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Sites like groupon are easy to come by, we give you the lowdown on Groupon, Yipit, Tippr, AtCost, HomeRun, GoodNews, Living Social, and..

Okay I have officially been living under a rock.  Obviously a very very large rock.

Just a few days ago, I signed up for Groupon… after hearing my friends talk about Groupon, my coworkers talk about Groupon, seeing Groupon ads on facebook…I had to get in on the action.  I’M the one who usually is on top of all the latest deals and ways to save money.. so I had to find out what it was all about. Little did I know that there are other sites like groupon!

Sites Like Groupon Have Daily Deals

If you haven’t heard of Groupon (don’t feel bad, I didn’t know what it was either), it is a daily deals website.  All you do is give them your email address, let them know which city you’re in, and they will email you a daily deal every day.  A daily deal can be something fun to do, someplace to eat at, or some place to see for an unbeatable price. About 50-90% off regular price, provided that enough people who have Groupon sign up for it.  You pay for it online with a credit card or Groupon bucks (you can accrue Groupon bucks by referring friends to sign up for Groupon).  Then they’ll send you a voucher (like a gift certificate) for your purchase.

If you refer one friend to Groupon (they’ll give you this specific code unique to you, apparently), and they sign up within 72 hours after clicking the link you email them, AND they make their first purchase on Groupon, then you get $10 credited to your account.

So far the emails that I’ve been getting in my inbox have been interesting, some fun things like one of the Vancouver double decker bus tours (always wanted to do that but didn’t want to pay $35 for a hop on hop off bus tour) for $15.  I haven’t bought anything yet, but I have only been getting their deals for a few days or so.

There have been a plethora of other daily deal sites that have been catching on.  Seems like the number of daily deal sites have been growing exponentially.  I like how these daily deal sites help out the local businesses.  These daily deal sites are like the new Facebook or something (by the way, the Facebook IPO is coming out…but the date is TBA. Who’s in?).

If you haven’t signed up yet you’ve been missing out!They get you by making you buy in groups AND encouraging you to impulse buy AND making it easy for you to buy (just put in your credit card info and voila, you’ve bought it!).  *ACCKKK* They know my weakness. My kryptonite.  Impulse buying on deep discounts- this is why I try my best to stay far far away from warehouse sales. Groupon has even ventured off to provide awesome deals on getaways and trip here (powered by Expedia):


Here are some of the other Daily Deals Sites (all giving you 50-90% off):

Daily Deal Sites offered in the United States:

  • Living Social – It’s just like Groupon, but no Groupon bucks.  If you refer three other friends to buy the same deal that you just bought, and they buy it, then your deal is free. Here are the cities that Living Social is offered in.  The only Canadian cities are Toronto and Vancouver.
  • Tippr– How Tippr claims to work is, again, similar to Groupon, but instead of ONE deal a day, you get THREE.  Also, the more people that buys that deal, the bigger the discount is for that deal- they call this their Accelerated Deals.  Tippr is available in select US cities only: Atlanta, Boston, Honolulu, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Fransisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.
  • Home Run– again, same concept as Groupon.  They have extra goodies that make them unique from other sites, like Raffles, Cash-Back, Bonus-Savings, and Real Money Prizes.  Home Run also say they track your loyalty and reward you with Home Run points.  You also get rewarded with home run points when you refer a friend, visit the site, and share your deals.  You can get special deals with these points, extra savings, and special events.  Home Run also has something similar to the Groupon bucks.  Every new friend you refer, you get $10 to spend.  Home Run seems to be in a lot of major cities in the US, especially in the Mid West, where it isn’t offered for the other daily deal sites.
  • Yipitis recommended by the New York Times, Wired, and TechCrunch.  Yipit is like the kayak for flights, but for the daily deal sites.  It aggregates all the daily deal sites (about 90+) to find you the best one that day for you based on your preferences.   The cities Yipit works in include London (maybe they have a deal for high tea with the Queen, perhaps?), and select US cities: Las Vegas, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
  • Swagbucks – Mentioned in New York Times and MSN Money, swagbucks is another company that offers coupons and discounts to Canadian and US residents.  Their deals are based on company instead of cities.

Daily Deal Sites offered in Canada:

  • Groupon – see above
  • Living Social (Vancouver and Toronto)-see above
  • WagJag – Uniquely Canadian.  Some of the deals that they offer seem a bit more pricey- like $90 for a fitness package that normally costs $240.  They don’t seem to get the “big names” of local places that people want to see and do.  It also doesn’t seem that many people buy, probably for the same reasons I have mentioned.
  • TeamBuyuniquely Canadian too, but only in six Canadian cities.  Has some pretty good offers on places that I have actually heard of or might be interested in (and other Canadians seem interested too, because on average the number of people buying each deal is about 60).  I just (as I finish writing this post…see above about my weakness for impulse buying on deep discounts) bought a $12 all day doggy day care for my dog when it is regularly $25 (don’t worry, my dog’s never been to doggy day care because I would not spend that kind of money regularly, but thought he might like some time hanging out with other dogs!).
  • Buytopia – is another Canadian company that features many of the same features as the other canadian ones but it has more cities. I do like their tag line “Because life is better at 50-90% off”. Can’t really go wrong with that.

I like how each daily deal site tries to differentiate itself from the rest.  I also like how it encourages us to get off our lazy butts (yes that means off that couch with the indentation of your butt cheeks from watching episodes of Lost one too many times) to go outside and enjoy our city.  I like how it encourages you to invite your friends to enjoy the activity together.  Pretty innovative stuff. I am pretty certain I have missed another great daily deal site- any sites like groupon that you are a big fan of I might have missed?  Have you tried using these daily deal sites? What do you think of them? Yay or Nay?   Shameless plug alert: If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe to Young and Thrifty! I promise to provide you minutes of entertainment in the form of personal finance blogging weekly 😉

Article comments


Great information thanks for sharing best regards

Linda says:

Is anyone familiar with a deal site in Canada with the name Zoo in it?

CouponRefund.com says:

If you haven

Pam says:

I really like using Groupon as I was able to save about $80 on my last hotel stay. This was a savings that I would not have gotten anywhere else, even those low cost booking websites.


Cindy FRANCIS says:

But you bought in Us dollars right

adelenapias says:

I forgot what its like not buying services without a group deal…

young says:

@adelenapias- haha. so true!

Juan says:

It is sort of funny now, looking back at all of these groupon and groupon like sites, to wonder why no one thought of this earlier. They really can be so useful if one is looking for was to kick back and spend a little on a few luxuries.

Dave says:

Another great site is http://TheDealPages.com. They have all the deals from Groupon, LivingSocial, WagJag, Dealfind and all the other top group buying websites. You can browse deals based on category and location.

Pat Selby says:

I have a new Canadian daily deal site for Toronto.

Shopping and offering deals on Canadian daily deal sites is really important for Canadians.

All companies that offer a deal on a daily deal site, pay the deal site a commission (some of them are 40%-50% which means that, if the retailer cuts their price by 50% to offer a deal and 50% of that goes to the deal site, the retailer is getting 25% of what they normally would charge. Typically, this results in a loss for the retailer). If the company that owns the deal site is not Canadian, that commission goes to the country where the company is owned. When we earn money in Canada and shop in Canada, we want our money to stay in Canada.

This is the reason that I started the site. I want to educate consumers that there will be a adverse long term affect of sending our money out of the country just to save money now.

What is going to happen to the prices of our retail items in the near future when our retailers are taking a loss now in order to pay a foreign company to offer their products to Canadians.

Please shop on Canadian deal sites and, yes, I would like it to be mine (I don’t charge a huge commission because I know that retailers are losing money on these deals and we, the consumers, will pay for this in the future) and I give 5% of my profits to a non profit organization that works hard to put smiles on the faces of children facing life threatening illnesses (www.milliondollarsmiles.ca).

Thank you for listening

great post! thank you very much

SellMyDeal believes that a good deal is very hard to pass up, which is why many people are finding themselves with too many unused vouchers from websites like Groupon. SellMyDeal offers consumers a way to sell those vouchers and allow someone else who missed the deal a second chance on getting it. See http://www.sellmydeal.com for more information.

Lois Jenken says:

I have used Dealfind, Swarmjam and Groupon and like all of them equally. I feel you get good value for your money. I just keep a folder that has my vouchers and log sheet I made up on computer of what I have purchased which has expiration dates and all pertinent information so won’t let a deal expire.

thomas says:

Great comments above, the industry has most definetely expanded quickly.. now facebook, google and yp are all launching deals.. I am from Toronto and strictly use sites such as Wagjag, Snaggies and Groupon.

All have great variety and local attributes.

young says:

@thomas- yeah, lots of cropping up. I find it difficult to keep up with them and also limit myself to a few. I allow Groupon, Living Social, and another one (forget the name) to have the honor of being in my inbox, but it can be easy to get carried away. Having the “one site to go to” is helpful.

Heather says:

Just to keep the thread going! Another great deal site focussed on moms is TrueCuddles.ca (based out of the GVRD). This site has once-a-week deals for in-demand, hip kid’s products. This week, in honour of International Women’s Day, there a deal for moms – Cheeky Umbrella (another great GVRD company) is featured at a great price.

Terry says:

I just came across another really good Daily Deal website called Holy Cow What A Deal.com at http://www.holycowwhatadeal.com it is based in Calgary but covers most major Canadian cities. Holy Cow!

David says:

Hey Everyone! Dealathons offers a daily deal in Toronto, Calgary and soon more! We donate a portion of every sale to Sick Kids Hospital! It’s like a big group hug and everyone’s invited!

Matthew says:

I can’t say that you missed our site because we’ve just launched, but just for the record, http://justthebestdeal.com is featuring Canadian small business and a lot of freebies and give-aways!

African Mango says:

There’s also sites like DealRadar and OneSpout which aggregate all the deals together into one simple daily e-mail. I’d definitely give it a shot.

Justine says:

Hey Y&T,
Speaking of daily deals, I have my own daily deals site, it’s not a group buy as you judge by the name, but a collective, not an aggregate because I actually go through and post everything myself, and do not post everything and anything that some do, but stuff that I actually like myself. I keep it up everyday tirelessly. I update everyday too, so you will always find the latest stuff there. I stay up many early mornings blogging there. 🙂

Concertio says:

Yiplee.com provides VIP Concert Deals to local music fans.

Eddie says:

I obviously don’t know any html…

Eddie says:

I heard from a friend of a friend about a daily deal aggregator that’s actually still in testing! It’s not even officially launched but their aggregation algorithm is apparently working fine — we compared the site to dealradar, onespout, vancouverforum, group buy united and they consistently have the freshest and fullest coverage of all the aggregators. I’m serious — count the number of deals that the other sites have and compare! You won’t miss a deal with this one:


I use it every day! I love the simple craigslist-y listing style they use (no veggies and potatoes, just the meat!)

Eddie says:

For those that prefer the one-click method:


young says:

@Eddie- you’re right- no fuss that’s for sure! No ads too! Thanks for sharing.

TodaysGroupBuys says:

The daily deal market has exploded. Obviously groupon and living social are the top companies in the industry but there are new sites popping up everyday. http://www.PandaFind.com aggregates all of the group buying offers and gives users features to sort through the best ones!

Mac says:

ethicalDeal is a new group buying site launching in Vancouver on Nov. 1! It focuses on daily deals from local GREEN businesses! They’re definitely worth checking out.

@The Passive Income Earner says:

You bring up a good point, but these deals traditionally have much deeper discounts because of the power in numbers, and because the offers are only up for 24 hours.

However, these sites are not for everyone and if you are in a financial position where you don’t need these services why bother? On the other hand, if you do decide to try one, I recommend http://www.teambuy.ca not only because I am a dedicated employee but because I can promise we have a great privacy policy, so your email is safe. In fact, we make you enter your credit card information with each purchase so we don’t store any personal/valuable information.

In any case, Happy Buying!

young says:

@The Passive Income Earner- I didn’t know you were a dedicated employee?? Or are you pretending to be the real passive income earner? Will the real PIE please stand up? I unsubscribed to groupon recently because of the crazy temptation!

kittykat says:

New one I received first deal from recently:

young says:

@kittykat- Thanks for sharing. I’ll be sure to check it out.

Joan T says:

GroupOn and LivingSocial is also listed in this website: http://www.GroupBuyUnited.com. If you want to see other deal sites try checking out this website. 🙂

Susan says:

Hey everyone,

Check out this awesome site I came across. They offer the best daily deals and discounts I’ve ever seen in Vancouver. All of their deals are at least 50%-90% off Vancouver’s hot spots and vary from restaurants, pubs, concerts, body maintenance and more! I love so many deals they are offering and I wanted to share this with you, Vancouver, as it just launched a few weeks ago here and I love supporting great local businesses!

Check out http://www.SocialShopper.com and or watch the how it works video at http://www.socialshopper.com/howitworks.php

Sanjay says:

Just got an email from http://www.groupbuyunited.com – They’re now active in toronto, vancouver, montreal, and Calgary. Love those canadian companies – support your canucks !

young says:

@Sanjay- Thanks for letting us know. I’ll go check it out now.

Sanjay says:

Thanks Cory – groupbuyunited.com seems to link all the group buy sites? How does groupbuyunited.com make money, then?

I’ve compiled a widget that aggregates Vancouver, BC deals automatically (from 7 group buy sites).

It’s viewable on http://www.forumvancouver.com/ in the right sidebar.

The direct feed is here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/vancouvergroupbuy

As of now, we are more up to date than deal radar.

Lesel R. says:

Grooster provides premium offers in Vancouver and will soon launch in Calgary. Check http://www.grooster.com

There are a few aggregators in the US and Canada. Dealradar.com seems to be the only one that accurately aggregates in both US and Canada.

young says:

@Lesel R. – Thanks for sharing Lesel. Grooster sounds like Groupon- though no affiliation, right? Thanks for sharing http://www.dealradar.com … it includes most of the ones I mentioned above already. Good to go to a “one stop” site rather than multiple sites with multiple emails.

Jesse W. says:

Living Social always provides some great deals on experiences you may not have even known were available. I make sure to check it out consistently!

Mary says:


I have been using another daily deal site called SpaAndTravel.Com. They only offer daily deals at day spas in Toronto & Montreal.

young says:

@Mary- Thanks for sharing your company. Interesting there’s another niche in the daily deal sites- spas!

I saw Groupon a little while back because of their constant advertising but it didn’t catch my interest. I looked at the deals and it just felt my inbox would become a marketing reach. It’s definitely less annoying than phone marketing and possibly provide more variety than the flyers we get in the newspaper. I guess I can set a rule for my email redirection … Do they have a rule about not reselling your email?

Red Flag Deals (http://www.redflagdeals.com/) was quite interesting as it collates everything in one place. Especially good come boxing day 🙂

I am not a big consumer so I probably don’t fit the demographic they are trying to reach. It’s a little like the big book that comes around every year that you buy for 50$ or something with deals all over town. I never buy those either.

young says:

@The Passive Income Earner- I think you mean the “Entertainment Book”. I bought one of those abut 3 years in a row when a colleague was raising money for her child’s preschool. I didn’t buy one last year though. I was the same way- seeing Groupon’s ads all the time, and finally caved in. I don’t think they sell your email (they shouldn’t) as I haven’t had any other additional spam fill my inbox. I love redflagdeals! and yes, for boxing day its the best =) Thanks for visiting!

Cory says:

I think their privacy statement should say that they won’t share your info with anyone else. I think they’re big enough now that they won’t want any lawsuits for privacy like credit card companies.

Redflags is definitely a staple for deals. They’re also coming out with a daily deal thing and putting a lot of money in it. http://www.groupbuyunited.com is pure group buy deals.

young says:

@Cory- Thanks for visiting. I love Red Flag Deals too. Thanks for the tip about Red Flag doing a group buy thing. Thanks for sharing the link for (yet another) group buy site! (Group Buy United). =)

Ryan says:

Re: Group Buy United. Finally, someone decided to bring all of them together! Too bad it’s Toronto only right now….

young says:

@Ryan, @Sanjay- Too bad group buy united isn’t up yet for Vancouver- but the Toronto site looks awesome. Beats having 12+ emails a day in your inbox!