Finding Bargains with a Group Rate

Online offers that come with strings attached

The deals are there if you can get enough people to buy into it.  That's the idea behind, a website that offers daily bargains but only if a set number of people are willing to sign up.

"So the local business can say we'll only do it if we get 30 people or we get 50 people to buy in the deal," said Groupon's Paul West, "If it doesn't hit that tipping point, the deal ends up being canceled."

Joe Welsh offered a 50 percent discount on his Segway rental business in Pacific Beach.  He said he'd only offer the bargain if he could get at least 25 people to sign up, he got 67 people.  "For us, we were reaching people we normally wouldn't reach," said Welsh.

The offers come by email to people who sign up with Groupon.  Only one deal is offered every 24 hours.  If enough people want the bargain, Groupon will charge their credit card and send out an on-line coupon.  Groupon deals range from restaurants to Yoga classes.

"It's not forcing people to buy but rather it's enticing them in putting together a very good offer and to say, are you in or not?" said Paul West.

Groupon is currently in 17 cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

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