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Daily deal reseller CouponTrade gets funding

The company gets support from Listen, LLC for its marketplace for unwanted deals and gift cards

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
October 6, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1fef

 

There is no shortage of daily deal sites out there.  Every once in a while, you come across one with a unique niche angle—like mom deals, green deals, gay deals, and so on.  But for the most part it’s usually the same old tired business model.  For a relatively fresh new take on daily deals, however, you could go check out a daily deal trade site and buy other people’s unwanted deals for (usually) a lower price.  One such company, CouponTrade.com, which also offers an online marketplace for gift cards, announced Thursday that it has secured a round of funding from Listen, LLC, bringing its total raised to $2.4 million.

The company declined to disclose how much Listen, LLC invested.

CouponTrade.com launched earlier this year to provide an outlet for those suffering from buyer’s remorse (for everyone who’s ever bought a Groupon $15 for $30 worth of Thai food when they don’t like Thai food) as well as a place where people can pawn off unwanted gift cards. 

“What drew me to CouponTrade is their holistic approach to savings.  Many of the other companies are focused on one aspect of the industry coupons, daily deals or gift cards,” Jeff Cantalupo of Listen, LLC tells me.  “We live in a world where people are in control.  Brands that embrace that fact will win.”

Indeed, CouponTrade is the only daily deal reseller that also offers a marketplace for buying and selling gift cards.

Interestingly, though, while the gift cards come at a discount (i.e. pay $45 for a $50 gift card to the California Pizza Kitchen), the daily deals do not.  For example, one Groupon deal being resold on CouponTrade offers $44 for $89 worth of eco-friendly house cleaning from the Greenforce Clean Team in San Francisco, but the original deal that Groupon offered was for $40 for $89 worth of cleaning.

The same holds true for another Groupon being resold on CouponTrade for $28.50 for $50 worth of services at the Nail Shop in Oakland, while the original deal sold for $25.

Meanwhile, services like DealsGoRound and CoupRecoup resell daily deals for the same price or less than the original price.

But how will all of these daily deal resellers fare if Groupon and LivingSocial are impacted by the CARD Act? 

“The problem with Groupon and LivingSocial is that they are trying to get around it by saying that their promotions are not gift cards, they are vouchers, which are used for promos,” CEO George Bousis tells me.  “However, CouponTrade has nothing to do with this because we are a gift card company, and everything will be an e-gift card and the deals that we will be creating with these businesses will not expire.”

True, with its gift card leg, CouponTrade could easily keep on trucking if Groupon, LivingSocial, and other daily deal sites were suddenly ordered to stop selling daily deals, since there’s some fuzziness on whether or not it’s legal to sell gift certificates with expiration dates.

CouponTrade has over 14,000 users and has processed more than 5,600 orders to date.  Just 14 weeks after launching, CouponTrade earned over $455K in revenue.


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