Sunday, February 07, 2010

Group Coupons

In our continuing quest to share ideas consistent with what's being called the New Frugality (you know how hack journalism always puts the word new in front of everything and capitalizes it all)--which is not really new for most people I know--we thought we'd note this interesting website, which harnesses group purchasing power for coupon offers. I haven't really checked it out much yet, but plan to. In the meantime, I was eager to get your input. Does it look worthwhile to you?

13 Comments:

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Kass said...

Sounds kind of interesting. Only 30 cities so far. Salt Lake is not one of them. It seems to be 'things to do.' Kind of like the Entertainment "Happenings" booklet that I sometimes buy from parent-pushed kids at the door and then never use.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Yes, I had the same thought--that after some initial interest on my part, it might well go unused. As for Salt Lake not being part of it yet (and I must say I was pleasantly surprised that Cleveland is) they clearly are asking for suggestions of new cities to add, so by all means, suggest it. I also thought of you yesterday, Kass, when I read this piece on SLCity in the NYT. Love to get your reaction as a resident:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/08/us/08saltlake.html

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Kim said...

I am amused at the "new" frugality idea, esp. when the first offer for our area was discounted indoor tennis lessons at a posh country club. I looked at other frugal offerings which included time at an indoor driving range and a massage at a dayspa.

I'll go out on a limb and say that while the discounting of luxury goods is nice for those who can afford such things full price, I'm not sure how useful it really would be. It's like the age old joke about saving money because it was on sale, except you spent money on stuff you didn't really need.

Are you familiar with the Lee Eisenbert's book, Shoptimism?

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Now that's an interesting insight, Kim. A perfect example of why I thought I should ask y'all. There seem to be two possible explanations for this disconnect: either the audience now using the site (at least in Cleveland) are upscale themselves, on average, or the tool itself is biased toward upscale audiences who traffic in such silly luxuries. Or perhaps both? And no, Kim, I haven't heard of that book. I gather you would recommend it? I have breezed through and read parts of Rob Walker's book on a similar topic, "Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are," and recommend it to anyone with an interest in this topic.

Anyway, Kim, gotta run now. I'm due at the country club. Hope to see you there.

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Okay, I hereby apologize for the reverse snobbery of looking down (or should I say up?) at any readers who belong to a country club. I'm sure they have their uses, but far be it from us to light any class warfare fires here!

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Ugh, Lee Eisenberg. I apparently was in too much of a hurry to get to the club to spell check?

I only have read the blog, not the book, but it's a very interesting look at the consumer culture and how it's become completely reflexive.

http://www.shoptimismbook.com/?page_id=1391

I'll have to check out your book recommendation. I'm fascinated by consumer behavior.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Kim. I hope others will check it out as well.
I can almost guarantee you'll find Rob Walker's stuff interesting and useful. For several years, he's written the Consumerist column in the NYTimes Magazine, and also regularly covers economic/consumer topics in Slate with an offbeat intelligence. You can check out more about him at his website:

http://www.robwalker.net/

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger Kass said...

John - to respond to your article link:
As a Salt Lake resident I have mixed feelings about how involved The Mormon Church gets in urban development. They closed off a street several years ago and made a beautiful plaza. It has caused controversy for the strict rules that are imposed. A gay couple who were kissing were kicked off the site while heterosexual couples can freely show affection. I don't like the idea of my Dad's tremendous charitable trust money going to this new development or to the BYU football team.

I want to see downtown Salt Lake become viable again, but I don't want a church-based camp at the heart of the city.

These are only a few of my reactions and I'm starting to get riled, so I'll quit now.

 
At 10:37 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Sorry to rile you, Kass. But your testimony seems to confirm much of the Times' reporting about the concerns of many.

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Sure enough, Kim, today's email offer from Groupon is for facials and spa treatments. Take my word for it (those who know me won't need me to tell them this, of course): those aren't products that will EVER be of interest to me. Call me the anti-metrosexual.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger Pat Washington said...

"It's like the age old joke about saving money because it was on sale, except you spent money on stuff you didn't really need." Amen, Kim. My mother used coupons, and I used to beat myself up a bit about collecting them and then forgetting them when I went to the store, so I thought, "duh, just don't collect them."

As Paul Hewson says, "You can never get enough of what you don't really need."

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Glad to see you're still among the living, Pat.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Pat Washington said...

Thanks, John. Sorry I've been out of the loop. I want to catch up on your blog. And I'll email you.

 

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