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Group Deals Without The Risk

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Monday April 15, 2013 )

There’s no need to use Groupon type sites to appeal to group buyers; you can easily do it yourself.. and maintain more control over the outcome.

Most of us have read horror stories relating to some campaigns on major deal of the day sites – high costs for merchants, wafer-thin margins and some merchants being absolutely swamped with takers to the point it seriously impedes all other aspects of their business.

While there are certainly ways to minimize risks, slow and steady often wins the race.

Running a group deal yourself can be as simple as putting up a page on your site using related terms – group buying, group deals, co-op buying and similar; then inviting interested parties to contact you. Figure out your terms and such for certain products including pricing and minimum participation levels.

The trick is to only have to send whatever your product is to one person in the group where possible (the co-op organiser), who then distributes it to other members in the group. Of course in these instances, the groups are rather small and the co-op members usually know each other to some degree – but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you are a small operator.

Shipping to one person can cut down on your handling time ..and time is money.

It’s amazing what people will band together to buy. Just about any product type has a dedicated online community – so forums are also good places to offer group deals; just read the forum’s guidelines before posting or approach a moderator for permission.

It doesn’t matter whether the product is $10 or $10,000 – I’ve seen the group buying concept work all sorts of items. Having established ties with the group, it can also lead to repeat business; group deals and otherwise.

Online merchants are facing some of the same challenges their bricks and mortar counterparts are when it comes to group buying – a lot of these groups are jumping onto places like AliBaba and buying cheap gear directly from China.

While you might not be able to compete directly with China-direct type prices for group deals; the fact you are local will go some way to a higher cost, even after discount, being acceptable.


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