Social Buying Sites- Are They Retail Ruin?

I noticed a few months ago on a Yelp review, a client gave us some really positive feedback, but mentioned that they wished that we would do a Groupon deal. I’m sure they aren’t the only person that has wished that- not to mention the barrage of social buying companies that wish we would work with them too.

I thought I’d take this to our blog and explain why we have chosen not to do a social buying campaign- yet… Who knows, things may change, but we have steadfastly avoided it thus far.  Here’s a great article a friend of mine sent me from the NY Times ‘Boss Blog’. Jay Goltz, a small business owner shares his thoughts on the social buying dilemma for small businesses.

(Here’s another article to check out.)

It’s not that we don’t want to share savings with our clients- it’s something that we’ve done consistently with seasonal and monthly offers via subscription based e-blasts and Pop-Up specials on our twitter and Facebook forums. But the ‘free’ marketing tool that is Social Buying, actually doesn’t add up for most small businesses at the end of the day.

Did you know that most Social Buying organizations demand at least a 50% discount on offers, and then ask for 50% of the profits from deals that are purchased? Does that sound sustainable?

I admit that I’m guilty of looking for a deal or a discount. I personally haven’t used any social buying sites, but I can understand why people do. From the perspective of a manager of a small business, I suppose I just wanted to share with our clients and blog readers that discounts and sales are a part of any retail or service industry and businesses should be prepared to offer them, but the bite that Social Buying sites take in exchange for brand exposure is something that I feel is ultimately detrimental to small businesses and to how, as a society, we evaluate the worth of what we choose to buy.

That’s no to say that these campaigns don’t work sometimes, but until we decide as a business that Groupon is for us and you’re interested in getting opportunities for saving at Groupon-like discounts, join us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and the savings will follow!


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