GrouponI write a lot about Groupon and the many Groupon clones because, well, I find the group-buying phenomenon all quite fascinating. So you can imagine that it would take a lot to drive me to the brink of Groupsanity. But here I am, and this weekend I started doing a very bad thing. I began unsubscribing to all the various group-buying sites I had subscribed to.

Like a sniper picking off his prey one by one, I methodically went through my in-box and pushed the "unsubscribe" button on as many as I could find. Yes, those sites had delivered a few nuggets, and I knew they would deliver more. But I'm not shutting down my group-buying addiction. Rather, I'm evolving into a higher group-buying type of being, one that I suspect the many group-buying companies wouldn't like too much.

I did keep my Groupon subscription, although I set it to auto-archive anything that comes to my in-box. The one group-buying service I hung onto was Yipit.

A Tipping for Group-Buying Behavior?

This small but fast-growing service delivers a summary of all the various group-buying offers in my area that I might be interested in (tending toward food and sports, and avoiding spas and facials, in my case). If I see something I like, then I click on it. Or even not. I can check Yipit's website once a week and skip the email -- and get pretty much the same effect.

What my behavior, which perhaps is an outlier, points toward is something of a tipping point regarding group-buying behavior, a rapidly approaching moment when *nobody* wants to subscribe to 45 group-buying lists. Instead, folks will soon see group buying as more like shopping for groceries than waiting for that impulse offer to land in your in-box.

In other words, I generally ignore Yipit, but when I want to find something interesting to do, I go to the site and check out what's on the menu. Or I go to 8Coupons, another deal aggregator with a heavier emphasis on more traditional online coupons. And there I pick and choose what I please from across the entire spectrum in a much-easier-to-parse format.

More Like Shopping for Shoes

This is the law of the Internet jungle. Once a category grows too big for mere mortals to deal with, the aggregators step in and create an interface to make sense of it all. And these aggregators have huge power over the entire segment. Once they gain control, they can charge for preferred placement, for example, or extract percentages of each group deal.

This is a glass-half-full type of thing for the big players. On one hand, Groupon will have the cash to dominate buying of aggregation credits and will have the critical mass to continue as an industry leader. On the other, aggregators are already leveling the playing field by making shopping for deals more like shopping for shoes.

For the merchants, this is no big deal. They don't care too much who delivers their new customers. However, for Groupon, LivingSocial and other giants, this is a really big deal because they lose control of their customer and could find it more difficult to get people to sign up for extended usage.

Granted, you have to give the group-buying sites a credit card number, but watch for someone like Yipit to create a group-buying "wallet" that allows for transactions without requiring a user to give credentials and credit card numbers to every single group-buying site.

I could be entirely wrong here. But I believe two things will happen. First, aggregators will gain power. Second, either Groupon or LivingSocial will seek to become aggregators themselves. He who controls the highest customer interaction almost always wins online.

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D

Another great aggregator to find all the best deals from Groupon, LivingSocial and the other top daily deal sites is http://TheDealPages.com. You can browse deals based on category and location.

September 26 2011 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Martin Švorc

If You like to see full text Search Engine of major producers visit www.dealworld.biz where we present many features such as: Search service, search city, 3 TOP daily deals, top 15 customers requests, the MOST discounted deals with almost 97-99% off, the last minutes deals with last coupons to buy and the cheapest deals. We grow every day - today we have 2026 daily offers in 350+ US cities. Just on www.dealworld.biz

May 11 2011 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rasmus Refer

if u want to have a good business deal i would suggest htt://www.masterseek.com that provides quick and free access to, among other things, company profiles, contact information, and descriptions of products and services from more than 45 million companies in 75 countries.

May 11 2011 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
grouproundup

There is also a national Groupon deal aggregator. www.grouproundup.com collects all the Groupon deals that are redeemable online and therefore can be purchased by anyone, anywhere and summarizes them every day. Today you can buy Mrs. Field's, Kansas City Steaks, and Alaskan Crab Legs even if you live in small town U.S.A.!

December 15 2010 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
katrina030810@gmail.com

The group buying trend has been advantageous to both consumers and businesses. If you are the type of person who wants to save money and time looking for deals, one collective buying website lists them all in one - visit GroupBuyUnited.com!

December 15 2010 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cogrep@mail.com

I started LocalDealSites.com as a guide to the local daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social... I currently have over 130 Groupon-like daily deal websites listed in my directory (and growing). Please let me know if you have a site I don't have listed yet. http://www.localdealsites.com/

December 14 2010 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jroot606

It will certainly be interesting to find out how the power house daily deal operators respond to the growing number of aggregators. We launched an aggregator in Chicago that allows users to sort by the type of deal that they are interested in seeing, but we also screen the deals to make sure are visitors will only see the best daily deals available. www.dealrod.com

December 13 2010 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nora

Groupon and similar sites like LivingSocial and BuyWithMe are a very popular trend, so we'll continue to see them cropping up all over the place. The great discounts they provide on everyday products and services are great for consumers, so people will continue to buy. A great way to find the best deals in your area is by using http://www.dailydealpool.com. They'll email you daily with the best finds in your area, ensuring you don't miss out on something great!

December 13 2010 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jimmymoran

Thanks so much for mentioning Yipit, Alex! We're extremely focused on helping consumers navigate the ever expanding Daily Deal space and will be rolling out more features in the coming months. One feature we just launched last week was a new user interface, that allows users to instantly sort & filter deals based on category, source, price, discount and more. I'd also like to mention that I believe that consumers will still remain subscribed to a few deal sites directly, as well as Yipit (similar to what you're doing with Groupon). It will resemble how most of us consume news online - we check a few sites every day, then rely upon twitter, techmeme, google reader, etc for the rest. Thanks again, Jim Moran Co-founder, Yipit

December 13 2010 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jason

Great article. It's a matter of time before this space bubble pops and the dominant 3 players survive.

December 13 2010 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply