4 Things you need to know about Group Buying websites

What is Group Buying?

Many retailers are getting great results from local group buying campaigns. These are campaigns focused on individual cities where the consumer can buy a voucher that gives them a great deal in a local place – could be a theatre, hair dressers, shop or restaurant. Most of the deals only last for one day, and are limited to a certain number of people.

(so this post is about that type of group buying – not the sort done by made.com which uses the power of many buyers to lower the price).

First thing you need to know: What websites run Group Buying?

There are several, most are American imports, and the big boys are also starting to get involved too:

  • Groupon – wide range of cities covered in the UK – one of the biggest worldwide
  • Pooodle – yes that’s 3 ‘o’s. Not hugely well known, but does have a fairly wide range of UK coverage
  • LivingSocial – not as wide a coverage as the others, but better know than Pooodle
  • Groupola – run by myvouchercodes.co.uk
  • Google have a version coming soon “Google Offers” (see Mashable for details)

Secondly: How does it work?

Ok, as a retailer (or shop owner, local business etc) you create the offer you want to run. Then contact the group buying website of your choice.

They’ll then agree their commission with you, and when it’s going to run.

When the deal goes live consumers will buy your vouchers online, and bring them into your store to be redeemed.

Within an agreed time period the group buying site will transfer the money paid for the vouchers to you. (minus their commission).

3rd thing: What sort of offers work?

Most offers are either:

  • buy this widget/service that usually costs £150 for £60
  • or get a voucher worth £20 for just £10

Almost all the offers have pretty strict Ts and Cs – so before you put together your offer take a good look at some other offers to make sure you’ve covered all the Ts and Cs you should.

4thly: How to choose which group buying site to advertise on

There are some key things to consider when deciding which group buying site to advertise on:

  • How much is it going to cost you?
  • How long do they hold onto the money before you get it? (Google’s entry is likely to speed this up – they’re planning on paying most of the money within 3 days!)
  • How many people do they have signed up in your area?
  • What other sort of deals have worked on their site, and are these for similar products to yours?


So, lots of information there about group buying site – if you think we’ve missed anything please comment below. And we’d love to hear how you get on with this too.