I never really understood the craze surrounding Groupon, LivingSocial, and all the copycats that followed. It all just seemed like way too much effort on both the business and consumer sides.

Yet I do understand that people like coupons, and that they want to get and use them with as little effort as possible. Enter Sidepon, a new service that makes it “super easy to try out coupon codes,” according to its own slogan.

The creator goes further to explain where his inspiration came from:

I have love-hate relationship with RetailMeNot.com and other leading coupon code websites. Those websites help save me money, but their user interfaces are terrible! Having me click back-and-forth multiple “Tabs” and “Windows” between RetailMeNot.com and my shopping websites to try out coupon codes forced me to buy another monitor in 2010. I would have one screen with RetailMeNot.com opened, and another screen having the website that I am shopping at, just because of their poor UI.

Sidepon is really just a coupon sidebar on the left-hand side of your main browser page. On the right, you can have any retail Web site that has coupons provided by the service. I tried a few out, and was pleased at how well Sidepon worked.

best buy sidepon 730x304 Forget about Groupon, LivingSocial, and all that: Sidepon lets you try out coupon codes on the fly

Sidepon is still a very new service. Currently it just lists coupons, lets you copy their codes, as well as rate and comment on them. In the future, the sidebar will also show all visitors shopping online at a particular retail site, and allow you to discuss deals with your peers in real-time.

Personally, I just want to see more legitimate coupons, as of course many didn’t work (that’s what the rating system is for). International support would also be nice (Future Shop, which is an alternative to Best Buy in Canada, wasn’t listed for example).

Both of these should come naturally as more users try out Sidepon. Hopefully it catches on as I’m tired of having to use forums like Red Flag Deals.

Image credit: Gerla Brakkee