PayPal to Enter the Group-Dealing Fray Q1 2012

Guess who's coming to group-deal dinner? If you guessed PayPal, not only are you right, but you might be telepathic! Weird. Anyway, if that is the case, try to act surprised as you read the rest of this.

Bloomberg is reporting that PayPal is planning to throw its hat into the daily-deal ring come Q1 of 2012, which, in retrospect, seems long overdue. PayPal boasts 103 million members, and PayPal President Scott Thompson told Bloomberg that means they have more oodles of data -- yes, that is the proper measurement unit for datum -- on its users' preferences than LivingSocial and Groupon combined. Thompson predicts its coupons can target customers even "as they're passing stores." That's like Minority Report-type stuff, and potentially scary?

It's hard to blame PayPal for wanting to get in on the market, which is predicted to be worth at least $4.17 billion by 2015. What's more, newcomers have found plenty of success, too: SavingStar, which aims to be the "Groupon of groceries," has, according to TechCrunch, netted more than a million users in under a year. Who knew people liked saving money? Or, at least, the illusion of saving money?

As for Castle Groupon, the company's stock is slowly sinking again, sitting right now at exactly $22. This week has been particularly bumpy but interesting, and next week will likely be that way as well -- holidays or not.  

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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