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As a bargain lover, the words “50% to 90% off” send electric shivers up my spine. And the knowledge that I can get such deep discounts on hip places to eat, drink, play, and shop in my own neighbourhood made me an instant fan of Groupon.
Groupon, short for “group coupon,” uses its collective buying power to offer its followers one very enticing coupon each day. Simply choose your city—Groupon has Canadian operations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto—and provide your e-mail address to receive the daily deal.
These, my friends, are no ordinary coupons. These are major discounts—at least 50% off and up to 90%—on desirable products and services. Most involve fun activities like dining out, going to a spa or fitness club, seeing a show, and other outings. If you buy in, you can use the coupon yourself or give it as a gift.
Here are the deals Groupon Vancouver has offered me since I signed up to receive their messages earlier this week:
- $35 for a one-year membership with Vancouver Zipcar car-sharing service, including a $50 driving credit. That’s 73% off the regular price of $130.
- $8 for a coupon worth $18 in food and drinks at Vancouver’s Wallflower Modern Diner.
- $10 for two tickets to “The Universe in a Night” planetarium program on Saturday nights at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (a $22.56 value, including taxes).
- $60 for four fitness workout classes at Tantra Fitness, normally worth $120.
- $36 for deluxe afternoon tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver; 50% off the regular $72 price. (Yow! $72 for tea and crumpets?)
There is only one catch to Groupon’s daily deal: enough people must opt in to buy the featured item for the deal to go through. This encourages buyers to spread the word about the bargain to others, which ensures that Groupon can deliver a really huge boost in business to its clients in exchange for the primo discounts. Pretty clever, huh?
There is no fee to register for Groupon, so you really have nothing to lose by signing up.