Why Do I Find the Failure of Groupon So Goddamn Funny? Oh, How I Laugh! (I Swear, I’m Not a Bad Person!)

The failure of Groupon and the daily deal model(Note: This post? Intended to be sarcastically humorous. Please don’t take offense. Cheers!)

Ding, dong! The daily deal coupon business model? It’s officially dead.

OK, I know I really shouldn’t laugh at another company or person’s misfortune.

But this one is just too easy!

News spread fast and hard today about the firing of Groupon CEO, Andrew Mason

Here are just a few examples…

Back in December 2010 (My God, have I really been blogging for this long?), I wrote a blog post about Google’s failed attempt to buy out Groupon for (get this!)… six billion dollars. That’s a whole lotta money! Especially since they had only purchased YouTube prior to that for a measly $1.65 billion.

Knitting and Purling blog post on Google's failed attempt to buy out Groupon for 6 billion dollars

My December 2010 blog post on Google’s failed attempt to purchase Groupon for a cool $6 billion!

Well, guess what? Groupon made the biggest gaffe in the company’s (short) lifespan by turning down the money.

That’s right. They could’ve made bucket-loads of money. Many, many, maaaaaany buckets. But instead, they opted out of the offer… probably because they thought they had a monopoly on the daily deal business model.

I mean, yeah, there were wannabes who tried to copy their success (LivingSocial comes to mind…). But they must have thought: “Surely, no one can beat us! We’re synonymous with the daily deal!”

Yeah, well let me tell you this…

Daily Deals Just Don’t Work

Trust me. I’m saying this as someone with an inside track on the coupon industry. That ship has long past sailed. Extreme couponing? That fad came and gone. We’re no longer living in 2010 or even 2011!

But I’m also expressing this sentiment as a person with direct connections to…

#1) Consumers who have used Groupon daily deals

  • They usually end up frustrated, often with negative customer experiences
  • Ever bought a Groupon gift certificate for a spa or auto detailing shop, only to find out you can’t book an appointment for months… even upwards of half a year? Sound familiar?

#2) Store owners who have offered Groupon daily deals

  • Many small business owners dip their toes in the muddy waters of daily deal promotions in an attempt to gain a new crop of returning customers
  • What they end up attracting? Nothing but

shameless vultures and leeches

  • And these deal-savvy consumers (read: probably the same types of people who do nothing but enter sweepstakes all day long, a.k.a. “sweepers”)? They’re anything BUT brand- or store-loyal!

#3) Employees who have worked at stores that offered Groupon daily deals

  • To quote Ursula of The Little Mermaid, these poor unfortunate souls… I feel the most sympathetic for this group
  • Why? Because through no fault of their own, they’re forced into the unfortunate scenario where the store where they’re employed at suddenly decides to start offering Groupon promotions
  • And this is bad because their usual crop of loyal, paying customers are now replaced with the aforementioned “anything-but-loyal” vultures and leeches
  • So instead of expecting great tips from loyal customers? Sayonora to that! (And don’t think those loyal customers would want to return back, either… once they find out they can’t book an appointment for months, get fed up, and end up never returning)

So, yeah. Long story short…

Guess Groupon should’ve accepted that $6 billion buy-out offer from Google after all!

And that, my friend, is the reason why I’m chuckling inside (I promise, I’m normally not a bad person! Scout’s honor.)

Humorously yours,

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Director of Search Marketing by day, die hard knitter by night. Arts and crafts lover. One of a kind jewelry designer. Supporter of buying handmade. Stylishly domestic homemaker. Frugal shopaholic. Shutterbug. Globetrotter. Geek girl who ❤s computer nerds. Blogger for the Knitting and Purling blog.
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Groupon envelope image courtesy of PetalsandPaperBoutique.Blogspot.ca. Computer graphics edited by the Knitting and Purling blog.

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