To say Andrew Mason and his company have been something of an easy target since filing for an IPO in June would be an understatement. Bloggers, haters, and financial analysts alike have all ripped apart the company's financial statements, which has caused the company to amend its IPO documents multiple times. And because of the "quiet period" regulations with its IPO, the company can't respond to criticism.
That said, this week brings indication that the group-buying giant is growing weary of all this scrutiny: It's no longer listing the exact number of deals sold on each offering.
Going forward, it will be adopting the McDonald's model: "Over 1,200 sold," will be listed instead of a more specific figure.
So, why all the ambiguity? 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. This change is meant to continue to reflect deal popularity while making it clearly impossible to predict our sales. We’re blogging about it to be transparent about our lack of transparency.
Cute. While all these internal tweaks could be construed as indecisive fussiness, this is actually a move that makes sense. It won't end the public's desire to put Groupon under a microscope, but as a customer do you really care about how many other Chicagoans also think going to that same haunted house is a good idea? An estimate will do just fine.
Read Mossler's full post here.