I came across a website last week called LynxSquare.com, the site rewards consumers for co-operative purchasing so I was instantly intrigued. The site offers products like books, dvds, cds, video games, and soon they will hook you up with college textbooks (long overdue if you ask me).
This is where it gets interesting. You find a product you are interested in and then with the help of Facebook/Twitter integration, you can share the offer with your friends. Basically asking them if they want to get in on the deal with you and split the cost. After the product arrives though it is more of an honor system to get the video game from a friend after he is finished with it.
In terms of video games, I have a major concern with the site. First of all companies like EA and Ubisoft are working hard at combating used game sales, which I don’t blame them, as they don’t make money when people pick up a used copy of a game. Second the measures EA is taking to combat these sales will leave purchasers of the game buying an online pass if they plan on playing games like Madden or FIFA online ($10). Third I love the video game industry and support non-intrusive but successful ways to combat used game sales.
This isn’t to say that people still couldn’t take advantage of this website for this reason, but luckily they also offer a system that rewards co-operative purchasing in the way that I definitely prefer. I am talking about bulk purchasing of the same title, Steam has started doing this, where friends band together to buy the same game to play together. So players are given a slight discount if they all plan on picking up the newest shooting game together or things of that nature. Everybody wins in that situation and it is a much welcomed innovation to the video game industry.
When I talked to them about this system they told me this:
If multiple items are being purchased by friends to play simultaneously then they will provide coupons in real time to bring the cost down of the item. However, they do promote cross purchases of different video games because customers will get more value for their buck by swapping the game with each other. In addition they also have reward points which accumulate in customers account and redeemed when value of $50.00 is reached.
I still feel like this site and idea is very young but there is a lot of room for innovation and success. I remember when Glyde.com was first started and I thought that was pretty great and still use it from time to time. So keep your eyes on this site because it won’t take long before companies like Microsoft start noticing and perhaps even they will start offering co-operative purchasing discounts.