The site: DealGator.com
How it works: DealGator, a Boston-based startup, gathers discount offers from multiple websites offering savings in a specific geographic area across a number of categories. The deals offered on the site are generally half off retail prices or more on everything from restaurant meals to event tickets, spa services or retail goods. DealGator pulls from nationally advertised websites including Groupon and Living Social as well as smaller, less well-known sites.
Users complete a very simple registration (just an e-mail address and a password are required) which brings them to a screen where they can pick which types of discount offers they would like to see. Once registered, users are then sent a daily e-mail full of deals tailored to their requests. You can also browse a larger group of unfiltered discounts and deals at DealGator.com.
The current categories include “Activities,” “Events,” “Fitness,” “Spas” and “Restaurants.” This screen also allows users to add or drop cities in which he would like to see deals – an important feature as the default city during my registration was set to “Halifax” despite the fact that I was signing up from the lobby of the Omni Parker House on School Street in Boston.
How do I save money? DealGator aggregates discount offers from sites you may know, but it also offers deals from countless smaller or less well-known sites. It would be nearly impossible for one person to practically check all these sites everyday, so, DealGator offers the possibility to save money by exposing its users to discount offers from dozens of sites in an easy-to-broswe format. Most deals are “Groupon-style” offering 50 percent savings or more. Many of the discounts offered are local for things like restaurants, spas and tickets, but many product and national offerings are included as well.
What does not work: Once you click through a deal, you must register with the specific site offering the deal. That’s not a deal-breaker, but, it’s an added hassle and a slight risk as there are a number of fairly obscure sites on DealGator. Ideally, as DealGator grows, the site will offer a universal login/payment option to streamline the process.
Is it worth it? DealGator exposes members to discount offers they may not see otherwise and in many cases the savings can be quite significant. Though having to register for multiple sites to close deals is a mild hassle, the overall value proposition is strong. The only other real negative of this site is that it exposes it users to so many deals, that it’s easy to buy something you don’t really need because the price is so good.Daniel B. Kline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.