Groupon’s New Year’s Resolution? To Make Money on Yours!

So far this year, one of the hottest daily deal categories has been — you guessed it — weight-loss programs and fitness classes.

Just in time to make your 2012 resolutions, email offers are pouring in to help you meet your goals.

The number of fitness-related deals offered over the past few days is twice as high as average, according to Yipit, which tracks the major daily deal providers, including Groupon, LivingSocial, Travelzoo, Amazon and Google.

Just a small sampling of the offers I’ve noticed: Lipotropic injections that promise to speed up your metabolism, boot camp to help whip you into shape, and Pilates and “hot yoga” galore. (Sorry, no Jane Fonda!)

Yipit said in December that the average number of fitness-related deals across the major daily deals providers in North America totaled 63.

But already this month, the numbers are much higher. On Tuesday, the number of fitness-related deals expiring that day totaled 85; on Wednesday, it soared to 163, and on Thursday it stayed elevated at 131.

But that doesn’t mean people are plunging in to make the fitness commitment. Yipit said that those deals are performing only slightly above average.

In December, the average fitness deal generated $4,852 in gross billings, but on Tuesday and Wednesday, the average fitness deal generated $5,085 in gross billings.

Yipit says those dollar figures are only a rough guide, since they only include deals that make the purchase-count information publicly available. Companies like Groupon now disclose only a subset of their deals.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work