Why Mobdeals are the new discount codes (plus Five websites to save you money on beauty, gadgets and homewares)
Vouchers used to be the way forward in terms of discounts. Everyone likes to get something for nothing, and Pizza Express has made a killing in recent years with their 2 for 1 voucher offers, and buy one get one for a £1. True, the waiters there may have HATED this (I have this on good authority) but the public loved it, and the Pizza Express chains have been very successful. Money off coupons also prospered, and in a much more high profile way than the ’10p off next washing powder‘ purchase. Websites such as MyVoucherCodes and Quidco prospered, and magazines printed 10% and 20% money off coupons. Everyone was happy- the retailers, the public, and the economy flourished. In the last year or so, we have seen a change in this market, as vouchers are now taking a backseat and the Mobdeal is king.
What is a Mobdeal? A Mobdeal is a deal that relies on a certain number of people to sign up to it, in order for it to be followed through. Regualr viewers of shopping channels on TV will have no problem in understanding the concept, as it’s a popular selling tool. X number of items are offered for x price- but only if 100/200/2000 people sign up to buy it. Once that ‘tipping point’ has been reached, everyone who has registered that they would like to buy the deal gets charged. This selling method is gaining popularity, and could potentially be seen as killing the discount code market. In a sense, it’s even more beneficial, as the deals only get used when they’ve reached x amount of people, which helps showcase new brands and clients, and allows people to experience good value deals, which they can then relay onto their friends. It’s a switch towards collective buying and purchasing, away from the more individualistic model that vouchers offer.
The first major push towards this way of selling online (with the mobdeal branding) in the UK came in January 2010, with the launch of the Wahanda Mobdeals. They specialize in offering discounted beauty and spa treatments and packages, which allow the consumer access to a wider range of options that might have been out their price limit- plus get them on the site, where they can buy extra items. It offers brands the exposure they need to get themselves more clients, and searches and offers are tailored by region. Since Wahanda got on board with this selling model, this idea has reached other industries, and you can now get gadgets, homeware and activity days for less. The Mobdeal is a USA selling method, which the British have been keen to embrace, as many sites have since sprung up which follow this structure.
Here are five sites that you should sign up to pronto:
For great gadget deals: Gruupy.com
Gruupy is a recently launched gadget MobDeal site. They offer one gadget per day at a reduced rate, and seem to be doing pretty well as they frequently sell out. Recent deals have included a Creative Zen 2GB for 30 Euros and the Palm Pre 2 for Euro 425. I like that when they display the item for sale, they also list the RRP, PLUS a price comparison on Amazon and Google Products. The RRP of the Zen was Euro 60, and the cheapest you could get it on Google products was Euro 44- good to know. Shipping is free as well!
For great offers on home stuff: Dot Maison
This is a relatively new mobdeal site- which means you can get some great offers! Recent deals include a double duvet set from Orla Kiely reduced to £42 from £84. You do have to pay shipping though. They offer their deals for a period of time, rather than a 24 hour flash sale- which I guess may change, if the site grows.
For fabulous beauty deals: Wahanda
This site pioneered the launch of Mobdeals in the UK and has become a watchword amongst beauty queens. You can get everything from Botox to spa days at cut rate prices- but always with first class services. You can choose from 13 city locations across the UK and the deals are always exciting. The site also offers discounts on treatments not in the mobdeals, and the user reviews area great way to gauge whether you should try something.
Great for entertainment deals: Groupon
This site launched in the UK in 2009, after a successful run in the USA. It offers everything from discount zoo entry, to beauty deals. I particularly like it for the offers it gives for local activities, such as interesting nights out and cheap meals out.
Great for going out: Groupola
Groupola is a site that offers great deals on all sorts of activities, from a 3 hour photoshoot session reduced from £150 to £45 and cheap hot air balloon rides. It’s an interesting site as it’s powered by the people who run My Voucher Codes, which suggests that they see the power in mobdeals AS WELL AS offering vouchers. In fact, I’m a big fan of My Voucher Codes, especially as they have a GPS enabled iPhone app, which lets you find local deals based on proximity and then use your phone to redeem the voucher. When all e-tailers start doing this, things will change, but for now My Voucher Codes rules the voucher market.
And one more for luck.. The Daily Chic
As you may have now realized there are a LOT of sites offering mobdeals, and it can be a little hard to keep track of them all. That is why The Daily Chic is such a great site as it aggregates many of the mobdeal sites, and allows you to keep track of ALL the offers in one easy place. Genius!
So, have Mobdeals killed the discount voucher system? Well, yes and no. People no longer rely on vouchers as the only way to get great value deals, and they have discovered how to get collective deals, where they can read reviews about the activities in advance. It seems both systems are still popular, so I’m not sure there is a war on after all, but we can see that their is a change in people’s shopping habits, which will be interesting to monitor over the next few years.