The term group buying has become synonymous with the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial, as well as a range of other daily deal touting sites. These popular services allow people to buy all kinds of deals and promotions which they’ll get assuming enough other people want a magic floating mud treatment too, because it’s “group” buying.
At the moment it seems a week doesn’t go by without the launch of another new deal aggregating site or niche promotional service, meaning the group buying phenomenon is probably here to stay.
However, a new platform called Shareagift has put the effective group buying mechanic to good use by tweaking it a little so it becomes group gifting instead. So, instead of bidding on spa treatments and meals in swanky restaurants, Shareagift allows you to collectively buy gifts for loved ones and pool your money.
To get started you sign up to the service and choose which gift you’d like to raise money for then make a Gift Page, personalise it and share it with whoever you want via email or Facebook. They then make a contribution (or not, in which case Shareagift will send them reminders) and if the target amount is hit, everything is paid via Paypal into your bank account so you can go and buy it. The process sounds simple enough and it’s certainly a lovely spin on the standard group buying service (assuming the reminder emails are more “hey you forgot to contribute” and less “GIVE ME MY MONEY”), but only time will tell whether people will actually use it and get others to take part as well.
The ease with which people use Groupon or similar services like Just Giving suggests that no one will be put off by the idea of handing their money over online, it’ll just depend on how good your gift idea is and how well you know the people you’re inviting to contribute – don’t be cheeky with this please.
Shareagift would be particularly useful when raising money for birthday gifts if your family or group of friends is scattered all over the country, or even the globe. And, it’d also be a handy tool for office leaving presents, so the cheap guy who sits opposite you can’t get away with an IOU anymore.