12 Volt: Groupon & Its Imitators

You want a traffic jam up front. But you can get a traffic jam in the bay…

Groupon and its competitors can be a double-edged sword. There is no doubt that Groupon can generate sales and traffic. However, we can compare it to your shop’s tablesaw. It is a handy and powerful tool, but if you don’t know what you are doing you can lose fingers quickly.

Another Groupon analogy that really works is you and your staff making a big pot of soup but only armed to eat it with a fork. You and your staff work really hard eating it but don’t really get anywhere. It’s a lot of labor without a lot of profit. Undercharging for labor is a surefire way to busywork your staff while reducing morale. On the other hand, Groupon, like a tablesaw or a soup ladle is a specific tool. If you use it tactically, it can help boost your sales and traffic, especially during those slow times.

Groupon Case Studies

Spencer Richardson is the owner of Distinctive Ride in Wasilla, Alaska. Because of Alaska’s limited roadlighting, HID headlights are the norm. Richardson has become known as the man to see when it comes to retrofitting lights with a more powerful, and ultimately, safer option.

“Overall I had a good experience with Groupon but I do have a few gripes. With my HID promotion, all went relatively well. We actually sold 318 units and we are a small market to begin with. The pricing was $100 for the Groupon and we received about $58 per unit. Because of our distance, our dealings with Groupon were not with an in-person rep but all over the phone. That led to a little customer confusion on ‘dual beam’ vs. ‘single beam’ HID conversions.

“For instance, a 2002 Chevy Silverado takes three single beam kits to do the high, low and fog light. Many customers thought that if they had a Groupon that said ‘dual beam’ they could get their highs and lows done. We weren’t explicit enough with what exactly it came with. Our next Groupon will say ‘1 HID kit’ and not mention dual or single beam.”

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