I subscribe to a lot of “deals” websites, lately hoping to get a shiny new HDTV, and have noticed a huge trend: Deals that are only deals because you get $10 off with Google Checkout. Now, try as I might to crunch the numbers, I can’t see any incentive for the retailer worth $10 off almost any purchase, so the only logical conclusion is that Google must be spending millions on these coupons. Now, comes word that Checkout is willing to waive all processing fees through the end of the year.
Is Checkout doing really poorly, or is Google just playing super-hardball? $10 off everything is a lot of money, especially when those deals get passed around on all the hot deals sites. I hope Google realizes that this isn’t going to accomplish anything, since the retailers are getting a temporary, artificial boost that will dissapear the second the promotion ends. Coupons work much better offline, getting people to come down to the store, than online, where its click » see deal » buy » move on. I don’t think this is going to be what gets Checkout to beat PayPal, or whoever they aren’t really competing with this week.