flood of potential new customers, they are willing to offer their products and services at a steep discount.  They have the upside of a a new customer and who could potentially turn into a longtime and loyal client while you are offered deep discounts and savings--it's a win-win!

Groupon Now!
In addition to offering daily deals via e-mail, Groupon also features "Groupon Now" deals which allow you to enter a zip code into their site and explore offers for discounts on food, drinks, salons, shows, exercise, shopping, classes, and more available in the area at that moment!  These offers are only available for a short time and after purchasing the voucher, it must be used on the same day of purchase and typically within a small window of time (usually a few hours). 

Where Is Groupon Available?
Groupon is available in hundreds of cities and metro areas across the United States and throughout the world. Certain cities, such as New York City, are so large that they offer targetted Groupons for different neighborhoods throughout the city.  For example, there are several different New York City neighborhoods that you can sign-up to receive e-mails and notifications for, such as Uptown NYC, Downtown NYC, Brooklyn, etc...  You are not limited to signing up for only one city or neighborhood on Groupon and can receive e-mails for deals and offers from multiple neighborhoods and multiple cities, even if you don't live there but happen to travel there frequently. 

Groupon Clones--Similar Sites
Groupon and its group coupon buying platform is so popular that it has spawned numerous "Groupon clones" that offer similar group coupons and daily deals such as LivingSocial or Eversave.  In addition to these spin-offs, now the "big boys" are getting in on the daily deal sites with everyone from Google to Amazon to Yelp offering their own daily deals and group coupons.