Rather than focusing on a large demographic a new Groupon-type buying site has decided to hone in one community merchants and local shoppers. LivingSmithtown.com is a new site which combines local deals and bargins along with giving back to charity. LivingSmithtown.com has partnered with local schools, churches, charitable organizations, soccer, lacrosse and little leagues. The deal site supports these organizations by donating $1 for every purchase over $10 on their site.
According to a recent report by Patch, site owner Charles Baratta launched the same idea in Huntington about two years ago and said things are going well there.
“It’s a Groupon model, which is a great concept, but I thought it would be even better if it were on a local level,” said Baratta. “You get the value and you get to keep it within the community as opposed to Groupon, which spreads it out all over.”
Currently Baratta’s daily deal site covers the towns of Smithtown, Kings Park, Port Jefferson, Hauppauge, St. James, Nesconset, Lake Grove, Commack and Stony Brook, which are all located in New York – near NYC. A deal is offered daily and sent via email to those who are signed up for the site.
What sets this site apart is that there are zero upfront costs to the merchant – but the requirement is that they have to provide a deal that offers their current and future customers a bargain of 50 percent or more. LivingSmithtown.com acquires merchants through their sales representatives, who works with businesses to set up the deal and arrange for pictures or videos of the merchants offer to be set up on the site. Usually, local deals are featured for a day or so.
One of the site’s most popular deals was with Figari’s Wine and Liquors who offered customers $50 worth of wine for $25. Before the deal is completed, customers pick a charity from a drop down box and a dollar is donated for each deal. The Smithtown Booster Club, Smithtown Guide Dog Foundation and ReesSpecht Life are among some of the charities to pick from.
Baratta said he is always looking for charities to partner up with and is what he finds most rewarding about the site.
“We’ve given back $19,500 since we have started. It’s a win-win for everyone.”