Groupon tries out creepy new deal: tuck ins

Groupon today launched a unique deal: You can have a Groupon employee come and tuck you into bed. As far as strange deals go, this one even beats out the deal offered by Groupon Philippines for 76% off circumcisions. (Disclosure: I have options against Groupon.)

In the tuck-in deal, only available in Chicago, Groupon employee Ben Kobold will tuck you in for $100. Tuckees need to be at least 18 years old.

“Once your body temperature has fallen and your breathing has slowed, Ben and his legally required entourage of two or three companions will slip soundlessly out the front door and into the night,” says the deal’s copy. “He’ll return to his sleeping barracks, where he’ll tuck himself in and whisper his lullabies to himself.”

The deal terms go on to say that Kobold is “disease-free, physically.”

In the Q&A on the deal, one commenter asked, “This has to be a joke right?” Groupon representative Patrick S. responded, “This is the most serious deal that Groupon has ever seriously run in its serious history.”

Kobold’s LinkedIn profile identifies him as a writer at Groupon. However, the facial hair in his LinkedIn profile makes him look a bit more menacing than the guy that is in the picture on the deal page. BenKobold.com, a site presumably associated with Kobold based on a Google search, was not responding. A snippet from a cached version of Kobold’s portfolio says:

I walk with a mild limp because body hair grows only on my left side.
I wish I was a little bit taller.
Small children and the homeless fear me.
I was left-handed until age seven. My mom told me to knock it off.
Pants optional.

This deal represents two significant departures for Groupon: the services are being provided by Groupon employees as opposed to third parties, and it is being offered at full price. (The site shows a 0% discount.) Groupon did not respond to a request for comment asking what percentage of the deals proceeds, if any, Kobold receives.

If Groupon can command full price for the deal, it could be meaningful for investors.

Groupon has 11,000 employees. If they each worked in shifts of 3 and each team accomplished 4 tuck ins a night, that’s roughly $1.5 million in revenue a night. Because Groupon would be directly responsible for providing the service, under GAAP rules, it could count the entire $1.5 million as revenues. Assume that each team works 200 nights a year, and that’s about $300 million in revenue. Based on 1Q results, that would be a roughly 13% increase to revenue.

If there is significant demand for the service, I expect that it will outperform Groupon Rewards, Scheduler, and Payments for 2012 revenue impact.

As of this writing, 1 person had purchased the deal.

[Top image credit: Maridav/Shutterstock]

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