• Deal Site GroupOn Brings the WooWooOn

    by  • 8/7/2011 • insanity, skeptic • 2 Comments

    Today I see this bit of woo at Groupon …

    Original link

    Many of the things we rely on for energy end up ultimately depleting our vigour, such as drinking coffee or swallowing batteries. Endeavour a new energy renewal with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get a Harmony Balance-Band from Balance-Band.net (a $40 value).

    Harmony Balance-Bands, made of tourmaline, seek to stimulate healthy physical activity and improve daily life by emitting approximately 1,500 negative ions per cubic centimetre. Some scientists suggest that wearing the negative-ion-emitting bands helps balance the high percentage of positive ions squatting in the atmosphere, which can cause impaired heart function, weakened bones, and constricted blood vessels. Each colourful bracelet ($40) encircles the wrist in an effort to neutralize free radicals, revitalize cell metabolism, enhance immune function, and break down the fourth wall. By donning a wrist wrap 24 hours each day, customers often claim to sleep more deeply than a store-bought baby and exercise with the vigour of a bubby aerobics instructor. Because the bands are free of magnets, pregnant women and swimmers are also able to sport the Harmony Balance arm belts.

    Break down the fourth wall? This silicon band lets you talk to the people watching you on TV?

    Thrown in with the crazy claims, they suggest that magnets are somehow harmful to pregnant women?

    I went to the actual site for Harmony Balance-Bands, and they have WebMD logos and MSNBC logos without context – no links or rational explanation. They also have Facebook and Twitter images without links. At one point the site says “Don’t believe us? Check the Further Reading section (there isn’t one) or Google for yourself!”

    I did find these four internal links to the four important key features that these expensive placebos:

    They claim these hunks of plastic; emit light in the Far Infrared thanks to MAGIC TOURMALINE!, blah blah blah negative ions (which increases nitrogen in urine? Huh?), convert moisture to negative ions and make electricity (sweat and you get negative ions and an electric shock?), and that tourmaline (which is where in the band?) generates ALPHA WAVES!

    I did a bit of a search, and it seems this Harmony place is just parroting the same claims as nearly every other maker of this sort of bands.

    If you’ve already purchased one, have considered buying one, or know someone who has, maybe you should check out the identical product that’s just as effective; Placebo Bands. They’re just as effective, but come in a couple nicer colours and are much more affordable.


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    2 Responses to Deal Site GroupOn Brings the WooWooOn

    1. 8/7/2011 at 10:12 am

      You know.. I don’t really mind that GroupOn is doing coupons for Woo related products. Here’s why.

      1. GroupOn charges a fortune for their service. So in the example above, there’s a GroupOn to get a $40 bracelet for $15. GroupOn takes 50% of that, so rather than getting $39 profit on that bracelet (they cost a buck or less to make) they are only going to get $6.50. Less profit for them is good to me in my book.

      2. Most of the customers are already going to be believers, I doubt much fence sitters are going to buy it just because it’s so much cheaper.

      3. It lets people like me (as a skeptic) to get the product for a lot cheaper to test and examine, and know that the people selling it are getting next to nothing. There are other ways for skeptics to get the products, but they are not exactly the best way to go about it (mostly posing as a reseller and requesting samples).

      Also, let me also mention http://placebobandstore.com If you’re in North America you can get bands from there. Shipping is less and we currently have bands in stock.

    2. Robert
      9/1/2011 at 6:30 pm

      What is really funny about this deal is that this Groupon deal was set out to be the biggest scam a company has ever pulled on Groupon.

      Balance-bands.net created on Creation Date: 12-jul-2011, I am guessing for the sole purpose of selling balance bands on Groupon for $15 a pop. So as early as 08/07/11 they were able to get mass market exposure by Groupon. Think about that, in just THREE WEEKS a person was able to setup a groupon scam that would nearly net them over 160k if only groupon hadnt pulled the plug.

      These are the ones I could find, there could be more.

      Seattle [groupon.com] 2596 Sold
      San Diego [groupon.com] 962 Sold
      Little Rock [groupon.com] 255 Sold
      Toronto [groupon.com] 3306 Sold
      Denver [groupon.com]1352 Sold
      Ottawa [groupon.com]1151 Sold
      Kitchener [groupon.com] 765 Sold
      Calgary [groupon.com] 1197 Sold
      Vancouver [groupon.com] 3448 Sold
      Edmonton [groupon.com] 458 Sold
      Halifax [groupon.com] 449 Sold

      From all of those, 15,939 were sold. There could be more.

      So 15,939 x $15 = $239,085
      Take out groupons 30% commission= $71,725.50
      Balance bands.net ends up with $167,359.50

      Since you couldnt use the groupons until a set date, which was same strategy that VoxComm used for the Tablet scam where he would bulk order from china, linky [groupon.com]
      they could bulk order that 15,939 at one time lets assume .10 each, that would cost them $1593.90 and all the shipping they probably would have ended up with $160,000. Not bad for just one month of work.

      Its a pretty smart scam, its funny that groupon pulled the plug on it, I wonder how far in the hole they got from ordering 16k of power bands they cant sell.

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