Groupon: The social group-buying site pioneer was launched in November 2008 by Andrew Mason to finance his collective-action site, the Point. The 30-year-old CEO created Groupon North Jersey last June and Groupon Central Jersey in November. Each Garden State Groupon site boasts 200 local businesses.
Groupon, which claims 44 million subscribers, negotiates huge discounts—usually 50 to 90 percent off—with popular businesses. It sends those deals to its subscribers in a free daily e-mail. A pre-determined number of customers must purchase each discount within a specific timeframe for the offer to be valid. The site’s newest feature is Personalized Deals, an optional service connecting users with the deals most relevant to them. (groupon.com)
GoNJcoupons: After seeing a downward trend in their printing, packaging and envelope business in Sussex County, partners Ken Leba, Glenn Schlanger and David Martinez turned their focus to two current trends—frugality and the Internet—and created GoNJcoupons.
Unlike social group-buying sites like Groupon, you don’t pre-pay onlne, just download the coupon and print. The site also offers merchant listings complete with photos, video, services offered and directions. GoNJcoupons.com, which was launched almost a year ago, claims 8,000 unique monthly visitors and 2,700 registered users. Visitors can search for businesses by county, zip code or industry. There is no cost to the user or merchant, but coupons may have download limits and expiration dates. (gonjcoupons.com)
LivingSocial.com: LivingSocial founders Tim O’Shaughnessy, Eddie Frederick, Aaron Batalion and Valeriy Aleksenko launched their daily deal site in July 2009.
With more than 130 markets in five countries, including North Jersey, LivingSocial offers visitors a deal a day ranging from a spa experience to a helicopter ride. Registered users receive daily e-mails announcing that day’s deal. Unlike Groupon, the site doesn’t require a pre-determined number of customers to participate for the deal to be valid, but each offer is only available for 24 hours. Unique to LivingSocial, if one buys the deal and shares it with three friends, they get it for free.
The site’s founders recently launched LivingSocial Escapes, a travel site for one-of-a-kind deals. The site also tailors offerings to key audiences and demographics. (livingsocial.com)
Daily Deal: The Daily Deal operates in New Jersey wherever a Gannett newspaper circulates: South Jersey and Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean and Somerset counties. New promotions (50 to 90 percent off regular prices at restaurants, spas and events) are announced daily on the front page of Gannett’s newspapers, on the Daily Deal websites and via an email. Like Groupon, a minimum number of buyers must purchase the deal for it to be activated. Deals can run anywhere from 24 hours to several days. Vouchers are available to print within 24 hours after the deal closes. (dailydeal.njbestbuys.com)
SuburbanMomma: When suburban mom Deborah Leff discovered group-purchasing sites in 2009, she was frustrated that the deals didn’t fit her demographic. Last year, she launched SuburbanMomma, a social group-buying site catering to moms like her—with coupon offerings for family activities and high-end restaurants.
The site, which claims 10,000 registered users in North Jersey, offers new deals every day, with the objective of connecting locals with businesses in their backyards. “We want our audience to trust that we have vetted the businesses on their behalf,” Leff says. (suburbanmomma.com)