Guest Post by Wes Walls.
Just about everyone loves a good deal and it seems that in times when the economy is a little rocky, bargains abound. Case in point: earlier this year it was announced that Groupon, the social coupon website that you’ve likely heard of, is the fastest growing company ever. Let that sink in for a second… no company in history has ever grown faster. Since Groupon went online a couple of years ago, a swath of comparable sites have exploded onto the scene. The trend is obvious – people have a little less money in their pockets but want to maintain their lifestyle. Social coupon sites are the answer to that urge. You can still have a great time and explore your city without overspending.
If you don’t know how social coupon sites like Groupon work yet, the general idea is that one really hot, specially-negotiated deal is posted each day in your city, and a certain number of people need to participate in order to get the deal. Each one varies slightly, so let’s take a closer look at our Top 6 Canadian social coupons sites:
This is the original social coupon mega-deal site. One deal is posted per day, with a certain minimum number of participants needed to activate it. If the minimum is reached, then the participants are sent a voucher by email which they can print and bring to the business. If the minimum is not met, which almost never happens, no one gets a voucher. Groupon goes out of their way to make their daily deals adventurous and fun. One “brave soul” claims to live off nothing but Groupons. You can find Groupons for over 20 Canadian cities with the notable exception of chez moi, Montreal.
Being one of the other big players in social coupons, LivingSocial is also able to post great deals each day. If you participate in a daily deal, you will get a voucher no matter how many other people participate. Not only that, but if you share the deal with three other people who also participate, your deal is free. LivingSocial coupons are available in only seven Canadian cities – including Montreal. And, for what it’s worth, LivingSocial is probably the nicest looking of all the social coupon sites.
This social coupon site is Canadian-only and offers a daily coupon with no minimum number of participants. The deals here tend to be a little less adventurous than the big players – at time of writing the deal of the day is for an indoor children’s playground pass – and their pyramid-style commission scheme is a little bit tacky, but a deal is a deal. $12 off something you might want in your community is $12 off, so it’s still worth signing up to the newsletter. StealTheDeal coupons are available in ten Canadian cities at the moment.
Dealfind posts daily, limited-time deals from Monday to Thursday of each week. The deals are robust, if generally not as adventurous and unique as LivingSocial or Groupon. They encourage their participants to share the day’s deal to earn cash. They tend to mostly get coupons for salons, laser treatments, spas and the like, and while coupons are available in nine Canadian cities, coupons are not always available in all of the ones listed. It’s probably only worth signing up if you live in Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto.
Teambuy is a Canadian-only social coupon site that emulates the Groupon model. A minimum number of people need to participate in the promotion in order for everyone to get the deal. As with Groupon, the minimum is almost always surpassed, and the quality of the daily deals is very good. This is my favourite Canadian social coupon site. Teambuy is active in about twelve Canadian cities, and if you live in one of these it is certainly worth signing up for.
This is a US-originating site that has expanded into Canada. Deals are only available for a few cities right now, and they are often fairly low value but fun. They donate 10% of every deal to a local charity, such as YWCA. GoodNews is advertising heavily online right now, so I’m sure we can expect to see new deals coming online fairly soon in more cities. It’s definitely one worth keeping your eye on.
There are many ways you can save and find deals on- and offline, but if you like impulsive, adventurous and relatively affordable spending, our Top 6 listed social coupon sites are certainly worth a look.
There are other websites coming online all the time offering daily coupons. Are there any other Canadian social coupon sites that you use or like?
About the author: Wes Walls is the founder of CouponPromoCode.ca, a new website that makes it easy and fun for Canadians to find online coupons, promotions, freebies and other great deals.