Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Groupon Hits San Diego

My friend Paul Bowers turned me on to this new discount site. Groupon launched last November and operates in about two dozen cities, including San Diego. The idea is that everyday, they offer a potential discount for events, services, activities, what have you in a specific city. We're talking everything from teeth cleaning and sky diving to Segway tours, manicures, and tennis lessons. Eclectic! For food lovers, this can mean restaurants, cooking classes, and other food-related discounts.

The concept is pretty interesting; it's all about collective buying power. Each day, Groupon posts a new deal with the discount listed and the number of people required to sign up for it for the deal to go into effect. Like it? Sign up, give your credit card info and the like, and wait to see if enough like-minded people do the same before the midnight deadline. The next morning, if enough people joined in, you'll get a printable gift certificate with redemption instructions in your email inbox. If not, the deal is canceled and you won't be charged for anything.

Recently 660 Groupons bought $15 worth of food, dessert, and wine for $5 at San Diego Desserts. In other deal, 824 bought a $25, two-hour Hornblower San Diego Harbor Tour for $12. Not bad.

Groupon claims they've saved people $10 million so far. I haven't yet signed up to buy anything, but everyday I get an email message with that day's deal and I'm hoping something comes up soon that I want to buy. I think it's worth checking out.


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