Deal Websites: Would you pay extra to become a VIP on Groupon or Living Social?

coupons Deal Websites: Would you pay extra to become a VIP on Groupon or Living Social?

How many of you use coupon or deal sites to get specials on dining out, spas, hair or fashion? Since Groupon started and succeeded so well with their paid coupon service, many competitor sites have flooded the market.  Now we have Groupon, Living Social (the number two coupon site for deals), YP (Yellow Pages) deals, Amazon deals, Trubates, Spaphile (for Spa deals), Gilt City and Google Offers to name just a few.  I’m rather mercenary in my use of these coupon/deal services. Basically, if there is a deal I like that is unique, I will buy it from the service with the best prices that are convenient to my area.  However, I have to admit that I use Groupon the most for deals, followed by Living Social. One thing I like about Groupon is that they have always refunded the purchase price (Groupon NOW deals are refundable if not used, expired Groupons will usually be honored by the merchant) on a coupon I haven’t used. Likewise, merchants that I had expired Groupon deals with have usually continued to honor the deals.   With the plethora of deal sites, beyond customer service like Groupon offers, how can the sites distinguish themselves? Well, by offering VIP services of course.   Both Groupon and Living Social have emailed “special groups” of their customers and offered them VIP services for an extra fee.  Groupon is offering their VIP service for $30.00 while close competitor Living Social is offering theirs for $20.00 per month.  Living Social Plus is a monthly fee of $20.00 per month, but you get $25.00 of deal bucks to spend each month, which will be credited to your account if you don’t use them.  The Groupon VIP service is $30.00 per year (now in beta) and is all about getting early access to deals, before they are open to the public, and may sell out.

What do you think readers? Would you pay extra for your coupon deals? Or does paying a bit more detract from your overall savings?  The Living Social VIP offer is open via their website, while Groupon’s VIP service was by email invite to select subscribers.

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4 Comments

  1. Sue's Cupcake AdventuresMarch 4, 2012 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Groupon refunds non used coupons? I had 1 groupon expire and I did not use it. Will they refund it? If so how? Do I have to contact them?
    This is why I stopped using groupin because I have purchased coupons and forget to use them. It's like I have threw money away.

  2. MHMarch 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi Sue, yes, I have gotten refunds from Groupons, especially on their Daily Deals also known as Groupon Now. Check this URL for details:

    http://www.groupon.com/pages/universal-fine-print

    The GrouponNows are automatically refunded if unused. From Groupon” . For Groupon Now! vouchers, the promotional value will EXPIRE on the date and time specified in the offer. Groupon assumes that if a Groupon Now! voucher is printed or its barcode viewed in a mobile format, then the voucher was used. If a Groupon Now! voucher is not printed or viewed in a mobile format within 24 hours of the promotional value’s expiration we will automatically process a refund of the amount paid to the purchaser in the original form of payment.”

    For other expired deals, many times the merchant will still honor them if you contact them. You should also contact Groupon customer service to see if they will issue a refund. I have gotten refunds via contacting customer service, so it is worth call.Good luck.

  3. MHMarch 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Sue, when you are in your Groupon account, go to MY GROUPONs and find this language:

    “Did a Groupon expire before you were able to redeem it?

    Don't worry – Even after the promotional value expires, the Groupon is still worth what you paid for it. For example, if you paid $10 for a $20 Groupon, that Groupon will still be worth $10 at the merchant after it's expired. Some exclusions apply. View all of your expired, unredeemed Groupons.”

  4. ClaudiaMarch 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I love Groupon and have had many good experiences with their customer service… however I wouldn't pay just for early access.

    Living Social's VIP program seems more appealing BUT don't know if I'd actually spend the $25 credit monthly.