George Bousis and Brad Wasz grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and are making the most of their technology, e-commerce, and family backgrounds (Bousis’ cousin was Wasz’s childhood friend), to start CouponTrade.com, a website that promises to solve the problem of unused gift cards and daily coupon deals.
With nearly $22B of gift cards expiring annually in just the US, the potential global market is huge, but establishing a trusted and efficient marketplace comes with its challenges. Located near Ohio and Wells, CouponTrade’s team of developers has been working diligently to make the founders’ vision a reality, and after just a couple months of operation, the company is poised for explosive growth.
“We went live April 30 and have already had over 22,000 unique visitors, with a bounce rate of less than 27%- extremely low compared to most e-commerce sites”, said Wasz, a former trader who got involved in technology in the last decade and sold Dillyeo.com in 2010. “The wide range of deals backed by our 100% guarantee on any gift card or coupon purchased at CouponTrade are showing to be very popular.” Says Bousis, “30% of these cards and coupons go unused, and we provide a marketplace for people to sell- and buy”. Evidencing the need for this kind of service, CouponTrade processed over $50,000 in transactions before any press or affiliate relationships.
The website allows users to upload their gift card or coupon, establish a price, and enter their payment information. The site then verifies the gift card/coupon, makes it available in a searchable marketplace, and transacts the sale. All purchases are 100% guaranteed by CouponTrade.com, and the company is establishing numerous marketing partnerships with major retailers who see the value of CouponTrade’s marketplace. A current sample of offerings includes gift cards from Apple, Target, Macys and Home Depot, and coupons from Groupon and DealFind.
Sizable friend and family seed funds, including $2M from the Bousis family who owns and operates Cermak Fresh Market, a major Chicago grocery chain with 11 stores, have allowed Wasz and Bousis to not only create the backoffice and front end systems that make CouponTrade.com work, but to acquire significant inventory and undertake international expansion. Says Bousis, “we have a plan to be in 10 countries by the end of next year, have already had visitors from 77 countries, and are developing a mobile solution to hook up subscribers to deals for the stores they’re near using wireless location services and our app”. The idea is to make finding and using gift cards and coupons, most of which are electronic and easily transferable, so easy that there’s no reason one should ever expire.
The company is looking to hire and grow from its current staff of 15, primarily in marketing and customer service. For more information visit the company’s website, www.CouponTrade.com.