A sale sign
A sale sign - 
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Kai Ryssdal: Even if you've never bought a cut-rate yoga class on Groupon, or a half-price cashmere sweater on Gilt, you still might have heard of the phenomenon -- what are called daily deal websites. Their promotions may have popped up in your inbox. Half-price off or whatever, but only 'today.' Best guesses are purchases made from daily deal sites could top a billion dollars this year.

So of course, retailers of all stripes are getting in on the daily action directly, trying to cut out the middleman.

Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports.

Jennifer Collins: Is your inbox starting to get a little full? Cole Haan's got a one-day deal on handbags -- 25 percent off for 24 hours. Expedia's got a 12-hour "screamin" sale on hotel rooms in Puerto Vallarta.

It's as if all of retail suddenly discovered the flash sale. Kevin Sterneckert is with Gartner.

Kevin Sterneckert: Everyone seems to be attempting to jump on the crest of the wave of Groupon.

Groupon got huge offering cut-rate deals at places like restaurants and boutiques -- and taking a cut. Craig Elston of the marketing agency Integer Group says retailers see all those sales and figure they can cut out the middleman.

Craig Elston: I can't believe there are many retailers who aren't taking notice and aren't looking at this.

There's also the image thing. Analyst Jennifer Black says some high-end brands don't want their daily deals to follow the ones from the local body shop.

Jennifer Black: I've heard that from a number of retailers that like tried it once and they said, we feel like this isn't the best thing for our brand.

But, she says, offering sales direct to your inbox allows retailers to preserve their brand and study the way you buy.

Oh, Victoria's Secret's got a deal for me. Got to go. I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.