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My Groupon Experience.....

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was approached by Groupon a couple of months ago to run a cupcake special and a cake special. I thought about it for a while, and knew I wouldn't make any money off of it, but maybe it will bring me some new customers. So i ran with it.

We ran a 52% off a dozen cupcakes, with selected flavors. The Groupon sold well. We were given a tool to put in the redemption codes (you can even scan the forms when they come in to pick up the cakes/cupcakes with your phone) and most cases, it went really well and we sold a lot of cupcakes! Best off, we got a lot of people who said they were glad they found us and will be back! about 3% of the customers brought more cupcakes than the dozen or two dozen and we had a few who applied their cake value to a larger cake. Since we had limited flavors that we baked on a daily basis anyway, it didn't put any huge strand on our production.
So if you have the space, and resources, I recommend it. Just a few words of caution:

Groupon itself doesn't seem very organized considering how popular they are. I had to send the contract back three times to rewrite it, because they screwed up on thing. (Read the contract VERY carefully) They still screwed up the wording of the fine print, but did fix it after the first day. They paid me the extra it cost me to produce some cake flavors that were not offered, like carrot cake because of the wording problem. They changed the date on me twice. My account manager was so bad, they had to assign me a new one. There is a little bit of work on your end and its important your employees know how to redeem coupons. I do suspect maybe groupon is growing TOO fast?

The most amazing thing to me that I learned though, has nothing to do with Groupon, or making cakes or cupcakes. Even after 9 years in business, people in general just never cease to amaze me. Here is a little deal that cost about the same as a meal at mcdonalds. People treated it like they paid hundreds of dollars for their groupon! Even though the fine print was very clear, they would beg, plead, even yell at us that they want a different flavor. I had one customer standing in my lobby crying because she wanted 3 dozen and we only offered 2 dozen. (and didnt want to pay the money for another dozen from our case) We ended up giving her a free 1 dozen because she was making such a scene. We had people calling asking us how to pay for the deal, if we will stay open late for them , do colored buttercream (and not pay extra for it) Put the cupcakes in different type of boxes, instead of a dozen box, put 4 in one box, 6 in another, 2 in another, things like that. Asked us to decorate the cake with fondant (and not pay extra) Trying to redeem the same code more than once was very common. Trying to redeem a present they bought for someone else was common. (they were limit one per customer) People were rude, greedy and well, just plan mean. I don't know if it is part of the economy or just cheap people buy groupop? We had some really great people come in and get cupcakes, but these others really tired us out!!! So if you do a groupon, be prepared for the strangest requests!! One person wanted them DELIVERED!!!
Gotta have more cowbell!
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Gotta have more cowbell!
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post #2 of 14
Gosh, I so wish I was surprised by the way some of the people acted, but, sadly, I'm not surprised at all.

More and more, I find that people are greedy, self-important, and convinced that the rules don't apply to them. As I age, it's turning me into a real hard@$$. The more they try to get over on me, the more rigid I become. My BS meter has gotten really good, too. Lately, for every inch I've given, I've been taken for 10 miles.

I really hope that your returning customers from the deal are a great boon to your business.

Good luck!
Rae
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

People were rude, greedy and well, just plan mean. I don't know if it is part of the economy or just cheap people buy groupop?


It's the groupon effect...the customers you are reaching with this type of advertising are usually people who are looking at a deal and not willing to pay more for higher quality products. For most of us these are exactly the type of customers we don't want.

It would be an interesting exercise to try to quantify both the direct and indirect costs of this type of promotion (in terms of additional overhead, hassle, etc.) and compare that with a more targeted approach where you try to reach your most desirable demographic instead of hoping for diamonds in the rough.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

I had one customer standing in my lobby crying because she wanted 3 dozen and we only offered 2 dozen. (and didnt want to pay the money for another dozen from our case) We ended up giving her a free 1 dozen because she was making such a scene.



And unfortunately, the gimme pig is inspired to pull this kind of stunt again to get something for nothing. I would have told her to leave or I was calling the cops. (I know, I know... easy for me to say). I just REALLY hate when a gimme pig gets her way when there is NO valid reason for it (you state it was clear on the coupon).

I am really glad to hear how it worked for you, and hope it brings you more business! Thanks for posting.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

And unfortunately, the gimme pig is inspired to pull this kind of stunt again to get something for nothing. I would have told her to leave or I was calling the cops. (I know, I know... easy for me to say). I just REALLY hate when a gimme pig gets her way when there is NO valid reason for it (you state it was clear on the coupon).


There's some game theory involved here. I definitely agree that it would be best for society if this person was "taught a lesson" by being escorted off the premises, but there is no guarantee this will change their behavior, and it can be risky for the business by causing a commotion that impacts other customers and/or inspiring a crusade against the business by the slighted customer.

Depending on the situation the right course for the business may be to appease the customer with cheap extra product, unless you as a business owner are willing to spend resources to fight this customer instead of selling products to others.

The best solution is to avoid these types of customers in the first place by focusing your marketing efforts and avoiding the "deal-seeking" segment.
post #6 of 14
Wow, I'm sorry you had such a crazy experience. Crying for an extra dozen? That's not even desperation, its just lunacy! Some people have an entitlement complex and other are just plain greedy.
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"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

And unfortunately, the gimme pig is inspired to pull this kind of stunt again to get something for nothing. I would have told her to leave or I was calling the cops. (I know, I know... easy for me to say). I just REALLY hate when a gimme pig gets her way when there is NO valid reason for it (you state it was clear on the coupon).

I am really glad to hear how it worked for you, and hope it brings you more business! Thanks for posting.



And I am just loving 'gimme pig'. GREAT term!! icon_lol.gif
Well, all good things must come to an end sometimes. Hey, is that a cake?
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Well, all good things must come to an end sometimes. Hey, is that a cake?
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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post #8 of 14
The bakery I work for ran a groupon as well and most of our experiences were similar. Have had several people say they were not satisified with cupcakes so got money refunded without return of any cupcakes!!!
Photo showed swirl cupcakes with fondant flowers so guess what we had to spend time doing. The rudeness and demanding for getting something less than half price is amazing. Suggested to my boss that cupcakes need to be returned if problem to prove point. He has a different attitude and just lets it go. To be honest Groupons do very little to nothing for a business as I see it. I have seen no return customers.... I bet they just go on to the next groupon business. I would rather see coupons put in bags for repeat customers who support us all year. so folks.... run a special for your support customers and save advertising for some events or charities. At least they will appreciate it.
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Of course chocolate is the answer!
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewsugarqueen

I would rather see coupons put in bags for repeat customers who support us all year.


I agree with this. I cringe when I read about those Groupon type customers. They have a peculiar personality. (Notice my euphemism?) For the most part, they will return only if they receive something for nothing.

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post #10 of 14
You live and you learn. Groupon hasn't even fully taken off that much in a way maybe you were lucky, Just chalk it off to a learning experience. Don't get mad about people taking advantage of a great deal. As far as the lady crying to get a free extra dozen it seems like a scam. I certainly would not have given her anything free, at most I would have offered her the extra dozen at the groupon rate. Some people have no shame and she probably went home laughing at what fools you were to give her something for free.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the replies! I don't agree with calling the police for a lady crying..they have more serious things to attend to. If the shop was empty, we may have ignored her, but she was making the other customers unhappy. She won't be back, i am sure.

It was an interesting experience, and I think we have received a few new customers from it. It just saddens me how the world has become!
Gotta have more cowbell!
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Gotta have more cowbell!
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post #12 of 14
I am new to the business and thankfully I have made friends with another bakery that is in my city. One of the owners suggested to NEVER DO GROUPON! It just cheapens your product. I think it's great for other services... I've used groupon for several things like movie tickets and eye brow waxing. However, for our industry, I think we would just get people who want to pay grocery store prices for gourmet designer cupcakes. You may get a few people who do discover your amazing product and become repeat customers, but I'm just not sure that it would be a wise investment.

Thank you sharing your experience with Groupon
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post #13 of 14
Sorry you had such a bad experience, but thank you for sharing it so that others may learn icon_smile.gif
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post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

I had one customer standing in my lobby crying because she wanted 3 dozen and we only offered 2 dozen. (and didnt want to pay the money for another dozen from our case) We ended up giving her a free 1 dozen because she was making such a scene.



And unfortunately, the gimme pig is inspired to pull this kind of stunt again to get something for nothing. I would have told her to leave or I was calling the cops. (I know, I know... easy for me to say). I just REALLY hate when a gimme pig gets her way when there is NO valid reason for it (you state it was clear on the coupon).

I am really glad to hear how it worked for you, and hope it brings you more business! Thanks for posting.



Love "gimme pig" that will be used again!

I too wouldn't placate her or anyone like her, that just reinforces bad habits she's cultivated. Since the coupon was essentially a break even point for you, I wouldn't have felt compelled to cultivate any business from her or from anyone who sympathized with her, but then I'm a harda$$ like that - ask my daughter icon_smile.gif Some behavior is socially unacceptable.
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