Groupon comes to Macon

(Photo courtesy of Grant Blankenship - Macon.com) John Smoltz signs autographs following his speaking engagement at the First Pitch Classic.

(Photo courtesy of Grant Blankenship – Macon.com) John Smoltz signs autographs following his speaking engagement at the First Pitch Classic.

This is a sample of a Groupon discount sent to your e-mail address.

“Get it, Share it, Enjoy it.” These are the three steps needed to become a certified Groupon addict. Coupon junkies, get ready.  On Monday, Jan. 24 one of the most recognized up-and-coming coupon sites  known as “Groupon” became available to the city of Macon.
The  business concept of Groupon is defined by the company as a deal-of-the-day website that is localized to major geographic markets in the United States, and even exists in other parts of the world, such as Mexico, Europe and South America.

Groupon has become so popular that it has already planted itself in over 150 locations in the United States. The company originally launched in November of 2008 in popular city of Chicago, Ill. and has grown rapidly ever since its debut.

The company offers one group coupon (groupon) a day in each of the markets it serves. If a certain number of people sign up for the deal of the day, then the deal becomes available for all to enjoy.

The company has gained so much recognition since its launch that it has already been offered to be purchased by Google for 5.3 billion dollars. The company declined the offer.

Macon’s Groupon has already offered numerous deals since its launch, including deals from local businesses like Ingleside Village Pizza and Amanda Jane Salon and Spa. The first Macon groupon offered $7 for $15 worth of Ingleside Village Pizza. Over 100 groupons were sold.

Though the concept of Groupon in Macon is relatively new, it has caused quite a stir in the community. While consumers have seemed to enjoy the concept thus far, businesses have expressed their positive and negative feelings about the site. Many people think the site is a great way to get name of the businesses out there, others do not agree that it is beneficial.

Mercer students are even discussing the site and how its effects could help make or break certain characteristics of our community.
Senior Carl Lewis does not like the idea of Groupon taking away from local businesses.

“As a customer of local businesses I would much rather go through the business itself than go through a third party,” said Lewis. “I would not use Groupon. It’s cool for some people, but for me if I’m giving a gift or something, I’d rather go through the business itself. I would rather not order something ahead of time and I feel that the idea is not local-centric.”

Other students have a positive feeing about using Groupon, and think that the concept will help stimulate local businesses and interest.

Sophomore Kaleigh Manson expressed her optimism about the site adding Macon to its market.

“I think a lot of students will use Groupon, especially if it offers places that students would be interested in going to, like restaurants and retail businesses.” said Manson. “I haven’t used it yet, but I think it will be a fun way to get deals.”

Senior Molly Szabo had already purchased a few groupons and thinks it is a great opportunity for both the business and the consumer.

“I have already used Groupon multiple times.” Said Szabo. “My most recent purchase was a deal for Barnes & Noble. It really seems to be a win-win for both the business and consumers.”

Groupon Macon has sold over 500 coupons since its launch just two weeks ago.