Deal of the day? Consumer protection in online group buying deals


Jonathan Bishop


Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)




The group buying industry, now labeled the deal site industry, has flourished in Canada over the past 5 years, as consumers seek out new ways to cut costs and increase savings. The evidence gathered for this report suggests the Canadian deal site industry is more responsive to the needs of consumers than it was just a few short years ago. The industry model consists of three participants: Canadian consumers who engage in the deal site industry to save money in a convenient manner while being exposed to innovative deals in their community; retailers who participate in deal site offers to expand their customer base or increase their visibility; and the deal site industry which positions itself to retailers as an alternative to traditional marketing and distribution channels.

This examination outlines consumer protection issues with deal sites in Canada. The study details how the industry works, examining all of the industry players, the business model and the value chain. PIAC examined how deal sites advertise deals to Canadian consumers and the terms disclosed to consumers.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
285 McLeod Street, Suite 200
Ottawa, ON   K2P 1A1
(613) 562-4002
(613) 562-0007

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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