As an avid, yet objective Groupon fan, I have to say that all of this talk about merchants losing out is wearing a little thin.

The latest comes from the Huffington Post, reporting all sorts of fuzzy numbers about how people that buy Groupons would buy the products/services anyway, thus cutting into merchants’ margins. Now, I am going to sidestep the “how many of us are really drinking tequila while shooting pistols without a deal to get us there” obvious and get to the point: merchants, no one is forcing you to set up a Groupon deal!

That’s right, folks! Goupons are optional! Maybe you’re feeling the peer pressure from all of your competitors jumping on the daily deal bandwagon, but if they all jumped off a bridge (Groupon notwithstanding) would you jump too?

Whether or not someone would get a mani/pedi, a 10-course tasting menu or a sketchy juice cleanse from a chiropractor without a Groupon is overlooking the overabundance of business options out there, especially in a bustling metropolis such as New York City. For the less proactive among us, Groupons and such serve as a great aggregator and highlight off-the-beaten-path options for those products/services we would otherwise pursue elsewhere (as in “the same tired place between the subway and your apartment”).

There’s a lot of competition out there and a Groupon just might give you a leg up over the competitors, if maybe just for a day. What’s that? The big, bad Groupon monster is giving you the short end of the deal stick? Guess what? You can walk away. It’s your choice to pursue a Groupon and if you don’t, then it is you prerogative. Just don’t expect to see me walking through your door any time soon…

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