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Those discount coupon deals might not be all they’re cracked up to be…
The world of online coupons is exploding – whether free coupons, printable coupons or any discount coupon for that matter. And that’s great news for consumers…maybe. “What do you mean ‘maybe’ – you say. “Aren’t I getting a deal when I buy one of the online printable coupons?” Maybe yes and maybe no.
Let’s be real clear. Coupons are a great way to save. You can go online and print restaurant coupons, discount coupons for products and services – all with the hope that you’ll save. And that’s a good goal to have. But in this writer’s opinion, “All that glitters is not gold.”
I’d like to talk about the monster that seems to be dominating today’s online coupon world offering discounts and deals – Groupon. It is reported to be the fastest growing company in the history of the US. Not just for discount coupons – for any company! Every day they send out enticing emails offering coupons for “big discounts” on a full range of products and services.
What could be wrong with that, you say?
Well to be fair, there is a lot that is right with Groupon and they are impressive. They are truly a monster in the online coupon marketing sense but as with all monsters, they can run you over if you get too close. How so, you ask?
To answer that let’s look at Groupon’s target. It’s you, the consumer. “Well, duh” you say. But please realize that when a company that big focuses its considerable resources on individual shoppers, you might be at a disadvantage. Make no mistake, they want your money, your credit card and they’ll use every trick in the book to get it. And to be fair (again) it’s not all bad, you really can get some deals.
But it might help you if you knew a little about their strategy and tactics so you could avoid some of the pitfalls – at least level the playing field. Consider:
The first thing to know is that not all discounts are what they’re cracked up to be. The individual businesses are asked to give up a 50% discount as a minimum in order to entice you to try them. Do you think it’s possible that some businesses would raise their price for that service first before discounting it? hmmm…
Next it would help to see the tactic they use to get you to take out your credit card. In the old world of sales fundamentals it’s called “The fear of loss takeaway.” It’s when an ad says, “Hurry, buy now before they’re all gone.” Or, “Supply is limited so get it while you can.” Or, “buy yours now before someone else gets it.” And so it goes. It’s important to know they (artfully) use those tactics to manipulate you, to get you to take action and buy.
And finally, you often can get the same or better discounts, deals and online coupons absolutely free if you simply dig a little bit without giving in to the impulse to buy “right now.”
There are alternatives to the big monster. Check around before you pull that credit card trigger. You’ll be glad you did!
By Robert M Adams
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