8coupons.com offers eight-cent deals in city
Co-founders of 8coupons.com, Landy Ung, left, and Wan-Hsi Yuan, attend their company's promotion at Wicked Willy's last week. (Photo: Emily Ann Epstein)
Jordan Fisher waited patiently in line about 20 deep to show the bartender his coupon for a pair of frosty eight-cent Miller beers.
When it was his turn, he reached into his pocket, but didnt pull out a crumpled paper voucher. He presented his cell phone and redeemed his beers for pennies.
Fishers coupon was texted to him by New York-based 8coupons.com.
Its cheap alcohol, Fisher said at the promotion for the beers at Wicked Willys on Bleecker Street last Friday. How can you go wrong?
The deal was part of 8coupons.coms Ocho Loco offer Spanish for crazy eight. The startup Internet company is celebrating its year anniversary this month with weekly specials, including eight-cent hot dogs, latkes or matzo ball soup at Friedmans Deli in Chelsea Market next Tuesday.Landy Ung, 29, co-founded the site with her boyfriend, Wan Hsi Yuan, in August 2007. It is for New York businesses, but the couple plans 8coupons.com sites for Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and possibly Boston in the second quarter of 2009, Ung said.
The site just works so well because theres nothing for people to download or print, she said. Its just texting.
The coupons are texted to customers who visit the Web site and request them.
The site has been growing steadily since its launch, doubling its user base nearly every month.
According to Ung, 8coupons.com boasted 60,000 unique users in July, up from 30,000 users in June, which in turn was up from around 20,000 in May. Ung wouldnt discuss how much money her company has generated, but by the looks of things shes doing well: She quit her day job and the company has moved from her home to a Midtown office.
Merchants pay a $265 monthly subscription fee to put promotions online. They can either post their own coupons or they can join forces with 8coupons.com for Ocho Loco deals, which are not always as low as eight cents but some promotion with eight in the price.
Its good advertisement for the place and it brings in a lot more business, said Rudy Farran, owner of Snacklicious Cinderella Falafel, which will serve eight-cent falafels and hold a falafel-eating contest at its East Village shop on Aug. 31. Nearly 800 people showed up in a two-hour span when Farran partnered with 8coupons on a similar event last year.
Ung knows that many folks are suspicious of texting, fearing that theyll be spammed nonstop once they give out their numbers. She assures them, however, that is not the case with 8coupons.
We dont spam, she said. All we do is send the text out that one time.
(Leah Hochbaum Rosner)