What People are Saying about Groupon

A list of links of interest to people who want to learn more about how Groupon is screwing small businesses and customers.

A while back, I wrote a few posts about Groupon — including “Why Groupon is Bad for Business…and Consumers” — that continue to be among the most popular posts on this site. But if you really want to learn more about the dark side of Groupon, I urge you to check out some of the links I’ve collected over the past year or so:

  • Groupon gripes: Are daily deals headed for disaster? – Like I’ve been saying, SOMEONE has to pick up the tab on these great deals, and it’s usually the business owner, sometimes disastrously.
  • Why Groupon is bad for your business (and mine) – “Groupon, the so-called social buying site (even though there is very little social going on outside of the manipulation of basic human behaviors like their reaction to a situation where there is sense of scarcity) and the fastest growing company in history, is bad for your business.” Read why on EmergenceMarketing.com.
  • Groupon Reviews: Worst Marketing For Your Local Business – “Just because millions of merchants have fallen under the spell of Groupon, a PR juggernaut, and their like, it doesn’t mean you should. It’s a killer alright, a profit-killer.” Read a real case study on RetailDoc.com.
  • Groupon’s big discounts: how its coupon business could eventually cripple the merchants that rely on it – The author of this piece almost gets it. “The logic is simple: Merchants are encouraged to use the deals to attract new customers, who in theory will return at full price. But, in what seems to be an increasing number of cases, customers come for the deals and then leave for deals offered by other merchants through Groupon. So the number of “new” customers attracted by cheap prices increases, and the number of loyal customers decreases as shoppers prefer to become “new” again for whomever offers the best deal.” Read more on Slate.
  • 2 of 2 Daily deal sites: retailers tell their side of the story – Another objective look at Groupon, this time from the retail side.
  • Groupon Was “The Single Worst Decision I Have Ever Made As A Business Owner” – More on Groupon.
  • Why I Want Google Offers And The Entire Daily Deals Business to Die – Thank you, TechCrunch, for bring more attention to this problem.
  • Why Groupon Is Poised For Collapse – “Businesses are being sold incredibly expensive advertising campaigns that are disguised as “no risk” ways to acquire new customers. In reality, there’s a lot of risk. With a newspaper ad, the maximum you can lose is the amount you paid for the ad. With Groupon, your potential losses can increase with every Groupon customer who walks through the door and put the existence of your business at risk.” I couldn’t have said it any better. On TechCrunch.
  • Why Groupon is Bad for Small Business – Some specific notes on what’s wrong with Groupon from the small business owner’s point of view. Excellent points.
  • Groupon Is a Straight-Up Ponzi Scheme – Why Groupon can’t work in the long run: “The vast majority of local merchants can’t discount more than 10 percent. Some can go maybe 25 percent in special situations. But 75 percent is a wholly unsustainable number. If all local merchants begin using Groupon then it can’t send loyal customers to anyone; Groupon can only send discount chasers to merchants. Which means that as Groupon grows, both local merchants and their competitors will find that Groupon’s main argument no longer works (if it ever did) — Groupon simply can’t send them loyal new business. So they all stop using Groupon in its current form.” Read the rest of this interesting article on Knewton.com.
  • Groupon amends IPO filing to remove odd accounting – Read about it in Business Week.
  • Groupon’s loss jumps in second quarter – “Groupon Inc.’s second-quarter loss more than doubled as it hired more than 1,000 new employees, even though the Internet daily deals company trimmed back its marketing costs.” Read more in Crain’s.
  • Groupon IPO: Could the company really be worth $30 billion? – While investors may be stupid, analysts usually aren’t. Did anyone really fall for Groupon’s creative accounting? Read about it in Slate.
  • Are online coupons worth it? – Another aspect of Groupon: online reviews of your business. Interesting experience and food for thought.
  • The economics of Groupon: The dismal scoop on Groupon – The Economist provides some real-life numbers on Groupon, showing that original estimates of their IPO value were extremely optimistic. Marketing expenses are currently eating up more than 60% of their revenues. I can’t see how that could possibly be sustainable, especially when they’re losing merchants and customers every day.
  • Groupon demand almost finishes cupcake-maker – Simple math: sell enough product at a loss and you will find yourself in deep financial do-do. Don’t let Groupon fool you into offering a deal like this.
  • Groupon Snafu Leads Baker to Produce 102,000 Cupcakes – Another Groupon horror story indeed.
  • Groupon to be investigated by Office of Fair Trading – “Advertising watchdog refers daily deals website after it was found to have broken UK ad regulations 48 times in 11 months.” And so it begins in the UK.
  • more to come…

I’ll update this regularly as I find more links.

Got a link to another Groupon-related piece you’d like to share? Put it in the comments.

What do you think?