Shoppers to Name Their Own Deals on oBaz

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Tired of getting offers for daily deals that have nothing to do with your real life? Now shoppers can join forces and create their own wish list of money-saving deals.

Launching Tuesday, Chicago-based oBaz (short for online bazar) gives consumers a way to name their own deals. The new marketplace reverses the standard operating procedure for businesses, which often use promotions -- including special offers through Groupon or LivingSocial -- to get new customers in the door or to move seasonal merchandise.

Putting Buyers in the Driver's Seat

With oBaz, promotions filter from the bottom up: A group of moms can rally together for discounted baby gear, for example, or students can band together to get a deal on test-prep courses.

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When 25 people or more join a prospective offer, oBaz's team of hagglers get to work to seal a deal for the group. Integration with social-media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, make it easy to build a group. Once an offer is inked, it's available exclusively to the group members, which receive an email about the deal.

"OBaz is entirely buyer-driven. We're here to help you find what you're looking for, not just push what today's advertiser is offering," co-founder and CEO Brian Ficho says. " It's in our best interests [to get good deals]. The better products we get, the better redemption rates we have."

Venture-capital group LightBank, created by Groupon co-founders, apparently sees the site's potential. OBaz received seed funding from the group in June 2011.
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