Groupon taking more heat

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More griping about Groupon from businesses and consumers.
On the heels of Groupon's recent lawsuit regarding illegal expiration dates, the company is taking more heat.

The Wall Street Journal found that merchants who used deal-a-day sites "regularly absorbed as much as 75% of a deal's cost and often saw little in the way of repeat business." In typical deals, buyers pay $25 for $50 worth of goods--$12.50 goes the to deal site for, uh, sending out an email, and $12.50 goes to the retailer to provide $50 worth of goods or services. But now, with so many deal-a-day sites competing for business, savvy merchants are negotiating more favorable splits.

Smart Money points out 10 things coupon buyers should watch for--including the fact that a whopping 40% of vouchers purchased don't get redeemed!

Gawker, of course, jumps into the fray talking to burned business owners and disgruntled copywriters, while Eater republished this lovely anti-discount poem from the owner of New York's Klee Brasserie.

Despite its seemingly usurious business practices, Groupon's revenues continue to skyrocket, TechCrunch reports.

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Merchants know the terms are stingy but still fall over themselves to get on Groupon, the fault is theirs if they get burned. The publicity may be worth the financial hit if it generates future (non-discounted) sales. But in many cases, I can't comprehend the merchant's reasoning. For instance, I recently bought a "$10 for $20 worth of booze" coupon at a Bloomington liquor store. Being a total loadie living in Minneapolis, I'll happily make the trip for a 50% discount. If they somehow provide a uniquely amazing liquor store experience, I'll be back - but that seems unlikely.

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