These 2 New Sites Make Asking For A Handout Way Less Awkward

A snapshot of Friendgift.

[credit provider=”FriendPay” url=””]

Thanks to a new breed of group spending sites, there’s a way to ask for help with big purchases without any awkward conversations.By giving users tools to pool contributions from friends and family, Friendgift and Groupit help consumers purchase just about anything they’d otherwise have trouble affording. 

“It’s a classic win-win situation,” says Rob Carpenter, Friendgift CEO. “FriendPay gives shoppers the opportunity to obtain the consumer products they really want, but either can’t afford or can’t make a top spending priority.”

And with spring wedding season barreling toward us already, this could be a boon for guests who can’t afford to splurge on some of the big ticket items in the couple’s Bed, Bath & Beyond registry. 

Groupit functions a lot like donation sites popularised by charities as a way of seeking donations via social media.

You tell the site which product you’re looking to raise funds for, then invite your friends to visit your user page to donate. Once you’ve reached your goal, the site deposits the amount into your WePay or PayPal account. You’ll pay an extra 2 to 4 per cent for processing. 

“Because all contributions go directly to your PayPal or WePay account, you can access and use them at any time,” the site says. “No more cashing checks, keeping track of cash or tracking down people that owe you money.” 

A snapshot of Groupit.

[credit provider=”Groupit” url=””]

FriendPay functions more like an online marketplace. You shop from the more than 10 million products on its site, including electronics, video games, clothing and movies, and then put out a call on Facebook, Twitter or e-mail to solicit contributions.

Everyone has to be a FriendPay member to participate, and in return, those who put money toward your purchase receive rewards and discounts for other products and services. 

“It’s a social media version of ‘pay it forward’ that solves a major dilemma for both the consumer and the merchant,” Carpenter says.

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