I grew up with the Sears Roebuck Catalogs. Each one would incite my childish lust for pretty dresses, patent leather shoes, packs of pastel undies and more. With the advent of the Internet, my consumption fantasies transferred to Amazon, Ebay, and all the inviting retail sites that followed their success.
Now, I don’t have to make any effort to find things to buy that I never knew I needed (and I don’t need to be an airborne victim of SkyMall, either). First, there were the private shopping sites like Jetsetter, Gilt, Rue La La and more with their daily emails inviting me to a life of luxury that only the cognoscenti could previously afford. Then, along came groupon, the uber deal a day site, and its clones that have grown exponentially, each promoting a titillating offer you can’t pass up because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Each day, my inbox now welcomes me with offers from Groupon, Yelp, Facebook, Living Social, Homerun, Plum District and more. Each offer fights to gain my attention and my credit card. Initially, I gorged on this largesse with coupons stacking up in my inbox, promising joys untold.
Then, reality hit. And it hit hard. These things have due dates, exceptions, small print! If you don’t look carefully, if you don’t plan your social life precisely (I don’t), the coupons will expire, lapse, die. Coupons became a burden, a monkey on my back. I couldn’t keep up.
So, I quit. Cold Turkey. I come to work and I get to work. I delete, delete,delete, delete until all the day’s deals are gone. Next day, repeat. It’s not easy. There’s always another great deal, another incredible deal site. But, I don’t need all this stuff. I don’t need to save $25 on a meal that I never knew I needed or a fitness regime I didn’t know I was missing.
There will be another shopping evolution or revolution in mass consumption. There will always be fantasy shopping. But for now, my Internet shopping is closed until further notice.
- Rumor: LivingSocial about to begin IPO process (digitaltrends.com)
- Groupon and LivingSocial ‘Sit as Gorillas Among Ants’ (socialtimes.com)
- Keeping up with the Groupon Business (friendseat.com)
- Groupon & The Attack of the Group-Buying Clones (nvisolutions.com)