"Group Buying is NOT collective purchasing" blog discussion

edited 10 February 2011 at 3:43PM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
12 replies 5.8K views
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.



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  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    Sorry, Martin, I still don't understand the difference.
    Obviously in the second case the "Group buying" site is acting as a middleman and taking a cut, but I don't see that that is a fundamental difference. Would people from the village object to reimbursing their neighbour who negotiates with the oil company for his time and expenses? More relevantly, here, would that stop it being collective purchasing?

    Is the difference that the negotiating is done in advance? Does that make such a big difference?
    In a village where everyone buys their own oil, would it not be collective purchasing if someone in the village agreed a price with the oil company if he got a set number of his neighbours to come in on the deal?
  • :mad: Have just tried to get a refund on an item purchased from Made.com and they have said I have to get my refund from Keynoir. Also they are not refunding the p&p even though I am within the seven day cooling off period.
  • PetlambPetlamb Forumite
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    Sorry, Martin, I still don't understand the difference.
    Obviously in the second case the "Group buying" site is acting as a middleman and taking a cut, but I don't see that that is a fundamental difference. Would people from the village object to reimbursing their neighbour who negotiates with the oil company for his time and expenses? More relevantly, here, would that stop it being collective purchasing?

    Is the difference that the negotiating is done in advance? Does that make such a big difference?
    In a village where everyone buys their own oil, would it not be collective purchasing if someone in the village agreed a price with the oil company if he got a set number of his neighbours to come in on the deal?

    I could be wrong here, but the meaning I took from the post was that for collective buying, it has to reach "x punters" before the deal happens - any less and it's all cancelled.

    Whereas sites like groupon offering daily deals, even if only one person actually joins in that day, they'll still get the offer?

    I think that's it.
    On the up :D
    Our wedding day! 13/06/15
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    It's well worth drawing the distinction that you have drawn, and in fact, when I was setting up goodypass a few months ago I decided to do away with the whole idea of "group buying" as such. We don't have a minimum number who need to buy the deal before its available, when you see a deal, its available right then and there. We just think that's simpler.

    I think the others hope that if there's a minimum number people might share the deal on Twitter and Facebook but we let the deal speak for itself, if its good, people will share it - hopefully! Anyway, I hope you give us a try, I think you Forum members are pretty savvy so any comments, good or bad, let me know. And if you ever have a problem with email me direct.

    Just a note - I've checked and yes it is the real Kate Garraway.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • PhylPhoPhylPho Forumite
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    A timely clarification from Martin. If Groupon changed its name to more adequately convey that it's merely Offeron, then the misplaced notion of people-power that obtains in its case would deservedly vanish.

    How that would affect its sky-rocketing valuation and the billionaire prospects for its founder, I've no idea.

    Then again, perhaps Argos, Amazon, and every supermarket chain in the land should similarly portray themselves as philanthropic organisations which only place bulk orders out of a desire to pass on savings to loyal customers. . .

    Say hello to Tesco: The People's Collective. ;)
  • Do these tweets need a sponsored tag given the OFT's view of celebrity tweets?

    http://twitter.com/kategarraway/status/28440699699462144
  • What's quite interesting about this is as PhylPho says, it's not GroupOn it's OfferOn.

    The point of collective purchasing is that the people who are purchasing the products get to choose what they purchase, rather than get spoonfed an offer.

    I can understand the appeal of sites like GroupOn, for those who want things cheap and last minute for a meal out with family/friends. But, if you plan ahead a little bit, you can still save money on things like that but retain the choice of where you're going, rather than being told by GroupOn "Get 60% off at Italian Restaurant X".

    With all the Deal Of The Day clone sites flourishing right now, the bubble will burst because it's not sustainable at the margins currently being used. In the longer term, there will be more realistic options that promote customer involvement with offers. The discounts won't be the 80% GroupOn puts in the adverts, it'll be 20% but that is far more sustainable. Besides, what good is it to possibly save 80% on something you don't want or need when you could save 20% on something you choose?

    I don't know, I steer clear of GroupOn et al, I'm too impulsive for my own good. I suppose that's why it works!
  • Thanks for opening up a discussion that I have been having with many people recently.

    I totally agree that "Group buying" is not "Collective purchasing" and we have blogged about it here crowdbuy.tumblr.com/post/2712286947/consumptionvsbuying. The concept of collective purchasing is that people come together to purchase specific products or services, and because there are a number of them, they are able to secure a better price from a supplier.

    I need to state that I have an interest in this arena as the Founder of crowdbuy.com. We will soon be launching crowdbuy.com which is a platform that brings buyers together in a collective buying “Crowd” to shop together and save money. The more people that want a particular product, then the lower the price that we can secure from our suppliers. It's good for customers and it's good for retailers.

    We encourage our customers to spread the word about their intended purchases using social media and we want the platform to be 'owned' by our customers so they are buying products that they want at the best possible prices. We make money by taking a small percentage from each purchase.

    I hope this doesn't sound like too blatant a plug for our service, but we want to get feedback from potential customers as to how they might use the service.

    Keep up the good work.

    Mike
  • edited 11 February 2011 at 3:34PM
    oakhouse13oakhouse13 Forumite
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    edited 11 February 2011 at 3:34PM
    I read @kategarraway tweets as your personal tweets and @goodypass as commercial but notice now that both link to goodypass.com

    Still find the mix a bit confusing if I followed @kategarraway

    When you're on TV I know you're not about to spring an advertisement on me! The distinction is not so clear online but good luck.
  • paylesspayless Forumite
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    Generally we would advise against someone using their own name on these forums. Or does being a celebrity mean otherwise... I would say though if a celebrity posts here they should appreciate that they are opening their posts to greater scrunity/ intrusion.

    Believe the use of a commercial name in username is frowned upon. ( although suppose to a degree mine was linked in someway )


    That said nothing against Kate... like her as a presenter.
    Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as (financial) advice.
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