Thursday, 2 June 2011

Groupon - Feel the Buzz, Man

I am so cutting edge sometimes that I cut myself just thinking about things.

Today I joined Groupon, that new fangled and innovative company that purports to 'Translate people power into financial clout'. Perhaps I joined more out of interest in the fact that they are one of the gaggle of social media-style companies that are likely to go public or get bought. Back in January of this year they were valued at $20 billion as talk of an IPO hit the headlines.

Since then Google has announced and will launch the Google Wallet. Rather than explaining itself in simple terms like Groupon did, Google talk of something designed for 'An open commerce ecosystem'. You what? But suffice to say it's just a looky-like but as usual with some turbo bits like the concept of lumping together in a single mobile app tickets, boarding passes, loyalty cards and more. Not a bad idea if it delivers.

It's an interesting concept to say the least but the first offer I got for my designated city of London was for comprehensive corporal hair removal. Frankly, I'm trying to keep mine but on closer scrutiny the scantily clad lady with gorgeous legs seemed to indicate it was for ladies.
No matter, keen to explore I can now see that a few restaurants have offers but building on the hair removal theme there was an offer for a wet shave, hair cut, shampoo and condition plus a 'revitalising' facial all for £49 which I was assured would save me £50.

Hmm - considering Groupon prides itself that it only sells things we want to buy, I was slightly unimpressed. But I have 13 hours 53 mins and 10 secs to change my mind as these are time limited offers. I am also reassured that 109 hirsute individuals have already bought this deal at some barbers in Covent Garden. Considering I had clicked the link for restaurants and bars, I was bit surprised to be offered a glorified haircut.

Pah! 113 have now been bought after a refresh. So what do I know - I just hope everyone realises there is no food chucked in.

These are short, sharp offers in various cities around the UK refreshed daily so there doesn't have to be loads. The concept is good but the offers that may excite would perhaps be hotel or weekend packages. I note there has been a package to Lithuania offered which was marginally better than the idea of rowing to the Magnetic North Pole which was featured on the news today. But there was a nice one for a weekend spa and golf at the Fairmont, St Andrews which was last month and over 250 sharp people snapped that up.

I don't get any benefit for this recommendation but you can get cash credits for telling people about offers when they subsequently purchase so it has a real viral effect. Sign up, it looks interesting and my personal reasoning is that it can only get better.

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