Now this is an interesting, if potentially flawed, concept. It’s called CoupFlip and it’s essentially a secondary market for Groupons, Amazon Deals, and the like. Say, for example, you buy a Groupon to the local stoat grooming place and you realize you don’t have a stoat. Before CoupFlip you’d have to hunt down the local chapter of the Stoat Lover’s Club and possibly sell your deal at a slight loss or you eat the cost (not the stoat), vowing never to be fooled by Groupon again.
Now with CoupFlip you can upload a PDF of your deal and get cash immediately. This coupon sits quietly in the system and CoupFlip will bring it up when you visit, basing its recommendations on your location and buying habits. It is, for example, a great way to get Groupon deals (like this one) after the fact (like this).
The important distinction here is that CoupFlip “takes inventory” of deals – you don’t sell them on consignment – and you get cash on the barrelhead.
“CoupFlip capitalizes on the opportunity here for a secondary market to unlock billions of dollars of unused value. The convenience for the consumer couldn’t be better. We are the best solution for the millions of people who have ever failed to use a daily deal or wish they could get their hands on a deal they missed in the original ‘flash sale,’” says CEO Phil McDonnell. McDonnell was formerly a Google engineer and now lives in New England.
“We’re a Silicon Valley-style tech startup, but we’re homegrown – and our sole focus at the moment is on Boston. Our key advisors are New England-based venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. To put it frankly, we’re living proof of the Northeast’s entrepreneurial potential,” he said.
“CoupFlip combats buyer’s remorse – that pang of regret you feel after making an impulsive daily deal purchase. When you see a weekend spa package for $99, you don’t calculate the long-term impact of that purchase on your personal finances. You jump at the deal immediately – right then and there – because you emotionally know it’s a darn good deal,” writes McDonnell.
“Unfortunately, even if that weekend spa package is an incredible deal, it might not make sense for you personally. That’s where CoupFlip steps in.”
There doesn’t seem to be anything outright wrong about CoupFlip’s efforts although I suspect Groupon may feel differently. However, it’s exactly the same as giving your friend a coupon, and barring any pending requirements to show photo ID and proof of citizenship at your local Thai place in order to get the $20 for $40 of food special, there’s nothing anyone can do. It’s just a market for coupons, pure and simple.
What are the flaws? Well, people sell deals for a reason – they’re usually bad. The company could topple over with the weight of unwanted junk. CoupFlip uses algorithms to rate the popularity and potential for sale and prices the coupons accordingly. While you might get less for the stoat washing service, you’ll probably get more for a $50 dinner for four at Masa. Besides, the world needs parasitic services like this one – just ask StubHub.