Thursday, March 17, 2011

Groupon, consumer tip and Joe's Story

I am not going to sell "Joe's Story: The Book of a Lifetime" by using coupons any time soon.
I don't want to put it on the best seller list by losing my life savings while doing it.

I blogged a while back about my opinion of groupon and similar sites. I received a slew of comments, over 75% were negative, expressing dissatisfaction and lack of support with issues. The positive comments expressed good experiences and satisfaction. Those were concerning the coupon buyers. I also received several comments from the sellers of the coupons, none of which were totally positive. Mostly they said they didn't do their homework when it came to profitability along with the huge numbers of coupon customers. Sure, they received a good chunk of change, mostly when business was down. However, the huge sum did not come any where near covering expenses, especially when the very unprofitable coupon buyers wanted to use them when they could be dealing with profitable customers instead. One of them said that if they were to honor all the coupons in a short time they would surely have to close before they went into bankruptcy. That's a no-win situation if you ask me.

Being a coupon clipper myself I can understand the desire for a good deal. every time I save a dollar I am giving myself a raise for that moment. We can all use a little of that can't we? But, as a business man I also know first hand the need to make a profit. Nothing would bother me more than to go home at the end of a week of hard work and tell my family I worked all week and have no money for food. And that's exactly what some of those offers represent to businesses. Please let me explain.

It is my understanding the coupon offers go like this: A business offers a product or service for at least 40% off. Lets say, I will cut your lawn for a month. This service usually costs $85, the coupon offer is priced at $45 to the buyer. Good deal so far huh? Now, just in case you didn't know or care, the website receives one half of that money, $22.50 and the lawn maintenance service receives $22.50. If there are 4 weeks in a month that amounts to $5.12 a week to have your grass cut. Would you cut any ones grass for $5.12? Expenses alone would amount to that. Then there is equipment repair, travel costs and the need to make a profit. If you had to make a choice and cut someones grass for $5.12 at one place and received $22 at another place, which one would you choose? No wonder I received so many unsatisfactory comments. I don't say not to buy those wonderful coupons but I do say that you should read all the information you can so you don't wind up buying something you can't use and lose your money or walk away wishing all upset because you didn't get what you wanted. To the buyers: Buy smart! Be happy! Save lots of money! To the sellers: Don't stick your neck out and lose your business or get a black eye from a lot of unhappy customers. Bad news travels ten times as fast as good news.

That's my consumer tip for the day. I don't like to be redundant but it's a very popular subject.

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