Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Some Daily Deal Believers Are Turning to Alternative; Some Businesses Are Turning to Freecouponstl.com Instead of Deep Discount Coupons

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Some Daily Deal Believers Are Turning to Alternative; Some Businesses Are Turning to Freecouponstl.com Instead of Deep Discount Coupons

Article excerpt

The St. Louis king of daily deals has given up his crown.

As you may recall, I wrote earlier this year about Tom Coll, the proprietor of Joe Fassi Sausage & Sandwich Factory on the Hill. He had become quite the prolific user and true believer in daily deals such as Groupon, LivingSocial and dozen or so other sites through which he frequently offered deep discounts to his shop.

He often had several deals going at one time. At the time, he thought it was a great way to promote his business and to attract new customers.

Not anymore. He stopped running new deals over the summer. While they may be good for some businesses, they are no longer a great fit for him.

You think youre building this big loyal customer base, but its like youre in a parade, he said. And when the deal ends, you look back and no one is left in the parade.

A lot of folks dont come back until you offer another one, he said. They get hooked on the deals.

In the beginning, most customers would spend 20 to 30 percent above the price of the deal, so he was still making something off of them. But after a while, many customers began ordering more carefully so they were paying only the exact deal price.

You cant keep on giving away everything, he said. The daily deal sites have taught people that restaurants can afford to give half away of everything, so why pay full price?

Soon, he said, he found himself running a sort of Ponzi scheme on himself in which he would offer another deal and then another to make up for the money he lost on the previous one.

So now he has turned to a new St. Louis website called freecouponstl.com. He pays $100 a month to have his coupons displayed on it.

He likes it because he can structure the coupon the way that works best for him and not be pressured by daily deal sites that advocate half-off deals and take a portion of the proceeds.

Carolyn Hession launched freecouponstl.com with a couple of partners a few weeks ago. There are a dozen or so businesses on it so far that range from restaurants to jewelers to florists.

To be sure, the deals are not nearly as sweet as those half-off deals found on Groupon and other sites. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.