Teaching a Groupon Jewelry-Making Class

As a jewelry-making instructor, my Groupon experience was a little bit different from the experience that a restaurant, store or other small business might have. I wasn't a restaurant, so I didn't have to cook up enough entrees to accommodate a one-day Groupon onslaught. I wasn't a retailer, so I didn't have to take a loss on Groupon-discounted store inventory.

I'm a jewelry instructor. And as with all Groupon promotions, my class fees were deeply discounted. My earnings generated only a small boost in my personal finances, but in a slow economy every little bit counts.

My Groupon "Deal" 

My Groupon deal was 10 weeks of advanced wire jewelry making classes for a ridiculously low fee. I'd developed the wire techniques and taught them for years; so, fortunately, they didn't require a lot of preparation. The classes were actually fun and I got to know some talented women I wouldn't have met otherwise. Some scheduled future non-Groupon classes. Future business: that's what Groupon is all about.

This was a bracelet one of my students created
after only a few classes
Setting Up My Groupon Class

Organizing a Groupon class was my gallery-owner friend's idea. He was organizing a Groupon painting class and recommended that I teach jewelry.

When he scheduled his Groupon class, he gave me the sales rep's information. The Groupon guy was polite and professional.

He made the process easy; but then, I'm sure he got a commission from Groupon. It was to his benefit to be nice as sweet and get my classes rolling smoothly.

It's All About the Numbers

The numbers had to be just right to get the most out of my deal. I wanted classes that were small enough for hands-on instructions, while Groupon wanted classes big enough to generate cash. I preferred to offer an advanced class to keep the numbers down. The rep thought I should teach beginners to get the numbers up.

After several emails and phone calls we settled on "The Rhythm of Wire," an advanced wire work class. My final price was $30 for $80 worth of classes. My deal would run for three days. At least 15 people had to sign up and pay for the classes or the deal would be voided.

We worked out the details and soon afterward Groupon emailed links to testimonials, an account page and informational videos on what to expect when your deal goes "live."

Groupon Made it Fun
My deal went "live" several months later. One morning I noticed an interesting jewelry class ad on my class.
I loved seeing strangers become friends and
excited wire jewelry students
Yahoo! Only after clicking on it did I realize it was

The Groupon page had a fun and quirky class description. It explained my jewelry business name, "The Nice Lady," and provided a link to my Facebook page. A digital clock ticked away the days, hours and minutes left until my deal expired. I was excited that 37 people had already "bought the deal."

And the Total is...
I sold 46 Groupon deals all together. The guy at Groupon said that was a good number for a class, but I understand restaurants, stores and other small businesses often sell hundreds or thousands. At $30 per student, my sales totaled $1,380.00. Groupon got half and sent my share in 3 installments.

If I don't think about it too much, I don't realize I made only $1.50 per student per 1-1/ 2 hour class. I also paid the gallery owner a small fee for using his studio space, so actually it was less than that.

Would I do Groupon again?

It's been a while. I said I would like to try it again, but I've since moved to Florida... and back, had another grandchild. I'm also trying to write more. Perhaps I'll do another Groupon class some day. I just haven't figured out when.

Edited version of my article formerly published on Yahoo. 


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