Are Consumers Over the Daily Deal-Groupon Craze?

Groupon made a pretty big slip-up in their fourth quarter earnings report, forcing them to issue a restatement admitting they lost $22.2 million more than originally estimated. What caused such a significant loss – totaling $64.9 million — that they didn’t account for? Customer distress, which basically means: refunds.

It seems Groupon, the confident leader in the daily deal market, didn’t expect to have so many unhappy customers. As the rapidly-growing company started dealing with higher-value services, they began allowing refunds. Consequently, refunds surged. But Groupon accountants didn’t consider this possibility. Consumers who were initially dazzled by the expanse of group buying options and daily deals now face an over-saturated industry full of deals they either can’t use or don’t care about.

New Ways to Save on Summer Travel

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Planning a summer getaway? Consumers can save time and money during the high-traffic summer travel months by harnessing the power of collective buying sites like Groupon.com to help plan budget-friendly trips that don’t sacrifice quality or fun.
Known for offering daily deals from top local businesses, these websites are also a great resource when it comes to travel. Experts recommend that consumers sign up for the daily emails for the city they plan to visit in the coming months. From here, begin receiving deals and start saving! Plotting out a vacation itinerary and cashing in on deep discounts for everything from unique local activities to dining options and even hotel stays is as easy as clicking “Buy.”
“Shoppers use Groupon.com as a travel guide that’s updated daily,” said Andrew Mason, founder and chief executive officer of Groupon, a shopping website that offers daily deals on the best local goods, services and cultural events in more than 500 markets around the world. “We offer a variety of deals at unbeatable prices every day. Our merchants are more ‘hidden gems’ than ‘tourist traps,’ so group buying is an ideal choice for the person who wants to vacation like a local this summer.”
Mason provides some top deal options to look out for when planning trips this season:
Lodging: From bed and breakfast boutiques to luxury hotel packages, shoppers can find local lodging for 50 percent off.
Outdoor Activities: Enjoying the beautiful summer weather is easy with Groupon. Shoppers should keep their eyes peeled for deals on Segway excursions, walking tours, zipline trips, kayak rides and other adventurous outdoor activities.
Dining: From five-star restaurants to best-kept secrets, and everything in between, collective buying sites help visitors save up to 90 percent on dining while traveling.
Relaxation: Every good vacation involves some pampering. Popular deals include couples massages and rejuvenating skin treatments.
Cultural: Checking out current local theater, festivals and museum exhibits is easy with daily deals that guide shoppers to the best options for their upcoming trip.
By consolidating the best local options in hundreds of cities nationwide, daily deal sites are quickly becoming the go-to travel guide for consumers planning trips this summer. Not a subscriber? Visit www.groupon.com to sign up for free and start receiving deals in your local city and upcoming vacation destination today.

Gift Trends This Year? Give Experiences, Not Goods

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As the holiday season approaches, shoppers face the annual challenge of finding the perfect gift in the right size at the best price. Shopping online can save both time and money, but can also overwhelm consumers with the endless list of options to choose from.
This year, experts recommend harnessing the national trend of collective buying to ease shopping woes and save money in the process.
“Collective buying sites streamline the holiday shopping process by connecting users with creative gift suggestions at unbeatable discounts,” said Andrew Mason, founder and chief executive officer of Groupon.com, a shopping website that offers daily deals on the best local goods, services and cultural events in more than 250 markets around the world. “It’s become just as easy to give someone the gift of a great unique experience as it is to send them a sweater.”
Groupon provides some top picks for 2010 gifts, proven to be best-sellers this year:
Health and Beauty: Pamper loved ones with a trendy no-chip manicure or relaxing massage package. Sites like Groupon.com provide incredible deals — sometimes as high as 90 percent off — that make it possible to be extra generous this holiday season.
Cultural: For a thoughtful option that can be reused, gift an annual membership to a favorite museum. Some of the country’s top institutions are discounting their individual and family memberships by half-off this year.
Fitness: Give a friend’s New Year’s resolution a boost with the gift of fitness. Popular deals, including gym memberships and yoga classes, are conveniently packaged and allow the recipient to start their trial when they’re ready.
Dining: Need a gift for a foodie? Many high-end restaurants offer discounted packages worth $50, $75 or $100 towards the final bill.
Experiential: While a traditional gift is wrapped neatly in a box and tied with a bow, gifts like rock climbing, skydiving or wine-tasting classes provide one-of-a-kind experiences that recipients won’t soon forget.
By consolidating the best gift options at prices that beat out door-busters, daily deal websites are a smart choice this holiday shopping season. Deals are redeemed with printable vouchers that only show the actual service value, not the discounted price paid for the gift! Not a subscriber? Visit www.groupon.com to sign up for free and start receiving your daily deals.