Getting in on the action

Consumers who want the deal buy a discount coupon in advance, and can redeem it for the full face value.

coupon lady_521 (photo credit: (Kathy Hagedorn/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT))
coupon lady_521
(photo credit: (Kathy Hagedorn/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT))
The sites work like this: Each day there are deals in various categories (most of them related to food/leisure/services/travel), with the “big deal of the day” offering consumers discounts on whatever is being offered – up to 90 percent off, in some cases. Consumers who want the deal buy a discount coupon in advance, and can redeem it for the full face value – so, for example, they might buy a coupon for NIS 200 worth of merchandise, paying only NIS 100 for it. The catch: The site offers a set number of coupons (say 200) for the product/service. If the minimum number of people buy a coupon, the deal is “on.” If not, everyone who paid gets a refund, and the deal goes back to the drawing board.
Right now, there are nearly two dozen Groupon knock-offs here. You can see each day’s deals at sites like or, which aggregate coupon offers from each of the local group buying sites. Examples of some of the deals on a recent day included a half-price meal (NIS 40 instead of NIS 80) at the Alhambra restaurant in Jaffa (kosher, French and very fancy), and, if you’ve been eating too many discount meals, a half-off coupon for weightloss seminars at the Diet Club chain.
Scattered in between are offers for half off at hotels, bookstores and coffee shops. There’s even a site that appeals strictly to English speakers – – with most of its deals located in Jerusalem. And Groupon itself recently paid $8 million for Grouper (, the largest Israeli deal site.
One popular group-buying site is Deal Hayom (, which features daily deals in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Rishon Lezion and Beersheba.
There are actually numerous sources of coupons on local websites, for all sorts of products and services – many of them “leisure oriented.” Take, for example, a site called, appropriately enough, Couponim ( Here you can find coupons in more than 20 categories, for products and services such as glasses, flowers, attractions, car rentals, etc. Unfortunately, you can’t search by town or region – which you can at, which has thousands of offers in many categories.
These coupon sites are OK for what they offer, but you won’t find the one thing you really want – coupons on food and grocery products, a concept that has not taken off here just yet. If you can’t get coupons on groceries, you can at least get real discounts on the next best thing – restaurant meals, a coupon category that is well-developed. There are numerous sites offering such coupons, but the most useful and easiest to navigate is 2eat ( Here you can choose a restaurant by city or region, kosher (or kosher lemehadrin) and restaurant type – Chinese, steakhouse, felafel joint, etc.
Most of the offers are for free glasses of wine (in some cases bottles of wine), desserts and special prices for two or more diners, but in some cases there were substantial discounts, like half off two or more meals. You just print out the coupon and present it at the time of ordering. You can find a similar service at the ROL restaurant site (, as well as the well-known eLuna site (, in English, with strictly kosher restaurants.