The recession gave way to a nation of cheapskates. No one wants to pay full price for anything anymore, and consumers continue to spend 30 percent less than they did in 2008, Gallup's consumer spending poll shows.
But consumer spending on daily deal sites is set to soar to $3.9 billion by 2015, says a recent study by BIA/Kelsey, a media consulting firm. And with sites like Groupon and LivingSocial bringing in $1 million a day in revenue, a market that didn't exist three years ago is expected to grow 138 percent in 2011 with a staggering $2.7 billion in revenue, TechCrunch reports.
The real winners of the new frugal economy are the businesses helping people save that precious dough. One of the more ingenious is Yipit, a website that aggregates and recommends local offers from more than 400 deal sites in 32 cities. Rather than signing up for loads of different services, users can simply sign up for Yipit, enter their preferences (e.g., send restaurant deals, but not bungee-jumping deals) and receive a single, personalized e-mail each day.
"It's a one-stop shop," says Vinicius Vacanti, who co-founded Yipit with business partner Jim Moran in February of 2009.
"We quickly realized that people don't necessarily just love deals--they love doing great things and living better lives without paying full price," Moran says.
Since raising $1.3 million in venture funding last summer, Yipit has been basking in the limelight with spots on The Today Show, The Early Show and CNN. Its subscriber base grew 25 percent each month this year and now tops 185,000.
Though the company is tight-lipped about revenue figures, Yipit's business model is two-fold: affiliate revenue directly from the featured deal sites, and what it calls Yipit Data Product, a competitive report that is sent out to deal sites nightly detailing all the activity in the daily deal space in a given city and nationwide.
Up next: Continued expansion into all major metro markets in the U.S. and internationally, as well as added location-based features. "Philosophically," Vacanti says, "it's all about building the best experience possible.
More Value Brilliance
CalcMoolator With tools to help users do everything from manage their mortgage payments to compare job opportunities and pay off debt, this website aggregates more than 175 financial calculators.
Deal Current Who needs Groupon? This outfit helps companies develop their own customized daily deal programs.
FuelFrog By compiling trend reports, this simple service helps you track your gas mileage and improve your car's fuel economy.
NeighborGoods Share and share alike: Winner of the Best Bootstrapped Startup award at this year's SXSW Festival, this website allows users to easily share their stuff with neighbors and friends.
Price Protectr The site has saved users more than $3 million by tracking the prices of items shoppers are considering and even helping them get money back once they've made a purchase.
RelayRides A neighbor-to-neighbor car-sharing service that helps car owners lend out their vehicles by providing the proper insurance and technology for a safe, easy transaction.
RetailMeNot A coupon clipper's dream: A website that enables users to search for discount codes from more than 65,000 e-tailers.
SmartyPig It's a virtual piggy bank: Set savings goals and solicit donations from friends and family through Facebook and Twitter--all with a competitive 1.35 percent interest rate.
Swap.com Bartering is cool at this online swap shop. The site has reportedly coordinated 1.9 million swaps, saving users a whopping $11.9 million.