New Sheriff to Police Daily-Deal Industry: Good News for Businesses?

By Mikal E. Belicove|For|July 26, 2012

The untamed terrain of the daily-deal space has become the wild west of online marketing, with no shortage of merchants and consumers complaining and little being done to curtail real or perceived poor practices.

Merchant complaints about daily deals were highlighted recently when a British baker was forced to make 102,000 cupcakes to fulfill the demand of a Groupon promotion — an experience that cost her nearly $20,000 after hiring 25 assistants to make good on the offer. And consumer complaints appearing online and in print regularly outline misleading terms and poor customer service offered up by participating merchants.

More than 8,000 daily deal, group buying, and flash-sale providers and publishers have opened up shop around the globe in the past four years, and many of them are shooting from the hip, operating under rules wherein they themselves determine what’s fair and honest.

But there’s a new sheriff in town. The Global Daily Deal Association (GDDA) formed earlier this year quickly established a code of conduct for daily-deal service providers like Groupon, LivingSocial, Buy With Me and the thousands of other providers that have flooded the marketplace with deals and discounts.

The fledgling association is the first and only trade group devoted to the long-term sustainability of daily-deal providers, and its new code…

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