If you love to shop and love a great deal even more, you’re no stranger to buying sites such as LivingSocial and Groupon . And, if that’s the case, you’re probably hitting delete more often than you’d like because, let’s face it, not even a month of unlimited karate classes at 70 percent off is worth driving up to Santa Monica on the 405 Freeway.
Rancho Palos Verdes mom and confessed bargain shopper Vicki Croucier feels your frustration. She recently launched Local Deals for Moms, a group-buying site that not only offers geographically desirable deals for South Bay moms, but also gives local businesses a big push.
“There are so many great businesses on the Hill and in the South Bay,” Croucier says. “I like to think that I can help the smaller companies here.”
Since the April launch, Croucier has offered everything from fitness at Coreology to food at Pedone’s Pizzeria for at least 50 percent off.
“We don’t like to accept any deals that are less than 50 percent because they don’t sell,” Croucier says. “With all the other discount companies, people are numb to anything else.”
Mom-tested and approved
While her discounts are equal to those of her national counterparts, Croucier says what sets her site apart from the rest is the focus on mom-tested and approved local businesses.
Croucier and a handful of select moms test every deal before they put it on the site.
“It’s important to me that [their services] are good,” Croucier says. “I won’t take deals from anybody. I’m more concerned about my reputation, so I’ve had to turn some [DEALS]down.
“Most of the time, I go to the businesses that I love for the deals,” Croucier continues. “I figure if I love it, other moms will, too.”
Unlike most group-buying sites, Croucier doesn’t cap the number of deals available to potential buyers.
“I don’t do minimums because I feel that if you want the deal, you should be able to get them,” Croucier says. “We are a small business, so we aren’t going to overwhelm the stores with 10,000 customers.”
For the most part, local businesses have hopped on board with Local Deals for Moms. They see the potential for exposure, and more importantly, a way to get permanent customers.
“I’ve placed deals with several other national sites, but got the best results with Vicki,” says Sarah Martz, owner of Coreology Fitness in Rolling Hills Estates. “About 25 to 30 people have signed up, and out of those who have used the deal, about three out of four have come back.”
“Because we are local, the businesses are getting high quality customers from us,” Croucier says. “When you put a deal out with a company that has a wide database, you know you’re going to get customers who are not coming back. They’ll just go off to the next deal and that’s not benefiting the business.”
Martz also appreciates the fact that Croucier cares about her community.
“I felt a little uncomfortable working with the larger sites,” Martz says. “I really like the fact that Vicki came in herself and checked us out. It’s also important to me that she wants to support local businesses.”
Croucier, who earns a commission from each purchased deal, came up with the idea for her Local Deals for Moms after she was laid off from her marketing job and wanted an opportunity where she could spend more time with her 3-year-old son, Ryan.
With Local Deals for Moms, she now has a job that is flexible, feeds her shop alcoholic tendencies and is also fun. On her to-do list: find a good mani-pedi salon and get them on her site.
We wish Her and he site Good Luck and many happy visitors!