Small business owners: Daily deals killing us

Posted at 6:11 PM, May 03, 2016

Many of us love Groupons and other daily deals.

But some small business owners say consumers are expecting such big markdowns all the time, that it now threatens their business.

Consumers Expect Big Markdowns

We've become the Groupon generation, fighting for and expecting our daily deals.

But at the TITLE Boxing Club, a 4 year old Loveland, Ohio gym, owner Mark Fox says there's a big downside to daily deals.

He says too many can wipe out a small business.

"Often we are running promotions and deals, and they are already getting a great deal," Fox said. "But people tend to want more, even more after that."

Fox says many people are so conditioned by Groupon and similar sites, they won't go to a hair salon, restaurant, or fitness club like his if they don't have a 50% off coupon.

"It's when they want to use a Groupon again and again and again, that's not the purpose of the Groupon at all," Fox said. "It's supposed to introduce them to the business, not become the regular price."

Try Out Products, Then Order Online

Fox says not only are people asking for a big discount on classes, a lot of them won't buy boxing merchandise unless he gives it to them at clearance prices.

"We'll fit them for the right glove," he said, "but then they turn around and go right to Amazon and say 'I can get it for this much lower.' But they didn't find you that glove, we are the ones who got you to that glove."

While he likes to think his club is a great value, he says if he had to give half price classes and accessories to everyone, he'd be out of business.

So Fox's advice:  Coupons and discounts are great....just don't demand them every time, especially with small, locally owned businesses.

"More than half the  employees  in this country are employed by small businesses. So its imperative  that we keep things going, keep things in a positive way here," Fox said.

Bottom line: Sure, go ahead and drive a hard bargain for that car, home, appliance, or other service, even a gym if they are pushing a one-year contract.

But if its a small local business, try to see it from their perspective if they say no, so they stick around for the long term.

And that way you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the E.W. Scripps Co.

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