Last week I purchased a Groupon for a new Crossfit gym in town. I told a friend to buy one also and soon, because they were selling out. She said, “Oh, I’ll just call the gym and get the same discount without Groupon when I’m ready.” I asked her what she meant – would the gym do that? “If they are smart,” she replied. “They will actually make more money because they won’t have to pay Groupon all of the fees.” You know what? She’s right.
How I saved $114 on Groupon deals without using Groupon
After a little research, I learned that the classic Groupon deal requires a discount of 50 percent, after which the merchant and Groupon basically split the revenue (after the merchant pays the credit card fees and waits around for its check). Ultimately, merchants make about 23 cents for each dollar after discount and fees.
For example, a month of classes at Hank the Hulk’s Crossfit Gym (sounds legit) sells regularly for $100. He sells a Groupon for a month of classes for $50. Groupon gets $25 from the sale. Hank the Hulk then pays credit card fees and goes home with approximately $23.
If I make the same purchase directly from Hank the Hulk for a month of discounted classes, I will still pay $50. But Hank the Hulk gets to keep the entire $50. That sounds like we both win, right?
But would merchants be up for it?
I chose three different local Groupon offers and asked if they would offer me the discount directly.
Groupon Deal #1: $25 for a painting class for one ($50 value, $12.50 in merchant savings)
Groupon Deal #2: $9 for three Groupons, each valid for $6 worth of baked goods and coffee ($18 value, $4.50 in merchant savings)
Groupon Deal #3: $45 for 10 yoga classes (a $125 value, $22.50 in merchant savings)
All three merchants were very different, and all three agreed to my request, for a total savings of $114 of services for me, and $39.50 saved in Groupon fees for the merchants.
Obviously, not all local merchants will be up for this. And I did not attempt to contact companies with national Groupon deals. For those instances, here are a few tips for how to use Groupon.
Happy deal hunting!
Has a company ever honored you a discount without a coupon or deal?