The Explosion of Daily Deal Sites
Groupon may not have been the first daily deal site, but ever since it launched in late 2008, Groupon has proved successful enough to make the idea of a deal site hip to tech savvy consumers (and investors). Countless sites have since followed in Groupon’s footsteps, launching deal destinations that feature select promotions each day, often targeted to specific parts of the country, and usually accompanied by a clock counting down somewhere on the page until the deal is no longer available.
Some have questioned whether Groupon – and the daily deal market as a whole – may be part of a tech bubble that will soon burst, but for the time being, the bounty of daily deal sites makes it a good time to be a consumer. The bargains are everywhere, the only challenge is knowing where to look among the many sites out there.
MainStreet has rounded up some of our favorite daily deal sites that cater to consumers interested in anything from travel promotions to gadgets, as well as those sites that offer good deals on just about everything.
Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon
In the world of daily deal sites, some have argued there are Groupon users and then there are LivingSocial users, but the savviest bargain hunters are those who make use of both of these deal sites. LivingSocial, arguably Groupon’s biggest competitor, typically offers at least half off on movie tickets, clothing, lunches and more. Like Groupon, this site not only offers deals tailored to big cities like New York and Chicago, but even offers promotions targeting specific sections and suburbs of those cities like Brooklyn, N.Y. and South Chicago. In this way, you’re more likely to find promotions that are good for retailers near you.
Photo Credit: LivingSocial.com
Long before Groupon or LivingSocial, there was Woot, a site founded in 2004 with the promise of offering at least one good deal a day. Seven years later, the site continues to be a mainstay of the deal market, and now offers great deals each day in one of four categories: kids products, T-shirts, wine promotions and gadgets. Other sites may appear to have more expansive selections, but at the end of the day, those four categories cover the majority of what many young consumers want to buy. The site also boasts a devoted community of users who submit deals from elsewhere on the Web, effectively turning Woot into a portal for finding all the best deals of the day.
Photo Credit: Woot.com
Yelp, a popular site for restaurant reviews, jumped into the daily deal market last year, launching daily promotions for cities like San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Yelp’s deals are particularly good for finding deals on restaurants, as well as discounted services like flight lessons and massages.
Photo Credit: Yelp.com
While several of these sites do offer occasional deals on hotels or getaways, none offer nearly as many travel-specific deals as Travelzoo, which mines all the major travel industry websites to find the best deals on hotels, cruises, airfare and more. Each day, the site posts city-specific deals for getaways as well as restaurant promotions, deals on Broadway shows and other discounted activities you can enjoy while on vacation, and each week, Travelzoo rounds up the 20 best deals for getaway packages and emails them to subscribers, so you can be sure that once-in-a-lifetime promotion doesn’t slip through the cracks.
Photo Credit: Travelzoo.com
If the deals on Groupon and LivingSocial aren’t good enough for you, try sites like DealsGoRound and CoupRecoup, which take the deal concept to the next level by reselling vouchers purchased on the most popular daily deal sites. Consumers who have purchased a voucher for a promotion on Groupon, for example, but later decided not to use it can sell it on one of these coupon resale sites to recoup some of their losses. As a result, these sites are often flooded with deals that are even better than Groupon’s because the users are generally reselling the deal at a deeper discount. Be sure to check the expiration date before making your purchase, though, as these coupons may have been sitting around for a while.
Photo Credit: DealsGoRound.com
If you are worried you’ll be one of those consumers that lets your vouchers gather dust, then you should give ScoutMob a try. Unlike the majority of other daily deal sites, ScoutMob doesn’t require users to pay for the deals upfront. Instead, users sign up for the deal by giving their cell phone number, which they can use to redeem the offer instantly, rather than having to wait for a set number of users to sign up (a feature that Groupon recently launched as well). In this way, you can just stick to hunting for deals that you can use in the moment.
Photo Credit: Apple.com
If you’re interested in browsing through several of the above sites, but feel you don’t have enough time in the day to do so, you might try Yipit, which aggregates deals from several of these and other online services that apply to your city, and emails them straight to your Inbox. It’s the ultimate daily deal fix, though avid deal hunters will still likely want to browse each site individually to ensure they don’t miss any bargains.
Photo Credit: Yipit.com
SharingSpree may not be a household name like Groupon, but this site deserves high marks for effectively using the daily deal model for good. SharingSpree’s goal isn’t to promote just any deals, but rather deals from businesses and nonprofits in cities like Nashville, Tenn., and Portland, Ore., in order to raise awareness for these organizations. What’s more, the site gives 10% of all proceeds to nonprofits and so far has raised more than $100,000 for these charities, all while offering consumers good deals on products.
Photo Credit: SharingSpree.com
Amazon Gold Box Deals
Amazon is proof that there is room for retailers and e-commerce sites in the daily deal market, too. Although, to be fair, Amazon’s Gold Box Deals service is less a daily deals feature than an hourly promotional service. Several times each day, Amazon will update the page with big bargains on toys, tech and tools, as well as general entertainment offerings like CDs and DVDs.
If you need a Father’s Day gift, for example, you can get an Invicta men’s watch for $70, reduced from $285, or if you’re looking for dorm room essentials, you can find a Cisco Linksys wireless router on sale for $54, reduced from $93. Who knows what deals tomorrow may bring?
Photo Credit: Amazon.com
No list of daily deal sites would be complete without Groupon. Even with all the new competition, Groupon continues to be among the best places to get your daily dose of half-off deals on restaurants, day trips and apparel. But be warned: If you sign up for Groupon, you will also likely get many, many promotions in your inbox for laser hair removal and dental whitening services.
And hopefully that’s not a deal-breaker.
Photo Credit: Groupon.com
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