Someone asked me the other day if Groupon was still around. Yes, Groupon lives on still — though it’s moved well beyond the local deals that were the focus of the site’s early days. Today, Groupon is something of a deal aggregator. You can find coupons for local restaurants and day spas still, but you can also shop for discounted products. And when you know the ropes, you can efficiently navigate through Groupon beauty and fashion offerings to snag some deals worthy of a budget-shopping diva.
Groupon Local vs. Groupon Goods
Groupon has three different categories of deals: Groupon Local, Groupon Goods and Groupon Getaways or vacation packages. Groupon Local includes discounts and deals from merchants in a specific city. An example is a 60-minute deep tissue massage for $39, or 61% off, at Harmony Massage in St. Louis.
I’d pay for this deal on Groupon and then present the coupon at Harmony Massage. Depending on where you live, you might have many Groupon Local options, from restaurants to day spas to retailers. All these deals work the same way — you pay Groupon upfront and then present the coupon at the merchant to get your deal. The deals typically have fine print that restricts how and when you can use them too.
Groupon Goods is a slightly different animal. This part of the site functions like any other online store. You search, add items to your cart and checkout directly on Groupon. Returns are free, and if you order at least $34.99 of product and you get free shipping.
Groupon Wants You to Buy Local
Groupon’s roots are in the local deals, and that’s still the site’s focus today. When you first visit Groupon.com, you’ll likely see a giant pop-up that asks you to sign up for deals in your city. My offer included a promo code for 25% off my first Groupon. Note that the 25% off doesn’t work on product purchases, only Local and Getaway deals. And, if you use the search bar that’s prominently displayed at the top of every page, you’ll only be searching the local deals.
Groupon Beauty & Fashion — What to Expect
To get to the Groupon ‘store’ known as Groupon Goods, you have to click on Goods on the menu. Now, prepare to be overwhelmed. The Women’s Fashion category of Groupon Goods has some 26,000 items, most of which is stuff you’d never buy or wear. (Maternity Easter tees? Really?). There are another 27,000 products listed under Health and Beauty. Again, lots of goods you don’t want, like the Bamboo Charcoal Slimming Bodysuit for $12.99.
Navigating through Groupon’s beauty and fashion categories is kind of like turning on the TV to find informercials on every channel. You’ll see many gimmicky-looking products and, hopefully, a few nice finds. Some people love spending hours looking for a deal, but I like efficiency. To me, the very best deals are the ones that don’t take me all day to figure out. So, let’s talk about the easiest ways to find deals on Groupon beauty and fashion products.
Groupon Shopping Strategies
1. Know what you need.
Here’s your warning. Start browsing Groupon without a shopping list and you’ll end up buying things you don’t need. It’s the dealmaker in you — there are literally thousands of products discounted more than 50% and you can easily get sucked into thinking a deal is “too good to pass up.” (Again, the informercial analogy comes to mind.)