The Fickle Mind’s Sickle

Group buying: the more the merrier

The saying goes for a reason- the More the Merrier. With more people joining in, the party only gets better.  And this is the core concept of the latest internet buying phenomenon. Bring in the groups and get huge discounts.

Introduced in 2000, by an e commerce start up caller Mercata, with the financial backing of Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, the concept offered buyers substantial discounts on primarily on electronics. With the internet boom taking off, the idea has been replicated successfully by companies like Groupon and LivingSocial. Both sites offer registered users the option to choose from a variety of products ranging from meals to spa treatments to electronics to accessories.

The sites require users to register and opt for deals that are on display. On opting for a deal, the users are required to pay a token amount. The deals work on the concept that if a particular number of buyers opt for a certain deal, then the discounts are activated. Else the money is refunded to the users. The vendors get to derive their margins from the number of buyers who come in and the users get to enjoy unbelievable discounts.

Though still in a nascent state in India, group buying sites are slowly making their presence felt in the highly competitive online shopping space. The best performing sites offer discounts on products and meals whereas sites specializing in a particular space are mushrooming at a rapid space. Some of the top group buying sites in India are:

  1. SnapDeal:

One of the best and the oldest of the lot, SnapDeal offers users choices on a variety of products in many cities. SnapDeal also has a sms service which sends you the best deals in your city daily.

  1. MyDala:

The next best site to offer fabulous discounts, MyDala was set up specifically for Indians. According to its founder, Anisha Singh, “Indian love to bargain” and the site offers its users just that-plenty of bargains. Again, the site is oriented across multiple cities.

  1. Groffr:

A niche site, Groffr offers discounts only on real estate. With deals on a variety of real estate products ranging from commercial deals to residential property, the site is best1 in this space.

  1. Koovs:

One of the rising stars, Koovs started up for the locals of Bangalore, but has now spread across multiple cities.

  1. Sosasta:

If you haven’t guessed it yet, sosasta is actually two words-so sasta. Based on the group buying concept, the site offers its users deals across multiple cities.

So if you have your bags ready, it’s time to check out the sites and splurge. Not really because these sites, help you save and not spend. Happy shopping!!

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