Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: To Groupon or Not to Groupon?

During the Holiday Season group buying sites like Groupon become more popular, helping people save money at the places where they buy their gifts. But is it okay to give someone a coupon as a gift without seeming cheap? To answer this question you have to first answer three different questions:

1. Is it a cheap or unexciting gift?
Group buying sites offer amazing discounts on expensive things, but they also offer discounts on smaller things. For example, the other day I recieved a notification from LivingSocial for 50% off on 5 Big Macs and 5 large fries from McDonald's. Although it's a good deal (and a bulk buy), it might not be the best gift for some people because they can go to a McDonald's whenever they want. The answer to giving coupons like this would normally be a "No". All in all it depends on the person. I'm sure Don Gorske would appreciate a McDonald's coupon like this very much.

2. Is it something they have to participate in?
Many times a week, group buying sites offer deals on activities like bowling, whale cruises, and trips to the spa. These types of coupons are usually okay to give as gifts because it can be something your gift recipient has always wanted to do or the activities are normally expensive. For example Groupon San Diego is currenlty offering $25 for a $65 ticket to the Poinsettia Bowl football game, $39 for a $110 fitness class, and $32 for $80 worth of hair treatments and wine at a salon. These are all examples of acceptable gifts and each group buying site has something for every budget. The answer to this question would be a "Yes".

3. Is it something you can do yourself?
Gift buying sites sometimes offer deals for merchandise at stores.  Such as $48 for an $80 curling iron. While it would be acceptable to give the coupin directly to the gift recipient, it would be more courteous to use the coupon to buy the curling iron yourself and directly give the person their gift. The answer to this question could go both ways but it would be safer to go with "No".

Any questions or comments? Leave them below!

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