What: Clipping coupons from a newspaper is so last year. The newest trend in recession-era shopping is group coupons, which can be found online—at sites like What’s the Deal, Groupon, and LivingSocial’s Visual Bookshelf on Facebook—and used anywhere from clothing stores to fancy restaurants and spas. After signing up online, customers get daily emails about special coupons for retailers in their area, which they can then print out and use.
What They Say:
“From our perspective it seems to be a real paradigm shift in the amount people are saving, and their behaviors and habits are shifting a bit. People are more cognizant in wanting to take part in a deal,” said LivingSocial co-founder Tim O’Shaughnessy. “Local merchants are thinking of how can we bring customers into the doors. We marry those two together.”
What We Say: Group coupons are a great way to save money and find out about new restaurants or shops you may not have heard of before. Just be sure not to buy products you wouldn’t otherwise need, since some “great deals” can actually make shoppers spend more money in the long run.