News Column

Groupon Gets Blurry on Sales Numbers

Oct. 13, 2011

U.S. deal-generating shopping website Groupon said it stopped listing the number of deals sold for individual items to make it harder to count its sales.

Groupon used to list the specific number of sales for each item. Now it says, in more general terms, "over 1,000 items bought," or something similar to that, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Groupon spokeswoman Julie Mossler said the idea behind the change was to make it "clearly impossible to predict our sales."

"As customers, we like the counter because it indicates how popular deals are. But some clever people are using the counter to make (consistently incorrect) estimates of our total company sales, which we don't like for the same reason you probably wouldn't like if people tried to guess your weight all day," Mossler said in a statement.

The company may also be blurring some data in advance of its initial public offering. As a relatively new concept, industry analysts are trying to figure out, to the smallest increment, how profitable the company might be, the newspaper said.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2011

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