Local women launch coupon site for moms
Mindful that the economic decline has pinched a lot of family budgets, the pair has negotiated deals with local businesses and launched an online coupon service that targets mothers and other women.
The partners say their new website -- www.couposh.com -- offers members 50 percent to 85 percent off retail prices for an array of goods and services that families and women would use.
"We're hoping this becomes the go-to mom site for discounts, where everyone knows they will get the best deals," said Negrin, of Westport.
The mom-entrepreneurs put up about $40,000 to launch the business, using six sales consultants to help earmark products and an IT firm for technical help.
The site works like this:
Using a credit card, a Couposh member places an order for goods or a service at a fixed, discounted price. But members collectively must place a certain, minimum number of orders before the deal actually is available.
The orders' threshold is shown with each deal, and when it is reached, those who placed orders get email that the deal is "a go." At that point, a member can print out the coupon and go to the participating store to pick up the goods.
Each deal has a time limit, and the website ticks down the numbers of days, hours, minutes and seconds left to buy. Credit cards are not charged until the threshold for orders has been met.
Farifield-based sales consultant Randi Lehrman called Couposh a "win-win" for both consumers and participating merchants.
"Women make most of the decisions on what to purchase," said Lehrman. "They're educated and looking for deals, especially with the economy the way that it is, and the business gets their name out to a lot of people."
Negrin said she and Nebens, who lives in Weston, read a Business Week article about the success of a similar deal site, Groupon, and decided to create their own discount service marketed directly to mothers.
The deals need to be distinctive, not duplicating common offers, Negrin said.
"Their needs to be ... a pizza coupon, but it needs to be for 20 kids that are coming in for a pizza party," Negrin said, not the more typical $1 off any medium pizza.
Negrin and Nebens launched their site with coupons from 22 merchants in Westport, Weston and Fairfield. Current deals include: $15 for $30 worth of merchandise at the party goods store Party Harty; $150 for a one-night stay at the Inn on Longshore and dinner at Splash restaurant, valued at $350; and $90 for three blowouts at Phillip Bruce Salon.
Couposh splits the discounted price with the merchant.
The self-proclaimed "lifestyle experts" will draw on readers of their blog -- Poshmom.com -- which inspired a 2007 book, "Living the Posh Mom Life."
The blog, launched on Mother's Day in 2006, has gained almost 97,000 subscribers and the pair expects similar success with their new venture.
Couposh users can achieve further savings through the site's refer-a-friend program. For each referral who becomes a member, the referring member get $10 toward future purchases.
When users reach $100 in "Couposh Bucks," they can redeem them for cash.
"The merchants are understanding that retail prices are not always going to get them the customer base and the kind of customers they want," said Nebens. "This is a nice way to reach a good amount of people."
Planning to expand to markets in New York City, South Florida, and Montgomery County, Md., the moms have enlisted consultants to reach local businesses for participation in Couposh.