All over the internet, group buying sites are popping up, each one with a different reason that they are better or more unique than the next. Aside from the huge-name national competitors like Groupon and LivingSocial, who are still trying to attract larger audiences, despite controversy , there are lesser-known brands who are staying alive by focusing on local markets in a local way, rather than the big companies’ national, unattached approach. While there is a seemingly endless number of these more local companies in New York City alone, I have taken particular interest in ScoopSt. and DealOn for their apparent local attitude and reachability. While my first impression of these companies was that they are very friendly and would be happy to help me in my journey into the true-local group buying world, I quickly found out that they are less than willing to speak with just any members of the press (myself included). Despite being shunned by those at the top of these allegedly community-based companies, I still lived within their communities for a few weeks and have learned much about how they operate.

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For my travelogue, I’ve decided that rather than focusing on the large, corporate social trend of group buying, I should look into the phenomenon on the lower, more local levels. A particularly interesting site that was sent to me is called Scoop St, which launched a few days short of one year ago, and seems to be an excellent point of entry into the group buying world.

From what I have seen from secondary sources, the company still has only but a few employees and is housed on W 28 St., making it very possible for me to stage interviews with the founders to learn more about why they started the company and how it has been working over this past year. Along with this, their website has a blog, as well as user testimonials. I think this will be enormously helpful because many of the testimonials have links to the writers’ blogs or other forms of social media. Along with these users who I intend to contact, I think I will provide some users of larger group-buyingsites with Scoop St. accounts and see how they feel it compares.

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A new trend in the world of e-commerce is the phenomenon of “group buying.” The best-known player in the group buying game so far is Groupon. Groupon offers a geo-targeted “deal of the day” for users, as well as other “great deals nearby” which users can take advantage of. The way the service works is the site posts a deal which does not officially go into action until a certain number of people commit (with a credit card number) to buy the offer. When the offer “tips,” or enough people accept it, users are sent a printable “Groupon” to bring to the retail establishment. While Groupon set the groundwork, many other companies are catching on to this highly profitable trend. Read the rest of this entry »