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Amazon launches daily deals website

Amazon's venture increases group-buying site competition

Amazon has launched its own daily deals website in the UK pitting itself against the likes of Groupon, kgbdeals and Living Social.

AmazonLocal will operate much like other group-buying sites in the market by emailing offers at restaurants, spas, theatres and other venues to users every morning. It will also offer reward points to those using an Amazon credit card.

At the moment, only customers across London are receiving offers. Amazon has not yet given any details about whether it plans to expand the service across the UK.

Groupon and other group-buying sites face more competition 

Gordon Willoughby, director of AmazonLocal for Europe, said: ‘Our aim is to be the place where customers can come to find anything that they want to buy online, so offering great deals from local businesses like restaurants, spas and theatres is a logical addition to the tens of millions of products that can already be found at Amazon.

‘This is day one for and we will focus our efforts on providing a first rate customer experience for Londoners.’

The new service is also being used to promote Amazon’s credit card offerings.

Action point: If you are looking to get a credit card or switch, we have rounded up the best credit cards to suit your needs.

First look at AmazonLocal

While there are only a handful of deals on AmazonLocal at present, the site does not state on any of them when it verified the original price of each product and service before the discount was applied. That can make it hard for consumers to determine how good an offer really is and is a source of concern with all group-buying sites for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

AmazonLocal doesn’t state how many times a particular deal has been purchased but it does clearly state additional charges and restrictions. Retailer and service provider contact details are also listed along with a link to the company websites.

Group-buying sites under the microscope

In March 2012, the OFT reprimanded Groupon for issues with its pricing, advertising, unfair terms and conditions as well as refunds.

While the OFT says it’s been encouraged by the changes Groupon has made over the last few months, the regulator has now turned its gaze to more than 30 other group-buying sites in the UK, telling them to raise their standards.

Meanwhile, our latest investigation into group-buying sites has found they are still regularly overstating the benefits and the true value of the discounts on offer.

Action point: We have put together a guide to using group-buying sites and your rights. Meanwhile, You can have your say on whether you think group-buyings great offers over at Which? Conversation.

More on this…

  • Group-buying sites – a guide to using them and your rights
  • Save money on eating out – by using our hints and tips
  • – we explain the laws you can use to deal with problems
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