What is a Groupon?

Groupon has gotten a lot of publicity lately, but you may wonder “What is a Groupon?”.  A Groupon is a discounted gift certificate, and could be for anything from a restaurant meal or haircut, to sky-diving or a sushi making class.

A new deal is offered each day.  The discount is usually 50% or more.  Let’s take a look at a recent Chicago Groupon to see an example of what a Groupon offers:


  • Your cost.  This is what you’d pay to get the Groupon.  Groupon accepts credit cards or gift codes as payment methods.  It doesn’t yet take Paypal, though may in the future.
  • Certificate value.  This is what the certificate is worth when you take it to Café Bionda restaurant in Chicago.
  • Time counter.  You can only buy Groupons for a limited time - usually one day, occasionally two or three days.
  • Fine print.  This is important to read before you buy.  It will list the expiration date of the certificate, and limitations, such as what time of day you can use it, or how many you can use per table.  Usually the Groupon cannot be used to cover tax or tip.  All those details will be listed here.
  • More Groupons.  Lately, Groupon has been offering more than one Groupon per day.  Other choices are listed in the sidebar, just click to get details on what those Groupons offer.

Now that you know what a Groupon is, we’ll next show you step-by-step how to get a Groupon.