Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, April 15

Gapers Block

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Charlie Didrickson / October 27, 2011 3:21 PM

I have exactly zero interest in Groupon.

Monica Reida / October 27, 2011 3:57 PM

I'm suffering from Groupon fatigue.

Brubeck / October 27, 2011 4:14 PM

I thought Groupon was a sex act popular in France.

Carlotta / October 27, 2011 5:12 PM

It will be this decade's version of Holland's 17th century tulip mania.

gee / October 27, 2011 7:32 PM

F the IPO. Groupon should have sold to Google when it had the chance. It was way overvalued at $5 billion or whatever it was that Google was offering. They should have taken the money and run.

mike / October 27, 2011 8:59 PM

A couple years ago, I got an $80 Art Institute membership for $40 on Groupon. And I've renewed it at full price twice. So in that respect, I guess Groupon worked. But I've never used Groupon since and I fail to see the allure. That's because my AI experience was unique because it wasn't a restaurant or a hair salon. It was a museum, and getting the membership at $40 got me on board, but once I was on board, it made me realize that even a full price membership is only $80 so you break even after four visits (or two with a visitor). Plus, now I can pop into the AI for 20 minutes if I want, anytime I want. Also, the AI could afford to toss off a couple hundred memberships because they're just a few extra bodies taking up a large amont of space. For smaller businesses with low margins, it's a bigger gamble.

I think most small businesses that use Groupon won't see much of a benefit and will grow weary of it. I also think that consumers who think "hey, that $50 meal at ________ Restaurant is only $25 -- how can I pass that up?" will finally come to realize that it's $25 they wouldn't have spent. With the economy seeing no hope in sight, I think Groupon's probably not something I'd invest in because its model is based largely on people buying shit they otherwise wouldn't buy.

jj / October 28, 2011 11:28 AM

My main thought is that I hope that there will not be more unemployed Chicagoans due to whatever decisions Groupon makes to appear more attractive to investors.

Peter / October 28, 2011 12:34 PM

It'll be a good example of the practice of pump and dump. The investment banks will control the float, ensuring that investors will chase a limited supply of shares on the market, leading to ever higher share prices. Once the initial investors are allowed to sell their shares, then they'll dump them on the market, and the stock will be in freefall.

I wouldn't want to be the one holding the bag of a company whose financials are so unsound and whose business model has an inverse relationship to the health of the economy (if times are good, there is no use for most businesses to coupon). I hope institutional investors aren't suckered into the IPO.

JasonB / October 28, 2011 1:28 PM

They should have taken the $7bn Google was offering.

I'd like to hear their reason for not doing so because the only way to really make a product like Groupon more profitable is through a search engine that can intelligently and strategically place and use the technology.

JasonB / October 28, 2011 1:31 PM

I should add that Facebook will likely add a similar product to their site, which will probably spell the end for Groupon.

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