Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Buh-Bye Daily Deals

Shopping Carts
Photo by Shlomi Fish on Flickr

Last week when TechCrunch tied what sounds like Plum District's eminent demise to "changes in the hyperlocal deals market," I wondered if the issue was actually about daily deals in general rather than hyperlocal deals. But now Groupon's second quarter earnings are in and they are, as Slate says, "dismal", and illustrate that the daily deals industry as a whole is a dying business model.

I'm not surprised and I think Slate is right--I think daily deals are on their way out. While part of me is sad--I love a good deal as much as the next person and am a frequent purchaser of deals from Living Social and Groupon--I've felt the desperation for a while now. The same deals over and over again. The frequency of emails increasing, with more and more niche deals: Groupon Goods, Living Social Escapes...the emails are endless, and the result is that it feels like a bargain basement jumble of crap being peddled on a daily basis. Just like I can't be bothered to rifle through the circulars tucked inside my Washington Post on Sundays or the ValPaks or equivalent mailers, I now just delete almost every daily deal email I receive and it's just a matter of time until my lingering curiosity just fizzles and I unsubscribe altogether. After all, how many cupcakes or laser hair removal treatments can one person buy?

What do you think--will daily deals as a business model prevail, or are they on their way out?

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