April 9, 2009

Get Your GroupOn

Ever since they first sprouted up in my infancy, I have seen the dentist every six months for a tooth cleaning and checkup. For the first time--ever--I've gone a bit past the six month mark. I have a fantastic dentist, whose office is in an equally fantastic plot of real estate in an upscale neighborhood. Since I have not had dental insurance in ten years, and since my dental bills of late have been in the four figures, I decided to find a less expensive, but hopefully as accomplished an oral cleaning /maintenance professional.

I was about to pick up the phone to make an appointment with a referral from a friend when I opened my email last week and what to my surprise...but my Daily Groupon appeared, with an offer so wise. (sorry, had to do that.)

So I have an appointment with a Loop-based Chicago D.D.S. in two weeks for a full cleaning, checkup and four X-rays for the sum total of $49.00. Hopefully it is more than an Earl Scheib bit of work.

The dental work is valued at $220.00. After my friend TS told me of his fondness for all things Groupon, a somewhat new concept in the power of group-negotiated services at discount, and of his own happy experience with a Groupon-offered dentist, I signed up, too.

I only know of this service based in Chicago. Here are the basics, as detailed at http://groupon.thepoint.com. For our readers around the globe, consider starting a similar business in your community.

Subscribe to the daily email to discover something new to see, eat, do or buy at unbeatable prices. The rub: there is a "tipping point."
  1. Each day Groupon features something cool to do at a huge discount.
  2. You only get the discount if enough people sign up for the item offered on that day.
  3. Check back the next day for another awesome Groupon.
Just one deal a day; it lasts for only one day, and enough people must sign up by midnight for the tipping point to be reached; if so, then the deal is good for everyone who signed up.

For example, today, 8 April, 2008, the Groupon deal was (a fantastic one, IMO, but I didn't sign for it): two 1-hour massages and health consultations (a $140 value), for $60. However, a minimum of 20 people were to sign up before midnight for the Groupon to work. As of this writing, 670 groupons were purchased.