Monthly Archives: March 2013

Ostrich Pillow – Best Group Buying Product EVER!

This is honestly the greatest product ever invented.  Have you ever been so tired that the only thing you’re able to do is sleep face first in a crouched sitting position?  Well if you’re like me, maybe you should learn to slow your pace down and get some real sleep, but for those who prefer to stroll through life a living zombie – I present to you The Ostrich Pillow!

Dream with Me Ostrich Pillow

This was available from BEECRAZY for 128HKD ($16.5USD).  Below are some of the actual marketing materials used ordered from normal to out-right perposterous…

The I’m very tired from writing in my diary so I need some sleep now.  This pillow will help shield the bright lamp shining directly about my head - OK, great!

ostrich pillow use #1   

The I waited until last minute to study, but now I’m very tired and give up.  I’ll just fail the exam tomorrow as long as I get to place my forehead on this wooden table - Hmmmm strange, promotes failure

ostrich pillow use #2

The I’m too tired to sleep like a normal person on the train.  Go ahead, go through my luggage and make sure you take my wallet while I’m entranced in my own mushroom head world - Yes that’s right, you too can be totally unaware of the outside world without ramifications

ostrich pillow use #3

This one is just ridiculous.  She’s obviously not even sleeping but prefers to wear an ostrich pillow while visiting famous landmarks.  Let’s forget the fact that she can’t see a thing, and might be arrested by the French police by looking like a lunatic.

ostrich pillow use #4

Personally I think they’re missing the one where it’s used to cover your face while robbing a bank.

 

 

In Hong Kong, less Group Buying websites lead to more Aggregators

More and more daily deal aggregators are popping up, despite the lack of emerging key players in the market

Hong Kong skylineThe number of websites offering group buy or daily deals in Hong Kong is shrinking. In fact this trend is not only true for the financial hub of Asia, but worldwide as well. Industry experts are predicting a period of consolidation, where it is expected that only a handful of major players will emerge as sustainable businesses. Even though the number of Groupon clones has been dwindling, somehow there seems to be more and more deal aggregators as of late.

Algar Yeung, co-founder of one of the first group buying aggregators Deals Hong Kong provides insight into this phenomenon, stating that a successful daily deal site is still a lucrative and profitable business.

“We believe that many of these companies are indeed making money, and lots of it. With these businesses taking in anywhere between 30-60% of each deal voucher sold, it becomes a numbers game. As long as daily deal sites are willing to spend money to market to the masses, they should be able to reap the benefits from those generous margins,” Algar said.

As for the rising number of aggregators, he explains it as a result of a maturing industry that is always in need of a place for users to consolidate and disseminate information.

“In Hong Kong, the number of total players in the industry is decreasing, while the number of key players remains the same. We are also seeing an increase in the number of high quality deals that are offered by these key players. Deal seekers will always appreciate a place where they can save money more quickly and effectively,” he continued.

Group buying has always been a hot topic with its share of naysayers and doomsday predictions. Carefully looking into the actual data reveals that it if run properly, it can be a viable and sustainable business. Through its first years of inception, many start-ups have haplessly jumped into the fray, looking to make a quick buck. What we are seeing now is not a shrinking market, but a weeding out of the pretenders; where daily deals sites that are willing to invest in the right leadership, marketing, and deal sourcing are outlasting the ones that are not.

For more information or insight on the group buying/daily deals industry, please e-mail enquiries@dealshongkong.com

Review: 64% off T.G.I Friday’s from BEECRAZY

I must say I’m not a regular on group buying deals and am somewhat skeptical about the quality of food or service that I’ll be getting. However, I saw this TGI Friday deal and thought the food should not be that bad given it’s TGIF so I decided to give it a try. I called 3 days in advance for reservation and the process was smooth. Being that it was a Saturday night, I expected that it may be hard to get a table, but it didn’t seem to be the case. My boyfriend and I got there about 10 minutes after our scheduled reservation, but we were given a seat immediately.

We didn’t know what to expect but figured since it was a group buying offer the food was probably not going to be as good as it normally would be or was going to be smaller than regular portion sizes. The manager took our deal vouchers and also offered us the regular menu, which was nice since we were thinking we might need a “real” starter. Luckily we had decided to wait and see, because once our soup and salad came, it was clear that even for this special offer, they served us their normal, giant sized portions – and my boyfriend was totally happy about it! Lobster soup was pretty good but the Caesar salad was only average. For the main courses, there were 4 to choose from: Steak, Ribs, Grilled Salmon, Shrimp & Chicken Pasta. We had opted for their signature Jack Daniel’s Steak and Jack Daniel’s Glazed Ribs, and boy, were they good choices too. My boyfriend’s steak was really big and totally unexpected since the special menu for our deal didn’t specify the size. It turned out to be a 12-oz. steak and my boyfriend gave every single last piece of it a great home in his stomach. With the steak also came their cheddar cheese mash potatoes. The mashed potatoes had differences in texture where small potato chunks were embedded in the mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. One word: yummmmmy!

My choice of the glazed ribs was the real star of the meal. At first bite, it had this sweet taste from the Jack Daniel’s glaze, but it then finished off with a salty taste at its core. The meat was moist and easily came off the bone. It would have been a perfect 10/10 for the ribs, except it was a tad bit too salty and if they had held back the salt a touch it would have been a masterpiece. Another nice surprise was that the meal came with unlimited refills of iced lemon tea. One thing was for sure: there is no way anyone can possibly leave feeling hungry still!

The finale had us each seeing a chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge. The warm chocolate brownie mixed with the icy cold ice-cream made it easy for me to finish the dessert in a heartbeat. Now I know why they named this as their signature dessert. All in all, both my boyfriend and I think this was a great deal in that there was so much for only $198 and the service from the staff was really good. It has definitely exceeded our expectations. The restaurant itself is very spacious (which you seldom find in Hong Kong) but we were surprised there weren’t too many customers (maybe that’s the reason why they do group buying deals to attract more customers?). Anyways, we (and our stomachs) were really happy with this meal and will definitely buy the deal again!

64% off T.G.I.Friday’s Dinner in TST

As of March 2013, the Dinner deal above is expired, but BEECRAZY is offering a Lunch/Brunch set for $67

Great Group Buy Deals vs Not-So-Great Deals – Vol 1

It’s Wednesday today, the furthest day from the weekend. It’s the day where your memories of last weekend are getting harder to recall and it’s the day where you feel this weekend can’t come soon enough. Well, what better way to get through the hump day than to get in on a great deal (okay, a few Martinis will also do the trick but this is a blog about deals, unless you plan on reading this with a few Martinis, in which case, carry on!)

$118 for a Golden Harvest Cinemas ticket and Snack Combo for 2! 2x regular 2D movie tickets PLUS a BEECRAZY Combo (1x mini popcorn+ 2x mini coke)! Limited offer! (Value up to $180)I love deals! It means getting something you want for less than you would have paid for it, or had to have paid because you just needed it. Either way, less money spent means more in your pockets. This is why I think Golden Harvest Cinemas Ticket Set from BEECRAZY is a pretty great deal. I know I’ll be watching a movie at the theatres at least once in the next 3 months and I’m 99.999% sure I’ll be getting popcorn when I’m watching the movie so why not take advantage of a group buy deal that gives me a discount for something I was going to pay full price on anyways?! 2 movie tickets, 2 drinks, and a popcorn for $118…sold!

A classic service: a spa pedicure and express manicure, in a classic salon: Om Day SpaFor the ladies, hump days call for relaxation and pampering (fine, everyday welcomes relaxation and pampering)! This is why the Spa Pedicure and Express Manicure at Om Day Spa from Twangoo also falls under the great deal category. It’s a quick and simple retreat out of the concrete jungle that Hong Kong can sometimes be and it won’t break your bank. You’re either already accustomed to this classic pampering service or you’re interested to try it out, and now’s the perfect chance. A 75-min pedi & mani for $260 is … whoops, sorry for cutting off there but I had to quickly complete the purchase for the deal.

$20000 CÉLINE Tri-Color Mini Luggage Handbag Olive ($25000 value)I wish I could say every group buy deal is that great but unfortunately, that’s just not the case. A classic example of a not-so-great group buy deal is CÉLINE Tri-Color Mini Luggage Handbag from Groupon. Sure, we love Groupon but the deal is $20,000! Not sure about the folks here in the Deals Hong Kong community, but the last time I checked, I didn’t see an extra $20,000 sitting miraculously in my wallet or hidden in between the crack the couch cushions. Am I the only one wondering if a $20,000 handbag is really that necessary? Even if you said yes, is it so necessary that it requires a group deal for it?

Well there you have it, the great deals today and the not-so-great deal. Cheer up – it’s only 2 days before the day before the weekend. See, when you say it like that, you’re almost there. Until next time, happy deal hunting!

Review: German Pool halogen pot CKY-282 from BEECRAZY

Easy To Redeem (4/5)

The pot was very easy to redeem. All I had to do was buy the pot from BEECRAZY and pay an extra $60 for delivery. The day before delivery I received a notification, and a delivery-man rang my door bell the next day as promised. He made me initial some receipt and went on his merry way and there I was standing in the doorway, the proud owner of an extremely large cardboard box. The only negative is that this pot is very popular, so I actually ordered it back in July knowing it wouldn’t be delivered until August.

Quality of Good or Service (5/5)

While the box was a little dinged up, the pot inside was in tip-top shape. It’s protected with lots of styrofoam in the packaging, and was actually a little hard to pull the pot out of the box. The pot comes with lots of little extras such as a mini cookbook (supposedly worth $188hkd as printed on the cover although I don’t think anyone would actually pay for it), instructional DVD, pot extender to make the pot even bigger/taller, some metal grills and tongs. My friends told me that German Pool makes quality appliances, and I felt that the pot is sturdily built and will probably last for years.

Overall Bargain & Savings (5/5)

Total savings for this is pretty huge, as I’ve seen Halogen pots being sold for $1,000+ at department stores like JUSCO and SOGO. For $699hkd, not only are you getting a halogen pot but a pretty darn good one. I actually thought this was just a glorified microwave until I saw one in action at my friend’s house. It’s able to cook meat to a juicy flavour in very little time. The best part about it is that all the oil and gunk you normally get from grilling or pan-frying is contained within the pot, so it makes for a much easier clean-up; while the end result of the food is not much different.

Of course your interest in this appliance is mostly based on your cooking skill.. if you’re a masterchef you probably wouldn’t be looking at using a halogen pot. Most of my friends are just regular gals who like to cook, so I’ve recommended this pot to all of them. BEECRAZY still sells this but for an inflated price of $880hkd where they include a pair of poultry shears. It makes sense for the shears as one of the first things you’ll cook when you get this pot is Chicken (soooo juicy and soooo tender!), but that’s adding $180hkd for a pair of scissors! If you can read Chinese, Funshare has this deal at the price of $699hkd for just the pot itself at the time of writing.

Check out a video of the German Pool Halogen Pot unboxed: Cantonese version | English version

Deals Hong Kong is Expanding

Since our last blog posting before the holidays, Deals Hong Kong has added many features and functionality to please our ever growing user base. Deal Reviews allows consumers to rate deals that they bought based on easiness to redeem, quality of good or service, and overall bargain and savings. The reviews are sure to keep the deals offered by merchants to a high standard, and at the same time help other consumers who are teetering on the edge of a buying decision.

The Today’s Deals list allows non newsletter subscribers to have a quick glance of deals that are published daily. The Popular Deals listing shows the hottest deals in the marketplace, in case you are missing out. Users also have the ability to log on to their My Deals panel where they can set deal preferences for categories of offers that they wish to see, as well as track and maintain reselling of coupons. The Bring it Back feature is also available in My Deals and individual deal details page. This is a new way for users to voice their interest for deals that are expired. Based on this info Deals Hong Kong will try our best to bring the most sought after deals back to you.

Finally look out in the near future for deals offered directly by our merchant partners. As experts in the Daily Deals industry, we hope we are able to bring you the most relevant deals with the biggest savings soon!

Group Buying: The New Lifestyle in Asia?

The new buzz in e-commerce, group buying, should be a familiar household term at this point in time. In Asia, this group shopping is growing in popularity at an immense rate. It has become a lifestyle – a main method for Hong Kong residents to purchase everything from household items, gifts, activities, dining, and services at a discount they could never obtain otherwise. Most Asian countries are communitarian, so the Groupon model seems fit for most of their markets.

This popularity of group buying in Hong Kong has even spread to include grocery items. Price-sensitive citizens are able to purchase products and services they would normally never be able to buy. The area is becoming so clogged with daily-deal sites, that new sites are forming in attempt to aggregate sites from around the region. Once a trend, this method of buying is now becoming a norm, a lifestyle.

hong kong crazy group buyingGroup buying websites elicit deep discounts on lifestyle services ranging from restaurants, family outings, travel deals, and salons in dedicated cities everywhere. People are desiring to experiment with new restaurants and activities, and they can now do so with little commitment. Local merchants, on the other hand, are now able to reach out to a larger base of clientele and are seeing huge spikes in their profits. In fact, it is estimated that more than 5 out of 10 businesses are seeking to be featured on one of the many deal websites. Most businesses are beginning to include this type of advertising in their business plans.

Because this trend of group buying is becoming the norm in Hong Kong, we are left to wonder if consumers will buy anything unless it comes at a discounted price. People who are too busy to hunt down discounts or visit physical stores for gifts, are helping this way of shopping escalate in popularity. Online shopping has risen in Asia, most likely due to these hundreds of deal websites. Additionally, most of these Hong Kong websites focus on attracting consumers aged from 18 to 34, 77% of them being femaie. Unlike the US, the dining and beauty experiences are better-received in the Asian marketplaces.

In summation, the practice of group buying has been in place in the Asian culture for 50 to 60 years already. So, it is not a far off prediction that the Hong Kong and other markets will openly accept this way of shopping for years to come. Online portals will have to be sure to offer exclusive and premium products and services to maintain their customer base.

To Bee or Not to Bee: BeeCrazy vs. Groupon

Setting a new online record, BeeCrazy has become one of Hong Kong’s most popular online group buying brands in the city. Similar to Groupon and other Hong Kong deals websites, BeeCrazy offers consumers deals from 40 to 90 percent off. This website has sold over 40,000 coupons, which equals millions of dollars of savings for consumers. Each day, there are up to four new deals for coupon-crazed users to get excited over. Similar to Groupon and Hong Kong’s deal sites, BeeCrazy’s deals include restaurant merchants, spas, and local activities. Even better, BeeCrazy offers deals on health care check-ups, war games, and more practical, everyday useful deals.

groupon vs beecrazyBeeCrazy has helped merchants in Hong Kong reach numbers they have not seen in close to 100 years. Their clientele has greatly improved – and people are saving money in return. They claim BeeCrazy is the best marketing campaign they have had in the history of their business. BeeCrazy is a sister site of YiYi Hong Kong Limited, a mobile location based service which offers mobile coupon-ing to consumers. This site has also taken Hong Kong by storm and helped elevate the popularity of BeeCrazy. Businesses are incorporating BeeCrazy in their business plans and using it to market new products. With bargaining and coupon-ing becoming the latest worldwide trend, BeeCrazy and Groupon are just a few of the group deal websites to sweep Hong Kong, but may be the largest.

Groupon was the initiator of this latest deal craze, mixing the words “group” and “coupon” years ago and offering services and products at huge discounts. Internet portals are even sprouting up to combine these over 900 group buying websites. But they are still unable to gain the popularity that Groupon and BeeCrazy have accumulated. All in all, these sites are enabling residents of Hong Kong to experience their city and do things they would never be able to do prior to the discounts. These sites claim that nearly 80 percent of their consumers are female with over 50 percent of them being single. Some of these sites wisely offer deals to local nightclubs and for haircuts and hairstyles. The sites gain more popularity as these users “like” them on their Facebook pages and suggest the deals electronically to their friends.

Daily Deals: Worth the Rage, a Personal Encounter

For my day off from work, I decided to cash in on a manicure/pedicure deal I purchased for a local spa in Central Hong Kong. Not only was the experience relaxing in itself, but even more rewarding because I remembered I just paid less than half of the spa’s everyday price for this service. When I bought this deal, I was given the option to suggest it to two friends to be rewarded with $50 worth of credit. I turned around and put that credit towards $150 worth of food at my favorite eatery. And on and on and on…..

hong kong manicure pedicureOnce scrutinized for turning to the web for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, and ideas for family activities, my family and friends have now all joined in the group buying movement. In exchange for discounts, sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial promise merchants to deliver spikes in clientele. Being skeptical at first, I only bought local restaurant deals for my family to use. After having nothing but positive results and customer service, I now wake up awaiting delivery of these daily deals in my Inbox. I have bought everything from deep discounts on vacation spots, passes to rides at the local city park, clothing boutique deals, and gun range vouchers for my husband. I have yet to be disappointed.

But the huge discounts aren’t where the sites stop. Some of these group buying sites make it possible to go coupon-free. I can actually display the coupon on my phone at the establishment, and leave the hassle of printing out a coupon at home. There are, however minor, downsides to these deals. First, most of them come with an expiration date of about six months from the purchase date. Second, some deals restrict the number of coupons purchased per person. For example, if you bought more than two coupons for a certain salon, you were required to use them all on the same visit.

With the rewards system a majority of these sites provide (i.e., crediting you $100 for recommending two friends), the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. LivingSocial, for example, gives you the entire deal for FREE if you encourage three friends to sign up for the site and buy that deal. Moreover, the site also gives you $40 credit towards any future deals just for having friends sign up for the site (which is free!).

This has become one of the hottest trends online, and is made even more so by the rise in social media. I definitely use my personal networks to clue friends in on the latest deals. We also have seen a rise in our social lives, getting together to partake in our great discounts.