The new ‘co-buying’ website from Argos offers time-limited deals on products, which get cheaper as more people agree to buy them. Here are the 10 things you need to know before joining in.
Argos is running a trial partnership with social commerce company Buyapowa, which allows people to get special discounts when ‘co-buying’ products. The concept is similar that on ‘price drop’ TV shopping channels and is based on the principle that the more people who agree to buy a certain item, the cheaper the price they will pay.
Argos is also offering buyers the chance to ‘win’ their chosen product for free if they share news of the special offers with their friends and family on Twitter and Facebook.
The website is live now at Buyapowa.com/Argos and is offering discounts on selected products from Argos’ 29,000 strong range.
You can find out how Argos, the UK’s largest high-street retailer, is rated in our guide to the best and worst high street shops. And if you are thinking about trying out its new co-buying scheme, here are 10 key things you need to know:
1. There’s strength in numbers
Online co-buying brings together shoppers who all want the same product, grouping their purchase so that they can benefit from a bulk-buying discount. Argos will flag which products are eligible for co-buying via its social media channels, and each deal will only be available for a short period of time.
2. You can nominate products
Ultimately it’s down to Argos which products go into the co-buying scheme, but customer requests play a part. You can nominate which products you would like to see on offer, and if three or more people choose the same item during a one-week period then Argos says it will begin discussions to fulfil those requests.
3. Time is of the essence
There are only ever a few active co-buy offers on the go at one time, so you need to sign up for email updates, follow Argos on Twitter or be a fan on Facebook if you want to keep abreast of what goods are currently part of the scheme. Additionally, each co-buying opportunity only lasts until the product sells out, or the time is up – which is only ever a maximum of 99 hours.
4. Prices drop as buyers join
When you join a co-buy you will be presented with a ‘current price’, which is how much you will pay if nobody else joins that co-buy after you. However you will also see a listed ‘best price’, which is the lowest that the co-buy could close at – this is achieved when 75% of buyers have been sourced for that particular deal. You will only ever pay the lowest price reached for the goods you’re co-buying. That being said…
5. You can get stuff for free
As the price for your purchase gets lower as more people join, it makes sense to try and recruit fellow shoppers, and the Argos co-buying site provides email, Facebook and Twitter buttons for you to share the offer. As you bring in more buyers you’ll rise up the co-buying leaderboard for that product. Sit at the top when the co-buy closes and (providing that co-buy sells out) you’ll receive your product for free – shipping included.
6. The service is free
Although you’ll of course have to pay for the product at its closing price (unless you’re the co-buy ‘winner’), the service is free to sign up for and free to use.
7. You can share to win without spending a penny
If you don’t fancy committing any money to buying a particular product, you can still attempt to get it for free by entering via Buyapowa’s share to win scheme. This functions in much the same way as described above: direct more purchasers to the co-buy deal than anyone else (using a unique URL and banners created for you) and you’ll be able to get the product for free or, in some cases, its value in cash.
8. Postage and delivery costs vary
Products can currently only be delivered to UK addresses, although Buyapowa says that it is hoping to change this in the future. Shipping costs will vary by item – sometimes delivery will be free, the majority will set you back £1.95, and certain items will be sent via more costly recorded delivery. Delivery prices for your chosen item are displayed alongside the listing details.
9. There are several ways to keep updated
There are several ways to stay informed about which products are available for co-buying and what’s happening to the price of the items you’re purchasing. You can input your email address on the Argos co-buy collection website, or follow the company on Facebook or Twitter. Additionally Buyapowa will email and tweet you to keep you updated with price drops for your co-buys.
10. You can cancel your purchases
Buyapowa says that joining a co-buy enters you into a ‘binding contract’ and that you can withdraw ‘only in exceptional circumstances, not simply because you didn’t win’. However, in compliance with the Distance Selling Regulations, it does confirm that you have seven days to return an unwanted item after you have received it. Read our guide to returning products bought online, but also be sure to check Buyapowa’s terms and conditions of sale for full details.
Buyapowa operates similar schemes with retailers including Tesco and Homebase.
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