Bulk Buying Power: Teaming Up Online for Deals

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There is power in numbers. A number of new websites are helping consumers meet up and combine their purchasing strength when dealing with retailers, who are happy to unload the goods at big discounts—so long as the goods are being unloaded in large quantities.

BuyWithMe.com, which launched in the Boston area last month, says it has already saved consumers more than $80,000, according to the Globe, on everything from spa packages ($100, marked down from $285) to Bill Belicheck sweatshirts ($35 instead of the usual $65, and hey, the guy is quite the fashion plate). Another site, Groupon.com, launched last fall with deals in the Chicago area, offering sneakers, tennis lessons, teeth-whitening services, and more on the cheap. There are also sites out there like Woot, Gilt, and Yugster.com, which tend to promote deals of the one-day-only variety.

Part of me loves that people are utilizing what amounts to collective bargaining to get more for less. Another part thinks most of the stuff being sold isn’t worth the asking price—even after the discount. Sometimes, more is just more.