[tweetmeme only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5DIf you’re feeling the pinch of rising interest rates, looking for a way to cut-back on spending this Christmas, or just have a soft-spot for a bargain, you may be interested in the newest online phenomenon – social buying.

Harnessing the force of group buying power online, social buying sites offer steep discounts, usually between 50 and 90%, on anything from dining to hotel rooms, spa treatments, gym memberships and recreational activities.

 how does it work?

Most social buying sites work on subscriptions. This means you sign-up online by entering your email address and city, and daily deals are sent to your inbox each day.

You have 24 hours to sign-up for the offer and if enough others sign-up too, the deal is yours.  In this case, you will be emailed a voucher and your credit card will be automatically charged. However, if the minimum numbers of people do not sign-up for the deal, it doesn’t go ahead and you will not be charged.

sharing deals with friends

Social buying sites also encourage you to share deals with your friends via email, facebook and twitter. As well as helping the deal go ahead, referring friends is incentivised with sites offering further discounts, or even free deals if enough others sign-up.

 Buying gift vouchers for friends is also welcome and encouraged. So if you’re looking for discounted Christmas presents, social buying sites could be a good place to start.

social buying sites

There are new social buying sites cropping up each day. Here are a few with deals across Australia to check-out:

  • ouffer offers daily deals on a range of activities including dining, spas, concerts, sports, shows and classes. Locations include Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Wollongong, Ettalong and Auckland. If a friend you refer buys something within 72 hours your account is credited with $5.
  • Jump On It has daily deals including hair and beauty, spa treatments, dining, short breaks and experiences like horse riding, dance classes and movie tickets. Locations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Canberra, Darwin, Wollongong, Newcastle, Geelong and Auckland. Jump On It gives you $10 if a friend you refers buys something within the first 72 hours.
  • OurDeal has specials on everything from restaurants, day spas and hair to concerts, sports matches, fitness sessions and adventures like scuba diving, cooking classes and wine tours. It operates across Australia in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Hobart. OurDeal gives you $10 in credit for referring a friend once they make their first purchase.