Groupalicious: Watch Your Wallet?


I have been getting emails lately from Groupalicious. At first, I assumed they were part of Groupon, as the emails look similar, but checked out one of the deals recently and found the deal was less than sterling. Here is the deal:

image

A $260 Android 4 Tablet for $69? Sounds wonderful, until you see the specs of the tablet are essentially the same that is offered for $59 at Walmart, rather than the $260 retail suggested here. In fact, the specs on this tablet are so low, you can buy from numerous places for less than offered here. In addition, anyone buying this item from Groupalicious has to wait 14-35 days for the item.

I then got curious and examined other deals and found that most of them only seemed like good deals. The values represented (like $260 for a $59 Android they are selling for $69) were examples of peddling crap represented as better merchandise.

I then decided to look for reviews. Examining the review sites, the reviews of Groupalicious.com are overall bad and many state items were never shipped once paid for. Example:

I bought a voucher for Armoury Boutique almost 2 months ago and redeemed it that same day. I have yet to receive the item. Emails to Groupalicious and to Armoury Boutique as well as voice mails to the merchant have gone totally disregarded. Groupalicious has no phone number!!!

A quick whois search on Groupalicious shows it is owned by Tippr.com, who also has similar reviews on review sites:

placed 5 orders, those that give a voucher and YOU turn it in worked well enough( some better then others) but the ones where the product is shipped directly after you order the deal on Tippr have never shown up. I have sent several e-mails and received no response.

Tippr.com is owned by Kashless LLC. A search of their WhoIs shows the company is owned by Martin Tobias, a Microsoft millionaire (aka a “former softie”, or Microsoft employee).

In the group buying space, it appears Tippr.com has become a patent whore, buying up patents and then using them to leverage to buy out competitors or extort them by initiating patent infringement lawsuits against them. Examining some of the patents, it is once again clear patents are issued too easily today and are more likely to stifle competition than to be issued for valid processes, especially in the .com space. Most of the patents were acquired when purchased from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures (Allen is another former softie (actually, one of the Microsoft founders)), who acquired them from a bankrupt Mercata (the “original” group buying regime, prior to Groupon).

ASIDE: For those consumer that are complaining about Tippr.com or Groupalicious.com, I would suggest filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. While neither of the above companies are accredited by the BBB, it appears the BBB has helped resolve some of the complaints of non-shipped goods.

The Point

I guess the point Groupalicious is peddling crap. I am not sure, after research, how I ever got on Groupalicious’ email list. From examining the overall disatisfaction, I think my chance of buying from Groupalicious, Tippr or any other of Tobias’ domains is effectively zero (I have purchased Groupon deals, with great satisfaction).

What bothers me, however,  is in the aside. I am a bit concerned about where patent law has gone. Part of the concern is patents being used to stifle competition. A greater part, however, deals with ridiculous patents like Apple’s rounded corner icons lawsuit against Samsung (which they won? How in the hell?) and Amazon’s one click (asserting storing a user’s data for later use and identifying a user with a cookie is a patentable process? How stupid is our government’s patent office? Don’t answer that).

I am also bothered that a company with such a reputation of dealing with merchants that collect money and never ship (or perhaps Tippr and Groupalicious are making the bulk of the money and the merchant “can’t afford” to ship?). I also find it deplorable a company can represent a cheap piece of junk as a $260 value tablet.

And I am a bit miffed that our government is spending time stifling commerce and banning guns that are responsible for so few deaths a year (and spending like banshees?) rather than focusing on laws that inform consumers and allow informed consumers to put bad business out of business by taking their money elsewhere. But that is a topic for another day.

Peace and Grace,
Greg

Twitter: @gbworld

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One Response to Groupalicious: Watch Your Wallet?

  1. Diana Smith Hill says:

    Just want to add I bought a voucher in February for Zumba program, it is now may, never arrived, ten emails to them and not resolved! I am steering clear of groupaliscious and tippr.com and suggest you do too!

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