Top 10 group buying websites

Ten yoga classes for half the price, a hair cut and colour for £22 instead of £72, and a two-day holiday with 60% discount. These are among the deals on offer from group buying websites.

These websites offer daily deals in your local area, giving on average between 25% and 75% off the normal asking price.

How to start

There are numerous sites in the UK and across the world. All you do is sign up for a free daily email alert and put in your payment details, and you'll start receiving discounted offers from local businesses.

Each offer will have a time limit; if enough people sign up within this period the offer goes 'live' and you'll be sent a voucher. It's a simple idea that helps sellers promote their services and buyers get a bargain - and it works. Groupon, the biggest site, has over 50 million people subscribed to its deals.

The items on offer vary greatly, from restaurant and pampering deals to week-long holidays and laser teeth whitening.

Businesses that partner with these sites obviously take price cuts, but any losses are balanced out by instant access to a whole new group of potential customers.


There aren't many catches besides the fact that each deal is only valid for a certain time, so you have to make sure you know when it will expire.

Instant access to such large discounts can also pressurise people into paying for a voucher they don't actually need; however, as most vouchers are available to buy for at least 12 hours, you do have time to consider whether the deal is something you really want.

Read about Rebecca Rutt's group buying experiences: My obsession with group buying

The top 10 group buying websites

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Your Comments

I paid £38 to Groupon for a voucher in November 2010 and, despite numerous emails and telephone calls (which amounted to a taped message referring back to the website), I was unable to obtain a refund until mid January 2011.

As I had been unable to get any response to emails to the company supplying the voucher either, so when Groupon eventually did reply to me, I refused their reassurance that I would be receiving the voucher 'as soon as possible' and asked for an immediate refund.

There was not a lot of money involved for me but I wonder how many people wait unacceptably long times for items for which they have paid, with Groupon banking their money. This was my first attempt at group buying and I will not use Groupon again.

Groupons been brilliant for me. used it a few times without any problems

I have used most of the sites with no problem, I receive the voucher within 24 hours of the offer finishing. No problem.

I have used Groupon many times and on the two occasions I have had to request a refund this has been actioned promptly - within 48 hours. Would have no hesitation recommending them.
Group buying is great!

I had a hair package from Groupon, and was really pleased with it. Only negative was that I was waiting quite some time for voucher - didn't realise I had to log into account to print voucher as it wasn,t made clear

I have used Groupon many times, mainly for restaurant deals. Vouchers always have been emailed to me within 24 hours. No problems with Groupon and highly recommended.

I used Groupon twice - the first time I had so much trouble trying (and failing) to get the website of the company they were sending me to show me the deal that I'd got the online voucher for, that I asked Groupon for a refund.

The second time is current - I was supposed to receive goods from the associated company within 5 - 10 days; it's now been over 20 and I've phoned the company to be told they're sorry but the goods "should be with me soon".

Not good enough: I certainly won't be using Groupon again.

Used Groupon at least 10 times for ice skating, bowling, fitness clubs, hair dressers & never had any problems. On 2 occaisons the supplier extended the end dates because of the volunme of custom. Great value

There is only an automated e-mail reply "service" from Groupon (my experience). Any problems and it seems that it is a case of 'we have your money so tough'. Always pay by credit card and then you can claim the money back from them, the only problem being that you have to wait 30 days after being ignored by Groupon before you can fill in a claim form and then even more days until you get your money back.

Before ordering I suggest googling for the item and probably buying it more cheaply elsewhere.

However, if you are still keen on Groupon I have some money stuck in Africa and need your bank account details to help me get it back!! (Responsible adult: If you are reading this over their shoulder please stop them from posting their account details here :)


There is also another website called Kelkoo Select that offers short term deals as well but are mainly London based offers.


Oh I also forgot to mention another website called Goodypass offers numerous regional deals for short periods as well!


what has happened to crowdity ???????

Avoid, lousy customer services and they won't refund you for items if you want to return them well within your rights.

 I really like this Savvy Mummys group-buying site (
It might not be for everyone, but SO great for family people