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Are you a Social Group Buyer or Provider?

I was recently listening to a podcast for small business owners, regarding the pros and cons of providing your services or products to social group buying sites.  If you’re not a familiar with the term social group buying the term is referred to for sites such as, Living Social, Groupon, CityDeals and a host of others.   Now I can understand the benefits of the social group buying from both sides, from the business owner stand point and as a conscious spending consumer.

Business Provider

As a business owner who provides a service, the social group buying business model does not fit my business.     When you decide to enroll as a servicer of one of those sites you are commoditizing your service or product offerings.  And when you are viewed as a commodity to a consumer, the offerings you have whether it is a service or product loses value.  Commodity based services or products are viewed as just one of the others, in the eyes of the consumer; which in turn means they want to discount what you have to a lower price to meet their needs.   If you are thinking about being a provider to a social group buying site, here are four tips that a business owner should consider:

  1. Know your Business Margins - some social buying sites, delay payments for up to 90 days.  For a struggling business owner with slim profit margins, waiting 90 days to receive a payment could be deadly.  Make sure you have a cash reserve to keep you afloat until you receive the payment.
  2. Marketing - are you interested in exposure, for your products and services.  Or are you only interested in getting your business in front of a larger audience, if that is your intention always keep the customer in mind.
  3. Educate your Staff – Your staff should know your service or product offerings by hard.   Make sure there are scripted procedures on how to handle all types of customer questions.
  4. Be Strategic on the Up sell - Business owners love to up sell to customers, but most customers already have a price in mine that they want to pay, so be cautious to not insult or show insult just because a customer may not be interested in your offering.

Conscious Consumer

If you are a deal seeker like me, social group buying sites are ideal; but I have to admit I do not use these sites when I’m looking for deals.  I still prefer the Clipper Magazine, Money Mailer or Val-Pak, the reason why is because many of the deals on the social group buying sites do not have the local deals for businesses that I’m looking to patronize.   I find many of the interesting deals are too far for me to redeem my online coupon, and why bother by the driving hassle.  But if you are a consumer looking for online deals and who patronize these websites here are 4 tips consumers should consider:

  1. Read the Fine Print - What day is this deal good for, are weekends or holidays excluded; or is the coupon only for a certain service or product offering.
  2. Money Back Policy –What is the money back policy if you are unsatisfied, will the social group buying website refund your money; if you are not satisfied with the retailer or service provider.
  3. Upgrade your offer - Find out if the merchant will upgrade your discount for something better at the establishment, if you are unsatisfied with what is included with your online offer.
  4. Comparison Site Check - Compare other social group buying sites to one another, to see how one site compares to the other.

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2 Responses to “Are you a Social Group Buyer or Provider?”

  1. […] B. Phillips @ yourmoneymentor writes Are you a Social Group Buyer or Provider? – This post discusses online coupon sites, like groupon, living social […]

  2. […] B. Phillips @ yourmoneymentor writes Are you a Social Group Buyer or Provider? – This post discusses online coupon sites, like groupon, living social […]

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