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Launched only in 2008, Groupon has become big, quickly. The idea of it is that they have a deal each day and, if enough people sign up for it, the deal is given. It works much like the ill-fated “dot com” startup LetsBuyIt.com.

Starting in the US, it spread quickly to other countries. Google offered $5.3 billion for it last year but were turned down. Instead, Google are launching their own equivalent, “Google Offers”, as is Facebook. Indeed, there are 500 similar sites already offering a similar offer. However, what Groupon has that the others don’t is the number of customers and the number of companies queueing up to use them.

So, using Groupon is simple – sign up, specify your nearest city and they’ll email you each day with their current offer (or, alternatively, visit their website – there’s no requirement to receive emails from them). If you decide to accept it, and enough other people do, you have your deal. Most of these offers are usually around dining out and health & beauty products and services, but you’ll usually save over 50% if not a lot more.

When you have signed up, and assuming you like their service, if you recommend a product to a  friend (and they buy the product) you’ll receive £6 credit to your account!

At the very least, it’s worth a try – you really do have nothing to lose!