Groupon Android app focused on the frugal

by Tim McLain

If you’re serious about getting great deals on things to do, buy, see, and eat in one of 65 U.S. cities, Groupon is for you. Launch the free app daily to see the daily deal, access your purchased Groupons, and find new ones nearby.

Recent deals from my area (Raleigh, NC) included combo deals on golf lessons, a bucket of golf balls, and a flat discount on items purchased at a local driving range; $10 off the purchase of $20 worth of quality steaks and other meats from a local butcher shop; 50 percent off a massage, and more.

The most compelling element of Groupon isn’t the “coupons” offered, but the “group” purchasing concept. Local businesses set a hard number on how many people must buy a special deal before it’s activated. This guarantees a set number of customers, and encourages early purchasers to spread the word to local friends and family via email or their Twitter and Facebook accounts to be sure the offer is activated by day’s end.

If you see a daily deal you wish to purchase via the app, clicking “Buy” connects you to the company’s website, where you can complete the sale. (Hence the reason many are calling the app “read only” – there’s currently no checkout function built into the app.)

You can even redeem purchased Groupons and see side deals using the app; just click “More Deals” in the menu.

If you’re already a Groupon addict, you may find it easier to simply bookmark their existing website on your home computer, or sign up for their morning email alerts to see each day’s deal.

The smartphone app is, of course, the best way to check on the daily deal when you’re on the go. Keep in mind, if you frequently travel to the cities covered by Groupon, your phone will use your GPS to get a lock on your current location and show you local deals.