August 24, 2010
This week's Charlottesville Plugged In will attempt to make Mrs. Moneysaver proud by looking at a couple of websites where savvy shoppers can find great deals on useful items.
One site gives you deals if a group of people go in on the deal, and the other site has a bunch of people competing for limited supplies.
The first website is Groupon, which is not yet available in Charlottesville but is available in Richmond. Groupon may start moving into smaller markets like Charlottesville in the next six months or so.
The idea behind Groupon is that every day, a special is offered, such as $50 worth of a restaurant’s gift certificates for $25. However, there’s a catch: in order for the deal to be valid, a certain number of people have to buy what’s being offered. For example, one of the deals offered Tuesday is a $100 weekday party at a children’s party hosting location for $50; however, 5 people have to buy it for the deal to go through.
Groupon uses e-mail, Twitter and Facebook to communicate their deals, and there are also discussion boards about each deal being offered.
The second website is Steep and Cheap. This is a website for outdoor enthusiasts who want to buy that great piece of gear at a steal. Every 15 minutes or so, the website offers another deal on items. There’s a catch on this one, too. The number of items available are limited, so they usually sell out long before the 15 minute time limit runs out, and you can’t resell what you buy – no putting your great steal on eBay and making a quick buck.
At any given time, there are about 8,000 people on the site, so competition is often fierce for the really good deals. If you don’t have time all day to keep hitting the refresh button on your browser window, you can get alerts via e-mail, SMS, or a desktop widget.
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