March 22, 2013, 4:40 PM

A hit of caffeine knocks Groupon offline

A Starbucks coupon offer blacked out some Groupon services Friday.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

Consumers flocked to Groupon.com to buy Starbucks’ digital gift cards for half off and knocked Groupon offline for a time on Friday. The site was back up by late afternoon, although not all services were immediately available, a Groupon spokeswoman says.

According to Groupon’s web site, more than 100,000 consumers bought the cards by Friday afternoon. The offer, pay $5 for a $10 Starbucks e-gift card, is live through Saturday. Due to the volume of orders, it may take longer than normal before consumers who bought the deal see it posted to their accounts, the spokeswoman says. The spokeswoman declined to say how many more than 100,000 had been sold.

The order volume also left some consumers unable to view their previously purchased Groupon deals in their accounts. Groupon Now deals, which are deals that Groupon sells for immediate redemption, were also unavailable Friday afternoon. “We expect to be at 100% functionality soon,” the spokeswoman says.

This isn’t the first time a hot deal has knocked Groupon offline. A promotion in 2010 that offered $50 worth of Gap merchandise for $25 drew more than 440,000 orders and crashed Groupon’s servers for a time.  

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