Launching Tuesday, Chicago-based oBaz (short for online bazar) gives consumers a way to name their own deals. The new marketplace reverses the standard operating procedure for businesses, which often use promotions -- including special offers through Groupon or LivingSocial -- to get new customers in the door or to move seasonal merchandise.
Putting Buyers in the Driver's Seat
With oBaz, promotions filter from the bottom up: A group of moms can rally together for discounted baby gear, for example, or students can band together to get a deal on test-prep courses.
"OBaz is entirely buyer-driven. We're here to help you find what you're looking for, not just push what today's advertiser is offering," co-founder and CEO Brian Ficho says. " It's in our best interests [to get good deals]. The better products we get, the better redemption rates we have."
Venture-capital group LightBank, created by Groupon co-founders, apparently sees the site's potential. OBaz received seed funding from the group in June 2011.