To Groupon or not?

I've been recently approached by this site to partner on a potential deal, but I'm hesitant to go for it. What are you thoughts? Perhaps someone already tried Groupon or LivingSocial and had a positive experience?<div>


  • catchphotobooths
    Here is a link to a previous thread:
    <a href=""></a>

    I think it is a horrible fit for our industry.
  • buzzkcphoto
    How much would the agreed price be and how many are you willing to do for that price?
  • viralbooth
    @<a href="">catchphotobooths</a> Thank you for the link.I missed that conversation. Read the thread and I agree with the general opinion, although it is tempting.<div>@<a href="">buzzkcphoto</a> Good question. With deep discounts and fees to the deal sites, not much left to take home afterwards. </div><div>Here's another opinion I came across on the web: <a href=""></a></div>
  • buzzkcphoto
    @viralbooth I personally think it would be a tough way to make money, but everyone's motivations are different.
  • Unknown
    Some people have done it successfully, but you have to have a business model that can work with it.
  • LorneChesal
    IMO your business has to be the type where clients use your product/service often & on a regular basis.

    The concept for us (the business owner) is to find new loyal and repeat clients. Earning their business with a freebie/cheapie to start makes sense this way.

    Groupon et al just want to sell coupons. As many as possible.

    Very different from what we want.

    Even if our Groupon clients fall in love and refer their friends to us, it's based on a deeply discounted experience. Bargain seekers hunt in packs.
  • Gotcha
    Interesting debate. We ran a Groupon when we were brand new and only had one gig under our belts. We offered that gig for half price to a friend, just to get a start. We had nothing scheduled and no money set aside for advertising. We decided to give it a try, just to get some business.<div>
    </div><div>The results: We sold 17 Groupons. We had a cap set so we wouldn't be run out of business with these cheap gigs we couldn't keep up with. Only one person purchased before confirming availability. I was already booked and he was angry. (He sat on the Groupon for over a month before even calling me. Dumb.) He got a refund through Groupon.</div><div>
    </div><div>Every other gig worked out great. We've already had several repeat jobs from schools, a non-profit fundraiser, two yearly holiday parties, and a day care for full price jobs. That right there made it worth it for us. We would have never reached any of those clients without the Groupon. We passed out hundreds of cards at those events and made lots of contacts. We met a few DJs who were looking for photo booths to recommend. We felt that this was a cheaper way of advertising for us.</div><div>
    </div><div>We have only hired attendants twice. My partner, husband, and I have run every other gig. I'm a stay at home mom, so the extra pocket cash is really nice for me. We've built up a bank account now and are really satisfied with the results we achieved. Sure, the profits were small. But we still made money at each gig and were able to advertise to countless numbers of people. </div><div>
    </div><div>So, that's my experience. Groupon definitely did not run us out of business. It gave us the great jump start we needed. Would I ever do it again? Probably not, unless I was really hurting for business. If I had nothing on the books for months, I would do it again in a heartbeat.</div>
  • Minh
    I was offered a 60/40 with living social, but that's only of the under 50% amount that I would've been selling for on living social.

    For example, this is how I look at it.

    $900 for 3 hours, which then it would've been $400 for their special. Out of that $400 I would only get $240 of it. Minus the supplies about $18 in prints/toner, and about $30 in gas. Equal to about now: $192 in profit. 20% i pay my attendant ($40), so now I'm down to $152, and then I show up about 1.5 hours before to set up and then another .75 hr to clean up, so it would be about 6-5 hours for the event including driving,... That's $152/6 = $25 and hour. Maybe suitable for some people. I rather spend $900 and go to a wedding expo and book 4-5 rentals and make $1-2k in profits then deal with living social for 12-15 bookings just to make the same amount.

    Lorne is right, it's not suited to fit what we do. Repeat business is hard to do with photobooths, since only people get married once... Well that's what we like to think! Lol. I'm waiting for my first divorce Photobooth party lol
  • catchphotobooths
    You only pay your attendants $40? Most of us are paying 2 - 4 times that much.
  • Mike
    Didn't catch that the first time I pay $20/hr. I want them to hang around and keep my turnover as low as possible.<div>
    </div><div>Do you have a high turnover rate @Minh?</div>
  • Martica
    <p>I was laid off April 2011 and had been researching the photobooth business since January. I made the decision to purchase my booth and got it in June. I was in need of immediate funds so after much thought and consideration, I ran a Groupon deal. I was able to negotiate a higher commission than the usual 50%. </p><p>I offered 2 and 4 hour packages. My goal was to use the $$ from the Groupon deals to pay bills and expenses and upsell as much as possible. I was able to upsell many bookings with extra hours, extra prints and Memory Books. I didn't give a "deeply discounted" experience to my clients. Instead, we went above and beyond to provide the very best service as if they had payed full rate. We were getting tipped $40-$100 at events and the referrals started to come in and so did new full rate bookings. </p><p>For me, the Groupon deals helped to get started. I was able to purchase a second booth this past March and all of the hard work from those Groupon deals is now paying off. I have built great relationships with event planners, DJ's, catering directors, and other vendors who continue to refer business my way.</p><p>I wouldn't do another Groupon (both Groupon/living social keep hounding me) but it really was worth it for me.</p>
  • Minh
    no no, i dont pay them 10 an hour. lol i said if i were to take that living social deal, thats how much they would get! lol My partner aka, the wifey, gets a good 20%. so a $800 booking, she gets $160. divided by 4 hours thats $40 an hour for easy work ;) she makes out like a bandit! lol <div>
    </div><div>I dont think i can hire anyone else to deal with this. I know the system inside and out so one false setting could make one of those guy's worse nightmares come true.. so it's kinda hard to find someone that could do it. i tried showing the wifey one time... never again she says. lol</div>
  • Minh
    its good for start up Martica ;) *thumbs up!
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