Groupon | 2011-10-17

Have you ever had a friend that worked for CutCo? After they tried and failed (or succeeded?!) to sell you some knives, you probably found it hard to trust that person again. They used your friendship to sell you something. Everyone knows that salesmanship is sleazy business, so when my friends try to do it to me, whether it's CutCo or Avon, I start to feel uneasy.

LivingSocial, Groupon, and other similar sites are the same thing. There is a product being sold, it could be tickets to a thing, food, massages, whatever. Some product is being sold. The brilliance of these services is they use your friends to advertise to you. One of your friends sees that if 10 people buy tickets for this concert, then every ticket is $10 off. So they post on their Facebook:

"Hey guys! We can all see String Cheese in concert for only $40 if we get ten people together."

The ticket service just won.

Instead of your friend shelling out $50 dollars for a single ticket, each person gives $40 to a total of $400. Some people may argue that the ticket service is losing 100 dollars because of that, but that is assuming that all of these people would have gone if it wasn't discounted AND if your friend wasn't asking you for help. Companies are trying to use my friends to get my money and I don't like it.

So no, I will not participate in your Groupon.