Home Scoop St: From Flash Mobs to Group Shopping Discounts

Scoop St: From Flash Mobs to Group Shopping Discounts

Georgetown roommates David Ambrose and Justin Tsang never thought their time spent together in the dorms would amount to a joint business. The two recently launched Scoop St. – a group buying discount site for local deals on restaurants, spa packages, sporting events and concerts. Similar to other shopping sites like Woot and GIlt, users have a limited time to purchase. However, with Scoop St. and competitor Groupon, a minimum number of users must sign up for an offer by the end of the day. When the minimum is met, your credit card is charged, but if no one else signs up for the deal, then you aren’t charged a penny.

What’s the advantage to this sort of discount? Scoop St.’s inaugural deal was half off tickets to your choice of 4 Knicks games. For $29 you and your friends can rush the online discount ticket box and buy up a block of seats together. Think about all those nights you might have spent at home scouring Netflix for those lost episodes of The Office. Scoop St. may just be your ticket to a New York social life.

The idea for Scoop St. and group buying is by no means new. As a car fanatic Ambrose engaged in group buying activities via forums for discount car parts. Meanwhile, Tsang’s experience is grounded in tuángòu – the Chinese practice of flash mob-style shopping. As a teen in the early nineties, Tsang would organize online and arrive at a store with a large group of strangers to bargain for group discounts. Widely used on items like appliances and electronics, tuángòu participants often find forums like 020.teambuy and strategize on their haggling ahead of time.

Says Ambrose, “It makes sense that this tradition of group buying is becoming popular in the US during a down economy. We see ourselves as being a great tool for local businesses to acquire new customers and New Yorkers to get fantastic deals.”

While the duo’s deals are currently only based in New York, they plan on expanding to additional locations in the near future. As for the future of group buying in general, Ambrose suggests that the offline phenomenon of tuángòu may emerge outside of Asia as geolocational apps find new use cases. The Scoop St. team plans on exploring mobile options in the coming year. To try out the service visit Scoopst.com or follow the deals via the Scoop St. Twitter account.

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