We recently wrote about 8Coupons and Yipit, which both aggregate Groupon-like deals. Today, Peanut Labs is launching a different twists to the crowdsourced local deal; the startup is allowing users to earn virtual currencies by buying local goods and services at huge discounts, called Cherry Deals.
So when playing a game on Facebook, a user will see the option of earning points for the game is they buy a Groupon-like deal. Cherry Deals uses your IP address to figure out where you are, and then serves up both national and local deals. Once you click on a deal, you can pay with your credit card within Facebook and you will receive the virtual currency in your gaming account. Cherry Deals will also serve as a standalone Facebook app. For now all the deals are U.S. based but Cherry Deals plans to expand to the U.K. and Canada by the end of this year.
The interface looks and feels just like Groupon, except that it is placed within Facebook. Ali Moiz, co-founder of Peanut Labs, says that they “felt no need to reinvent the wheel” in terms of design and the model. And Peanut Labs has already struck a few major deals for games to include the offers. Cherry Deals will be included in Facebook games produced by RockYou and TheBroth.
Cherry Deals is a solid idea because of a few reasons. First, the Groupon-model allows for higher margins than simply referring customers to retailers. Second, game publishers and developers already have a base of users that will be viewing the deals, so Peanut Labs doesn’t have to worry about recruiting traffc to its deals. That being said, we’ve seen the popularity of the collective buying deals on the web so it should be interesting to see how Cherry Deals performs with consumers on Facebook.