CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – I had read the stories about Groupon.com and heard about the deals people were getting. But I resisted! I already get hundreds of emails a day and just didn't want more mail to open. But all that changed when a co-worker told me about a deal last Thursday, February 10th. She wanted to get us to register with the web site and check out a deal she said was a perfect Valentine's Day gift.
Reluctantly I logged on. Seconds later I was hooked. On this day Living Social was offering a deal from Carmen Carmen Salon E' Spa. For 85 dollars you could get a manicure and pedicure, thirty minute massage, and thirty minute facial. Those services typically cost 170 dollars!
On that same day I found a 'staycation' location at Groupon.com. The Blake Hotel in uptown Charlotte was offering couples a one night stay, chilled bottle of champagne and breakfast for two. The deal sold for 79 dollars. A regular room usually costs 149 dollars a night.
I spoke with Carmen Cutrona, owner of Carmen Carmen. He says these deals are a win win for companies as well as shoppers. "It is fantastic for our guests especially in the new world we live in with a rougher economy, jobless market," said Cutrona. He said this works out very well for companies like salons where newer stylists are trying to build a clientele.
Here is how the deals work. The sites display the deals of the day. You have 24 hours to buy the deal while supplies last. If the web sites don't get enough people to purchase the deal, then the deal doesn't happen and your credit card isn't charged.
For the general manager of The Blake Hotel, these deals give companies exposure they otherwise might not have, "We offer, usually one of these deals a year, and it brings in people who might say, hey I need to come back," says Phil Castantini.
The deals we found are long gone, but just today we noticed a really hot ticket item today, February 14, 2011, forty dollars worth of food at blu basil restaurant for only 20 dollars. So, if getting more mail in your inbox isn't an issue, you really have little to lose.