Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Falling under its captivity
I first heard about it from a colleague, who treated his wife to a four-course dinner with it. It stirred my interest but I was rather skeptical about it being too good to be true. Then a good friend waxed lyrical about it and that spurred me to give it a try. And now there's no looking back. I admit to falling under its captivity.
Yes, Groupon's the "it" that I am referring to. Named after a city in Switzerland famed for selling discounted tyres, Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website featuring discounted gift certificates. It was first launched in November 2008, targetting Chicago shoppers. By October 2010, Groupon had 35 million registered users and had spread its tentacles to Europe, South America and Asia.
If a certain number of people sign up for a particular offer, then the deal gets the green light. But if the predetermined minimum is not achieved, then the deal is not viable. Approximately half the money paid for the deal is kept by Groupon. Sounds like the merchants are getting the short end of the stick? Absolutely not. They get advertised and it helps to induce consumers to try them out. This is especially helpful when the merchant is new in the market.
My e-mail account is checked constantly for the latest Groupon deals. And when a deal sparks my interest, I usually spread the word to my two "partners-in-crime" (namely my mum and my good friend) to see if either wants to join me in grabbing the gold nugget.
To date, I have bought Groupon deals for meals, body massages and hair treatments. There is an unending list that catches my eye, but I do caution myself to be prudent in shopping. After all, it is incredibly easy to get caught up in such a convenient and rewarding manner of shopping. Did I mention "rewarding"? Yes, Groupon recently "rewarded" my loyalty with an incentive --- a RM25 discount on my next purchase (for purchases that are RM50 and above).