Groupon Car Deal Crosses the Line


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


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ashjo85 ashjo85

Don't blame people's craziness on the site. The whole purpose is to see what deals they have going on. If something comes up for a place you do like to frequent, you hit it and get a great deal. For people who spend money responsibly, this is awesome. For people who don't...they are probably also lured in by the red slash of discount at Amazon, or every marketing e-mail to hit their inbox. The service doesn't need to shut down because of those people. The vast majority of Groupon subscribers love it and use it well.

jagam... jagamama0710

Exactly what ashjo85 said. I've bought all of 2 things on groupon bc I have the presence of mind to understand what is a practical deal for me ($10 for a $20 gift card at old navy when I was heading there anyway and a bike ride tour down pike's peak with my husband for a day date) and what is not. 

Don't blame Groupon for people who don't know how to be responsible with their money.

nonmember avatar Peter Fuller

Hey Nicole

It amazes me when I buy stuff I do not need and will never use, so it is no surprise to me people will get addicted to buying discount coupons online.

Hmm, I am in the mood for some Portuguese Chicken, need to go find a coupon :)


meatb... meatball77

I thought that one was funny.  I have no problem talking a dealership into giving me $500 off my car.

KamiB79 KamiB79

I occasionally use Groupon for restaurant deals.

Pnukey Pnukey

I signed up for Groupon, but have yet to use one. I haven't seen any "deals" I couldn't live without, yet.

momka... momkaribg

No i have never used it.

bookl... booklover74

I love groupon but I don't buy deals I won't use. We eat out very infequently mainly because of costs. I do buy an ocassional resturant deal for a date night. i love the movie rental deals. There have been many stores I regularly shop at that I have bought groupons for which simply saved me a whole lot of money. To buy things you will never need just because it is a good deal or to spend money on things you would not normally use is more than a bit nuts and does mean you have a problem. it's not groupons fault though.

elasmimi elasmimi

I do them all, Groupon, Living Social, Plum District, WOW (local), and now I'm getting into heartsy. I do buy only things I will use and have stumbled on some businesses I love and would nevr have known about otherwise.I do feel like those crazy ladies hooked on QVC though.

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