Deal Sites Keep Wallets Fat

Alison Pietrykowski, Staff Writer

We’ve all seen the commercials or heard about it from a friend, but not many students know what Living Social and Groupon are. Living Social and Groupon are websites that give you great daily deals on a variety of things, from restaurants to Bikram yoga classes and even vacations.
The way it works is you sign up online (at either livingsocial.com or groupon.com) and enter the nearest city so they can send you deals that pertain to where you live. Everyday you receive an email with new deals you can purchase.
Say one of the deals is at a pizza place you love, and you can get $30 worth of food for $15. You would purchase that deal and $15 would be charged to your credit card. Then Living Social or Groupon would send you a code to show your waiter. Since you’ve already paid your $15, you don’t pay a dime once you’re at the restaurant. Each deal has a limit, which is usually one year.
Other companies such as Yelp and Amazon are copying Living Social and Groupon by offering deals on their websites.
Also, both websites have a bonus for users called, “deal bucks”. You can earn these by referring a friend or being a frequent customer. “Deal bucks” can be used towards any purchases. Almost everywhere you go you can find a Living Social or Groupon fanatic.
Two local fanatics are seniors Hosanna Fuller and Hayley Young. They heard about Living Social through friends and were immediately hooked when they signed up a couple months ago.
“I don’t know why more people don’t use it. Why not save $15 when you go out to dinner,” said Young.
The girls say their favorite thing to do is find deals for their favorite restaurants, or even local ones they’ve been meaning to try.
“The other weekend we tried a new Thai food restaurant that we had a discount to, and fell in love,” said Fuller.
The best deal Fuller has ever purchased was a paintballing package of six admission tickets and gear, which would normally cost $210, for $15.
One thing the girls look forward to trying is one of the vacation deals. They haven’t been able to figure out a good time to get away for a couple of days, but they hope to soon. There are often weekend get away deals to convenient places such as Tahoe, Napa and Sonoma.
“There’s nothing better than finding a great deal to a restaurant you’ve been dying to try. I definitely recommend Living Social and Groupon. People who don’t use it are really missing out,” said Fuller.