Here are the basics (from the Groupon website)
1.Each day we feature something cool to do at an unbeatable price.
2.You only get it if enough people join that day… so invite your friends!
3.Check back the next day for another awesome Groupon!
Still have questions? Here's a bit more of an explanation from my own experiences with Groupon...
One of the coolest deal sites I've found is Groupon! It's a great way to save money on all kinds of LOCAL things from spas, to restaurants, to retail shops!
Each 'Deal of the Day' is specific to your area. When you sign up for a Groupon account, you're asked to select your city and enter your email address. This is how you find out about the Deal of the Day for your city. If you sign up for a Groupon account (which is free) you will receive a daily email letting you know the 'Deal of the Day'. You just sign in at their website Groupon then if you want to 'do the deal' for the day you click buy. If enough people say they will buy it, the deal is 'on'. You only pay if there are enough people who want that day's deal.
An example for a deal that was offered for my area was $25 for $50 worth of stuff at Gap! I, of course, bought it! Once you buy it, and enough other people decide to buy that deal's day too, you get an email saying the deal went through. Then, and only then, do you pay. After that, you just go to the website and print out the Groupon. When you're ready to use it, you take your print out (aka Groupon) to the store/restaurant/spa and give it to them. Each one has it's own 'fine print' that you should read before you buy it but for the most part, there aren't that many restrictions. Each one usually is good for an entire year from the date of purchase. Every Groupon I've bought for a restaurant you can even use towards liquor.
I was kind of unsure about using Groupon the first time I did it but when we went to the restaurant and they saw me holding the my Groupon, they knew exactly what it was. I haven't ever had a problem using one.
Also, if you do sign up and get a Groupon, be sure to tell everyone you know about it and give them you're referal link. Groupon will credit your account with $10 for each person who signs up and uses it and there's no limit on how many referals you can make! Happy Shopping!