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Jim Lillie

Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

When you buy a Groupon, it's a win-win, right? After all, you've just guaranteed yourself significant savings and provided the merchant with profits from increased business.

Maybe so, maybe not.

One of the complaints to surface recently about Groupon is that merchants benefit far less than assumed. And even when they do, there's concern that the deals advertised aren't necessarily rooted in reality.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:00

Is Groupon Really a Good Deal?

Groupon combines a pair of old marketing standbys: the coupon, which rewards bargain hunters, and the bulk discount, which cuts prices for all members of a certain group. If enough potential customers agree to buy a group coupon, or groupon, the deal gets green lighted  All participants then get the same deep discount over and above the groupon's cost. (Example: Pay $15 to get $30 off an amusement park ticket, and enjoy an overall savings of $15.)

Founded in November 2008, Groupon traces its roots to a different website, The Point, which allows people to raise funds or to coordinate social activities once they reach a critical mass, or "tipping point". By launching in Chicago, Groupon instantly attracted popular attention, offering customers an easy way to sample various delights of urban life -- many at huge discounts. Which, some say, makes buying a groupon worth the potential risk.

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