I’ve had both great and bad experience with groupon like shopping. When the thing was new or when it exploded it was not cool not to buy some merchandise or services this was so I’ve tried too. For couple of months when I was shopping for something the group shopping portals were my primary spot to check. Even when I wasn’t shopping my friends constantly bugged my with deals they’ve been trying to gang up people to.
It worked pretty well for merchandise, that is brand new, factory sealed or manufacturer refurbished. A seller wants to get rid off larger chunk of gear at the cost of reducing the commission, items are exactly the same and easy to compare with what the competitors offer;; fair and square. Few deals got cancelled but overall experience was generally positive. A lot of stuff was bought at a great price, this was especially valuable when buying small gifts, small electronics and some clothing.
Then there was lunching and dining. This was more mixed experience. There was a lot of great meals we ate cheap from the places that just opened and used group sales as a part of their marketing strategy. Some places however had special plates for deal hunters, smaller portions, reheated in microwave oven or prepared long before served. Grandly reopen places used this technique for the most part, some volume sweatshops did that too.
Things would start to get rocky when it comes to services. I felt that each deal was pretty much a fineprint scam case. For example you get a deal for a photo session for your kids for a great price, then you go, they take the photos, give you one and the rest of them need to be ordered at a hefty premium price level which not only busted the deal but makes the offer no longer competitive in the market. My friends had very similar experience with gyms, home improvement services and the services in general.
Vacation was the awful face of social shopping, luckily I had only heard about it since I couldn’t do it with my buddies during the time they went. Deal was a bit too good to be true to begin with but those days it was when the group shopping had its peak and sky was the limit in getting great deals. All inclusive Caribbean vacation was the deal, the resort had great reviews, nice photos and what can go wrong with the airlines after all? So the flight was OK, transfer from the airport was like twice what is should be but it was acceptable as a part of amazing sale offer so no complaints there. Resort itself looked good, nice beach, pools, bars, just like on the photos. Then my buddies were shown the room and then it happened. It looked more like a janitor closet in the remote part of the resort; basement or garden level how it was put in words by the staff. Close proximity of water filtering equipment for the pools helped to provide a complete construction site experience. Oh well, while already there they decided to upgrade but since the resort was almost full there was no single level upgrades so the beachfront, ocean view, Caesar suite upgrade was more than the package itself and since that was supposed to be budget vacation it burned friends for couple of months after they came back.
Common sense is needed when shopping as it’s needed just everywhere else, when something sounds too good too be true it probably is especially when the item you’re trying to purchase is hard to compare on the market. We don’t offer any deals for our ID badges but instead we offer very competitive price schedule, excellent customer service and high quality product. I think there is still room for group shopping with high level of satisfaction, there is just no one size fits all deal here.