While snagging a deal is not a new concept, it seems lately that daily deal Web sites like Groupon dominate the Internet.
Daily deal sites like Groupon offer a heavily discounted something, ranging from food to shows to merchandise, in specific cities for fractions of the cost available to purchase for a limited time. While each Web site operates differently, the concept is the same: Daily deal Web sites bridge the gap between consumers and companies and help promote businesses while offering a bargain.
Groupon, which recently announced plans to go public, unarguably leads the daily deal pack, offering the best to do, see, eat and purchase in over 565 cities around the world along with interesting editorials and reviews. According to CrunchBase, Groupon has amassed over $300 million in savings for consumers and millions in revenue for businesses.
Since Groupon's release in Nov. 2008, countless copycats have emerged. However, some, like Facebook and Yelp, crashed and burned in what the Boston Herald called the daily deal fatigue, choosing to exit while others remain.
So what sets these competing Web sites apart from the reigning authority Groupon?
Here is your guide for the top 12 best daily deal, Groupon alternative, Web sites.
Best Overall with Even More Potential
Google Offers: Google, who seems to get everything right always, has recently launched a beta edition of Google Offers. While there currently are limited daily deals to choose from, it recently announced its partnership with thedealmap, which since the start of daily deals, rivals Groupon itself.
Yipit: Yipit is a daily deal aggregator, compiling every existing, and credible, deal Web site under one roof. It is easy to use with categories and subcategories to browse through.
Best (Fashion) Aggregator
Shoparatti: Aggregator Shoparatti works similar to Yipit, but is exclusively for fashion. Melissa Rivers is the Editor In Chief of the Web site, which redirects the user to the desired deal. Along with the sheer brilliance of compiling every fashion deal known to the Internet in one place, it offers the Style Council. This segment is led by Marlien Rentmeester, of Lucky Magazine, which invented the concept of shop-a-log (the primitive print form of shopping guides) when it launched in 2000, if that gives you any clue.
Best for Instant Deals
Living Social: Living Social reigns amongst competitors for its exclusive deal selection. But a newly added Instant Deal feature is the first of its kind. While most sites, including Living Social, offer deals to purchase in the future, Living Social adds the now factor we've all been looking for in daily deal sites. Users can browse through deals available for that day only, purchase and use instantly, even on mobile devices. It's like a modern day instant savings coupon.
Best for Upscale Dining
Savored: Savored caters for the consumer with good taste, literally, seeking upscale dining. The Web site works differently than others: The user reserves a table for $10 and automatically receives a 30% discount off a bill. It is reliable as well, as a person could cancel the reservation up to two hours beforehand.
TownHog: TownHog literally helps hog the town with countless daily deals. However, it is supreme as the Web site divides the deals into categories: Arts & Entertainment, Casual Dining, Fine Dining, Fitness, Health & Beauty, Recreation, Retail.
Amazon local: Not only does Amazon local boil down a deal for the modern-day Internet user with brief details and a What you need to know section, but it also pays back. Amazon.com Visa card holders receive 5 points back for every deal purchased.
Best for Food
Restaurant.com: Not only is Restaurant.com appropriately named, but it allows the user to pin point exactly what he or she is looking for by purchasing a gift certificate for a heavily discounted price. Users can refine their searches by cuisine, average entrée price, meal, atmosphere, amount, entertainment, parking, attire, payment types accepted and alcohol. One con: There is a purchase minimum.
Best for Luxury Anything
Gilt: The Gilt offers all that is luxury: men's, women's, home children, gifts, city and the newly launched taste category. Users can wet their lips and pinpoint a specific taste in mind and the Gilt Group will direct to the appropriate morsel.
Best for Travel
Gilt partners with Jetsetter, offering the best deals in travel. The site is dazzling, with beautiful high definition photos. It is very readable with short bulleted details and sections like What we love What to know. There is also even an interactive map and itinerary maker.
Best for Beauty, Health and Fitness
Lifebooker: Lifebooker Loot offers the best daily deals in beauty, health, fitness and lifestyle, hands down. Its niche deals span from kickboxing classes to Botox injections to discounts at exclusive beauty salons.
Best Use of Location Services
BuyWithMe- BuyWithMe has a function that no other daily deal site has: dropped pinpoints locating deals on an interactive map. Users get to view a map of their city, with icons to represent the deal (a fork for food, a hair dryer for beauty, etc.) nearby placed on a map in the business's location.