I just finished my second group buying promotion with Teambuy.ca. We had our first with LivingDeal.com, but that was a total flop so I wouldn’t even count it (only 3 vouchers sold). This latest promotion so far has been a success. We were hoping to sell 50 vouchers and we ended up selling 75. We didn’t sell so many that we find ourselves drowning in customer requests thereby limiting the quality of our service, and we didn’t sell too few making the process worthwhile.
Great! So how did this become successful in the first place? Why did we choose Teambuy and why did it work where the other one flopped?
It is extremely important, as with everything, to shop around when it comes to group buying sites. Although, they all do the same thing, they do it in different ways and some of them are less trustworthy than others. The most important part of shopping around is getting a Merchant Agreement in your hands (or on your screen) and never agree to anything until you read it 5 times over. I’m serious! At least 5 times! Many of these websites assume that the merchant will not read the agreement thoroughly, so they insert all sorts of clauses that not only give the group buying site more legal weight, but could also seriously harm your business.
Here are a couple of examples that I believe are the most dangerous clauses:
a. From the Effective Date until 90 days after the Offer Period, the Merchant agrees it will not make, directly or indirectly through third parties, any other online offers relating to the products or services that are the subject of or associated with the voucher that provide a greater discount than provided in the vouchers.
b. The advertiser agrees to be featured on Group Buying Site at least 4 times per calender year solely at Group Buying Site’s discretion. Group Buying Site also reserves the right to set and structure the deal according to deal market valuations and will determine the structure price and services for the advertisement.
This first clause really limits your ability to market your company. They are just trying to protect their own deals but 90 days is way too long. The deal site for the second clause stated that they would absolutely take it out of the agreement or change the wording to both of our discretion’s. If you ask me this is too much, they are taking advertising control away from your own business!
When looking to take on one of these types of promotions my advice would be to take your time, talk to lots of group buying sites, read through their agreements, chat with their sales people (they might even call you up first), remember to always bargain, and never be pressured into doing something that could potentially harm your business. After searching long and hard I feel that I found the right site in Teambuy. They advertised our business with the right language, they answered customers questions diligently and accurately, their merchant agreement language was by far the least intrusive (in fact, not intrusive at all), and they were extremely patient with my questions the entire way through (even when I asked for the agreement to be changed four times). Probably the major reason the other one flopped was likely due to it targeting Mississauga (this one targeted Toronto) and maybe Teambuy’s customer reach.
Now the questions that remain are: What kind of customers am I getting? Are they just here for a quick deal or are they really interested in our service?
Now comes the really hard part in keeping these customers coming back without a big deal.