It seems like everyone’s getting into the bulk food business these days.

Groupon announced today that it’s launching Groupon Basics, a service that allows customers to order certain household essentials in “warehouse sizes” and have those items delivered. At launch, interested consumers can select from a catalog of 108 items, including bars of Dove soap and bottles of Aveeno moisturizer.

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 9.39.56 AMBasics, which is an extension of Groupon’s Goods retail site, is similar to Amazon’s Prime Pantry service, which the Seattle-based retailer launched last week. The major difference between the two offerings is size and selection: Amazon has many more items available in smaller quantities for people who don’t necessarily want to buy 12 sticks of deodorant or 24 bars of soap.

Groupon does plan to increase its selection, though, saying that it will “add to its assortment of household, personal care and health and wellness items as well as expand into grocery.”

Like Prime Pantry, Groupon Basics is only available in the continental United States. Unlike Amazon’s service, Groupon offers free shipping on orders worth $25 or more. To entice people to try the new service, Groupon is offering to give people a 5 percent of their order back in Groupon Bucks, which they can then use to buy more products through the site.

If Prime Pantry and Basics catch on, it could be a significant threat to bulk retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club, which require shoppers pay an annual fee in order to pick up warehouse goods at bargain prices. Just because of their sheer size, warehouse stores aren’t available in every neighborhood. That means these services could be a major competitor for people who find a drive to Costco hard to justify.

Chicago-based Groupon operates a large engineering and development office in Seattle — perhaps a good beachhead to poach employees from Costco and Amazon.

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  • David Alves

    This is a great offer which was moved from deal to bulk purchase. Groupon promising This might helpful to save money for bulk purchase.

  • Brodie Yastrum

    Thanks for the writeup Blair. I’m a Seattle native, now living in San Diego, and love GeekWire! But I’m frustrated with Groupon…

    I’ve shared this same comment elsewhere. Groupon is plain lying to consumers. As the founder of Toilet Paper And (, the first ever value comparison engine for household and personal essentials, that seriously frustrates me.

    Check out this deodorant offer from Groupon Basics:

    There are three options. Let’s check out the Cool Rush option. The Groupon price is $6.99 for a total of 6.8 ounces (4 1.7-ounce sticks). That’s $1.03/ounce. Groupon claims the value is $24 ($3.52/ounce).

    What does it cost elsewhere? It took me all of 7 seconds on to find that offers the same deodorant for $0.74/ounce ( THAT’S 27% LESS THAN GROUPON. How about Another 7 seconds on to find that is also $0.74/ounce (

    Are the and products exactly the same as the Groupon option (4 1.7-ounce sticks)? No, they’re a smaller quantity (2 2.7-ounce sticks). It’s irrelevant: value is what matters what it comes to your essentials, not price.

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