Something not too good to be true. Let’s identify ways to make to the most of out of a good deal.
a) What is Groupon?
The name Groupon is a blend of “group” and “coupon”. A deal website that allows users to save unto 90% on local deals and goods. Deals are usually limited to a set amount of redeemers which essentially allows business providers to earn specific amounts per deal offered.
Groupon can be accessed through a computer but also an IOS or Android app. It’s free to join with local deals often restricted to specific parts of the country.
b) The advantages and disadvantages of using Groupon for beauty and aesthetic treatments
Groupon is a great way to save on beauty and aesthetic treatments. If savvy enough, you can find true deals that are genuinely worth significantly more than offered.
Groupon may be used to try out treatments without having to invest in the full price. Discover new businesses and therapists you may never have come across otherwise and save a small fortune.
|Save upto 90% on beauty & aesthetic treatments.||Inflated ‘true’ prices, so deals are not real.|
|Free to join and use.||Difficulty getting money back if Groupon is redeemed.|
|Cancel unredeemed Groupons if you change your mind.||Reduced service may be offered through a Groupon voucher.|
|New deals added on a regular basis.||Groupons are usually for new customers only.|
|Discover new business and therapists.||A business using Groupon as their main business model.|
|Regular additional money off through emails.|
|Deals typically have a long expiry life and usually last unto 6 months or more.|
Groupon is generally safe and fun to use, but there are certain things to look out for.
When using Groupon be aware of
Inflated ‘true’ prices, so deals are not real. – Some businesses will display their standard prices on Groupon. The standard or normal advertised price is used to determine the discounted amount by percentage. I.E original price is £400, save 50% on Groupon, deal price = £200.
At times the business will advertise their everyday price as a ‘discount’. This means the service is not at a deal price and is only being offered through Groupon to reach a greater audience.
This practice is shady because a user will believe they are getting a discount when actually they aren’t. Businesses will inflate their original prices just before advertising on Groupon to make it seem you are getting a better deal than before.
Going by our previous example. The original price may never have been £400. It may have always been £200. But, just before advertising on Groupon the business will bump the original up from £200 to £400 on their website. So a 50% deal on Groupon will be £200 but that is the business’ original true price. It is the price everyone else would have paid previous to the ‘deal’ appearing on Groupon.
Quick research should easily flag up this behaviour.
Difficulty getting money back if Groupon is redeemed – Be aware once you place an order for a Groupon, you will be sent a digital code. This code is used to redeem your service. Once given to the service provider they are able to claim your funds minus a Groupon fee. Once the provider has redeemed your Groupon code it can be notoriously difficult to get a refund should you request.
Reasons you may request a refund include the provider becoming unresponsive, inability to book appointments, service not as advertised or other. Groupon will advise you your voucher has been redeemed and therefore ‘used’. It will take some motivation to get your money back even if the business has behaved badly.
It is best to treat a Groupon as cash. An ideal process would include an appointment that includes a discussion/consultation and patch test if necessary. Once the service has been agreed, Groupon redeemed.
Some providers will ask for your Groupon code before giving you an appointment. They may ask for it over email or Facebook. This can work out fine, but you should be aware some businesses will pocket the cash and make things difficult for you.
Reduced service may be offered through a Groupon voucher. Just like some restaurants will have ‘Groupon’ menus, some beauty providers will ‘slim’ down their services. Research is key.
Groupons are usually for new customers only. It would be fun if we could get the same discounted prices over and over again. Especially once we find that gem of a service. Groupons are generally for new customers of the business. Some businesses will offer discounted prices following Groupon services but don’t expect them to be as generous.
One thing you can do is continue to Groupon the same treatments options through several providers but there is a downside to doing this. Not all services are equal and client care can be lost.
A business using Groupon as their main business model. This is a business that uses Groupon as their main source of income. They have low expectations of retaining customers and make their money with one-off treatment plans.
These types of business are best avoided. They are quick cash and service is generally poor. They are quantity over quality with less emphasis on consultations and client care. You may find a business like this advertises numerous Groupon services under different business names but use the same premises.
These businesses will often advertise a treatment and once contacted they will advise you need to pay extra to get the actual service required. The service you believe you had already paid for. You can find businesses like this for package treatments such as laser hair removal.
Refunds for such businesses can be quite low as it may be difficult if you have already redeemed through phone or other. You may feel the amount you paid is not be worth the trouble chasing. A lot of others may feel the same way but the business pockets. This is the model of certain businesses choose to adopt. They are not worth the trouble. Again, research is key.
c) How to spot Groupon rogue traders?
Previous customers have the opportunity to leave feedback following treatment which is displayed on the businesses Groupon page.
Does the business have a website or social media pages? These are great resources to both verify and check the legitimacy of the business. Past clients will generally leave feedback or comments which will become invaluable when you select a service.
Another thing you can do is contact the business before purchasing a Groupon. Does their contact telephone number work? Are they responsive to emails or Facebook messages? Check services listed on their website. Compare their standard prices to Groupon prices to ensure it’s a deal you’re getting as that is the purpose of Groupon for its users.
d) Is Groupon too good to be true?
Think of Groupon as business advertising. Businesses can justify the reduced cost of treatments as a marketing expense. A business may be new.. Groupon is a way to get themselves out there. They may be expanding or offering a new range of treatments.
Many business intentions will be to gain and keep new clientele in this case, service will be high. They wish to attract word of mouth and so on. It is not correct to believe deals are too good to be true as businesses intend on gaining.
With a little research, the best deals can easily be identified. Laser hair removal, for instance, is very popular on Groupon. Laser and IPL are used on the site interchangeably on a regular basis. If you’ve read about laser on this site, you’ll know Laser and IPL are not equal.
£120 for 6 sessions of laser hair removal on a medium/large area with an Nd:YAG laser is a mega bargain. The same price and sessions with IPL is not much of a bargain. The best thing to do in this case is to check the business website to establish the kind of systems they use. Asking also does the trick.