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Shops Grapple with fallout from group coupons

submitted on August 4, 2010 by sandyshore in "Member's Lounge"
Local shops nationwide are pulling in thousands of new customers with group coupons online, but the deals can sometimes work too well, turning marketing into a game of retail roulette.

Some of the nail salons, restaurants and other small shops that have sold the coupons have risked both new and existing business as they struggled to handle the surge in clients.

For Crystal Nail Salon in Chicago, ratings at web sites like tumbled as owner Phu Bui struggled to serve up the 5,100 manicure-pedicure combinations he sold in June for 65 percent off.

"All of a sudden it went over the edge of my expectations, so I'm a little overwhelmed," Bui says.

Have you used services that offer group coupons? How was the experience?

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    Posted by pablos17 on August 4, 2010
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    The retailers really shouldn't put the offer out there if they cannot handle the barrage of new customers attracted by such a good deal. We are all becoming smarter consumers these days.

    I took advantage of a Groupon deal for helicopter lessons and it turned out to be a very rewarding and memorable experience for me. I may even pursue more lessons.
    • sandyshore
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      Posted by sandyshore on August 4, 2010
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      That sounds like so much fun, would love to try something along those lines.
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    Posted by HouTex on August 4, 2010
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    The local Groupon deals here have a limited number available, and when they reach that number the offer is ended. So it sounds like the nail salon didn't participate wisely. It seems to me that any business would have a hard time dealing with a rush of 5,100 new customers all wanting service within a short time frame. Eeek But I agree, there are more and more savvy shoppers taking advantage of good deals these days.
    • sandyshore
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      Posted by sandyshore on August 4, 2010
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      I agree the nail salon didn't seem to grasp how to deal with the influx they should have set a number they knew they could handle. I think these deals could help businesses that know how to use them wisely to build a good customer base.
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    Posted by lootango on August 4, 2010
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    I have only used one once at a restaurant and the service was great... no complaints yet.
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    Posted by jack69darin on August 4, 2010
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    The fact is these coupons do help the business, but offering such huge discounts, and taking a loss, they should set them at a limited number like does. If people get the coupon, and have a horrible experience, the business losses both ways. They are taking a loss, and you won't get a repeat customer, whick the whole idea of groupon is.

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