Launched by controversial 29-year-old entrepreneur Pearson, of MyVoucherCodes fame, Groupola claims to use “the power of group-buying to save customers up to 90 per cent off the best things to do, see, eat and buy”.
The group buying model isn’t anything new – the idea that small businesses or consumers should team-up together to work as a buying consortium has been around for yonks. So does Pearson’s new venture offer anything new?
It seems that he’s found an innovative twist to it, introducing the idea of a “tipping-point” of demand that needs to be reached before the offer actually materialises.
“Every day, the site will feature a deal,” he explains. “Then, if enough people commit, the company offering it will honour the deal, which will be anything from 50-90 per cent off the full price. If not enough people sign up to that particular deal, the offer is withdrawn and no money passes hands.”
Daily offers on the site focus on smaller offers, ranging from spa days, beauty and hairdressing, theatre tickets, concerts, to whatever; and will be tailored to eight UK cities (London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff and Edinburgh).
Alongside the daily deals, the site will also offer weekly deals, with a longer window for group buyers. For example, this week, Virgin Balloon Flights is offering 50 per cent off a four-hour hot-air balloon experience, if more than 25 people sign up to the £149 offer. (As of midday on Friday, no one had yet signed up to this deal, though, so don’t get your hopes up just yet!)
Regardless, Groupola could end up making Pearson some serious money.
In the US, where several similar sites already exist, they’ve been extremely successful. Rumour has it that Groupon – one of the larger American sites – is on track to record $100m in sales via the site this year.
Of course, now we just have to wait and see whether the concept will work in Britain.
If you’re sceptical about it, and don’t see any reason for checking the site out, know that it’s currently running a raffle to give away ten Apple iPads to those that sign-up to its newsletter.
Why not try your luck – and maybe pick up an offer on the way”