I Might Need To Rethink My Groupon Habit

GrouponGroupon sure was a hot topic yesterday.

Like many people (from what I can tell) after reading Jessie’s blog post at Posies Cafe, I instantly had the mindset to boycott Groupon forever. Though I receive the daily deal (two actually) in my email inbox everyday and I have the app on my iPhone, I’ve never actually purchased anything on the site, but I have participated and shared in a few group purchases.

Why haven’t I?

I felt sleazy purchasing through it. I love the concept, but I felt if that a deal shouldn’t be my sole motivator to spend money. This is a reason why I have a few unused Restaurant.com gift certificates lying around.

According to Jessie, her restaurant business almost went bankrupt because the deal proved too popular. Her post is well-written, and I felt for her.

In short, to dear Lucinda and anyone else that comes in with a Groupon in hand, please know that our respectful decline of your coupon is not personal. It’s because we cannot afford to lose any more money on this terrible decision I made, and the only saving grace we had was an expiration date.

Credit to Groupon CEO Andrew Mason for responding almost immediately.

I think his response was sincere, and he gives an honest business perspective from his side just as Jessie did from hers.

We’ve run deals for hundreds of businesses similar to yours and they’ve had great experiences, so I’m eager to understand what it is about your business that made Groupon such a bust.

You kind of have to believe him since he included his email address (andrew[at]groupon.com). BEWARE SPAM.

It will be interesting to see how this story progresses. Will more businesses from all sides tell their story too? Since I don’t buy Groupons, I don’t think I will be starting to anytime soon. However, maybe if an enticing services groupon comes along…

Next time I’m in Portland, I will make it a point to visit Posies Cafe.

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