Groupon is currently testing a new “Groupon VIP” program that gives users first dibs on deals and reservations while offering special pricing on select old-out and expired deals for just $30 per year.
The idea comes about from sites such as Ideeli which offers first dibs on designer clothes that would normally fly off the shelve in a retail setting. Flash sales have become a big deal on the internet and this new move by Groupon takes direct advantage of flash sales on a potentially large scale.
The service will also provide in-store credit for unused Groupon’s in some cases which we assume will need prior approval from the seller. It’s estimated that 20 percent of Groupons go unused at this time.
The program should also let Groupon compete with the likes of Living Social and Google Offers which allow merchants to keep a greater percentage of the profits while giving customers the chance to comparison shop before making a purchase.
Along with all of those new options Groupon VIP service will also provide access to Groupons vault of expired deals which could provide plenty of added late comer purchases into the mix.
At this time Groupon VIP is only rolling out to select markets and only to a select number of participants. Here’s the letter that was sent out regarding the program: