It’s not unusual for us to receive solicitation emails from companies trying to promote their products. We try and pick out the interesting ones, research more about the product and then put together a post. One particular email caught my eye last week….
POWER OF GROUP-BUYING SERVES SPECIALTY GOLF MARKET
Golfers Tee-Off on Group Discounts Vancouver – Having grown tired from searching group-buying sites for the best golf deals around, a group of Vancouver golfers decided to do something about it. They started their own website.
Officially launched today, DealsCaddie.com extends discounts up to 90% off on everything pertaining to golf.
Built on the popularity and phenomenal success of social commerce, DealsCaddie employs the same consumer-group buying-power principles as sites like Groupon and Living Social, but exclusively for the golf market.
“In addition to being golf-only, we have designed and implemented a unique payment method whereby customers pay only a fraction of the already discounted price upfront,” said DealsCaddie director Dan Iorga, “making us the world’s first in the industry.”
With an ever-growing subscriber base of thousands of local golfers built over the last year, DealsCaddie employs social media to provide its subscribers, friends and followers exclusive and limited, one-time discounts on all golf and golf-related merchandise including green fees, equipment, lessons and travel.
“Our model is simple. We work with golf businesses willing to provide large discounts to golfers in return for targeted market exposure,” said Iorga.
Starting in British Columbia, DealsCaddie has plans to expand to most major North American metropolitan areas.
Golf-related sales surpassed $25 billion in North America last year, as golfers comprise one of the most affluent, young, educated and tech savvy consumer market segments. And with thousands more taking up the sport every year, DealsCaddie is clearly aiming to hit a continent-wide hole-in-one.
Essentially these folks have started a group-buy site for golf tee times and equipment. I had a look at the site, looked around for other sites like it and then filed the email away in the “possible post” folder.
Then I got another email… and another one… and another one. Whoever set up the DealsCaddie email had accidentally set it up so the recipients could “reply all”. These subsequent emails were from golf professionals, golf tour operators, etc. Most of them were voicing their displeasure with sites like DealsCaddie.com (not to mention their displeasure with getting unsolicited emails).
After talking with others in the golf business and reading through a few of these emails, it’s pretty clear that most in the business are against these “group-buy” and high discount type sites. Margins are already tough to come by and having your competitors using these types of sites make it even more difficult to compete. Many say these sites do more harm than good and hurt the already fragile golf business. Everyone needs to make a living and I can tell you first hand that making a career in the golf business is easier said than done.
That’s only half the equation though. Consumers have flocked to sites like these. I’ll gladly admit to buying a few Groupons for my local pizza place. How can I turn down $30 worth of pizza for $12? Am I concerned with the overall state of the pizza business? Nope. Will I buy more Groupons? Probably. Would I care if my favourite pizza place shut their doors because their extreme discounting killed their business? Yes.
The group-buy/high discounts topic is hot right now. I’ve talked to a lot of business owners that won’t go near these opportunities and a few that have tried and succeeded. It was just a matter of time before this came to the golf business….
I want to hear your thoughts? Would you partake in these deals if available in your area? What do you think is the long term affect of these sites will be? Is there a place for this type of discounting in the golf business? Leave your thoughts below….