Every day thousands of people search Google for voucher codes, deals and discounts. You know what you want to buy, but being a little savvy, you do a quick search to see if you can save some money.
Those sites are usually big, corporate companies with huge budgets for marketing. They take a little bit of commission for every voucher code you use.
But there’s a new community site that’s recently launched. One that is run by real people sharing genuine deals. It works more like a forum and anyone can get involved (and get rewarded).
I spoke with Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk to find out more.
What is LatestDeals.co.uk and how does it help people?
LatestDeals.co.uk is a new community of bargain hunters. People find and post the UK’s best deals, freebies and competitions. It’s a place where if you’re mad for a good deal – like me – you can post it, talk about it, and get some love for it!
I’d say it helps by saving you money. If you’re looking for the top 100 toys this christmas, nappies for your new born, discounts on your groceries, members of LatestDeals post the best deals all day long. And because it’s real people rather than brands posting, you can trust it.
What are people finding the most useful and has anything surprised you?
The most surprising thing has been how fast the site has grown. In one month we’ve gone from zero to 10,000 users per day (300,000 per month). That’s 10,000 people coming every day and saving money.
But, what’s surprised me more is what we see behind-the-scenes. As I wrote in The Huffington Post, I get a glimpse of Unseen Britain. You would think most people are interested in toys, clothes and technology – you know, TVs, laptops and the like. It’s not like that at all.
If you were sitting by my desk right now, I could show you exactly what people are clicking on this very moment. What you’d see is something quite startling.
The deals and discounts most bought – not the most popular, not the most discussed, but the most bought – are the very basics. Food, groceries, household goods. People in Britain are struggling. The things that we’re meant to be OK for, bread, pasta, vegetables… these are the things people are actually buying deals for.
I call it Unseen Britain because no one talks about it. Worse, no one sees it. Only when you sit with me at my desk do you see the numbers. It worries me, but I’m happy that our community is doing something about it.
You quit your job to do the website, what have you learnt that others could use?
Yes, I used to be a suit tailor! Dropping the tape measure and picking up a keyboard has been a big change. If you want to quit your job but are scared about it, don’t be. Today is the day that you can do it. Just like yesterday was, and the day before yesterday.
I first came across Thinking Thrifty when I read David’s brilliant post: Why You Are Failing To Save. He makes the point that has stuck with me ever since – you’re making excuses. This is the biggest thing holding most people back. Excuses.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you do. You could stay where you are. You could quit and do your own thing. You could change job. You could do nothing. It doesn’t really matter – we all end up in the same place. Equally, your excuses don’t matter. Your worry, your anxiety, your fear; they aren’t natural. They’re created not by you, but by the people and the ideas around you. Your excuses are not true.
But I’m not an idiot. I know you can’t just drop your baby or your job and run off into the forest. It took me a year of planning and saving. I had to find a team and invest a lot of time building a support network and learning new skills.
It can be done. You can do it. Just take one single step.
What has been the hardest moment in growing the business?
Balancing all aspects of the business consistently, day after day.
The idea is simple: help people save money. Find and share the UK’s top deals and everything else will fall into place. I spend all day doing this, on our website, Facebook, Twitter and a daily newsletter. Behind the scenes we’re negotiating with over 14,000 international brands, dealing with hackers and spammers, building a community and trying to keep everyone happy.
I’m incredibly lucky to have a brilliant team all working together towards the same goal, but yes, balancing everything every day is hard.
How can others get involved in the community, is there a way for others to make money?
We reward our top contributors. My long-term goal is to make LatestDeals.co.uk a co-operative, where everyone who participates can make some money. It’s only fair: if you share a deal and help someone else, you should get the reward (not some off-shore tax haven in the Seychelles).
If you’re interested in finding and sharing deals, you can join LatestDeals.co.uk for free, submit your deal and if you become a consistent, active contributor then it’s likely I’ll reach out to you and invite you to be a partner. That means you can make money from what you can share. It’s the fairer, more inclusive deal community.
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