The founders of a new discount deals site are calling out the industry for lack of transparency as they launch in the Tasman District and Nelson.
Everyone loves a good discount but the team behind Deal Champ knows businesses are hurting, trying to keep afloat and keep staff employed.
That’s why they’ve come up with a new concept in online deals that’s touted as a ‘win-win’ for vendors and buyers, acknowledging that Deal Champ’s “on a mission” to disrupt the industry with longevity and sustainability at the forefront.
Co-founder and Business Development Manager Chris Bradley says in the build-up to Covid the deals industry had been “completely broken and out of control”.
“We all love a great deal but not if it forces businesses into a position where costs and commission rates keep going up, yields go down and people lose jobs,” he says.
“The old deals model of booking and payment systems rapidly unravelled as Covid took hold and there were some spectacular fallouts.”
So the Deal Champ model is very different from other deal and online booking sites, where the ‘deal’ the customer sees doesn’t deliver all those much-needed dollars into the operator’s pocket.
“Deal Champ is user-friendly, no contract, no commission and no bullshit,” says Chris.
The brand new business model was hammered out in a late-night brainstorm, fuelled by Covid-19 and a bottle of whisky.
Tasman businesses have been quick to get on board from tourism activities to lawyers and beauty salons and much more.
Deal Champ is the brainchild of the four founders of Queenstown-based Everything Travel Group (ETG) and experienced deals industry guru, Chris.
Nigel Hobbs, Matt Morgan, Callum Goodall and Kris Barrs of ETG had been running the online travel and tourism agency for nearly two decades, watching cracks slowly appear in the deals industry.
Like all good ‘lightbulb moment’ ideas the premise is simple – unlike other models, Deal Champ doesn’t take any commission or fees from vendors. Instead, customers pick their deal and pay 10% of their savings to Deal Champ, thereby ‘accessing’ the deal.
From that moment on, the transaction is between the customer and vendor only, meaning there’s no middleman, no holding payments and no hidden costs. Customers are sent an e-voucher to use to pay the vendor directly.
“We’ve set the bar high right from the get-go as we’re aiming to be the biggest and fairest deals site by Christmas, supporting local all the way,” says Chris.
The site will span across six different industries including experiences (encompassing tourism), accommodation, wellness, dining, retail and services.
Mark Burnaby, Managing Director of Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles, was thrilled to be on board with Deal Champ.
“We love the business model, it’s great that we can offer special promotions to New Zealanders that’s also affordable for our business and gives us some extra exposure online,” says Mark.
“There was definitely a need for Deal Champ, the commissions that have previously been paid on top of a discounted product is not ideal. This business model certainly fits us and it’s solving a problem for sellers and buyers.”
Stacey Annett, owner of The Beauty Lounge Beauty Clinic Nelson, echoed this sentiment.
“We really needed a good, honest deals sight. A lot of people use them as customers, including myself, and it’s good to know this is fair to everyone involved.”
Deal Champ’s Chris is adamant the deals industry needs to work with, not against vendors.
“In a really tough time in business life right now we need to work together to reset the industry and make it transparent so vendors can afford to keep staff employed and yields up.”
Deal Champ also has the investor support of hugely successful tech-hospitality startup First Table, founded by Queenstown’s Mat Weir.
Future developments will enable First Table restaurant listings to be purchased through Deal Champ, making the site New Zealand’s biggest deals platform.
Deal Champ has already launched in Queenstown and Christchurch over the past month and will roll out in different areas throughout New Zealand over the coming months.
Check out the new site here: www.dealchamp.co.nz