New Experience #18: Buy a Groupon

Groupon is one of those things that I learned about through osmosis – you know when you’re not really sure when/where/how you first heard about something, but you eventually come to understand enough that you could contribute to dinner party conversation. Other examples include Barack Obama, crocs, and deep fried Oreos.

I really became familiar with Groupon thanks to the store. Recently, area residents had the opportunity to purchase a Groupon to use at the Running Room – spend $25 and you received a $50 off coupon. So I guess I became more familiar with Groupon first from a retailer’s perspective rather than from the customer viewpoint.

I signed up to receive Groupon’s free daily emails when I blogged about Groupon [what I don’t do for blogging!]. My thoughts were that if a Groupon offer became available that I 100% knew I’d use, maybe I’d try purchasing one. What I wanted to avoid: being lured by a great-sounding deal that I’d never, ever use (ex: May 31st’s offer of 75% off laser hair removal, or the June 1st promo of Half Off Water Sport Equipment and Rental – no thanks!).

And for my first purchase attempt, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. [I know Groupon has a great reputation, but you know how it is with the first time you try something new – or maybe this is just me – but I am hesitant until I know the ins and outs of how something works].

It’s always helpful to receive personal feedback, too – friends Lee and Jeannie from the store were the first people with whom I chatted more extensively about Groupon. They got a great deal on a Crossfit Groupon and have been making good use of their twenty sessions. Their good-natured accounts of sore muscles have had me laughing in empathy on more than one occasion!

Well, late last week, a super-awesome PERFECT Groupon email appeared in my inbox:

groupon for old navy? hello! me, me, yes please!!!

Buy the Groupon for $10 and I’d get $20 *spending money* at Old Navy. I knew this was the opportunity I’d been waiting for.

For those of you unfamiliar with Groupon, here’s a quick walk-thru of what I did:

First, Groupons are only available for a limited time, usually 24 hours. So you have time to think about if you want to commit or not. If you’re like me, you thought for 37 seconds a couple hours before diving in.

You do need to create an *account* – basically your email address and a password. You make your purchase using a credit card.

yippee! my first groupon purchase!

UNLIKE signing up for a race online, though, your purchase is not completely instantaneous. That email confirmation (above) stated that within 48 hours, I would receive my Groupon. [This is because a minimum number must be sold in order for everyone to get the offer]. That is the only negative comment I would have – it would be great to know right away that your purchase a done deal, but that’s a small quibble [and a Kiki-thing as that’s just my Type A personality talking].

I got a second email 27 hours later; this one contained my Groupon!

and i am ready to shop!

Another word of advice: make sure you check the fine print BEFORE you purchase. Make sure you are aware of the expiry date. Also, can you use the Groupon on sale items? Is there a minimum purchase amount? [I have to say the Running Room Groupon has more restrictions than this Old Navy one].

I chose to print a paper copy of my Groupon…

and into my backpack it goes!

…but a very cool feature is that you can choose the mobile app. This way, you just flash a version of the Groupon on your Blackberry or iPhone at the sales associate – transaction completed paperfree!

I have until July 31st to use my Groupon. I anticipate buying summer clothing, but the nice thing about Old Navy is the wide selection. Even if I end up just buying more flipflops, it’s not going to go to waste!

So, two thumbs up to the whole concept of Groupon. I’m sold!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Late yesterday afternoon, Gina and I rendez-vous’d at Williams COFFEE Pub. Funny story: I had a regifted regifted (yes, that’s two regifts) gift card, and we had no idea what amount of $ was on the card. Gina and I ordered drinks:

gina's smoothie and my coffee - 1st time trying william's coffee - loved it!

Our total came to $5.32. Guess how much was on the card?! $5! That worked out well!

Yesterday was an A+ weather day, so we sat outside. We both love the sun. We took time for photos, first – for the blogs, of course!

self portrait action!

So while this was great coffee, it doesn’t hold a candle to our time together. 2.5 hours later, we reluctantly said good-bye. 😦

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but our friendship began when we were five years old. That is really something. ♥ Gina ♥, can’t you please move back to Ontario ♥ ♥ ♥!?! Thank goodness we have blogs, emails, and facebook to keep us together across the miles!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Have you ever used a Groupon? This will not be my last purchase, of that I am sure!

What was your weather like this weekend? We had a crazy-scary storm on Saturday a.m., but Sunday was a dreamboat of a day!

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  • Dorry  On June 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I’ve had some great experiences with Groupon! Yoga classes, restaurants, etc. You’re right about reading the fine print, though. There can be some tricks. 🙂

  • Zo  On June 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I’ve never bought a groupon, but I benefited from a friend’s groupon (to a restaurant). I’m definitely more intrigued.

    The weather was actually pretty nice this weekend. It looked like it might rain/storm yesterday, but it didn’t happen.

  • Nicole  On June 6, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I purchased that exact same groupon! -and it was my first time too. I wasn’t aware that it took a certain number of people buying it though. I can’t wait for the Mac daddy of all groupons- I’m not sure what that will be yet but I’ll know it when I see it!

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      yippee! great minds think alike! 🙂 we’re getting enough old navy groupon buyers, locally, that we can go shopping + out for coffee and make it a party!

  • Lisa  On June 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Congrats on your first groupon! I have bought many of them…and honestly, I wasted one for a facial. I knew the expiration date, and it was just that one more thing I couldn’t schedule…now I have a renewed vow to only buy things I’ll definitely use!

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      oh, man, that is too bad about the lost facial, lisa! chock it up to experience, eh! i would not do well with short timeframes – glad the old navy groupon is good til the end of july!

  • Johanna B  On June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Never bought a groupon or any of those online coupon deals. Have seen some good ones though.

    Weather this weekend? Hot and muggy. Heat index around the triple digits. Glad I have A/C in my bedroom/bath area.

  • Johanna  On June 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I bought the very same Old Navy Groupon, Cath – and it was my first one too! Did you end up getting if for free as well? With an additional $10 promotional coupon I got shortly after signing up I got the whole thing for zero dollars – a good deal if you ask me.

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

      haha, maybe we should go to old navy together, then! i missed using the promo coupon because it expired june 1 and i decided to groupon (yes, let’s make that a verb!) on june 2 – realized my error that day. 😦 glad you scored $20 for $0, though!!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg  On June 6, 2011 at 7:41 am

    The weather was just HOT all weekend — better than the cold, thats for sure, but it would have been nice to have a cloud or two 🙂

    I’ve only bought a few Groupon deals — like you I was nervous at first!

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