One of the newest shopping trends is the growth of websites that provide bulk deals to consumers. Buying in bulk works for schools and institutions, so why not for us?
Groupon has been doing just that—minus the whole begging 300 of your friends to agree to buy the same thing—since November of 2008. But now, other websites like Scoop St. and BuyWithMe are heating up. Which one is best? LearnVest has you covered.
How It Works
Business owners post incredible discounts (up to 50% off, and often more) on the site, and readers can get these “group rates.” Only a limited number of deals are posted at a time, and each is dependent upon enough people signing up. If only five people sign up for a deal that has a 100-person “tipping point” (the cutoff at which the deal is officially happening), then none of those people receive the special deal. But we've been using these sites for a long time, and the deals nearly always happen.
We compared the deals on a regular day, January 25th. Here’s what we found:
In New York: $145 worth of custom-fit jeans for the price of $80. Groupon currently serves tons of cities, including New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Jacksonville. Deals are usually for food, exercise classes or other services, and fashion. Recent deals include $25 for $50 worth of tapas and drinks, and $45 for 10 Pilates mat classes ($180 value).
In Washington, D.C.: Half-price on a 60-minute massage or facial at a spa. One of the newer players on the scene, BuyWithMe seems to be particularly strong in its offerings for activities. In Washington, its past offers include a number of reduced-price museum tickets, exercise opportunities, and even golf experiences and tourism. BuyWithMe has an advantage because it posts more than one deal at a time (three, generally), but it currently only serves Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Back in New York: $50 credit toward food and drink at a downtown cafe for the price of $25. This site only serves New York at the moment, and, from what we've seen, it doesn't do as much as it might to differentiate itself from Groupon. All the same, its deals are different.
The moral of the story? If you really want to find the best deals around town, we recommend you peruse all three of these sites, since their deals are unique from each other. All three have newsletters with deals, so you can skim them straight in your inbox. As this sort of buying becomes more mainstream, you may as well play the field!
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you do what's in this Daily, you save:
$65 per coupon*
If you invested this amount today and earned an 8% return, you would have $1,412 by retirement.**
*Savings if you participate in Groupon's New York offer for custom-fit jeans.
**If you are 25 today and retire at age 65. We calculated that number here.