We get asked here and there if we offer Groupons or deals from Living Social. The answer is no, and there are many reasons. But the main reason we don’t accept Groupons is because it is unfair to our longtime, faithful clientele.
Groupon and Living Social do offer great deals to people, no doubt about that. And we don’t begrudge people for using Groupons, not at all. We use them ourselves sometimes. But there is no denying that Groupon and Living Social have created a class of client that bounces around from spa to spa, salon to salon, based on the deal of the month being offered.
We’ve read many horror stories of Groupon deals being so wildly successful that the establishments ended up going out of business because they could not afford to offer their service at such a cheap price! Many don’t realize, that when a company offers a Groupon deal at 50% off – say a $100 haircut for $50 – Groupon actually wants $25 of the $50, leaving the merchant with just $25 instead of $100! This may be great for new establishments that need to generate lots of traffic and hopefully land some new, permanent clients. For us, since we rely mostly on repeat business and operate at close to full capacity, this is not the case.
We can’t imagine having to tell clients of ours that we’re fully booked and have no openings, because of the 100s of responses to our Groupon ad. We’re sure our regular clients won’t appreciate taking a back seat to Groupon customers who have come simply to take advantage of a one-time deal.
And furthermore, what we seek as an establishment is to develop long-term relationships with our clientele, welcoming them over and over to our establishment. Rather than giving enormous discounts to bargain-hunting clients, we believe that our faithful, returning customers are the ones who deserve a little extra attention now and then – a special discount, an additional 10 minutes on their massage, a coupon on their birthday, etc.