Skip to main content

Are Groupon deals losing their true value?

There’s more drama in the world of uber-discounter, Groupon.

Groupon recently offered it’s US customers a Valentine’s day coupon of $20 off on flowers from FTD. In order to collect on this coupon, purchasers were provided a dedicated Groupon page on the FTD website. Things went sour when a customer, “Carolina”, noted that the original list price marked on this page was $50, but the same product was actually available on the FTD homepage for only $40. It appeared that FTD was marking up the list price of the product in order to make the $20 off appear enticing, and meet the steep discounts required for Groupon deals, while continuing to make the same margin they currently offered on their website.

Related Videos

Groupon quickly voiced it’s intentions to correct the problem over at TechCrunch, offering refunds on the coupons, and for customers who already made a purchase from FTD, a refund on the markup difference.

Unfortunately, this public display of mishap seems only to feed the growing public sentiment that the deals orchestrated by companies like Groupon and LivingSocial are not good for business owners, and that they bring these scandals on themselves. A number of small business owners have come forward to share their experiences, saying that the sales staff of these companies openly encourage this practice in order to make more deals available. On the coupon-provider end of the exchange, it would appear that there is incentive for this type of behavior; the burden is left to the salesmen to make as many deals as possible. Managers approving the deals only see the details of the proposed listing, without any exposure to measures taken to make it work.

Not only does this type of circumstance bring Groupon one step closer to the traditional consumer wariness of retailers bloating prices only to offer massive “sales,” but after the big Super Bowl scandal, how many more “mix ups” can they handle before the magic wears off?

Editors' Recommendations

Facebook to test ‘Groupon-inspired’ daily deals service

The mad dash to make money by helping customers save it continues this week with a Bloomberg report that Facebook will begin testing a "Groupon-inspired" daily deals service to users in select cities.

According to an official statement from Facebook, the online coupon offering will initially be available to Facebook users in San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Atlanta and Austin, Texas. The service will be an extension of Facebook's Deals program, which allows businesses offer specials to their customers through the popular social network. Facebook staffers will help facilitate the service by highlighting deals for businesses to offer, and then promoting those deals on the site.

Read more
Groupon may be coming to a cash register near you

If it weren’t already clear that the lines between e-commerce and physical vendors were blurring, it should be now. Daily deals site Groupon is reportedly in talks with cash register manufacturers to develop machines with Groupon buttons in place.

According to Bloomberg, Groupon has met with various electronic-payment system companies (including Verifone Systems – the second largest manufacturer in the industry) and believes adding the designated online coupon button would make transactions quicker and easier to cashiers and customers alike. Groupon president Rob Solomon even tells Bloomberg that the wheels are in motion and the company will begin testing the feature on cash registers, although he refrained from saying when that would begin. “We are in an evaluation mode. Test and learn is the best way to do this,” Solomon says.

Read more
Groupon’s black markets: Resellers for daily deal coupon codes
groupons black markets resellers for daily deal coupon codes groupon living social thumb

We’ve all been there. You thought, sure, a discounted weekend at an alpaca farm would be fun. Or that you’d definitely be getting a full body wax within the next six to eight months - at 72 percent off, who wouldn't?! We’ve all experienced buyer’s remorse, and there’s ample opportunity as our inboxes and phones continue to be assaulted by the barrage of daily deal sites we feel obligated to subscribe to.

But coupon resellers are here to relieve your guilt. As the popularity of Groupon, LivingSocial, and other discount sites grows, so too do their questionable offerings. Now with the help of these coupon auction sites, you can easily and affordably get rid of your poor choices and put the money back in your pocket. (more…)

Read more