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One of the things I’ve noticed as I browse Groupon and LivingSocial is that there are a number of deals that appear on both of the deal sites simultaneously. One of the local pizzerias seems to show up with the same deal on LivingSocial’s food “takeout and delivery” section and the Groupon Now! section at the same time.
From my research, the most popular nationwide deal appearing on both deal services is from Vistaprint. Usually the deals vary ever so slightly. For the balance of today, there are deals running on both sites – you can see an image of each below. The Groupon Vistaprint deal is available in the Little Rock section and the LivingSocial Vistaprint deal is available in the New York section.
The deals are:
- Groupon: $17 for $70 at Vistaprint
- LivingSocial: $10 for $50 at Vistaprint
Doing some simple math on my calculator, the LS deal works out slightly better. It’s important to note that Vistaprint changes their pricing when you come in via Groupon/LS so the prices you see on the general website will be lower than from a deal voucher.
The key take away from this post is that some simple searching on both services may find you an even better deal than the one you are currently considering.
Next Tuesday is the annual holiday known as Valentine’s Day. The day is named after St. Valentine and over 150 million cards are exchanged – here’s the full history of this very special day. This year the new deal sites are holding a cage match with each site offering a deal with a national floral delivery service. Most of these deals expire asap so you should be quick if you want to grab some flowers for your sweetie. Also note that the delivery fees are higher for a delivery on Valentine’s day. Lastly, I see some of the local cities within the deal sites are also offering flower deals so make sure to check your local city before purchasing a national deal.
If you want to pick up flowers yourself, I am hearing the best deal for super fresh roses is Whole Foods with 2 dozen for $19.99. Make sure to call your local store to get current pricing. If you don’t have a Whole Foods in your area, Walmart is offering 1 dozen roses for $15 beginning today.
LivingSocial – offers $25 for $50 credit at Teleflora. I used this deal yesterday for some flowers for my mom who is recovering after some surgery – note, there is a $15 or more service fee and Teleflora added me to their email marketing list even though I specifically unchecked the boxes to be added to their lists. Voucher may be applied towards service costs.
Groupon – offers $20 for $40 credit at FTD.com. Voucher may be applied towards service costs.
Google Offers – from what I can tell, this deal has now expired but they were offering 2 dozen roses, vase and shipping for $45.
Amazon Local – offers $15 for $30 credit at ProFlowers. Voucher may be applied towards service costs.
Eversave – offers $25 for 2 movie tickets and a $10 gift card good at 1-800-flowers.com.
It’s important to note that there are tons of discount codes available for most of the online florists so make sure to spend a few minutes to find the best deal for the floral arrangement you are interested in.
One of the deals that Living Social ran on Black Friday was a deal offering a year of the Shoprunner service for $30 with a $20 rebate for a net price of $10. Shoprunner is a service that is similar to Amazon Prime where you get free 2-day shipping from a number of online merchants including Newegg and Lord & Taylor. Shoprunner is offered for $79 so the $10 LS deal was considered pretty good and seemed to attract a number of buyers – for example, in Dallas, Living Social notes over 3,000 purchases.
Today Shoprunner posted their own deal which bests the Living Social deal! I am not sure I have ever seen a company that just ran a deal on a national deal site run their own deal with even better terms. If you hit “like” on the Shoprunner Facebook page, they will give you a year of the Shoprunner service for free. Of course you already know, as with most “like” deals, that you don’t actually need to hit Like to get the deal- here’s a direct link to the signup page.
There’s only one problem – clearly Shoprunner wasn’t ready for the “deal effect” (kinda like the Digg effect but bigger) and so the site is barely functional. In fact there have been over 1,200 comments on the Shoprunner Facebook page regarding the deal and people complaining that they can’t get the signup page to load. I am disappointed that Shoprunner is requiring a credit card to signup – and so far I can’t get the signup to complete – keep getting all sorts of error messages.
UPDATE 3pm Eastern: Shoprunner has posted the following message on their Facebook page:
Folks – this is Mike Golden. I am the President of ShopRunner. We are so sorry for the aggravitation we have caused today. We just got more overwhelmed with traffic than we ever anticipated. I have made the decision to keep this open all day because it simply wouldn’t be fair after you tried so hard to deny you a free membership…Once again I want to give everyone an update. There is no question our systems are still struggling to keep up with the load. While the majority of attemps are successful, there are still plenty of folks experiencing error messages.
Again, there is another option. You can send an email to Promo@ShopRunner.com and we will send you a unique PIN# that will allow you to set up your ShopRunner membership for Free when things have settled down. No reason you should have to spend your valuable time filling out forms and getting error messages, so feel free to take us up on that offer. Again – that address is Promo@ShopRunner.com
I wonder if today’s deal will push the new crop of deal sites including Living Social and Groupon to force merchants who use the services to sign agreements that they won’t promote their own deals for a period of time before and after their deal runs on the deal sites. Today’s Shoprunner deal makes Living Social look bad because a consumer may opt to wait to see if a better deal might come along rather than running for their credit card as soon as LS posts a deal.
Today is the biggest shopping holiday of the year here in the U.S. known as Black Friday. It’s an exciting time for deal hunters who are generally willing to spend more than normal and on stuff they wouldn’t normally buy. This is the first Black Friday since the two new deal sites, Groupon and Living Social, have come onto the worldwide stage. And I have to say that I am very disappointed in the deals on both. The deals are just blah – nothing exciting, certainly not something worth waiting on line for if either company were a brick and mortar store.
Both had a chance to make an absolutely huge impression – neither did. Living Social has more national deals while Groupon has more electronics. I was hoping for some amazing national retailer deals – LS does note that more deals are coming for Cyber Monday.
Earlier today Living Social announced a new trial food ordering and delivery service. The new trial service reminds me of GoMobo.
This afternoon I received an email from LivingSocial on my LS account (not my CN editor email) that notes, “We need your feedback on a potential new service that LivingSocial might offer its members. Would you please take a few minutes to complete this very brief survey?” While the survey was longer than brief, the questions seem to indicate that LivingSocial may create a home improvement service. I know that LS offers some home services like carpet cleaning now, but this survey seemed to indicate something a bit deeper in merchant type and category.
Some of the survey questions included:
- “In the past 6 months, which of the following home improvements have you sent money on? This could include money for materials and/or labor.”
- “Approximately how much money did you spend on all home improvement projects in the past 6 months?”
The same questions are then repeated for the next six months. The survey also asked what items are most important for the home improvement services/merchants that are featured on LivingSocial. Some of the items included:
- merchant stand behind the quality of its work
- merchant would treat me with respect
- people doing the work would be certified
- the merchant would probably try to do more work than were really necessary
Today on the new Anderson Cooper talk show, Living Social ran a promotion on the show which offers the “first 20,000″ a free $10 in Deal Bucks. If you aren’t familiar with Deal Bucks, they are credits you can use towards a purchase on Living Social.
The deal has already spread like wildfire throughout the deal boards so it is very possible that the 20,000 free $10 deal bucks certificates are gone. The deal has been viewed over 33,000 times on SlickDeals alone. But that’s where the brilliance of this deal begins. Living Social notes that you won’t be notified if you are part of the first 20,000 for 14 days. You also need a Living Social account to enter for a chance to get the deal bucks. And since Living Social isn’t going to take down the entry form once they hit 20,000, it’s a brilliant way for Living Social to grab lots of fresh new subscribers. My guess is that the majority of the deal board members already have a Living Social account but the viewers of Anderson’s television program don’t so overall it should provide a nice boost in subscribers for the deals site.
It will be interesting to see how long this promo site is available and allowing people the chance to enter. I also wonder how many of the first 20,000 will come from people with multiple LS accounts.
The thank you message notes, “Thank you for participating. If you are among the first 20,000 people to correctly name the code words, you will receive 10 deal bucks credited to your livingsocial account within 14 days. ”
If you want to enter, the code words are apparently (I make no guarantees) “Molly Cooper” and you can find the entry form here. Of course there is no guarantee you will be one of the first 20,000.
Last night Deal Hunter level 9′s (I am one of them) were notified that today Living Social would run a deal with Whole Foods. The deal, which is running right now, provides for a $20 gift card to Whole Foods for $10. Several tech blogs reported on the deal but there are three very, very interesting tidbits that none of them seemed to mention.
And a quick sidebar: for those that reported that LivingSocial sold “millions” of Amazon gift cards earlier this year, I call phooey on that. LivingSocial never reported a final number of gift cards that were sold. And any number that may have been reported needs to note total actual dollars because there were plenty of conga lines and many reporting buying hundreds of gift cards using all sorts of complex spreadsheets and user account models. I heard it took a very long time for LS to go back through and figure out which customers bought multiple cards. I do think both LivingSocial and Groupon have got a much better handle on the multiple order issues and I haven’t heard many boasting of ordering hundreds (or even tens) of Whole Foods certs.
Note #1 – Some of the talk with the deal hunters is that LivingSocial is sponsoring (or at least partially subsidizing) today’s deal with WholeFoods to be able to acquire new subscribers. I have emailed LivingSocial PR and will update this post if I hear back.
Note #2 – LivingSocial’s referral system is not currently available. The page where you pick up your referral code was removed yesterday afternoon. This leads me to believe even more that LivingSocial is in some way sponsoring today’s deal. You can still refer people to the deal and if you send in 3 referrals, your deal is free but this is not the same as their general referral system which would pay out nicely for some who share their links on Facebook today.
Note #3 – Deal Bucks, the system that LivingSocial uses to pay for referrals, cannot be used to pay for the Whole Foods deal. In speaking with some other experienced deal hunters, this may also indicate that LivingSocial is partially sponsoring the deal. The last time they either partially or fully sponsored a deal many believe was the Amazon deal earlier this year.