CollegeBudget officially launched this week after several months in private beta testing and promises to partner with merchants around the country to offer deals of 50% to 90% off solely for students. As with social networks like Facebook in its early stage, only those with a college email address (ending in .edu) will be able to sign up for the site.
While the site caters to college students, don’t expect it to help too much in finding cheap back-to-school essentials, at least not yet. So far, CollegeBudget has posted deals for bags, posters and DJ headphones, each of which are from websites that ship nationally rather than city specific bricks-and-mortar stores. Needless to say, these are all popular dorm room items, but most of these deals won’t do much good when it comes time to buy textbooks and binders.
Other than the exclusivity factor, the layout and format of CollegeBudget is very similar to other daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Everyday users can check the site to find a centerpiece deal along with several other side deals, with each displaying the number of deals that have gone through and the number of offers still available.
In fact, if you took the word “college” out of the website’s name, it might be difficult to discern how CollegeBudget’s demographic is any different than most general deal sites. The promotions offered here for gourmet chocolate, iPhone cases and lingerie could just as easily be offered on Groupon and indeed some, like the chocolate deal from Chocbite, already have been.
For more great online bargains, check out MainStreet’s roundup of the best daily deal sites.