grouponThe mother of all Groupon deals has just arrived. And I have a feeling it's the teeny-tiny tip of the iceberg. This week, the site posted its first-ever deal for a car. The offer -- pay $199 for $500 toward the purchase or lease of a new or pre-owned vehicle at a Detroit car dealership -- expires December 31, 2011. So, no need to rush into things.

See, 'cause that's what we normally do with these coupon sites, be it Groupon, LivingSocial, or Gilt, we rush into things. We see one big price slashed out and replaced with another smaller price and we instantly hit "Buy" no matter how much or little we need the thing.

I don't need to tell you that it's exhilarating scoring a deal. We feel like we've beat the system, gotten one up on the man. I can't tell you how many Urban Outfitters t-shirts I've snatched up just because they're "buy one, get the second one half off," or about the flood of obscure (read: disgusting) coffee brands I've come home with just because they were marked off.

And with Groupon, it's even easier. There's no standing in line, there's no leaving your house; all you have to do is hit a button. For some, it's actually become somewhat of an addiction.

For a moment in time, I saw glimmers of it in my husband, a man hard-pressed to resist a good deal. His learning of the discount site LivingSocial is what triggered it. One night, between hems and haws of us trying to decide where to go for dinner, he suddenly got a burst of energy. "Oh!" he exclaimed. "I forgot about this deal I bought. I paid $25 for $50. Let's go there." This was weird, as he normally doesn't make purchases like that without consulting me first. In the weeks that followed, I learned that he purchased a month of yoga, another restaurant deal, something having to do with coffee, and flowers for me (aw). He spent a lot of money (he wouldn't have otherwise) spent, though. So I Googled.

Turns out Groupon addictions do exist. People are even purchasing deals they never redeem! Think of them as modern-day versions of the crazy ladies who purchase everything the Home Shopping Network advertises.

And now I am brought back to my opening statements of this post: The car. Although it sounds like a pretty good deal -- and sure beats the hell out of haggling with a salesman -- it will probably only open the door further to people's Groupon addiction.

And a car is a much bigger purchase than flowers.

Do you use Groupon?

 

Image via Groupon/Flickr