Daily Deals, Deal Sites

Many of us have done it.  At the time, bunging jumping from a hot air balloon hovering over a volcano for only $50 sounded like a great idea…thank you Groupon!  However, eleven months have passed, and with only one month to go before your deal of the century expires, you’re no longer terribly excited about the prospect of dangling from a rubber band over hot molten lava.  Not wanting your Groupon to go unused, you wonder what to do?

I am guilty of being in this situation more than once since Groupon pioneered the online daily-deal model a few years ago.  Flight lessons, massages, that new restaurant down the street…I have bought them all.  Some, unfortunately, have gone unused.  We all change our minds on things, and what once sounded like a great deal may not be once you actually stop and think about it.  Instead of just letting your money go to waste, though, you do have options if you find yourself stuck with a Groupon you no longer want.

First off, if you figure out you don’t actually want the Groupon within seven days of purchasing it, their policy does state that you may return it for a full refund, barring any fine print in the actual coupon.  In my experience, the fine print rarely states such restrictions, so I would suggest trying that first.  I have heard mixed reviews about customer service at Groupon, but in situations like this, it is best to try and deal directly with the company before trying other methods.  Given the competition in the daily-deal space these days, it is certainly in their best interest to keep you happy.

Another option for your unused Groupon is to try and sell it on the secondary market.  A number of websites have popped up recently that help connect buyers and sellers of unwanted deals.  One popular site is DealsGoRound.com.  This site allows you to easily create an account, and then has the ability to synchronize with your active accounts from sites such as Groupon, Living Social, Tippr and a number of other deal sites.  If users have an unused Groupon in their account, they can simply list it for sale on DealsGoRound, and if it is purchased, they will be paid the list price less a 10% service fee through a PayPal account.  The service is free to join, and also allows you to filter deals by your local city, as well as nationally. 

CoupRecoup.com is another site that is very similar to DealsGoRound, albeit with a bit of a Craigslist twist.  While still bringing together buyers and sellers, it allows for direct communication between the two parties, and if the buyer allows, a best offer can be made as opposed to the listing price.  CoupRecoup also allows deals from a number of sites to be posted for sale, but streamlines the process for Groupon, Living Social, Fresh Guide, Social Buy and Tippr.  Additionally, payment facilitation is left up to the buyer and seller, whereas DealsGoRound takes you directly to PayPal.

If you want to try and stay local, and don’t mind a bit of e-mail back and forth, you can always try Craigslist as well.  While anyone who has used the service knows that the process can be a bit more involved, it may be a good idea, as potential buyers may not always think to use one of the sites mentioned above, and let’s be honest…you can find pretty much anything on Craigslist these days!  It is also important to remember that even if your Groupon expires, it is their policy that the dollar amount paid for the original deal remains valid at the place of business.  So while the $20 you spent may no longer get you the one hour massage worth $60, it can still be used for a cheaper service.  Scalp massage anyone?