Buying together with others through group-buying sites means you can enjoy 'bulk buying' discounts without having to buy in bulk yourself. Some companies advertise on TV but others, not yet so well known, have similar deals.
Headline deals change daily on most sites.
The company negotiates a bulk-buying deal. Their web site then offers that service or product at a substantial discount, as long as a certain number of people sign up to it within an allotted time, typically 24 hours. You can see on their web site whether that quota has been met and how much time is left.
When you sign up, you are buying a voucher, which you pay for up front - as long as the 'buyer quota' has been reached. You then use the voucher instead of cash to pay for the product or service you have bought. If it is a service or activity, you will have to prebook.
There may be limitations. For example, you may have to get the product or take the service between prescribed dates. In the case of travel, hotels and experiences, there may also be dates when you can't use the voucher - typically busy times such as weekends and Bank Holidays. Any limitations will be made clear before you buy.
National and local deals, like the others. The difference is that Deal Cloud will share some of the commission they earn with a charity of your choice.
National deals and local deals in ten metropolitan areas. Usual range of stays away, things to do and things to buy.
Previously known as MyCityDeal, Groupon is probably the best known of the group buying sites. It is also one of the biggest.
Lots of eating, trips and other 'doing' things, but do have a shop too. If you buy something and refer 3 more people who buy the same thing, yours is free.
Foreign travel deals are probably amongst the most risky.
There may be a reason the travel company needs to offer big discounts. It may be innocent, such as a hotel reopening and needing to build up its customer base.
Nevertheless, it may be worth checking a review site, such as Trip Advisor, to see if there is anything you need to know before you book.
Previously a finance products comparison site provider, now offer trips, treats and products locally and nationally. More deals on at once than most of the others.
The discount stated will be 'maximised'. It will compare the price you pay with a 'recommended' or 'list' price, not the 'street' price. You may be able to get a discount off the list price in other ways.
Nevertheless, even allowing for this, the prices these sites charge are generally better than you could get elsewhere.
Most deals are for things that have a high 'fixed' cost but a relatively low 'marginal' cost. For example: a round of golf. The fixed costs (the grounds, staff, grounds maintenance) are high, but the extra cost to the owners if more people play is not great. So the suppliers are not losing - and may be gaining a little - if an extra 100 people play at a big discount. And they may like it and come back.
These companies usually have one headline deal, but you will find several additional offers on the web sites.
Usual range of doing things and buying things. Lots of localities listed but most revert to national deal. Seems to be a focus on Ireland.
Put a lot more emphasis on signing up for local deals, which are available in some areas but others revert to the national deal.
Headline deals have a time limit. There are also limits in the total number of each deal that can be sold, so it is best not to delay too long in case the limit is reached.