Groupon is currently featuring a deal for $18 admission to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Thus far, over 1,000 people have bought in, must be a good one. Then again… maybe not.
The suggested donation for the MET is $25 for an adult. Let me say that again, SUGGESTED DONATION. That means the price of admission is up to you.
I typically give between $1-$5 every time I go, so $18 off of a suggested donation doesn’t sound like any kind of deal to me.
Consider this, according to NPR, sites like Groupon take HALF of the total sales. So if your deal is “half off”, that means the retailer is only getting a “quarter” of the designated purchase price.
In this case, the MET is getting $9 and Groupon is getting the rest. So rather than spend $18 on a Groupon to the MET, just go to the MET and give them $9, or the “discounted” $18, or if you’re feeling generous, the full $25, or if you’re broke, whatever you can spare.
While I love to use sites like Groupon and Living Social, I have come to look at the “deals” with a critical eye. In cases like this MET deal, they’re essentially just employing a marketing tactic by creating a discount where no real discount exists. If it gets people in the doors of the museum, that’s excellent, but I’ll be reserving my donation entirely for the museum itself.
Stay tuned for a follow up on things to consider when buying a deal from Groupon or a similar site. There are some good deals to be had!