Online Group Buying Sites Soar in Popularity

A $50 haircut will set you back a mere $25 when purchased with the click of a mouse on a group buying website. Recommend the deal to two friends and get two $10 credits, used towards a deal at a local restaurant that gives $40 worth of food and drink for just $20 — a free meal.

Welcome to the world of group buying, Internet style, where the power of the Web can be utilized to offer surprisingly large discounts to a sizable number of people for things they actually want to buy. The industry has exploded in the past few years and continues to climb. It’s expected to grow 138 percent to $2.7 billion this year in the U.S. alone, according to Local Offer Network.