dorothy perkins

When Special Offers Are Too Much

Above is a screenshot of my email account showing the last month or so’s email newsletters from ASOS. You’ve probably noticed it as well, ASOS are offering a lot of special offers at the moment to try and entice you to spend spend spend with them. But is it harming them more than improving sales?

The recent Groupon deal sold 50,000 £20 vouchers for £9 each – so for each item that was sold, ASOS lost £11 that they would normally have received. (Assuming of course that Groupon didn’t take any money for running that deal – I’ve tried to find out how much of a cut they normally take on deals, and the most popular figure was 50% – assuming thats correct, for every £20 voucher spent on the site, ASOS received £4.50. Adding that up, they received £225,000 selling goods that would normally have earnt them £1,000,000. You don’t need to know anything about accounting to know that this is going to severely affect their accounts)

The amount of free delivery codes that are sent out every week (or even every day!) will also affect their profit. ASOS Premier is a subscription service where the customer can pay £25 (currently reduced to £15) and get free next day delivery for a year. Why bother subscribing though if you can hold out for a few days until the next free delivery email appears?

ASOS is still one of my favourite sites for clothes, but these emails are starting to sounding a little desperate.

What Is Groupon?

I’ve been using Groupon for quite a few months now, and occationally write on their city blog, but it seems like most of you guys have only noticed it today for the fantastic ASOS deal*. I’ve already had quite a few questions from people on Twitter so thought it might be helpful if I put it all together in a post so I can point people towards this in future. (Apologies in advance if this seems a bit basic – it seemed the easiest way to explain!)

In the past year or so, “deal of the day” type sites have been popping up all over. In the UK, we have Groupon*, LivingSocial, KGB Deals, Keynoir*, and more are appearing all the time (even the Telegraph seems to be doing some sort of deal site now!) The biggest of these sites seems to be Groupon*, and its the one I’ve used quite a few times myself, so thats what I’ll refer to.

A deal will appear for a limited time, which will normally be shown on the page. There is usually a limited amount of how many vouchers are available, so its usually best to act early! (I woke up early on Sunday because Alex was off to Colorado again and saw a great deal for a local cafe – when I woke up again 3 hours later, it had sold out!)

The details of the deal are usually pretty clearly laid out on the page. Here’s todays national deal:

On the left, it says how much the current deal is (£9), how much you’ll save by buying it (£11), how long the deal is up for (assuming it doesn’t sell out – 36 hours) and how many have been bought. In theory, there is a minimum and maximum limit – if under the minimum buy the deal in the set time, then the deal doesn’t go through, and you don’t pay any money. I’ve never seen a deal be under the minimum amount though!

The highlights section picks out things of interest to promote the deal – for things like restaurants, it will mention any sort of limits on the choices, selling points of the restaurant, etc. The fine print will mention limits on using the voucher – whether you have to book, if you can only use it on certain days, how long you have to use it. For the ASOS one, it says that you have to spend at least £21 (so you can use the voucher and then pay £1 another way)

The voucher/code is usually emailed to you the next day (although it might be different for the ASOS voucher as thats due to last for more than 24 hours) and if there are no set limits on when you  can use the voucher from, you can get ordering straight away! For things like meals and beauty treatments, you usually have to mention that you’re using a Groupon voucher at time of booking, but that doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) affect the service that you get.

Most deals that these sites offer are quite specific to a certain city – I’m quite lucky because Bristol is on most of these sites, but even if you’re miles away from a big city, you can still use them. The vouchers are emailed to you, and with the national deal on Groupon, thats usually a website based deal – thats how I ended up with my Lomography voucher (I paid £20, I was able to spend £50 on their website)

I’ve been using Groupon* for nearly a year now – the first thing I bought was a voucher for an hours bowling at The Lanes which we used for my birthday last year. Instead of paying £30, I paid £10. I’ve had a few other offers from there as well – I had my hair cut and coloured in December at Kuchi Koo in Redland, which should have cost £117 but the voucher was just £35. I’ve not yet used Groupon for a proper meal yet, but have a voucher in my purse to get two cupcakes and two hot drinks at one of my favourite cupcake shops, Swinky Sweets on Park Street, for £4 instead of £10.20 (The price they usually say is the normal cost is usually the prices of the most expensive items on the menu)

I think I’ve covered most things that you’d want to know, but if theres anything else, ask! I’ll answer any questions in the comments.


(Links with stars next to them are affiliate links. If you click this link and buy something from that site, I receive a small percentage of the cost. It doesn’t affect your purchase, and most of the time, you probably wouldn’t notice! I think its fair to tell you though)

Oh Diana

I’m still in mourning for my 50mm lens. Oh lens, you were so good for the photos I wanted to take. I’m currently limited to my kit lens on my SLR, but – have to be honest here – I stole Alexs lovely new camera for the photo in the last post because its just NICE. He has a Sony NEX-5, which looks daft (big lenses, little body) but takes lovely photos. Because of the lack of lenses, I’ve been looking around at other cameras and as always, I ended up on the Lomography website. I like the idea of cameras like the Spinner 360°, Diana and the Holga but I’m far too lazy for the faff of film. (Case in point: I bought a Fisheye camera in 2007. I’m still on the original roll of film.)

I was quite pleased then, to find this Diana Lens for SLR’s. As the site says, “It’s a lovely plastic lens that transforms your beloved hunk of metal and glass into a digital toy camera.” Perfect! At the same time, Groupon* had a deal on nationwide where you gave them £20, and you could spend £50 on their website. I’d also just received some money into my Paypal for something done a few months ago – the signs were all pointing towards buying a lens! After a small amount of faff (the voucher wasn’t behaving as it should), I finally got my lens:

Now I have the oposite problem to Alex’s camera – big camera, tiny lens! I’ve taken a few photos so far, which look pretty good on my camera screen, but haven’t had the chance to play with it properly. Maybe this weekend!

edit: Oops, forgot to mention that the lens I went for was the 38mm super wide one. I went for this one after researching about the different ones. I realised while writing this post that this is actually the set that Photojojo sell!

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