An online method of buying and receiving a "coupon" or voucher, users can print the coupon and use it to save on a variety of products and services such as whitewater rafting, spa packages, and restaurants. New deeply discounted deals are offered on a daily basis through free members sites (such as Groupon, LivingSocial and Scoutmob) and generally last for one day.
Some of the major social couponing companies are:
Groupon - launched: 2008
Services: One daily deal that requires a certain number of people to buy before reaching its "tipping point," plus other local deals at restaurants, spas/salons, activities and others.
Advantage: First to the market, claims more than a million NYC members
LivingSocial - launched: Daily deals in 2009, but founded in 2007
Services: Daily deal plus other local deals; "family edition" focused on family oriented deals; mobile "instant deals"
Advantage: No "tipping point," and deals become free if you get three friends to buy it
Scoutmob - launched: 2010
Services: Local deals that are instantly redeemable via your mobile phone; more culinary-focused; daily deals
Advantage: Mobile- and location-based, sends deals right to your phone wherever you are
NetLingo Classification: Online Marketing