6 Groupon-like Sites You Didn’t Know Existed
Ever since Groupon hit the scene, it seems like there’s another deal site ready to offer deep discounts on things we want (or didn’t even know we wanted). Here’s a little bit of background and a few of the more prominent deal sites if you’re the kind of person who’s looking for half off trapeze lessons or 3 acupuncture sessions for the price of one.
First off, how it works
With any of these sites, you identify your city (or nearest major city) and give them an e-mail address. Every day, you receive an e-mail with a hugely discounted offer. Sometimes it’s merchandise, sometimes it’s an activity. Discounts are on average about 50% off what would normally be the purchase price. If a million e-mails isn't your thing, many of these sites have mobile apps, but then it's on you to remember to check for deals.
Now, why it works: Most of these sites operate on a bulk buying system – a certain number of people have to buy into the deal before it becomes a valid discount. That way, the merchant is ensured a certain number of customers in order to make the substantial discount worth it. That’s why on a lot of these sites, you’ll see how many people have purchased.
The pioneer of the online group coupon, this site offers local deals in cities across the nation with seemingly no end to the types of businesses that participate. Discounts are usually at least 45% off, but can be up to 85%. Most discounts are for businesses local to the city you’re signed up in, but every once in a while, Groupon offers discounts with larger retailers, such as Gap or Virgin America.
This site operates the same way as Groupon, but they’ve recently added a family edition feature, in which the deals are targeted more towards children’s or family-focused activities or products. Another addition that is new to LivingSocial and distinguishes it from Groupon is LivingSocial Escapes, which features affordable getaways within driving distance (usually one to three hours) from your set destination.
This deal site was acquired by the pop culture media outlet PopSugar and is now a part of their pretty pop-y empire, offering deals to seven metro areas: San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, New York, Washington DC and Chicago. Sorry, Tulsa. You’ll have to wait. Beyond it’s exclusivity, this site operates just like Groupon.
And now for something new and different! Scoutbmob is still getting its legs (and they’re hiring), but this site has a slightly different m.o. than the others. Scoutmob finds its local deals by having real live people scout what’s hip, new, interesting and popular in town. Then they get a deal from those merchants, and e-mail it out. If you’re interested, you give up your phone number (which isn’t used for spam, because spam sucks) and the deal gets texted to you. No cash out of pocket and you get a great deal, like 50% off your tacos at the shop up the street!
GroopEase also deviates from the standard daily deal model and focuses on one genre: music. Every day they feature one independent, rising artist and allow you to purchase the Groop of the Day’s album for a discounted price. As an added bonus, each day you can download one free song from the featured artist. We have the invitation only code word for you to gain access to the site, Launch.
This site focuses on deals for experiences and things to do versus retail merchants. It’s only available in New York, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston, but if you’re living in one of those cities and constantly looking for new shows to see, restaurants to try or even races to run, Dealist has you covered.
Plum District offers a variety of coupons with one central theme: everything offered on Plum District caters to the needs of a mom. The people who run the site know what moms want, since they’re moms too!
With the success of Groupon and other group deal sites, we’re certain to see more and more clones pop up. Some cities are starting city-specific sites and it seems like, as with Groop Ease, more specialized and focused deal sites are likely to be on the horizon too. Now it’s just a matter of keeping your eye out for deals that appeal to you!
What kind of deals do you find the most enticing to buy? Have you had any great bargains through these group coupon sites? Please share in the comments!