The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Coupon sharing sites popular with students

By Leah Bonsworth/ne news editor

NW student Timmy Himpaphanh stays wide-eyed into the night awaiting the stroke of midnight and the fresh daily coupons this hour brings.

“It’s when the new offers come out,” he said. “I stay up late anyway, so I like to look at the new deals for the day.”

Himpaphanh is part of a worldwide fad that offers the public colossal discounts through online social business networks like Groupon and LivingSocial.

Groupon, launched in 2008, and LivingSocial, launched in 2007, are social commerce websites that offer daily discounts — 50 percent off or more sometimes — at local restaurants, spas, retailers and sporting events. Consumers have access to the discounted offers through e-mail and smart phone applications.

According to Groupon.com, its daily deals are available in “over 500 markets and 44 countries.” And they have reached TCC students.

Himpaphanh said he usually purchases coupons for restaurants so he can enjoy new dining experiences at bargain prices. His most recent purchase cost him $20 for $50 worth of food at Dish, a Dallas restaurant.

NE student Rhiannon Saegert works at a restaurant in Southlake and said coupon websites have caused “an explosion of business” over the last six months after the restaurant put discounted offers online.

“It brought in a lot of business,” she said. “Just about every shift I work, people are using Groupons.”

Once a coupon is purchased, the buyer is not required to use it immediately. They are typically active for several months or up to a year after purchase.

“It’s a good savings technique,” Himpaphanh said. “I buy them and then just save them up to use later.”

He said he purchased a coupon for The Body Shop a few weeks ago, and he now has a Mother’s Day gift taken care of for this year.

Not all daily deal users are regular buyers. Some, like NE student Sumit Soni, are subscribers but purchase only specific coupons they are looking for or that are especially appealing.

“I just check it a couple of times,” he said.

Soni said he has purchased only one Groupon, a two-for-one admission to Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, since signing up.

NE student Trace Herchman works for a medical supply service and said the company is currently working on a deal with Groupon.

“It’s free, personalized marketing,” he said. “It will reach the buying market that traditional advertising would not reach effectively.”

Herchman said his company is doing this to boost brand recognition and with the intention of establishing repeat customers who might then purchase more.

“It’s a customer relation kind of thing,” he said.

North Richland Hills restaurant Añejo House of Tequila offered a Groupon in September that offered buyers $30 worth of food and drinks for $15.

“There were 976 bought in one day,” said Añejo operations manager Jorge Pulido.

He said the restaurant was new to the area at the time the discount was offered, so they were aiming to make the location more known.

“It benefited us because we were new and looking to establish a customer core,” Pulido said. “It got our name out there, letting the everyday person know about us.”

Subscribers are sent e-mail notifications about each daily deal, and the offer is usually available for 24 hours before it is discontinued and replaced by a new offer.

“Every now and then, there’s something good that pops up,” said NE student James McKinney who has used both Groupon and LivingSocial. “I like it because I’m cheap.”

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