Group Shopping Equals Big Deals

By Perks |

Living in an expensive city can be a strain on the wallet. There are so many things to do, see and explore that require you to break out the big dough to participate. However, new digital coupon services are helping many people score fantastic deals at places they normally wouldn’t be able to afford.

A few of our favorites places to find those deep discounts are listed here:

Groupon: Groupon is one of the most widely used daily deal websites, active in a large handful of cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In May 2010, the site was valued at more than $1 billion and has been noted as maintaining “the most successful [coupon website] execution to date.” Every day, Groupon features a different product or service available at a deep discount. Log on to the site and click “BUY” if you’re interested in the deal. If the minimum number of people sign up, your card will be charged and you’ll receive a link to print the Groupon. Otherwise, the deal is canceled and you aren’t charged.

PROS: Groupon’s reach and popularity has given it the ability to secure bigger and better deals than some of the smaller sites. The site just launched Personalized Deals, so that the deals that you see are tailored to include your special interests.

CONS: If the minimum number of buyers isn’t reached, there will be no groupon for you.

Yipit: Yipit is another website that is available to deal seekers across the U.S. (with a European arm coming soon). The site takes on the bargain-searching legwork for you by scouring the web for discounts and deals that are specific to your interests and location. You can even connect your Yipit account to Foursquare so that the service sorts out deals by the proximity to places you’ve visited on the mobile check-in app. How cool is that?

PROS: Yipit has placed itself as the leader in completely personalizing the information it provides to you.

CONS: A new company, Yipit isn’t yet available in as many cities as some competitor coupon sites.

LivingSocial: LivingSocial stakes its platform on helping small businesses utilize social media to keep in touch with their customers. And it’s not a bad pitch for those mom-and-pop shops that don’t have the marketing budget to advertise to the local community. The site currently operates in more than 50 U.S. markets and has recently introduced its London site. To get a deal, you simply have to visit the website and select “Buy Now.” No minimum number of buyers is required.

PROS: When a user purchases a deal and three of his friends make the same purchase, the user gets the deal for free.

CONS: The deals that you receive in your Inbox aren’t personalized to your specific interests.

8Coupons: Rather than focusing on the single best deal of the day, 8Coupons provides users with the top eight deals in their neighborhood. Steering away from the group buying approach, this site focuses on providing you with a variety of amazing offers for a wide variety of products and services. This is a great place to find the best deals from major chains to specialty stores. Less like a group buying platform, 8coupons is more of a deal aggregator that offers up a handful of discounts and delivers them directly to your inbox.

PROS: Wide variety in the number and breadth of deals that you can view or purchase at any given time. Participating is also simple; 8coupons directs you right to the provider’s website where you can print out the coupon.

CONS: Again, this site does not send you deals that are specifically in line with your hobbies or interests, so you may be getting a bunch of offers that you aren’t really interested in.

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