Google Offers, a new daily deals site, had its first day of business today, offering a $10 certificate to a Portland coffee shop for a purchase price of $3. While Google Offers is only active in Portland now, it will be opening in other cities soon – New York and San Francisco are next (later this summer) with other cities soon thereafter.
Here’s a screen shot of this first Google Offers deal:
If you are familiar with how a Groupon works, the Google Offers are very similar. Late last year, Google tried to buy the Groupon company for $6 billion dollars, but Groupon turned down the offer. In response, Google formed it’s own daily deals team that resulted in today’s launch. Here’s a quick review of this first deal:
- The percent savings (70%) was better than the typical 50% savings for coffee/restaurant deals at Groupon. However, it’s possible that this is just a kick-off special.
- The certificate is valid for a full year. It’s rare for a Groupon to be valid for that long.
- It was easy to make a purchase; they are handled through Google Checkout.
- There was no place on Google Offers to ask interactive questions. I really appreciate the “comments” section on each Groupon deal. You can ask for clarification about a specific deal, and a Groupon representative (or knowledgeable passer-by) will quickly answer.
- The description didn’t indicate the cost of drink or food at this coffee shop. This is an important piece of information to know if an “Offer” is a really a good deal or not. For instance, a $10 certificate is a much better deal if a coffee drink costs $2 than if it costs $7. Since the description didn’t have it, I tried to hunt down that info on the coffee shop website. It had a promising “Menu” link, but that just led to a blurry/arty photo.
With about 1 hour and 45 minutes left in the day, Google had sold about 80% of the available certificates to this coffee shop. We’ll keep an eye on Google Offers and its Portland launch and provide an updated review soon.