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Saving money with group buys

I recently came across an interesting post in a discussion forum for new home owners. It could have saved me $900 if I had seen it earlier.
The writer of the post wanted to buy a central vacuum and was inviting others to join him in a group buy he had proposed with a store owner in order to get a discount price ona volume purchase. As you can see (post copied below), the participants will save quite a bit: if ten persons buy as a group, they will pay $600 each for their central vacuums — as opposed to $1050 at the regular price, or $788 at the sale price.
If someone had just walked in to the shop without doing any research and paid the regular price of $1050, they gave up $450. Actually, its worse than that: if you are the average Canadian paying nearly half your income in taxes of various sorts, you would have thrown away $900 of your paycheck. That’s not what I did, but I am looking for a central vac and could have saved that amount if I had seen the group buy before it was filled up.
Going through certain discussion forums like Building Homes, Red Flag Deals, etc. you can see a pickup in recent month of posts inviting discussants to participate in a group buy. It looks like this group buying thing is starting to catch on as a great way to save money.
In addition, there are a number of websites specifically aimed at organizing group buys for consumers. One of the leaders is Groupon. Here are some links to articles on the phenomenon.
CNN Globe and Mail 1 Globe and Mail 2
Appendix: Post from Building Home discussion forum:
Senior Member: mom2philip
Subject: Central Vacuum Group Buy
Here are the details of the group buy for the central vac. Please PM me if you are interested and I’ll give you the details on registering:
Suggested retail: $1050.00; Sale price: $788.00 Group pricing: 7 persons $ 649.00, 10 + persons $600.00
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