Opinion Brief

Will 'Groupon remorse' cool the fever for online deals?

Plenty of people never get to use the coupons before they expire. Will that sour them on the internet's hottest shopping trend?

Bargain hunters are flocking to Groupon, LivingSocial, and dozens of other group coupon-buying websites. In fact, customers are snapping up deals — on everything from spa treatments to restaurant meals to rafting trips — so fast that they don't have time to use 10 to 20 percent of the coupons before they expire. The Boston Globe calls it "Groupon remorse," and says it is so common that it has given rise to a new breed of website where buyers can sell their unused bargains, often at a loss. Will Groupon remorse bring the soaring popularity of daily deal sites back to Earth?

Yes, customers will wise up: It's great for Groupon and its business partners when coupons expire unused, says Brad Tuttle at TIME, because they're getting money for nothing. People go for these deals because they want to feel smart. But it's "pretty foolish to spend money on stuff you don't need," and will never use. Eventually, people will figure that out."Do you suffer from 'Groupon remorse'?"

The coupon-reselling market will ease the pain: These online services have grown into a $5 billion-a-year industry practically overnight, says Nicholas Jackson at The Atlantic. Clearly, some buyers are going overboard. So is it wise to pass up some deals, no matter how good they seem? The "emerging secondary market" allowing people to sell their unused bargains might prevent deal addicts from asking themselves "that question too seriously.""The emerging secondary market for unused Groupons"

Bargain fever will never subside: Groupon isn't the only one taking advantage of the allure of the eye-popping deal, says Theresa Walsh Giarrusso at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Discount warehouses such as Costco offer bargains that make shoppers think, "Oh, I better snap that up." It's true that Groupon's ticking clock "really does make you want to buy, buy, buy!" But judging from reactions my friends post constantly on Facebook, most people "seem very happy with the deals they are getting.""Do you have 'Groupon remorse'?"

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