Months looking for opportunities to advertise my business I contacted groupon after seeing one of their ads. I was told politely by a young woman that Groupon does not accept businesses that don’t have a retail lication. Not a problem. They said that they would contact me if that rule ever changed.
I recieved a phonecall a few weeks later from a fast talking young man about their intetest in using me in their advertising. I reminded him that I had been told otherwise due to my home studio status. He assured me that now they were accepting people like myself, that he had a backlog of clients in my area that he was hoping to send my way.
I was briefly familiar with Groupon as a company that offers consumers a great deal. I knew that this was not a money maker on its own but a great way perhaps to fill the gaps when I am slow. Since I can schedule people I can fit them in not to conflict with my regular clientele. On the surface it did not seem to be a bad idea….I keep busy and make money. I never realized that making money could be a bad deal.
He sent me a contract one hour after our conversation. I was a bit surprised that they had no intetest in background checks, previous tax returns or any method of determining where they might be sending a customer….I could be a Crack dealer in a ghetto for all they knew. I decided to the next best thing…let my finger do the work online. The Internet has nothing good to say about Groupon from the perspective of merchants…..they claim they lost money and those consumers who live off of coupons only go where the coupons are accepted, they will never become regular customers.
After reading all the sad Groupon stories I knew that the contract waiting for my approval was not going to get a good reaction, and it did not. Groupon was taking my hourly fee of 120.00 and giving me 21.00. They decide what the discount rate should be not to keep me competitive but to make a fast palatable sale for themselves. I the consumer should be able to determine the discount amount….but I am not allowed. Groupon wants to sell my 120.00 for 49.00 and give me 21.00. Signing their contract alleges me to accept 50 of their clients per month…..clients that I cannot profile. Those 50 clients make me 1000.00 on which I have to pay taxes. My 37 clients last month made me 6000.00. Their clients can write about me…complain about me and subject me to legal action by Groupon. As far as I am concerned there is no money to be made unless you are so desperate for cash that you should not be allowed to call yourself a merchant.
When I first arrived in the United States in 1979 i was impressed with all the sales advertized everday. When i was old enough to work i realized that underselling yourself to out sell your cimpetition only yeilds bad results and undermines your own value. Companies who run sales constantly to attract clients go out if business.