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11 Jul


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New Site Outs Bad Social Shopping Deals

July 11, 2011 | By | No Comments

Whether it’s half-off spa treatments or ridiculously cheap gourmet meals, consumers have been finding reasons to tap into the growing number of social shopping sites, like LivingSocial or Groupon. Now, it seems, there’s an anti-Groupon, at least as far as dining is concerned.

Bloomberg food critic Ryan Sutton founded website The Bad Deal to alert shoppers to what he feels are very bad buys from social commerce sites, like Gilt City. Why?  In an interview posted on HuffPost Food, Sutton says: “…lower food prices don’t make bad food taste better, it simply makes the meal more tolerable.”

Here’s an example from a recent Bad Deal posting about a venue’s reserved seating deal for a concert:

“Gilt City is charging $250 for reserved seating, a rather steep markup given that the concerts are free…

  • Details: The price tag includes seating on an outdoor bed for six people and one cocktail per person. A rep for Sole East tells me 18% ($45) is added onto the bill, bringing the REAL COST to $295.  
  • Related: $45 bucks is a helluva service charge for six drinks.
  • Gilt values this deal at $600, which is amusing on many levels.  
  • My advice: go for free, order a $12 cocktail, & enjoy the two-hour show standing up. Sole East assures me no one is turned away at the door.”

Social media gives everyone—from known food critics to Joe the next-door neighbor—a platform to criticize (or rave) about brands. How can companies afford not to listen to the conversation?

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