Author’s Note: This article contains no referral links, only links to the homepage of these websites as resources for you.

I remember when a coworker of mine came up to me to describe this new social buying concept she had heard about on the news. This was just two years ago; since this time, social buying websites have sprung up all over the internet and have opened business in cities all across the United States. Social buying websites offer fantastic deals from 30% savings and higher (50% is typical) at venues of all sorts (travel, restaurants, entertainment, healing/health/massage, exercise/yoga, etc.). The idea is that a local or national company signs on to run a campaign through these websites. The social buying site sells a limited number of certificates or coupons in a 24-hour or several day time period and if the set minimum number of people purchases the deal then the deal is official. The social buying site gets a large cut of the money and the business receives a percentage as well as a lot of exposure. If not enough people purchase the deal, the deal fizzles and your credit card/paypal or other form of payment is not charged.

While some of these websites have lasted and created a brand name for themselves, others have disappeared all together or never really took off to begin with. To give you an example of some great ones to sign up for I’ve listed some of the larger sites below and the deals I have purchased from them.  

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Groupon: This was founded in November 2008 and is one of the largest, if not the largest, social buying websites. I have purchased AMF Bowling certificates from here ($15 for two people to bowl two hours, including the rental of shoes), a certificate to Barnes and Noble ($10 for $20 worth of merchandise), a certificate to Retreat Hill Winery and Vineyard ($20 for wine tasting and a cheese and fruit platter for two people, plus a bottle of wine to take home), and a certificate for 5 Yoga classes for $25. I was very satisfied with each of these deals!

Living Social: From here I have purchased a $20 Amazon giftcard for $10, a manicure and pedicure for $18 at Paris Spa and Salon, two AMC movie tickets to the movie of my choice for $9, and $50 to spend at Vistaprint for $10. Once again, very satisfied with my purchases!  

BuyWithMe: From here I purchased Paul’s large Christmas gift last year which was 10 rounds of 18-hole golf at Sienna Plantation Golf Club and 9 one-hour clinic-style group lessons with a professional trainer ($155). Great deal!

Plum District: I have not signed onto this social group buying site. It looks like it is geared towards mothers, fathers and families, so I wanted to include it in this list.

Bloomspot: I purchased two AMC movie tickets for $4 each from this site.

Yollar: This is another social buying site I have not tried out yet, but thought I would include it.

Purchasing Deals You Missed

Most deals are only live for one or a few days. You may miss them during this time period. My friend Helen showed me a great resource to purchase some of the deals that you missed: On this website people who have purchased transferrable deals sell the ones they do not want to use. Some sell for a profit, some sell just to recoup the amount that they had paid for it. I was able to snag several more AMF bowling certificates to pay for everyone for Paul’s birthday party. It was a great savings!

What Happens if the Company Goes Out of Business Before Redemption?

Local attractions, exhibits, eateries, etc., have signed campaigns with group buying sites and gone out of business shortly thereafter. Some people have experienced the unpleasantness of finally getting around to using their group coupon before it expires only to find that the company has gone out of business. Bucksome Boomer has written about her experience with successfully being reimbursed by the group coupon site in several cases of this happening to her. In each instance she has emailed the social group buying website and explained what happened. They have promptly reimbursed her in each case.   

Other Articles You May Enjoy:

Who Doesn’t Want a 50% Deal? Groupon, LivingSocial, and the Evolution of Deals and Rewards
Becoming a Groupon Groupie
Groupon Review and a roundup of other Groupon Articles
Groupon Vs. Google Offers

15 replies
  1. Squirrelers
    Squirrelers says:

    I’ve purchased a grew Groupons of late, and they’ve worked out fine. The big thing for me is to resist the temptation to buy things that I don’t need but seem like great deals!

    I haven’t hear of Yollar or Bloomspot, have to check them out.

  2. Doctor Stock
    Doctor Stock says:

    I had never heard of lifesta before… thanks. I tried contacting two of those for selling a product but didn’t even get an email “rejection” response. Any tips?

  3. Doctor Stock
    Doctor Stock says:

    Nope… if you use Groupon, for example, you can can set your mobile device to automatically set it up by going to “Settings” then select your city, then turn “email” and/or “push notifications” to on… and you’ll never miss them again. The same is true for some of the others mentioned.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] to say, it appears that these sites are here to stay for a long time (at least in internet years).I have purchased and enjoyed many great experiences through social buying websites, such as a birthday bowling party I hosted for my husband where we paid $75 for two hours of […]

  2. […] Frugal Confessions provides us with a nice succint article on all those social buying/coupon sites out there! For me, it’s a little hard to keep up with all of them and what they offer, so it’s nice to find all the information in one place! […]

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