We had an interesting chat with Ms. “Amanda Wrzeszczynski”, Founder of the Pittsburgh, USA based start-up “DealTrunk”
Below is the interview we conducted with her:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?
DealTrunk.com is a website and Chrome Extension that displays the best hand picked deals from online retailers. The Deal Trunk Chrome Extension is 100% free to install and use and is an easy way to quickly search through the top deals every day. We post deals from all the major online retailers such as Amazon, Ebay, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Groupon, and more. The extension alerts you when new deals are posted so you can check them out before the deal sells out.
2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?
Deal Trunk was founded in July of 2014, and the website and Chrome Extension were launched in October 2014. By the end of December 2014 we were affiliated with all of our current retailers. The past four months we have been focusing on promoting our free Chrome Extension to continue to grow our user base.
3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?
Users find deals that interest them on our website and through our free extension. When an item is purchased we receive a small affiliate commission through the online retailer. This does not affect the product price in any way, it is basically anadvertising fee for connecting our users with the retailer’s products.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
The Deal Trunk team consists of Amanda and her husband, Steve. Amanda runs the website, posts new deals, and is responsible for growing the user base. Steve provides expertise based on previous experience growing online businesses and is always willing to help out where needed.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
There are other online deal sites, but our extension is really what makes us stand out. When new deals become available online shoppers find them fast and they don’t last long. When you install our free extension a small version of our elephant logo sits in your browser and changes from gray to green when a new deal is posted. When you click on the logo you can see a preview of the new deals that have been posted.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?
Since the beginning of this year when we started promoting our free extension we have grown to around 250 unique daily users. We know that in the future we will look back on that as a small number, but right now we are very happy with the growth we’ve had in just four short months.
With the completion of our March $30 Amazon gift card giveaway, we have now also given away over $200 worth of prizes.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over them?
There are many other online deal websites, but our extension gives us a clear competitive advantage. Not many people have the time to check back on to websites over and over again throughout the day. If you don’t have time to do so you are going to miss out on that site’s best deals because they will be sold out before you find them. Our extension keeps you in the loop as soon as new deals are posted, all day, every day!
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Growing our user base has been an obstacle, as would be expected for any new company. Deal Trunk has had a lot of positive feedback so far but users can’t use our Deal Trunk extension if they don’t know it exists! Our monthly giveaways have been an effective way of getting new users to our site.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
Saving money is something that everyone can understand. But not all online shoppers know that Google Chrome Extensions exist. The ability to install customizable extensions has made Chrome one of the better browser options available. Microsoft must agree – their new Windows 10 browser, Project Spartan, will support similar extensions in the future. We plan to introduce a Project Spartan compatible extension as soon as Microsoft introduces this new platform.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
Our Deal Trunk extension is free to install, free to use, and saves online shoppers both time and money. All of our earnings come from the online retailers, there really is no downside to using Deal Trunk!
11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
In the future we will be expanding our Chrome Extension concept into other browser applications. We look forward to the upcoming Microsoft Windows 10 browser, Project Spartan, and will launch a compatible Deal Trunk extension as soon as possible.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
There is so much information available online that it just seems wasteful to buy anything at full price. There are already many deal sites that allow you to search for deals and compare prices but my husband and I saw a major flaw with these sites and decided to create a better system.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
We’ve learned that building a business takes hard work! Knowing the amount of work we’ve put in thus far (and are continuing to put in) makes it even more rewarding when we see our user base grow.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
We are anticipating that launching a Deal Trunk extension for the Project Spartan browser will come hand in hand with some initial technical issues. But we are ready for those challenges and are excited about expanding.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
DealTrunk.com helps online shoppers save time and money. The website is easy to use and the Chrome Extension is completely free! The extension alerts you when new deals are posted so that you can see the deal before it sells out.
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
Our users are primarily finding us through word of mouth (from our existing users), social media, and various giveaway sites promoting our monthly giveaways. We have seen spikes in our growth when our users have posted about Deal Trunk on major sites such as reddit.
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
Our current users are people who enjoy shopping online. Our target customers are those who are currently wasting time jumping between various deal sites each day to keep up to date on the latest deals and aren’t yet aware that there is a better way!
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you
Our new customers come from all over the world and are finding us through word of mouth, social media, and through links from other websites promoting Deal Trunk. Once new users see our site they are eager to use our extension since it is completely free to install and free to use.
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
Our users are saying that the Deal Trunk extension saves them money when shopping online. They also say that the extension is noticeable enough to keep them updated on deals, but not obnoxious. Our users like the design of our website and we get a lot of comments about how cute our elephant logo is!
20. How are you going to scale?
We will grow by expanding our presence online and through social media sites. By doing so, and in combination with word of mouth and organic growth, we will continue to reach more users.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
We have heard some requests from our users to allow for customizable filters on our extension. This would allow them to limit the categories of deals that are displayed. This is something we would like to develop in the future for the extension. The DealTrunk.com website already includes the ability to search by category, store, or keyword.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
By the nature of our business being a website and Google Chrome Extension we already are international! We are very happy to see that users from all over the world are finding and using our free product!
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
Online shopping is a massive industry. We believe that Deal Trunk has incredible growth potential and will eventually be known and used by the online deal shopping community. We are still in the early stages of promoting Deal Trunk and believe we are on the right track for promoting sustainable growth.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
We are not looking to hire anyone new at this time. In the future we may be looking for writers to produce interesting and unique content for our blog but we are not yet ready to expand our team.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
We’re not looking for outside investments from Venture Capitals or other funding sources at this time. Deal Trunk has been self-funded with minimal overhead expenses and is currently self-sustainable.
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Not every idea for your business will be a success but that’s ok. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and keep pursuing new ideas. Take time to appreciate your accomplishments!
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Checkout our website: DealTrunk.com
Learn more about our free extension:
And sign up for our current giveaway for a $40 Amazon Gift Card:
If you would like to contact us you can do so at: Amanda At DealTrunk Dot Com.