Previous “Groupoff” posts

Explorer’s Day?

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

This past Monday was a holiday for most of America, one most commonly called Columbus Day. In recent years, it has come to be known by other names like “Indigenous People’s Day”. Columbus was pretty monstrous, so it’s not terribly surprising to see folks looking to adjust this holiday. This email from Living Social, however, confused me greatly:

Ad calling the holidat ‘Explorer's Day’

I figured this was simply another attempt at renaming the holiday, albeit a clumsy one. The position of the apostrophe indicates this a day for one specific explorer. If so, the obvious one is Columbus, so it almost seems like an attempt to simply not utter Columbus’s name. However, a quick Google search led me to this (and almost exclusively this):

It appears that deals sites are no longer content with celebrating actual holidays (well, “holidays”) months early. They now want us to celebrate holidays from the world of video games.

Explain Yourself, Groupon

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

I just got this in my inbox today, and I feel like I’m going insane. It’s July 19th, a Tuesday:

ALT NAME

Cyber Monday is another sales holiday, one that follows Black Friday. It’s in November or early December, and as its name implies, it’s on a Monday (not a Monday and a Tuesday). What the hell are they on over at the Groupon offices? No matter what Donald Trump might lead you to believe, repeating a lie does not eventually make it true, goddammit.

Previously in Groupon Insanity: Only 163 Days Until Christmas

Only 163 Days Until Christmas

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Have the folks at Groupon just lost their damned minds? Or at least the ability to read a calendar? Yesterday, I received an email proclaiming:

  • Black Friday Doorbusters Are Here!

As you likely know, Black Friday occurs the day after Thanksgiving in America, and it’s a day when retailers around the country stoke buyers into a frenzy by offering sales. In the past decade or so, it’s grown into something of a madness, as stores open earlier and earlier in an effort to attract customers. In other words, Black Friday is a single day four months from now, and it’s certainly something a deals site like Groupon is aware of.

And yet, here we are, with a whole section on their site dedicated to this in(s)anity.

ALT NAME

I can find no explanation for why Groupon has decided to reuse the very distinctive name of a widely-known sales holiday. There’s not even a lame attempt, like calling “Black Friday in July”. It also shouldn’t be missed that this “Black Friday” actually spans three days, and seems to focus on “doorbusters”, a (rather violent) term which only makes sense when applied to physical retail stores. Jesus Crist.

Very Sorry Indeed

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Almost exactly five years ago, I wrote about what I then believed was Pete Rose’s nadir. I discovered that he was signing baseballs which included the inscription “I’m sorry I bet on baseball”, and worse, that these balls were being heavily discounted by Walmart. At the time, they had been marked down 37%, from $299.99 to just $189.99.

However, my inbox recently showed that it’s always possible to sink even lower, especially when Groupon is involved. The same ball now lists for just $159, and can be purchased on Groupon for just $129.99 (or from Walmart at just $125.78).

ALT NAME

As if all this didn’t make it painfully obvious, Pete Rose himself “wants you to know that he’s very sorry”.

Last Year’s Model?

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

I don’t often purchase deals from social deal sites, but I do find the daily emails they send to be a perpetual source of amusement (not to mention fodder for this site). Today I have but one question about this deal:

Christmas Tree deal on Groupon

What kind of shitty farm needs to use Groupon to sell their Christmas trees at a deep discount four weeks ahead of time?

As Little as One-Tenth as Much

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Mother’s Day is this Sunday in the US, and throughout much of the world.1 On the 10th, many an overpriced greeting card will be given, and many a brunch will be eaten. Most folks will plan to do something for their own mothers. You ought to do something for the mother of your own children as well. But if you’re married, what do you do about the ol’ mother-in-law? This seems a thorny problem indeed.

Fortunately, GroupOn is there to help you show just how much you care:

Gifts for Mom-in-Low: $5; Gifts for Mom up to $50

Now we know: As long as you spend at least 10% as much on your mother-in-law as you do on your own mother, your gift-giving will be beyond reproach. You should also aim to spend $5, because that appears to be the magic number. In fact, according to the subject of this email, $5 gifts are “[p]erfect for Mothers-in-Law”.

And just what can you get for $5? Well, who wouldn’t love a five-dollar haircut?

$5 Haircut

And of course, in addition to jewelry and custom photo printed mugs, there’s crap like this:

Notepad; Magazine Subscription
Hey, at least this stuff runs out

This one cracked me up:

Photo on a trivet

It’s sort of awful to put a burning hot casserole dish on a picture of your baby’s face, isn’t it? But if your mother-in-law has only barely-concealed contempt for you, get her a trivet featuring your ugly mug. She’ll get to act out her most violent fantasies, while your own skin survives unscathed, and that’s a classic win-win scenario.

Perhaps the best offer, however, is this one:

Eyebrow Shaping and Waxing

Why tell your mother-in-law that her eyebrows are a goddamned disgusting travesty, and that you can barely stand to look at her? Instead give her a thoughtful deal that leaves the truth politely unspoken, while also allowing her to fix that heinous mess.

The best part?

Eyebrow Shaping and Waxing: Sold Out!

I guess people really do hate their mothers-in-law.


Footnotes:

  1. When I was visiting England back in March, I happened upon this sign:

    Mother's Day March 15th

    My momentary panic was quelled upon realizing those wacky Brits have their own date for Mother’s Day. ↩︎

Recently Seen in My Inbox

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

An Email Announcing Tickets for Springsteen at Fenway Park

As a convenience to you, we have secured the right to provide you an advanced courtesy offering to purchase tickets before the general on-sale.

Wh—What? I’m sorry, I think I may have had a stroke while you were talking. Could you repeat that?

As a convenience to you, we have secured the right to provide you an advanced courtesy offering to purchase tickets before the general on-sale.

Oh, I see. You’re having a stroke. Well, good luck with that.

From “Teroforma”

Subject: Love Dad to the MAX

Sex spam, right? Between the sender and the “MAX”, it’s gotta be some kind of sex spam.

Whisky Stones MAX
MAX!

Nope! Whisky stones.

From GroupOn

Subject: Father’s Day deals for the man who gave birth to you

The man who gave birth to you

Biology does not work that way!

The Reason for the Season

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Merry Christmas from Groupon

God bless us, every one.

This Week in Crappy Deals

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Since they launched in 2008, recently-public company Groupon1 has popularized the idea of local daily deals. That business model has been taken up by dozens of different companies in the past few years, leading to thousands of local deals every day. With that sort of volume, the deals can’t all be gems. Here are some of the crappier deals I’ve seen.

Pregame Early for BC vs FSU at MySportsRug.com

MySportsRug.com deal

Sure! Grab some beers, fire up the grill, and pre-game for a college football game with the purchase of a rug.

$12 for Two Boxes of Sleep-Enhancing Snack Bars

Nightfood deal

What the what? Sleep-enhancing snack bars? Yes, on their site, the company states NightFood “provides nutrition for better sleep”. They also say it “helps fuel the important processes that take place in the brain and body while you sleep” and claim that the chocamine and melatonin in each bar “help you quiet your mind and fall asleep more quickly”.

Of course, their site is also required to note that those statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

$20 for $40 worth of dinner at Sushi Yoshi

Sushi Yoshi deal

Yoshi? Like, Yoshi Yoshi?

Yoshi.
This Yoshi?

Yoshis are dinosaurs. Or possibly dragons. They may be part-bird. But a Yoshi is definitely not a fish! They’ve got arms. And legs. With boots!2 You can’t make sushi out of a Yoshi.

Half Off Laser Surgery at Sheth-Horsley Eye Center

Eye Surgery deal

“Half off Laser Eye Surgery” sounds less like a daily deal, and more like the makings of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Maybe it’s just me, but when lasers are going to be used to cut my eyeballs, I’d rather pay a premium than get a discount.

Up to 60% Off Large Pizza at Domino’s Pizza

Domino's deal

Paying 40 cents on the dollar would ordinarily be incredible deal. Ordinarily.


Footnotes:

  1. The only Ponzi scheme you can buy stock in! ↩︎

  2. Little-known fact: Baby yoshis hatch from their shells fully clad in their fancy footwear. ↩︎