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Groupon Counters No Longer Add Up

As human beings, we like to follow the crowd. That’s part of the reason group deal sites works as well as they do. If only five people jump on a deal, then maybe it’s not as good as it sounds. But if 200 people buy in — well, then you know you’re in on something great.

Groupon wants you to feel the satisfaction of knowing you’re part of the popular crowd, but they’ve decided to be less specific about it.

Going forward, Groupon deals will no longer show the exact number of deals purchased. The wording on tipped deals has been changed to “Over INSERT NUMBER bought” and even that’s not necessarily true.

According to Groupon’s blog, they’ve been testing a variety of ways of covering the numbers including including this gem.

“Instead of showing the exact number of Groupons purchased, the counter is now reduced by a random percentage – sometimes 0.5%, sometimes 19.5%, or anything in between.”

I’ll be honest here and say, I don’t even know what that means.

Why are they doing this? Groupon says that people have been using the number of deals sold in order to estimate their revenue and they don’t like it. They say it’s equal to someone trying to guess your weight all day. Really? There are people who troll through all of the Groupon city pages simply to pull the numbers so they can estimate the company’s sales? Surely there are better things they could be doing with their time?

The best part of Groupon’s explanation is this line: “We’re blogging about it to be transparent about our lack of transparency.”

Kudos to them for being honest.

  • http://www.twitter.com/aldorella Aldo

    it could seem incredible but it’s absolutely true: there is people that is spending time through all of the Groupon city pages to estimate their sales. I have been working in a Groupon competitor and it was a daily activity. As far as I know, also the other competitors were doing the same. In some of them, there was a person doing this job for all the cities; in others the sales accounts were in charge of this activity.

  • http://www.RVSecurity.net Matthew Nowlin

    I don’t think that it is far fetched at all to claim competitors “scan” Groupon daily. To think that they have humans do it is rather insulting to the intelligence though; most likely, scripts performed the task.

    I would also imagine that businesses considering engaging Groupon’s services would manually go through past ads.

    We have lived in an information society for nearly two decades, and shouldn’t be surprised that people and business aggregate data!

  • beaucastel

    Groupon does the exact same thing to competitors. Soon as I ran a LS ad, salespeople from Groupon, SweetJack etc started ringing my phone.