Social or group buying is a great way for a small, new, or struggling business to introduce new affluent costumers to their services while simultaneously offering deep discounts to consumers for products and services ranging from rock climbing lessons or salsa dancing to Brazilian blowouts and massages.
Groupon. According to an article in the NY Times, Groupon’s President claimed in November 2010 to have 5 million subscribers are mostly between 30 to 50 with a household income of over $50,000. In North America, Groupon services cities ranging from Abbotsford and Akron to Worcester and Winnipeg. The site offers deals at restaurants, spas, and other establishments with discounts of between 50% to 90% off. Those with an iPhone or android can simply show the establishment their Groupon ID when redeeming the certificate, rather than printing it out, and if you are able to successfully refer a friend, you earn $10 in “Groupon” cash towards a future purchase. If the business closes down, Groupon will offer you a refund.
Living Social. Similar to Groupon, LivingSocial is headquartered in the US in Washington D.C. and offers deals in New York City, and cities ranging from Albuquerque through Newark, Delaware. Living Social offers many spa and salon deals and recently began offering hotel and spa deals for overnight stays. There is also a family edition serving four regions as of November 2010, and a college edition serving five campuses during that same period (Virginia Tech and Cal Berkeley for two examples).
Lifebooker. Unfortunately, as of November 2010, Lifebooker only serves the New York City and Los Angeles regions, but the beauty and spa discounter offer amazing deals on Brazilian blowouts, manicures, massages, and even deals like knitting lessons and gyms. Every time you book a service through Lifebooker you receive reward dollars to use toward more services. Users of the site can also rate businesses and you can book appointments with participating salons and spas directly though the website. Special deals called “Lifebooker loot” are highlighted daily with new offers presented all the time.