Make your own group coupon

Groupon, America's fastest growing company ever, has brought couponing into the mainstream. In case you've been under a rock for the past year, Groupon is a group couponing site that offers a deal-a-day in cities around the world.  The group part comes in because the deal are only "on" when enough people opt-in.  With the site's popularity, getting enough people to join in on the deal isn't very hard.  In fact, many deals sell out within a few short hours.

More than 27 million people in North America receive Groupon's daily emails.  A total of 28 million Groupons have been bought so far saving coupon users more than $1,175,000,000. And Groupon isn't the only group couponing site that is doing well.  For example, a popular coupon caused the group couponing site Living Social's traffic to surge by 80%.  Other popular sites include Dealster, BuyWithMe, and SocialBuy

Personally, I am a fan of group couponing and have participated in several deals. My favorite was 50% off a membership to the Botanical Gardens that I got just in time to see the holiday lights. But what I'm even happier about is that I've discovered that I can put together group deals all on my own.

While group coupons through a website/email are great, they don't always offer what you want when you want it. For these instances, I recommend you gather the troops and leverage your collective buying power. In other words, create your own Groupons.

Group discounts are available on more things than you might think. While I doubt that a large retailer will give you a discount on a purchase just because your friends shop there too, you'd be surprised at the number of places that will give a good deal to your group. Group discounts are readily available for airfare, hotel rentals, and tickets to movies and shows. You can also get great group pricing on tickets to theme parks, zoos, museums, and sporting events.

It may sound hard to gather enough people to qualify for a discount; however, most discount givers are pretty generous with their definition of a 'group.' A quick web search saved my friends and I $11 each on ski lift tickets -- and it only took eight people to qualify as a group! Recently, I registered three people for a professional conference and got more than 10% knocked off the price just for asking.

If you can't get a group discount, don't be shy about asking for other types of discounts.  Discounts are readily available for students, senior citizens, and children.  You should also ask for discounts that might be associated with membership organizations, such as AAA.  


Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

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