Groupons, that is Group Coupons, are special offers with very high discounts, valid only if a minimum number of buyers accept to buy whatever was the object of the offer. These offers are only made online from portals like Groupon. According to Italian newspaper Repubblica, all offers on groupon portals follow two basic rules: first, the more people declare they want to buy the same thing, the less they pay; second, the more a good or service and its purchasers are geographically closer to each other, the greater the savings.

A third characteristic of groupons is that they normally have a very short life. Each single coupon stays online no more than 48 hours. Therefore, says Repubblica, it is important to be able do decide quickly. And here, I’d say, lies the trick. I don’t mean that groupons are scams or that they only promote low quality goods or anything of the sort. I just notice that almost all the groupons I’ve received in the few weeks since I registered at Groupon.it give you great discounts on stuff like:

  • 5 go-kart sessions

  • 3 sessions with a personal trainer

  • New Year’s Eve Deluxe party

  • Wellness packages for couples

  • Cosmetics, game and nightlife combo (massage + laser game + cocktail)

  • Entrance for 2 people at a spa, + chef coming to your house to cook dinner

  • Skating rink tickets

  • Hammam peeling and massages for couples

This short listing should make clear what the Groupon trick is, and what’s the weakest part of all proposals like this. That weakest part is you, whenever you become a victim of the enthusiasm and hurry that Groupon and similar network create and, as a consequence, spend more than you would have wanted to spend, or more than you could afford. Surely there are portals, or periods of the year, that are different, but almost all the products I’ve seen on Groupon Italy so far are luxury, superfluous items.

If you really, really wanted to have a Hammam peeling anyway and Groupon gives it to you for, let’s say, 10 Euros instead of 100, then hooray for Groupon! But if you do buy that peeling session only because “it was just 10 Euros o Groupon…” then tomorrow you’ll just have 10 Euros less, and possibly more junk in your closet, even if you didn’t need that at all. Remember this, before clicking!