I started yelping in June of 2013 because I was very unhappy with a business. As y'all know, I love groupons and was super excited to find one for personal training. I think letting someone be your trainer is A. a big investment and B. a very personal relationship so I really like the idea of trying someone out before committing to a $1,000 + program, which I was totally willing to spend at the time. Before buying a groupon I always check out a company's website to make sure they are legit. This particular business was obviously active so I purchased and reached out - nothing. I called and the owner was incredibly rude to me , I emailed and the email was inactive, I followed on facebook and noticed the owner posted rude comments about the people she saw at her gym so I wanted my money back. And when I saw that more groupons were being issued I realized what this business owner was - a scammer using groupon to sustain her poorly run business and so I thought that other people should know.
A couple of months passed by and I had a not so great restaurant experience and I went to yelp again., But then I realized that I don't want to be a negative nancy only posting bad reviews. Plus it's not like I'm using the Internet in a nasty malicious way to get back at businesses - my aim in reviews was to inform my fellow consumers. So I thought about all the places in Memphis I love, and there were sooooo many. So slowly but surely I began posting about the wonderful places in town. I used yelp when planning out of town trips and and returned the favor by posting reviews on those places too. I found people with whom I agreed on places I had been to and found new places to check out based on their other positive reviews. I received comments from friends and other yelp users that they found my reviews helpful and that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside and so I kept yelping. For every yelp review I post there are at least 10 that I have read;I really value this tool.
So once I had a respectable number of reviews under my belt and had made some connections I applied to the elite squad - Elite Yelpers are basically people who are "in their know" in their home town. Guess what y'all? I got accepted!
My profile with the awesome elite badge:
I'm really excited about this so that people reading my reviews will know I'm an active community member and not just promoting or ranting about one business and also it's a great opportunity to make connections and get hooked up with more cool places in Memphis. I only recently discovered that Yelp has chat forums and events, so it's a great place to promote organization activities and find events to go to. There's monthly CMYEs (community manager yelp events) which all yelpers are invited to. Best of all, using yelp to totally free!
Going back to groupon, I cannot recommend enough that you check out online reviews before buying one. The way groupon works is that the business gets two payments from groupon for all the groupons that sold. I'm not saying all businesses do this but there are businesses out there using those large chucks of cash to survive because they're not getting regular business. I also see a lot of groupons for businesses starting out or businesses with really bad reviews - maybe they're under new management and looking to change things around or maybe they're just badly run and need the cash - but you should always be aware of what you are buying and Yelp is a great way to help you stay in the know. And if you really want to be cool, check out my Yelp profile and connect with me!