7 Things You Should Know About Groupons

The money-saving phenomenon’s food-focused reputation obscures some of its most useful features.

By + More

[For more money-saving tips, visit the U.S. News Alpha Consumer blog.]

5. It might get you to spend more money, not less. You might not even be thinking about buying a cupcake or splurging on a massage until you see a tempting offer come in from Groupon. The power of suggestion can get you to spend more, not less. But for users who had already planned to spend the money, there's only upside. Burke found her Gap coupon right before she had planned on buying jeans anyway. "I would tell people not to buy a Groupon just because it's a good deal. Make sure it's actually something you would use before buying it," she says.

6. Users aren't your typical coupon clippers; in fact, they make a lot of money. Most Groupon users are women (77 percent), work full time, and about half are single. About half earn over $70,000 a year and 29 percent earn more than $100,000, according to Groupon.

7. Groupon developed out of a charity site. Groupon grew out of ThePoint.com, a site for collective action and charity work. It allows people to start and promote campaigns, the same way Groupon promotes discounts. While the company has focused on Groupon recently, Mossler says it is now starting to revitalize The Point.