Group buying websites

Some of the best consumer bargains can be found online through coupon websites. CHOICE finds out which ones are worth logging on to.
 
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02.Recommended sites

Tips to using online coupons

  • Create a separate email account when subscribing to the online coupons websites to avoid cluttering your regular inbox.
  • If you missed out on an offer from a national retailer in your state, check if it’s still available in others. We managed to buy Hoyts movie tickets at half-price on Scoopon's Adelaide site to use in Sydney Hoyts cinemas after the offer had expired in Sydney.
  • Check the fine print such as expiry dates and compulsory advance booking requirements. Be sure to book early, especially for smaller businesses or/and when a big group of people have bought the offer. You don't want to be in a six-month queue for a hair cut.
  • Google “coupon”, “discount” or “promo code” along with relevant key words if the bargains you’re looking for are not explicitly featured on the coupon website (for example, airline tickets and holiday accommodation deals).
  • Check out www.entertainmentbook.com.au, a local restaurant and activity guide costing between $50-$65 that offers up to 50% off restaurants, entertainment outlets and hotels throughout Australia and New Zealand. Entertainment Books are charity fundraisers and are only available through fund-raising groups and organisations.
  • Look for sites offering restaurant and travel discount coupons that you can print and redeem without having to sign up to a website or buy vouchers, such as www.hotdockets.com.au and www.offerme.com.au.
 

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We checked out many group buying websites and found those worth logging onto:

  • allthedeals.com.au is Australia’s daily and weekly deals tracker from services to products. A very useful site to bookmark.
  • cudo.com.au is a joint venture between Microsoft and local media corporation PBL, but hasn't featured as many offers compared to the other sites as it was launched only in September. However, the deals hosted are definitely solid bargains, such as $69 for gold class seats at the Ben Hur live show in Sydney (originally priced at $159), or a $20 voucher for $60 worth of food at an Italian restaurant in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
  • jumponit.com’s holiday accommodation deals are few and far between, but its massive travel discounts off the regular cost makes this site worth signing up for. In October, the site hosted a $149 coupon for two nights’ accommodation, breakfast, massage and facial at a hotel in the Blue Mountains (packaged originally priced at $450). Jump On It is also extending its reach to Auckland and Johannesburg, so if you’re thinking ofheading to these destinations, check out this site for more details.
  • ouffer.com.au also offers deals ranging from restaurants to spas and goes the extra mile with a valuable discussion forum where shoppers can post questions and receive answers about the vouchers they’ve bought on the site, as well as provide feedback about the experiences – positive and negative. Shoppers are also able to use the forum to sell their vouchers.
  • ourdeal.com.au has an even spread of deals - everything from fitness and restaurants to to paintball, scuba diving and spa packages – with at least 50% slashed off the usual prices. The site also offers up to three additional or side offers per day.
  • scoopon.com.au is a spinoff from local product bargain site Catch of the Day and with half a million subscribers, has the largest database among the coupon websites. It has offered some very good deals including $2 burgers and a buffet with unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks onboard a harbour cruiser for $50 (original price $110). The site also has an iPhone App you can download for free to access Scoopon.
  • spreets.com.au offers lots of premium beauty and spa deals but offers gems too such as its more than 50% discount off tickets to the musical, Fame, in Sydney and $55 (originally priced at $110) for a five-hour fishing trip in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.
 
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