Why a Groupon is Not Always a Deal

* Or not a deal for the consumer, at least.

I was amused to receive an email link this morning to the Groupon Daily Deal for my local city, which breathlessly touted a 51% discount on a science toy that we carry (the 6-in-1 Solar Kit, left).  The Groupon allows consumers to buy the item at a mere $19, plus $4 shipping, from a company that apparently sells only this one thing (there are no other items listed on their website).  The “regular” price is listed as a staggering $39.

The interesting thing here is that the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the science kit in question is, in fact, $19.99.  Twenty bucks.  We sell it for that price all year round, every day.

So how much of deal is that for the consumer, when he or she can buy a Groupon that essentially enables him to buy an item at the regular price?  (Plus shipping, of course.)  More than 40 people bought in to this “deal” — I wonder if they’ll be sore when they find out that their coupon was no deal at all?

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Filed under Consumer Information, Simple Science

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