Cheaptoday.com has a small team of editors who manually search the web for deals across a number of verticals – but not travel – before posting them on the site with links to the supplier. There are no preferred partners.
Burge told Travolution that the idea ‘probably came about during a post-work beer ‘ while he was involved with cheapflights in the US.
“Travel deals are still a tremendous opportunity in the US,” he said, “but the model is not used in the broader market. It is possible that this ‘independent publisher’ approach offers an even bigger opportunity in the overall retail market.”
Burge is chairman of the business, with David Soskin a director. Its president and co-founder, Milenko Beslic, resigned as cheapflights’ US director of technology earlier this year.
Cheaptoday.com’s verticals include apparel & shoes, electronics and health & beauty. “We want our editors to become expert deal hunters in specific verticals,” Burge explained.
Burge was keen to point out that the project was “small, lean and mean”. The initial investment came out of Burge’s own pocket, before Howzat got involved “as an angle investor”.
He plans to market the site through word-of-mouth and by encouraging people to sign up for its weekly deals newsletter. “The advertising budget is zero,” he said, although he was keen to add that money doesn’t guarantee success.
“When we launched cheapflights in the US, even our own board members thought we would need millions of dollars for marketing. But instead, we built the business carefully to make sure the traffic was sustainable.”
Cheaptoday.com went live in the US this week. Burge admitted that it was way too early to think about expansion plans into the UK/Europe, but added: “Who knows? When cheapflights started up, it would have been a bit bonkers to think that it would become a major international business…”