back to article Today's Groupon offer to its sacked employees: 100% off your salary

Online deals website Groupon will lay off 1,100 employees and shut down part of its international operations. The biz employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. In a filing with US financial watchdog the SEC, Groupon said it will cut the positions over the next year with the redundancy round wrapping up by the end of September …

  1. djstardust Silver badge

    Total con anyway

    These "discount" and "voucher" sites were great at inception .... but as usual they get bigger and money gets involved and .....

    Just look at Hot UK Deals, it has gone from a good, legitimate site to another corporate monster with certain agreements with certain clients.

    It's about time these sites just disappeared and this is the start of it.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Groupon??

    {to paraphrase another post today}

    Do they still exist?

  3. DrXym Silver badge

    Terrible business model

    Groupon might have made its founders (long gone) a fortune but the business was unsustainable. They hyper inflated into new territories screwing businesses left and right and leaving a barren wasteland of broken / burnt businesses behind them.

    These days Groupon mostly sells crappy service deals - manicures, carpet cleaning etc. - where the business has low overheads and artificially inflates prices for a service to make the discount seem like a good deal. Not only that but there are dozens of rival coupon services selling similar deals. I'm surprised they've lasted as long as they have without imploding.

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: Terrible business model

      Indeed, it's parasitic. To advertise with them, you have to offer at least 50% discount, then they take 50% of the voucher price, so you can only offer goods or services artificially inflated or lose money on each customer.

      They pretend you are introduced to new customers, but by definition, 'customers' aren't big spenders and have no loyalty, they follow the cheap coupons. It's easy to bankrupt yourself with a zealous voucher campaign, or if they oversell your vouchers.

      A lot of 'deals' are mayfly companies, set up days before specifically to flog a container load of cheap foam mattresses or whatever, then offering no follow-up service. Cheap watches, other brand-alike stuff, are all ideal when you can fabricate an entirely unreasonable and false recommended price to discount. Anyone offering 90% discount on a designer watch (95% after platform fees) simply has to be making up numbers. These platforms encourage that in order to do 'deals', no matter how terrible those deals really are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Terrible business model

        Looking at what's on offer I was surprised not to see "Trotter's Independent Traders" among the sellers.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Terrible business model

        I definitely think restaurants who use the service are insane or desperate. It's basically a terrible loan - sell a huge quantity of vouchers promising to serve the same food for 50% of the list price and then Groupon will give back 50% again of that on some schedule. Strangely enough lots of restaurants who do this go out of business soon after because the cheapskates have moved onto the next offer.

        A far better strategy for any restaurant is to produce a set menu (e.g 3 courses for £15) and write that offer up on a big sign plonked outside. The restaurant keeps all the money and can deliver better food which makes for happier, repeat customers.

  4. Hedon

    Small Business Killer

    Giving half your profit to a coupon site is not a sustainable business model. Creates a race to the bottom and now you're there where do you go?

    1. Turtle

      Re: Small Business Killer

      "Small Business Killer".

      Exactly right.

      We used to buy groupons when they first started but we pretty soon found out how it works "behind the scenes". It's fair to say that the businesses that got screwed by Groupon often bear some of the culpability for not thinking things through and for being, shall we say, overoptimistic. But they apparently also often very naively relied on Groupon sales-rep dishonesty. For example, the Groupon sales rep might say that (and I'm making up a number here) 90% of all Groupon customers buy goods for more than the voucher is worth, but they won't say that they overspend their vouchers by pennies, not dollars - and that's an actual fact.

      So we stopped using them except in cases where the business wouldn't really get hurt. For example, we bought tickets to a river cruise. The marginal cost to the business of our going on the cruise was zero - the cruise line's cost and expenses didn't increase by a single cent and the income they got from us was, for them, pure profit, which they would not have gotten if they hadn't offered the discounts in the first place.

      But very businesses that offered Groupons had comparable economics.

  5. x 7

    parasites deserve eradication. The sooner they go bust the better

  6. Your alien overlord - fear me

    How can they even have 10000 employees world wide? Website and email campaign uses what, half a dozen peeps per country.

    Most are probably either art, media studies or marketting degree holders so no sympathy here for kids not getting a real qualification.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      I bet the majority of employees are sales reps.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the usual :(

    i.e. those at the top of fucked off with the cream, so to speak, and those at the bottom, fooled into "exciting career opportunity in a hyper-dynamic growth ecosystem" got the usual froth in place of a paycheck for (no doubt) hard work. Pump and dump.

  8. DugEBug
    Facepalm

    Is this the same Groupon that...

    ...turned down a $6B offer from Google?

    Oops.

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