Premium Cedar Shoe Trees

To thank Brendan B. of San Francisco, CA for purchasing yesterday’s Daily Deal we’re sending him a set of FootFitter Cedar Shoe Trees.  Size large and cut out of premium Tennessee Cedar, these shoe trees decrease wrinkles and keep linings in place.

Salad Spinner

Congratulations Margaret L. of Venice, CA!  To thank you for purchasing yesterday’s Daily Deal we’re sending you a Progressive Salad Spinner.  Dishwasher safe and doubling as a colander, this salad spinner quickly washes and dries both fruits and vegetables.  The Progressive Salad Spinner is a welcome addition to any kitchen.

It's a Groupon Grubhub Giveaway!

Banish awkward stomach noises and find your way to desktop dining utopia with the Groupon GrubHub Giveaway! ***EDITED TO ADD OUR WINNER, BELOW!***

Groupon and the generous folks at GrubHub are giving away $500 in GrubHub dollars to one lucky winner. GrubHub works with more than 13,000 restaurants who deliver, enabling even the hungriest desk dweller to get some grub. How much lunch does $500 buy? How about:

We’ll accept entrants through the link at the end of this blog post through 12:01 a.m. CT, Saturday, September 25, and the winner will be announced early next week on this page. Winner will be chosen randomly; enter once per day. Please note, this prize is good for online ordering only.

GrubHub serves 13 cities across the U.S. – the perfect way to get some eats while shopping for your daily Groupon.

***CONGRATULATIONS to Katie M. of Los Angeles. Katie plans to feed her coworkers with the $500 prize – way to share the love! Thanks to everyone for entering.

**Winner must be at least 18 years of age, and hungry.

Petzl Headlamp

To thank Kristy S. of Denver, CO for purchasing yesterday’s Daily Deal we’re sending her a Petzl Tikka 2 Plus Headlamp.  Burning up to 140 hours with a range of 35 meters, this headlamp has three unique settings and employs two LED light sources for added versatility.  Perfect for the spelunker in all of us.

Too much of a good thing?

Traditionally, the biggest problem for most small businesses is getting customers in the door. Now, Groupon has presented some businesses with an entirely new problem: what happens when you have _too many_ customers?

There have been a [handful of stories](–group-coupons-can-overwhelm) lately documenting the struggles of cupcake shops running out of batter or sushi restaurants who don’t have enough rice to meet the demand brought on by their Groupon feature. We haven’t written about those stories here because it’s not a common experience – the vast majority of businesses we feature, while certainly busy, do just fine. 97% of the businesses we feature ask to be featured again, including many of the businesses mentioned in the stories.

But earlier this week, one of our [merchants](, after a bad experience, called Groupon “the single worst decision I have ever made as a business owner” on [her blog]( Understandably, the article [caught the media’s attention](, as well as ours. I thought it was worth responding.

Now that we know Posie’s had a problem, we have reached out to them so we can help. We’ve featured hundreds of businesses similar to Posie’s with great success, so we’re eager to learn what went wrong. Here are a few in Portland:

* [$4 for $8 Worth of Breakfast and Lunch Fare at FlavourSpot]( (2,348 sold)
* [$7 for $15 Worth of Fresh Deli Fare from Elephants Delicatessen]( (7,206 sold)
* [$7 for $15 Worth of Fresh, Wholesome Smoothies and Café Fare at Tropical Smoothie Café]( (1,015 sold)
* [$10 for $22 Worth of Hawaiian Fare at Aiea Grill]( (505 sold)

Here’s an email the owner of the last business, Aiea Grill, sent their Groupon representative shortly after being featured:

> Hi John,

> Thank you for setting us up on Groupon. The concept is sheer genius. The web-savvy, interactive format is so well thought out forwards and backwards. Who ever heard of aquiring 516 new, quality customers in one day with no money up front? You were also right about the Groupon member being a high grade customer, operating at a sophistication level far above that of the typical bargain hunter/coupon cutter. Viral, positive word of mouth would be a fantastically welcome result of this strategically targeted blast onto the Portland radar screen.

> We experienced 2500 hits on our website on the day of our feature. The daily average has been 35. Even on the following day residual interest it seems led to 250 hits. And then today is still high at 85. There is much more to what Groupon generates for participating businesses than what occurs only on the day of the feature, isn’t there?

> Thank you again for bringing this amazing opportunity to us and for your into the after-hours support on the discussion board during our feature run.

> Mahalo,
Gerrick Adachi
Aiea Grill

For some reason, those four merchants – all offering similar services at similar price points – had positive Groupon experiences, but Posie’s did not.

Of course, we have heard from merchants who felt Groupon sent them **too many** customers. We responded to those concerns by creating [merchant preparation materials](, including this video featuring a Groupon merchant who sold 10,000 bagel Groupons in a day:

Also, to clarify one important point: it has always been Groupon policy to allow merchants to cap deals. If a merchant sells too many Groupons, they’ll have a bad experience, the customer will have a bad experience, and therefore, Groupon loses. We’re longer-term thinkers than that. In fact, we have the opposite problem more often – where merchants protest a cap we recommend, convinced they can handle more customers than we think they can.

Ultimately, most businesses look at Groupon as a form of advertising – they’re deciding between us and running a radio commercial or newspaper ad. In all cases, the business pays in hopes of getting new customers in the door that will hopefully love their service and come back again. When merchants choose Groupon, it’s because we’re the best in the world at getting a large number of [desirable customers]( in the door, there’s no upfront cost, and the total cost per customer is lower than other forms of local advertising. We tell merchants that we get the customers in the door, and from there, it’s up to them – and that’s exactly what most great merchants need. If they have a great business, we’re the best amplifier out there.

Finally, for what it’s worth, it’s painful for us at Groupon to read stories like this. When we started this company three years ago, we were actually [a platform for groups to organize action and fundraise]( for causes and shared interests (one of which ended up being group purchasing). When we started Groupon, what got us excited about it is the win-win we’re creating – every day we’re breathing life into great local businesses, while at the same time making it easier for people to get out of the house and experience life. It sounds like corporate BS, but the only thing that makes this worth doing is that we’re helping people. We’re extremely proud that most businesses consider Groupon the best form of advertising out there, but won’t rest until we’ve made Groupon work for everyone. We welcome your ideas!

Board Game Madness

To thank Bernard L. of Fair Lawn, NJ for purchasing yesterday’s Daily Deal we’re sending him a trio of board games.  How fun!  Bernard can now transport himself to a time of childhood innocence and laughter as he plays Mouse Trap, Trouble, or Operation.  Perfect for ages 3 and up.

Beanbag Chair & Case of Doritos

To thank David L. of Chevy Chase, MD for purchasing yesterday’s Daily Deal we’re sending him a Pear Sueded Corduroy Jumbo Beanbag Chair and a case of Doritos.  Measuring an impressive 41 inches in diameter, this jumbo size model comes fully assembled with a soft suede exterior and clean corduroy finish.  And, because this beanbag is easy to clean, David can use it to wipe off his hands after he polishes off his case of Doritos.

Pillow Tie

To thank Kurt M. of Indianapolis, IN for buying yesterday’s Groupon we’re sending him a Pillow Tie, the only name in men’s inflatable fashion.  With a hidden valve and easy to inflate pocket, Pillow Tie is America’s leading cause of work related naps.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet

Congratulations Antoinette K. of Chicago, IL!  To thank you for purchasing yesterday’s Daily Deal we’re sending you a Collector’s Edition Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet.  Officially licensed by Stars Wars and fashioned out of vinyl, this helmet boasts a white matte coating, detailed molding, and smoked lenses for added awesomeness.