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Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Groupon," Defined

Online Advertising Blitz

If you've been reading this blog -- or practically anything online lately -- you've probably encountered ads for something called "Groupon."

Group what??

Honestly, the first time I encountered the word, I thought it had something to with "grouper" (the fish) or "croup" (the very nasty cough).

In fact, it's a combination of the words "group" and "coupon": 'grou-pon' -- get it?

Products vs. Services

The company behind it is apparently buying up oceans of online ads on everything from mega-Web sites to little blogs like the one run by yours truly.

The concept is to use groups (and their concentrated purchasing power) to wrangle discounts from all manner of retailers and service providers.

That seems fine for goods like TV's or toothpaste.

However, I'd be leery of getting a haircut or massage from a (small) outfit that just promised to give a couple thousand online bargain hunters like me discounted services.

Or, I'd just be sure to go first . . .

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