Skip to comments.Trouble in Coupon Land
Posted on 12/05/2012 8:19:40 AM PST by PJ-Comix
So Groupon and Living Social are in trouble. Color me unsurprised; I never got the Groupon business model. Well, I guess I got the business model--it's not that complicated--but I never got why people thought that eventually this model was going to be worth a zillion dollars.
Coupons basically serve two functions for businesses--advertising, and price discrimination. Advertising means it brings in new customers by making them aware of your service, or giving them an incentive to try it. Price discrimination, on the other hand, is what food processors do with grocery store coupons: it lets them sell their products to customers who are very price sensitive, without lowering the price paid by people who are too busy or embarassed to clip coupons.
(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...
*** it lets them sell their products to customers who are very price sensitive, without lowering the price paid by people who are too busy or embarassed to clip coupons.***
I never see coupons on the items I like to buy. Coupons are nothing but a bribe to get people to buy foods they normally don’t buy or use.
It is rather irritating to get behind someone in line who suddenly pulls out a handful of coupons for a dozen cake mixes or other items because they are 10 cents off! then they get into an argument with the cashier because half of the coupons are expired.
As I have said before, I don’t use coupons because there is nothing I want to buy that has a coupon on it.
Opps, I forgot to mention those groups that go around selling booklets of coupons which you find the stores will not accept.
That’s OK, because being on line behind someone as ignorant as you are and watching you pay full price for things I get for pennies on the dollar makes me happy enough for both of us. :-)
I just got a $10 Shell gift card - price was supposed to be $3, but I had a new customer discount and paid $0. It won’t buy me much gas, but 10 bucks is 10 bucks!
Groupon’s Andrew Mason made one of business’ stupidest decision when he turned down Google’s $6 billion buyout offer. Incredible. Pride goes before the fall, and Mason has proven it!
I never buy those because they typically contain lots of coupons for things I have no use for at places I wouldn’t patronize.
” Groupons Andrew Mason made one of business stupidest decision when he turned down Googles $6 billion buyout offer. Incredible.”
Possibly the DUMBEST move in 100 years : )
I agree with Ruy that going this route is overly laborious. Instead of wasting time on websites or in newspapers, take up a second job to make up the difference in your savings. In reality, you're buying products or services you normally wouldn't all in the name of "savings." You can save MORE by not spending at all. Again, diminishing value of returns.
Then there's this:
But Groupon's core businesses, like restaurants and spas, have a relatively high marginal cost of providing their service: food, labor, laundry.
Restaurants, who were supposed to be one of the core businesses for daily deals, complained that Groupon customers were disproportionately poor tippers who took up tables while carefully not spending any more than the face value of the Groupon--no drinks, no dessert.
This is the most telling part of the article. This whole fad isn't about saving. It's about getting something for nothing. Whereas when I go to a restaurant, I go to one that the wife and I frequent often, and because we're known as good tippers, we get stellar service. Getting my tacos fresh or my pizza warm is infinitely more important to me than saving $4 on an appetizer that I'd normally never get and leaving that poor server a shitty tip despite otherwise decent service.
It all depends on where you are in life’s great food chain. If you’re in that middle section that uses a lot of the main brands (Kraft, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury) coupons are great, because they’re the big coupon printers and that’s the stuff you buy anyway. I’ve been right through the chain, used to be too poor for that stuff even with coupons so they were useless to me, then I made enough to change to those brands and used coupons a lot, now I’ve moved past those to the Boar’s Head section of the grocery store and they don’t make coupons so I no longer use them.
***Thats OK, because being on line behind someone as ignorant as you are and watching you pay full price for things I get for pennies on the dollar***
Well, if the maker or seller of the product has to bribe you to buy it, it must not be very good. I probably would not eat it anyway.
I’ve gone back and forth on coupons. I will always use a coupon if I stumble across one that is for a product I would buy anyway. And since I’m not generally brand-sensitive, I have a good number of coupons available to me.
But when I made a concerted effort to use coupons, I found that the amount of time it took me was disproportionate to the amount of money I was making, since I wouldn’t use coupons to get things I didn’t need, even if they were free.
Because, if a store was actually giving something away for free, I wouldn’t take it if I didn’t need it or want it. It just seemed wrong to me, plus it clutters up the house.
Anyway, we shop thrift stores. Less hours, big savings on what we want, and we are part of the sustainable culture (reuse/recycle).
Of course, if I did not have a job, I’d be clipping coupons, because that would be my job. But if you are the kind of person who would apply themselves to making money on coupons, you’ll be able to get a real job.
For example, I make $30 every two weeks writing an opinion column for a local paper. It takes me at most 3 hours to write a column, so I make 10 bucks an hour. And I can do it at home, and I enjoy writing.
I made almost $1000 working as a Halloween haunt monster for a local theme park. Again, about $10 an hour, it’s a hard job, but a blast.
I guess I could make more than $10 if I spent an hour looking for coupons. So if I could use them at a store I was already at, for things I need, it could be worth it.
I laugh when I see the extreme coupon shows where people have entire garages filled up with hundreds of a product. I guess if they open their own grocery store, they have a leg up. Meanwhile, a garage-sized locker costs about $70 a month; so every year, they are essentially costing themselves close to $1000 in physical costs. Of course, if the garage was going to be empty anyway, it’s like if you were going to be sitting on your butt all day anyway, might as well clip coupons.
But if you watch the coupon show, and the hoarder show, the one thing that is clear is that, at least the coupon people tend to have their excess stuff much better organized.
And you never know when you are going to actually need 1000 bottles of hand lotion. You could always give them away as presents, I guess.
As I get older, I’m working on getting rid of all the clutter in my life; I’ve decided that piles of stuff deteriorates my quality of life, keeping track of stuff stresses me out, caring about stuff annoys me, insuring stuff and storing stuff is a drain on my energy.
So where I used to keep everything, knowing that some day I might need a switch off an old radio, or some gadget that I can keep in my basement, I now have decided I’d rather throw away the 100 things I kept, and then spend money to buy the 1 thing I threw away that I need 5 years later.
My wife does the Groupon Thing.
Our gang going out to eat usually numbers 5 to 7. She’ll find a Groupon to a place we were going to anyway. Deals most times are around the $10 to $15 range.
Saves us a bit.
It has nothing to do with bribery for me. It is about saving money. And I’m all for that. A smart consumer does not buy a product just because they have a coupon for .40 off.
My wife and I have more than enough money to shop without coupons, but do because we average a 30-50% savings every time we shop and because we plan ahead watching for items we use to go on sale. Many stores will double and triple the value of many coupons on certain days. And yes, we also use Groupon. I like paying $25 to get $50 worth of food at a place we would go to anyway.
I would suggest buying a paper one Sunday and look at the coupons available and then check those against what you normally buy. I’ll be the first to admit there are many we do not use, but the savings for basic items like toothpaste, pasta sauce, deodorant, canned goods, etc. generates greater savings than not using them.
2 cents. Make of it what you will. :)
I’ve only used Groupon once. I bought a coupon to help defray the cost of dinner at a restaurant I’d always wanted to try.
We went to the restaurant, ordered somewhat more than we usually order, because we wanted to try a greater range of menu items, since it was our first time. The cost of the meal was several times the value of the coupon. Additionally, as I always do when using a coupon in a restaurant, I tipped (generously) on the cost of the meal BEFORE taking into account the coupon.
I’m happy we went. It was a moderately pleasant experience and we’d talked about going there for a couple of decades, so we satisfied our curiosity.
So, it was a real win for the restaurant to use Groupon.
It would have worked well for the restaurant except for three facts: 1) it was modestly overpriced; 2) the food wasn’t quite that good and 3) the service, though cheerful, was a little lackadaisical.
If I’m going to pay premium prices, I expect premium food and service.
Getting folks in is one thing. Keeping them coming requires execution.
I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but I think this is a concept that very few women understand.
I guess you don't use propane because one of my GroupOn coupons is for propane. Of course, for me it's FREE since I used GroupOn referral bucks to pay for it.
It is rather irritating to get behind someone in line who suddenly pulls out a handful of coupons for a dozen cake mixes or other items because they are 10 cents off!
I don't mess with those small amounts. I usually save several bucks per item. Of course, I use coupon combos like manufacturer's coupons on top of store coupons topped off with $5/$30 coupons for the entire amount.
As I have said before, I dont use coupons because there is nothing I want to buy that has a coupon on it.
I guess you didn't want Thanksgiving turkey because I used coupons to get mine for FREE. Oh, and consider not driving because for a couple of months last summer I was filling up my tank for FREE via coupons.
p.s. This very computer I am typing on I got FREE a couple of years ago via coupons. Methinks you associate coupons with a dime off macaroni type of stuff. I've taken it to a whole other level.
I believe the technical term for that is called "starvation."
Ahem! Ever hear of $5 off $30 coupons? You can use those for anything except alcohol and tobacco. Otherwise it doesn't matter what you buy. You get five bucks taken off your purchase.