Web designer Ian Keslassy said he’s more than willing to do the dirty work for anyone looking for great deals.
All you have to do is provide your e-mail address, your preferences and interests, and the distance you’re willing to travel for a deal, and he will filter through countless daily deal sites to find the promotions that interest you.
“There are… only 24 hours in a day,” Keslassy wrote on his daily deal website, called Dealfart. “If you want to search all day, go ahead, but remember you need time to sleep, eat and enjoy life. We do the dirty work for you.”
Keslassy, a 34-year-old father of two, knows first-hand the benefit of taking advantage of limited-time, money-saving deals on anything from vacations and gym memberships to restaurants and car detailing.
With the emergence of group buying sites, an online phenomenon that allows local businesses to offer vouchers and discounts on their services based on an increased demand, daily deal sites across North America have been popping up in the hundreds.
Keslassy, owner of a web design company called Extanet, said a conversation he had with his wife’s cousin led to a new side project that he hopes will de-clutter e-mail inboxes across the continent.
“We realized that there were hundreds of deal sites out there, and there wasn't a way to properly filter through them to receive the ones a user wants. Once we realized that users could benefit from such a filtering mechanism, we created Dealfart to address their needs,” Keslassy said.
OK, but what’s with the name?
“We wanted to go with something people would remember. Something that might pique their curiosity… We figured that if it’s going to work, we need to chose something that people would remember,” he said with a laugh.
If you can get past the name and the icon prominently displayed on the homepage of the website – it’s a cute, little monkey, who is, ahem, passing gas – Dealfart can go a long way in keeping endless e-mails from competing deal sites out of your inbox.
His site “crawls” other daily deal sites and sends you notices about promotions you’d be interested in based on the preferences you chose.
“You go onto our site and chose your preferences. If you only want deals on hair salons or spas, you can choose that category, and you’ll only get deals based on what you choose,” he explained.
“We’ll only send you deals based on the distance you’re willing to travel. So if you don’t want to go beyond 40 kilometres, we won’t send you deals at locations farther than 40 kilometres from where you live. We bring together all the different deal sites to one place and shoot you off one daily e-mail.”
Keslassy said that in the few months since he began building the site, he has become affiliated with Toronto-based group buying sites including FabFind, DealTicker and Dealfind, and more than 30 other sites from all over North America.
He said the group buying sites provide Dealfart with unique links to the deals that they feature on their sites.
Once users decide to purchase a promotion, they are redirected to the original deal site where the coupon was first featured.
Keslassy said his site is more user friendly, because it prevents you from having to sign up to countless other sites.
“Potentially, in the morning, you could have 50, 60 e-mails from the different sites. We bring it in to one e-mail.”
He said he’s developed a sophisticated system because each of his subscribers receives customized e-mails, rather than mass e-mails that list deals a subscriber may have no interest in.
As an observant Jew, Keslassy said he wanted to offer his Jewish subscribers an option to sign up for preferences that aren’t offered on other local sites.
“You can sign up for kosher restaurant and Jewish shopping deals,” he said.
“I’m just trying to be as versatile as possible and give the users the option to chose the things that cater to their lifestyle.”
Keslassy also volunteers his design talents to build websites pro bono for Jewish non-profit organizations, such as Peace of Mind, an Israeli-based program with a Toronto chapter that works with discharged Israeli soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological trauma.
Keslassy’s company was also commissioned to build websites for Toronto-area Jewish institutions including Kollel Yismach Moshe: The Sephardic Outreach Centre, Ohr Haemet Sephardic School, and Petah Tikva Anshe Castilla Congregation.
But in the midst of running his company, Keslassy is eagerly working to package Dealfart as a refreshing take on an online phenomenon.
“For every deal site that succeeds, about 15 close down,” he estimated.
Dealfart just went live last month, but the site has already acquired more than 150 subscribers.
“We’re just working on trying to perfect our site now… We’re always trying to add more sources as we go so we can provide more options to our subscribers,” he said.
“The goal is to make our site better.”
Check it out at www.dealfart.com.