We’ve all seen some of the amazing deals we can get from Groupon, but many of us end up buying deals we simply don’t want or have time to use. According to Yipit, a site that collects data regarding the purchase and use of Groupon deals – as well as those from other daily deal sites – the percentage of Groupons that expire before they are used by the buyer is as high as 15%.
So, what happens to those unused Groupon deals after they have expired? Are you out the money you spent altogether? In some cases, you may be able to recoup the money you spent or extend the life of your Groupon deal by employing a few simple strategies.
What Is an Expired Deal Worth?
After the expiration date, the Groupon deal only loses its promotional value, or the full value of the deal, for an extended period of time. Regardless of how long ago you purchased your deal, the coupon will retain its face value (the amount you paid for it) for at least five years, and as many as seven years in some states. This means that although you might lose the promotional value, you can still redeem the coupon for a discount on your total bill. Think about an expired Groupon deal as a prepayment on future services.
For example, if you paid $50 for a surfing lesson that would have normally cost $100, you can still use the coupon for a $50 discount on these services after the promotional period passes. This reduces the amount of money you lose if you happen to mistime your purchase and find that you would rather not go surfing in January. This caveat is explicitly explained in Groupon’s own policy.
How to Use Your Expired Groupon
However, it can be tough to utilize your Groupon at the business itself. For the most part, it is much easier to work with Groupon directly to get a refund for the amount of money you paid as opposed to attempting to use the expired coupon at the place of business for which it was intended.
Here are four ways to use your expired deal:
1. Resell Your Groupon Coupon
There is a great secondary market for Groupon deals on the verge of expiration. DealsGoRound offers Groupon owners the ability to list their Groupon deals for a fee. Though there is a charge, the amount is small in comparison to what you could lose by hanging onto an unused coupon.
2. Swap Your Groupon
In today’s market, the barter system is still alive and well. By placing your Groupon on a bartering website such as Swap.com, you can swap your Groupon deal for just about anything including DVDs, books, CDs, and even other Groupon deals that you might be able to use prior to their expiration dates.
3. Contact the Business Where the Deal Is Being Offered
I had one particular Groupon deal for a swanky Italian restaurant that was set to expire while I was out of the country on a business trip. I hated to lose the promotional value and had plans to make a girls night out of it, so I called the restaurant and spoke to the manager. He graciously allowed me to use my Groupon deal in full after its expiration date. Each business has the right to extend the expiration date of any Groupon deal at its own discretion, so it never hurts to ask.
4. Ask Groupon to Intervene on Your Behalf
If you have exhausted all of your other options and have come up empty-handed, try calling Groupon to see if they will intervene on your behalf. A friend of mine had purchased a Groupon deal that allowed her to get her carpets cleaned for a fraction of what the service would cost otherwise. She procrastinated to the point where she had just a few days to either use her deal or lose the promotional value. The carpet cleaning company refused to extend the expiration date of her deal, so she called Groupon and asked them if they would help her work with the carpet cleaning company. Groupon obliged her request and were able to negotiate extended terms with the carpet cleaners.
When your Groupon deals expires, the money is certainly not lost. You simply need to get a little creative in terms of figuring out which method is the most effective way to convert your expired coupon into something you can really use. By making a few phone calls or visiting a few websites, you can exchange your expired Groupon for a minimum of the amount of money you paid. And, in some instances, you can get the entire promotional value – even if the deal’s deadline has passed.
Have you had a Groupon that has expired? What did you end up doing with it?
(photo credit: Juan Camilo Bernal, Shutterstock)