How do you fight a recession?

Posted by on 03-10-2012, under Uncategorized

The recession has paved the way for the development of defensive measures that will turn your wallet into free money for those who know how to benefit from it. While financiers are bathing in champagne and beautiful people, common mortals are relegated to finding a way out of these tricky times. Curiously, though the recession has affected most businesses, it has also demonstrated humanity’s ability to think outside the box. In the spirit of fighting back, we thought we’d give you a bit of a heads up on some of the ways this is affecting us and how to counter it.

Bartering

This widely renowned feature of Arab souks is not only reserved for your exotic holidays. Outdoor markets during your weekend shopping? You’ll be surprised how much of a discount merchants are ready to give if only you ask for it and are willing to negotiate. Mysterious “administration fees” upon the signing of a contract whether it’s gym membership or something else? You’ll often be able to get these lifted if you can go about it smartly. Remember, you can always take your business somewhere else, so never feel pressured into a sale and remember you can walk away. Sales reps will often have more room to negotiate than you’d think, a fact which for obvious reasons, isn’t well publicised. Hint, if you’re paying asking price for a car on auto trader, you’re doing it wrong.

Cash versus cards

How often do you go to the supermarket and end up stocking up on unhealthy snacks, unnecessary kitchen gadgets and things you just don’t want? You end up with a hefty bill as well as a cholestorol-inducing pantry. To avoid  this, go shopping hungry and only take the cash you’r willing to spend with you. You’ll feel more inspired by the food you see and you’ll have to fit all of your purchases into your budget which can’t be stretched, unlike when you head in with your card.

Keep up with debt!

Interest… It’s a simple word, yet it encompasses so many things that affect your household. The average UK household has £53,706 of debt, most often in mortgages, credit cards and if you’re lucky enough, even a bit of student debt. Hopefully, your household is not struggling too much to pay it off, but if you can afford it, you should raise your repayments as much as possible. Indeed, interest accrues over time, so the faster you pay off that debt, the less it will cost you in the long run. Remember, paying back your balance is honouring an agreement. Paying back interest is akin to throwing money out of the window and this isn’t jack and the beanstalk, and that money isn’t magic beans!!

Autos

If you’ve managed to jump through the hoops and get your driving licence, chances are that you own and drive a car. It’s been estimated that running a car in the UK can cost on average £6,000 a year. This figure can vary depending on your motor’s appetite for fuel and your insurance companies take on your appetite for road rage, but it comes down to a hefty figure for your household each month. In order to cut down on that spend, consider the following:

– Pay your insurance yearly instead of monthly, otherwise you’ll often be charged a 15-20% premium for the “privilege.” Don’t buy it directly, use a broker such as a website or someone who specializes in insurance broking.

– Drive more gently. This means letting your car slow down without braking violently and not accelerating madly. You’ll make great savings on your fuel and you’ll give those brake pads a bit of respite.

– Avoid parking your car under the sun. If you can, park your car in the shadows. Even though this is the UK, when the sun is hitting on your car for a few hours, this causes it to heat up and makes petrol evaporate. Save yourself a trip to the station and put your car in the shade.

– Get an auto-savvy friend to teach you some of the basics of car maintenance. You shouldn’t intervene with a loose part in your motor, but simply knowing how to change the oil will save you from the strong markup you get at the garage.

Relationship tension

There comes a time when you and your significant other will be drawn to make a purchase that requires an agreement from both parties. This could be a car, a new TV or a kitchen. In all likelihood, you probably won’t reach a consensus that easily. It’s doubtful that once the purchase has been made, you’ll go out and buy a 2nd version  so both of you can agree – i’ve tried, and fitting 2 kitchens in one room is definitely not recommended!  If you do want to reach an agreement and avoid becoming the mayor of couch city for a month, then your best option during the consideration process is to filter out options that only appeal to one side. Doing this will enable you to drastically minimize buyers remorse on either side and avoid that feeling that you’ve been pressured into something you didn’t want. If in doubt, remember…what a woman wants, she’ll always get…somehow…

Bulk Buy vs love handles

Websites like Groupon leverage the power of bulk-buying to give you great discounts on products and services. However, this approach only works when multiple parties are involved. Let’s take an example involving your children. You want to make them as happy as possible but also take care of your finances. In that case, how did that multipack of crisps work out? Yep, it lasted just the same amount of time but you now have to deal with empty packs strewn all around the house and your kids’ stomach pains. Bulk-buying can come as a real advantage, whether it’s washing liquid or shower gel, but do yourself and your body a favour, don’t stock up on temptation.

You’re making fun of techie fanboys

Back in 2007, the iPhone was a revolution. It brought a modern experience of mobile to mass market and ensured that Apple was a name to reckon with. Fast forward 5 years, and the iPhone 5 is also a revolution. Indeed, released just a year after the 4s, it brings highly futuristic features such as a 4 inch screen, 2 more hours of battery life, and the inability to borrow an iPhone charger from a friend who hasn’t yet upgraded. As much as we’d like to believe this could only be the result of millions of pounds of investment and totally justifies a £500 price tag, it’s also safe to say that you could also go ahead and buy a 4s which has now been discounted as a result of the iPhone 5’s release and still have an award winning piece of technology in your grasp. Don’t always rush for the latest and greatest, these days, technology is moving so fast, it doesn’t have time to leave its predecessors behind so bag a bargain without the price tag.

You’re getting healthier and happier

Research has shown that in harder times, we make better spending decisions. However, this instinctive behavior also leads to increased well-being during a recession. When you’re cutting down on your expenses, a homemade meal is much cheaper and healthier than the afterwork drinks/fast food diet your body thrives upon during peaceful times of economic expansion. While you are exposed to the grand scheme of things and witness the increasing amounts of misery around, your day to day problems start to seem less of an issue as well. Do you really care that your partner brought back decaf instead of real coffee? With penguins dying all around the world, you’re just going to enjoy that coffee and meditate on world peace. You’re also going to be wanting more bang for your buck and to become an increasingly savvy shopper. That’s why you should take a tour around the Buyometric website and treat yourself to something special.

In the mean time, we’ll be in London Bridge working on more ways to cut down your stress everyday. So if you want to send flowers or alternatively just sign up with us, you’ll be doing yourself some good and scoring a place on that tropical island we want to buy but haven’t been able to take care of just yet.

Crystal Ball

Posted by on 25-09-2012, under Group buying, Private buying

Daily Deal logos

While browsing the web this weekend, I happened to stumble upon a “full Monty tank driving experience.” For just a couple hundred pounds, I too could be the proud pilot of 4 different military vehicles including a nuclear missile launcher as well as try my hand at shooting different weapons. Once the initial series of exclamations and interjections had passed, I sat down and got ready for a new week at the office with somewhat of an issue to overcome. I already had a blog post done and dusted for the beginning of the week, but my idea for today’s article “5 ways to get great discounts from retailers using only a tank” had been turned down. Armed only with youth and lots of free time, I decided to brainstorm with the team and ask: Where is the market going?

We wrote about this in an article back in January. Our predictions were mainly spot on with a development of the major players and a stronger focus on customisation. Recent figures show a long-term slowing down in the growth of the daily deals market. Projected to grow by 86% this year, figures will likely fall to 23% next year and single digits in the years after. This market came to light in 2008 with the emergence of Groupon and its rapid expansion into a multi-billion pound company. Merchants had the ability to run offers with no upfront cost and benefit from the voucher company’s marketing strength. With the emergence of strong competition from players such as Living Social and KGB deals, merchants can now choose from a wider source of partners, but also benefit from the laws of supply and demand to pay out a lower commission to the voucher company. With declining revenue and an increasing number of institutions looking to share the cake, the voucher industry has no choice but to take one route: diversification.

For the average consumer, this path has 2 outcomes. First of all, it means that there is going to be an increasing diversity in offers available. Whereas the market was previously service focused with spa days, restaurants and experiences, there is now an increased availability of goods. This means, you’ll be seeing an increasing number of retailers partnering with deals aggregators (our fashion section is a good example of this). Travel has also experienced a massive surge with the development of websites such as Secret Escapes offering high discounts on exotic holidays and destinations closer to home offering hotel breaks at lower prices.
Another development is an increased demand for mobile. Voucher websites are often unfriendly for mobile navigation and though Scotland may be an attractive destination, most people just want to know what kind of deals they can easily access instantaneously. In an ultra-connected society where individuals are used to instantaneous communication and deliverability, it is necessary to implement a solution which removes the difficulties around this and can provide a hub for deals navigation.

However, this evolution does not only benefit the consumer. Indeed, a recent survey demonstrated that a quarter of small businesses were seriously thinking of running a deal within the next 6 months. What this translates into for the voucher companies is an increased base of businesses. Following the trend of diversification of revenue streams, companies are now offering an increased array of B2B services to these businesses and, in most cases, giving preferential terms to those who have already run deals with them. Whether it be payment processing, mobile redemption or assistance with business processes, once a company runs a deal they are effectively a new prospect for upselling. Considering the size of voucher companies, this means that small businesses may effectively end up outsourcing or at least collaborating with these larger companies to benefit from an expertise that may be too expensive to implement at store level.

That’s why we’ve been working on aggregating an increasing number of partners and expanding the offerings available to you. As our regular users have seen, there has been constant evolution on our website as we work towards making Buyometric your natural hub for offers around the web. We hope your experience continues to be as seamless as possible and welcome your feedback, so drop us an email and we’ll be happy to see what we can do for you.

When I’m not studying or conceiving ways to drive a tank into Harrod’s, you can contact me on m.elboudi@buyometric.com or LinkedIn.

Exclusive: A member of the French expat Londoners sect speaks out

Posted by on 18-09-2012, under About Buyometric

Mohamad

With just the Channel between the UK and France, London is one of the first destinations for our dear Frogs with an ever increasing 300,000 strong French community. These individuals are secretive by nature and it seems that only the French perceive their peers, although when this happens, you’ll hear people exclaiming themselves in their native language with cries of ‘mais je suis Francais moi aussi!’ Encounter them late enough in the night, and they are singing their national anthem in the tube station. After a certain period of time looking around, we managed to find one of them who agreed to tell us more about himself (on the condition that we source him 7 different highly illegal cheeses on the black market).

I love France. It’s warm, diverse, and the food is amazing. But I digress, my name is Mohamad and I’ve been working at Buyometric for the past 2 weeks. Born in the UK from French and Egyptian parents, I moved to France at the age of 9 and spent 10 amazing years there. After spending a year in Sciences Po Lille, I decided that I could be doing much more in London and decided to expatriate myself here. I’m now starting the 2nd year of my Bachelor’s degree and working at Buyometric in parallel. After spending a month applying to different PR agencies, I got a call back from Andy concerning a hands-on marketing & PR position with the opportunity to work in a start-up environment.  Shortly after, we embarked on an hour long discussion around some coffee. I started off the following day and have been having a great experience since then.

In the startup environment, ideas are constantly flying around and you can sense a feeling of life that can be absent in larger organizations. Between project management, pipelining and a consistent rollout of new features and content, every day you go home also carries a sense of accomplishment. The company has already been around for 2 years, you can sense that it is steadily growing with a vision behind it. Here, I manage the Facebook page, write blog articles and press releases, and delve into business stuff from time to time. I also spend considerable amounts of time contemplating our office shrimp thrive in its aquatic microcosm. This time spent meditating enables me to come up with new ideas and focus my mind on the task at hand.  Alternatively, you’ll find me perusing Reddit and on a day I’m feeling brave enough, 4chan to bring you the best of web content. Regularly updating this blog is also on the top of my todo list in order to update you on Buyometric as well as diverse events and issues of interest to you.

I was aware of the daily offers market, but have only just started gaining an insight to its inner workings, and trust me, there’s a lot going on! I’ve had the occasion to study the players of the field and look into how the market functions. Believe me, we are in a very special period for daily deals. In an era bitten by austerity, people love the opportunity to treat themselves and a one day luxury spa break at highly reduced prices is one of the ways to go. I signed up to a few of these discount websites a while back, but started hitting SPAM when they sent me vouchers for leg epilation. Apparently this is a current trend amongst men, but I still believe in the power of bodily hair (although I still can’t grow a decent beard). That’s why I believe in and endorse the tailored offers concept behind Buyometric and also because I hope to leverage my newfound proximity with its co-founders to get a load of stock options if they go public one day.

Anyways, I’ve seen alot of stuff happening since I’ve been here and had the opportunity to participate in it as well. Following our expansion strategy, we’ll be working incredibly hard over the next few months to provide you with the widest selection possible of relevant deals on our website. It’s going to be bigger, better, and more diverse. Buyometric is continually growing, and as it does, so will I.

When I’m not contemplating fish or browsing funny websites under the pretense of ‘’market research,’’ you can contact me on m.elboudi@buyometric.com or on LinkedIn

3 things we wish we could see at the London Fashion Week

Celebrating London Fashion Week

Just when you thought we’d have London back to ourselves, journalists, fashionistas and strangely clad men and women will be invading London from today onwards for London Fashion Week. Since we didn’t get invited to Paul Smith’s supermodel jacuzzi party, we’ve decided to retaliate by launching our new Fashion collection pages, where you can find the web’s best fashion offers for men and women, all in one place. The pages will alert you to online sales for individual brands and department stores as well as premium designer sales from private buying clubs such as Brand Alley, Secret Sales and Cocosa – all offering discounts of up to 80%.

London Fashion Week is taking place in and around Somerset house, which housed the Casa Brasil (and some great dancing) during the Olympics. You can expect a wide variety of events with designers such as Burberry Prorsum, House of Holland or PPQ invading the catwalks. Socials, showrooms, and much more await the lucky attendees. However, there is so much more happening behind closed doors and smoky rooms that we want to know of.

 

  1. An inside view to the designer’s world

 

As we all know, high end fashion is a very creative world sitting under a lot of pressure. Between a designer’s whims, the people stitching creations up, and deadlines having to be met by project managers, you’d think the average decibel level is quite higher than usual. Since we are talking about rather eccentric individuals, why not feature a video at the end of LFW with the most emotional (or loud) moments of the week? Surely the fashion world would seem less cold and soulless with designers screaming and people crying. We want human emotions! Which takes us to…

 

  1. Catwalk fails

 

One of Murphy’s laws dictates that if something can go wrong, it will. In this case, why can’t we see the catwalk fails when a model inevitably trips because 12 inch heels really seemed like they could become THE new trend? What about that model who just lost too much weight and had their trousers fall or the redhead and brunette who work for the same brand but just hate each other and decide to turn the catwalk into a ring? The point being, brands at LFW will not accept failure, yet it is an essential part of the human experience. Why not embrace that and capitalise on it? Dear brands, your Fashion Week bloopers video will definitely go viral compared to that mildly amusing video your marketing department has been pushing on us for ages. Talking about fails…

 

  1. Finally knowing the basics to dating a model

 

Undeniably, we have all pursued a love which unfortunately didn’t turn out the way we wanted. Behind closed doors and at social events, models are meeting other people and some may even find themselves at the start of a relationship. For those of us who won’t be with them, we’d like to know more. How do we stalk them without it being creepy? How do we approach them without looking like a strange man in a car with sweets? (Although that last approach probably doesn’t work on people who are devoted to maintaining their physique). The point is, LFW, can you just give us some advice on what they like and where they hang out so we can approach them and hopefully even converse? Alternatively, an invitation to the next pool party will suffice.

That’s all for today. We’ll be back next Tuesday with more updates and a piece about our newest addition to the team as well as other news. In the mean time, don’t forget to check out our Men’s Fashion and Women’s Fashion collection pages

Bienvenido Francis!

Posted by on 11-09-2012, under About Buyometric

francis

We wanted to start this week off by officially welcoming spaniard Francis to our team. He’s been with us for a month now, ensuring that the back-end of our  website is sleek and smooth. We decided to ask him a few questions so you can get to know the guy who contributes to ensuring you an easy Buyometric experience.

First of all Francis, where are you from?

“I was born and grew up in Andalusia, Spain. 6 months ago, I decided to make the big move to London.”

Europe is a big place, why did you choose London in particular?

“Well, I wanted to work on my English and since the best way to learn is in the country itself, I decided to move to London and get a taste of the British life. I love it here. The reason I chose this city in particular is that it’s so massive and diverse. I know that I can get a huge number of opportunities that I didn’t have access to back home. All in all it’s been working out very well!”

Ok, so can you tell us how you came to work here?

“A while back, I was looking through web announcements for developers and I saw this one which seemed pretty interesting. I had a meeting with Paul and then I just started off!”

Just for our readers, could you tell us a bit more about what you do?

“Well, on a day to day basis, I manage the data and data structures. I also dig into the core of applications to optimise them and keep them running smoothly. I’m also here to help scale the existing architecture and to roll out a new product.”

And just in case you had a doubt, that’s him at the top of this post.

On another note, we’ve been picking up the social media pace at Buyometric and reinvesting Facebook in order to improve our communication with you. As part of this, you’ll see more content published over the next months and, as always, a Deal of the Day bringing you great value and ideas for little luxuries.

Expect Treevia (with our Tree of Knowledge), regular caption contests and more. We also want to get more feedback from what makes you happy in order to improve your experience, so we will be asking you questions about diverse themes. We also want to know you’re getting value from our service, so don’t forget to email us a picture of you enjoying your offer at social@buyometric.com and we’ll be happy to feature it in our blog or on our Facebook page. To finish off today’s blog post, we can’t let you go before publishing the winner of last week’s caption contest:

Caption contest result

Well done Keith and thank you everyone for your entries! Rendez-vous Saturday for the next instalment of our caption contest. In the mean time, don’t forget to enter our Great British Getaway competition. All you have to do is click on the buttons below to enter.

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