Do you really need Groupon? How about LivingSocial, in which Amazon.com (AMZN) has invested hundreds of millions of dollars?
If you answered “yes,” you’re among a shrinking minority.
Groupon is meeting with bankers and investors this week to revise its IPO filing. The company that was once valued at more than $20 billion is now seeking to go public at a $12 billion valuation, The Wall Street Journal reports. Market conditions and company mistakes were cited as reasons for the adjustment in the Journal story, but demand may also be a factor.
Daily Deals Falling Short
In its home cities of Chicago, Boston, and Berlin, Groupon sold fewer deals in the third quarter than in the quarter before. The implication? Tanning and cheap pub fare only goes so far when it comes to selling daily deals.
And let’s be honest. Most Groupons aren’t meant for us; they’re meant for retailers. Groupons offer a way to entice average Janes and Joes to try something they otherwise wouldn’t. Grouponing is for adventure seekers.
Couponing, on the other hand, is for smart shoppers.
The Proven Money-Saving Model: Couponing
As Groupon grapples with mounting competition from Amazon and Google’s (GOOG) new Offers service, why not take a look at the couponing sites that have spent years saving consumers oodles of moola? Here are five to get you started:
It claims to have coupons for more than 130,000 stores. Users post and vet coupons offered by merchants, including some obscure deals. Printable and grocery coupons are also featured, organized by ZIP code. The beauty? You need not sign up in order to save.
A free portal that requires signing up, but each purchase kicks back a certain percentage into a qualified 529 college savings account. Preferred partners will always offer larger payments, but you can still create a meaningful stash for your offspring by purchasing just what you need.
Another free service that specializes in grocery couponing. Beware, though, the site is geared toward the obsessive. Only those willing to build a system on the order of what site founder Stephanie Nelson recommends can expect to glean much value.
The way to Groupon without clogging your email inbox. YipIt aggregates and recommends the best daily deals based on where you live. As of this writing, 728 services covering 93 cities feed into YipIt’s database.
For the cheapskate diner. Enter either a ZIP code or destination city to find offers to buy gift certificates at a discount. Where we are, a $25 credit to a Latin American bistro my wife and I particularly enjoy sells for just $10. Registered users can also make reservations online.
Know of a great couponing site that wasn’t covered here? Leave it in the comments box below.
Motley Fool contributor Tim Beyers owned shares of Google at the time of publication. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Amazon.com and Google.
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