Enough is enough already.
I hate Groupon. That should be clear by now. I think that any business that can bring in more revenue than the businesses that it “serves” is a leech and not a “marketing partner.” While they’re telling merchants how they’re getting “risk free advertising,” they’re selling to cheapskate customers, most of whom will only buy at the 50% (or more) discount Groupon requires. Good luck selling again to those folks at retail.
So it pisses me off to no end when I get a call from yet another Groupon clone. This one, based in Scottsdale (supposedly; it’s more likely a franchise set up by someone suckering work-at-home dreamers) claimed to be different. I let the sales rep stumble through an explanation of how they were different before asking her (1) how many helicopter tours a person might want and (2) whether their friends would buy at retail if I’d established a history of offering 50% discounts through companies like hers. Then I told her I wasn’t interested and not to call me back. And I added her number to my growing list of telemarketer numbers on my cell phone so if she does call back from that number, my phone will ring silently and I’ll know not to answer if I happen to notice it ringing.
And after hanging up, I thought of two ways we can all work together to make Groupon and its clones go away. Be advised that I’m in a foul mood so my language is a bit NSFW in this piece.
- Just Say “Fuck Groupon” This is the method I use. I refuse to be a Groupon (or clone) merchant and I refuse to buy Groupon (or clone) vouchers. I’m not giving them any business in any way, shape, or form. I’m also making the sales rep go through a bunch of their bullshit sales pitch when they call just to waste their time and increase the marketing costs before explaining, in no uncertain terms, what I think of their business model and “service.” (I can be a real bitch.) I’m also spreading the word about how bad they are for business and consumers by sharing links to fact-based reports from actual Groupon merchants, customers, and business analysts. (Seriously: there’s enough info out there to make one wonder how Groupon has managed to survive this long. Are there really that many suckers out there?)
- Just Say “Fuck the Groupon Merchants” This is the method people who aren’t small business owners can easily use. Just buy as many Groupon (or clone) deals as you possibly can and then use them all up as quickly as possible — keeping in mind that a good percentage of Groupon merchants are already on the verge of bankruptcy and may not be in business if you wait. Be sure to come at the businesses’ most crowded times and complain loudly when you don’t get the service you might get if there wasn’t a half-off deal filling the place with other cheapskates just like you. Whenever possible, break the rules and use multiple vouchers to increase your discount potential. Then, if the buying experience isn’t perfect, go on Yelp or some other online rating service and give the business just one star with a review that exaggerates how crappy it is.
Now, in my opinion, small businesses already have enough grief that they really don’t deserve to be fucked over by Groupon (or clones) and cheapskate customers. So I’m really hoping you go with the first method.