Last Tuesday evening, after a period of resistance, I was assimilated…into Groupon. I am now part of the Tallahassee Groupon collective, one of hundreds awaiting a daily deal of at least 50% savings.
Given my love of bargains, joining Groupon should have been a no-brainer. But there were ….issues. First, Groupon doesn’t allow a “look see.” When I checked out their site and was invited to see the deal of the day, I was asked to first provide my e-mail address. I did not want to do that unless I was certain I would join. So I passed…
Another issue is that I do not live in a “real” city. The whole county has only 300,000 and “Tallahicky” is an apt description. I do not shop here except for groceries, household items and other small items. I do not shop for clothes anymore since I more than I need for someone who will not be working soon. And if there is some clothing I do need, I’m buying it at an outlet mall somewhere.
Restaurants? With two colleges, Tallahicky fare is heavy on Chinese and other buffets, BBQ, pizza and similar student fare. The chains have their own promotions. There are few “independent” restaurants I frequent who I think might offer a discount.
Besides, I’m a member of restaurant.com, which offers “never expire” certificates to restaurants around the country and for months they’ve been running “$25 certificates for $2” which I’ve bought for restaurants in Vegas, Orlando and St. Augustine. That’s a lot better than 50% off, although they do have restrictions, such as a minimum purchase often twice the certificate‘s value. (The local Ted’s Montana Grill used to participate but they bailed months ago and now there are no participating restaurants in the county.)
My interest in Groupon was piqued when I read about how it began. The founder was operating a “group action” site. He noticed that a lot of visitors used the site to exchange information about deals. Since he had a sizable base, he approached businesses about offering his visitors a deal of at least 50% off if at least a minimum number of folks, which the business set, agreed to the deal. And so Groupon was born.
About two weeks ago, curiosity (or maybe fear I was missing some good deals) got the better of me and I signed up. I then suffered “sign up remorse” when, for over a week, none of the daily deals appealed to me. I had no interest in a $60 spa treatment for $30. Or $25 for $50 at an upscale china / crystal / silverware store, although over 345 folks bought into that.
Tuesday night, it all changed. The deal was $7 for a $15 certificate to a café at a recently opened boutique hotel. I checked their menu out and sandwiches were running about $8. So Susie and I could have lunch there for less than $10. The certificate did not exclude drinks, whether alcoholic or not. Sold!
It was about 8;30 PM when I checked the deal and over 200 folks had already bought it. After clicking “buy” I entered my credit card info and waited for an e-mail. That arrived in less than 15 minutes and provided a link to my Groupon account, where the certificate was waiting to be printed out or I could leave it there to print out later. It is good for six months. That was easy!
I had been assimilated….