Political  Calculations

Cupcakes! Source: in.govIf you run a business and are looking at running a marketing campaign offering discounts on your products or services through social media marketing sites like Groupon or Living Social, what kind of discounts can you really afford to offer?

That question comes up because of a recent story from the United Kingdom, where Woodley baker Rachel Brown was forced to make 102,000 cupcakes to satisfy a torrent of customers who took advantage of the discount she had offered via Groupon, losing $20,000 in the process. Mashable's Stan Schroeder reports:

Group discounts can be a nice thing for both the seller and the customers, but you have to know your limits. A UK baker learned that the hard way, when she was forced to bake 102,000 cupcakes, after offering a 75% cupcake discount on Groupon.

The discount obviously sounded too good to Grouponers, 8,500 of whom signed up to buy 12 cupcakes for £6.50 ($10), down from the standard £26 ($40) price. Rachel Brown, who operates the Need a Cake bakery in Woodley (near Reading, UK), had to hire extra workers and try to bake the cupcakes to satisfy the swarming customers.

"Without doubt, it was my worst ever business decision. We had thousands of orders pouring in that really we hadn’t expected to have. A much larger company would have difficulty coping," said Brown, who lost up to £12,500 ($20,000) on the deal.


Political Calculations

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