Google Offers–A Review of the Very First Deal

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 good:

  • 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.

The bad:

  • 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.