Why Give Groupon a BIG Piece Of The Pie If You’re Doing All The Work And Taking All The Risk.

5 thoughts on “Why Give Groupon a BIG Piece Of The Pie If You’re Doing All The Work And Taking All The Risk.”

  1. Frank,
    I would say that Groupon, LivingSocial and the like are good options for acupuncturists who’s schedules are not full. It’s always better to be working than not working. I also would think that, based on the low price, a lot of Groupon buyers never end up using there deals. This means that the true fee for those services wont be known until the service period is over. So let’s say you sell 200 sessions at $39 and Groupon takes 40%. You just got an influx of $4680. (It’s almost like getting a grant that you have to work off with public service.) Now if only 75% of those deals sold ever come in your door you are at $31.20 per session. Also keep in mind that these sessions are subject to availability and that only you know your schedule. You most likely will not be booking these people in your prime slots. And, even if these people are bargain shoppers and never likely to come in again, they will talk about their latest deal and get your business name out in the community. This is my take on it.

    • James, thank you for your comments. “You most likely will not be booking these people in your prime slots.” That’s a good point.

    • It is also good to check your state laws before starting a deal like this:
      1. Find out if you are allowed to use the income before services are provided or if you have to hold it until the client actually comes in for a treatment (not sure if this is WA or Federal).
      2. Find out if you can legally apply an expiration date to a pre-paid service. In Washington State you have to honor the “coupon” indefinately because the client paid for it and it has a cash value. You can choose to re-issue it upon request after the expiration or give a refund for the dollar amount paid (yes, you would have to refund groupon’s share to the client also because you issued the coupon and paid Groupon for their marketing service).

      So you could be sitting on income for an indefinite period of time, and if you choose to clean up your books by issuing refunds it is going to cost you big!

      Just think it through before you commit.

  2. Hi Frank,
    Thanks for the info. I too have been researching Groupon and other online coupons and have collected both pros and cons from practitioners who have experienced both the thrill and the defeat. Too many business owners dive in without understanding their metrics (time, cost and income) first. If goals are planned out and time/cost is scaled with a plan for income generation AFTER the sale, then these online coupons can be a great tool. I wrote an article for acupuncturists called “Should Acupuncturists Use Groupon, Living Social & Other Online Coupons?” here: http://blog.insights-for-acupuncturists.com/should-acupuncturists-usshould-acupuncturists-use-groupon-living-social-and-other-online-coupons/
    Keep up the great work!

    • Lisa I just read your article. You did a SUPERB job pointing out the pros and cons. It seems to work well for some business owners and a nightmare for others. Making sure you know what you’re getting into before hand is the key. I’m going to share an e-mail I got last night from one of my subscribers who read my post. I replied to the e-mail and asked him to please share his experience in this comment section because both my readers and I would appreciate learning from his experience. He may be in a competitive market and might prefer not to reveal too much of his secret weapon. Anyway, he’s doing gangbusters with this and here’s what he said – and my reply.

      READER: “I didn’t want to leave a comment because I don’t want to rain on your parade. You may be interested to know that I have done extremely well with a daily deal arrangement. In 7 months, I’ve collected just under $95,000 from my first daily deal, so far. And I’m glad to have it go on all year. I realize there may be a conflict. If I and other docs do this, we won’t purchase your marketing. But I’m sure you were just under the impression these didn’t work. But they do. Thought you’d want to know.”

      REPLY: “Doc, I appreciate the courtesy you’ve shown me, but both you and I would be doing a disservice to my readers if we kept the results you’ve had a secret. If you read the post you know I mentioned that some business owners do get results, but they are few and far between. I think we can all learn from your experience with your first daily deal and my readers would appreciate your input – and so would I. Groupon is not necessarily a direct competitor because my clients still need SEO, a website that can convert a visitor into a paying patient, and social media marketing. I encourage you to share your experience by leaving a comment. I might even ask you some questions to shed more light on your experience so the other readers can benefit from it too.”


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