The online group buying craze started by groupon and scoutmob and both are seeing legitimate funding opportunities, growing their staffs, and most telling raising controversy and praise.
Let’s not forget a growing market of competition.
My greatest fear is the recessionary nature of coupons. Businesses won’t be as willing offer discounts when people are adventurous and willing to pay. Similarly, people will spend their paychecks more freely as the general economic sentiment betters (and as stocks and retirement accounts go up in value). This would create an echo of additional costs at the end of a recession.
Luckily, most of these coupon companies are small, so their staffs shouldn’t burst a huge bubble when the economy does better. The only major concern is how the frugal consumer might react.