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June 28, 2011

Will selling through Ensogo and other social buying sites damage your brand?

Ensogo. Great for bargain hunters, but how about merchants?

I’ve been receiving pretty good offers from Ensogo over the past few weeks now and I am surprised by the amazingly low prices they have.  Almost every single thing is marked down or discounted by at least 50 percent and the quality of the stuff they are offering  seems pretty good.

Ensogo, like Groupon, is a social buying site and was recently acquired by LivingSocial, one of the major Groupon competitors.

In their e-mail to me today, two things interested me immediately: an offer for a Php600 (about US $ 15.00) Berting’s Grill gift certificate discounted at P300 (about US $ 7.50) and a 3-day, 2-night stay at the Boracay Terraces Hotel going for P7,700 (about US $180) when it would normally cost twice that much.

And, having just opened up a bank account that links up with PayPal (but you can also pay via ATM Peso Pay or bank transfer), I might just buy that gift certificate from Berting’s Grill and use it to buy several orders of their fabulous barbecued chicken ass and liempo or pork ribs.  As for Boracay Terraces Hotel, well, it’s something that I really got to discuss with my wife first — but it looks like a pretty good buy.

All in all, it’s almost a revolutionary site for bargain hunters like me but it may not be all that amazing for merchants who get into social buying sites expecting “magic” to happen.  A long time acquaintance who sells organic food online clued me in on a couple of caveats and cited a couple of reasons why he isn’t a fan of Ensogo — at least, not yet. read more

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April 6, 2011

LivingSocial Receives $400 Million Funding Round

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Living Social LogoIn December 2010 social deals platform LivingSocial announced $175 million in funding from web empire Amazon and now just four months later the company has raised $400 million in a new round of funding.

At this time the sources for the new funding round have not been disclosed, however they are said to have come from both public and private sources.

In a public statement the company says they will use the money to create new innovations in their space, while expanding both domestically and globally.

Along with that funding the company now sits at a valuation of approximately $2 billion, while announcing more than 26 million members now use the site to find daily deal specials.

When the company’s first large Amazon round of funding was announced LivingSocial stated that they were currently raising $1 million in gross sales per day with $500 million revenue expected in 2011. read more

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January 21, 2011

‘Google Offers’ Launching As Groupon Competitor

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Google Offers

If you can’t spend $6 billion dollars to buy the technology you want, the next logical step is to build your own. After being turned down in their pursuit of owning social buying website Groupon, Google has decided to build their own competitor to the program.

Social web company Mashable unearthed documents today that show in detail how Google plans to take on Groupon on their own turf. In the spec sheet for the new program, Google says the product, called “Google Offers” is “a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email.”

Just like competitors Groupon and LivingSocial, Google Offers gives customers a certain time limit for obtaining special offers from company’s in their area and through national deals. The offers, just like their competitors is only triggered when a certain number of customers agree to the deal. read more

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January 19, 2011

LivingSocial Offering 50% Off Amazon Gift Cards

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LivingSocial Screenshot - Amazon Gift Card Deal

After Amazon invested $175 million in startup LivingSocial just over one month ago, the social savings website is now offering Amazon customers 50% off their purchases.

The actual deal is simple, visit the website and purchase a $20 Amazon.com gift card for just $10.

LivingSocial members in all 170 markets the site serves can take part in the deal which will last until 8 a.m. ET on Thursday, January 20. read more

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