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Groupon Extends Its Reach

When you think of Groupon you probably think discounts on restaurants and spas. But with so many players now out on the field – Living Social, Google Offers and Facebook Deals – Groupon is having to find new ways to stay ahead of the competition.

In the past year they’ve done some interesting moves, including:

· Partnering with national brands – Gap, Barnes & Noble, Southwest Airlines and American Apparel just to name a few.

· Partnering with Expedia to offer Groupon Getaways, which allows consumers to buy a travel voucher that can be redeemed within a certain period without committing to a vacation date.

· Introducing “Now” Deals – tapping into the web “flash sale” phenomenon by offering deals that must be redeemed usually before 7 or 8 p.m.

Earlier this week Groupon expanded into new territory by offering their first ever tuition discount to National Louis University, a private university in Chicago. According to Mashable, National Louis University wants to bolster interest in its graduate teaching program, and is offering would-be teachers a Groupon for nearly 60% off tuition of an entry-level graduate teaching course.

What can we expect next? Cars? Mortgages? Congressional lobbying time?Obviously, the above deal isn’t real, but it raises some interesting questions. If Groupon is all about group buying power, why not give “power to the people” in places where they don’t currently have much power? Who knows? With the way Groupon is going and with the 2012 elections around the corner, it just might happen.

What’s the weirdest Groupon (or Groupon-esque) deal you’ve ever seen?

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