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(11 April 2011) South African online marketplace and auction site bidorbuy.co.za has acquired Cape Town-based social buying site UbuntuDeal.co.za. This is the latest addition to the bidorbuy group of sites, which include Jobs.co.za, Jump.co.za, TheClassifieds.co.za, PayFast.co.za and Snaply.com.
According to bidorbuy CEO Jaco Jonker, UbuntuDeal complements the bidorbuy online marketplace: “While bidorbuy enables sellers to sell online to buyers far beyond their geographical locality, UbuntuDeal brings online audiences through the doors of local businesses. On top of that, bidorbuy focuses on products, and UbuntuDeal is more oriented towards entertainment and leisure experiences. Together, we are poised to bring some very exciting shopping events to the South African internet audience.”
Launched in November 2010, UbuntuDeal is based on the business model of collective buying power. Every day, a heavily discounted deal is placed on the site on behalf of one of the participating merchants. If a certain number of people buy, the deal becomes available to all. If not, the deal is off. Currently, the site has daily deals in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Bloemfontein, East London and Port Elizabeth, ranging from restaurant vouchers and spa treatments to hotel stays and even Wi-Fi internet access.
For consumers, online group buying means great discounts. For businesses, it is a good way to turn available surpluses into cash and to market their services to a very wide audience without spending exorbitant amounts on marketing. Jess Green, Managing Director of UbuntuDeal, says that the social buying business model took off in 2010 and expects further growth this year, both internationally and locally. He adds that UbuntuDeal has clear advantages in this very competitive market: “We always feature deals that offer between 50% and 90% discounts, not less, giving the consumer a bigger and better deal. We pride ourselves on being a step ahead in terms of customer service and web site functionality. Last but not least, the merchants we team up with are happy with the whole process and their marketing exposure.”
Simple as the online group buying business model looks, the real challenge is attaining the critical mass of users. “This is where bidorbuy, a high traffic site with over one million visitors per month, will play a key role”, says Jaco.
Jaco adds that bidorbuy has recently launched a ‘deal of the week’ offering, which aims to offer the best deals for the South African audience on brand new, consumer products. “With the acquisition of UbuntuDeal, bidorbuy is now in a position to offer both product and experience deals to its audience, the largest e-commerce audience in the country.