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Local bargains ad service, Bargain Buddy, grows rapidly on Facebook

bargain-buddyIn less than a month, a Facebook page dedicated to bargains in Zimbabwe has attracted more than 9,000 new followers and more than 3,000 people ‘talking about it’ at a time on the social network. The rapid growth, according to the owner of the page Sean Steyn, is indication that people are finding it useful and that there’s a healthy market for an online bargains service locally,

Steyn contacted us about 3 weeks ago to tell us about his page, Bargain Buddy, saying then that his obective was simply to promote deals, bargains, sales, discounts, special offers and promotions to a wider audience. Then, the page had less than 1,000 followers. Add some Facebook ads and some general marketing and today the page is close to 10,000. Steyn says he actually rejects many bargain ads a day for not meeting the minimum requirements he has set.

At first glance at the page, you may be tempted to dismiss Bargain Buddy as just another ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ me too Facebook page, but there’s a coordinated effort behind it. Talking to Steyn when we met him a couple of days ago he said initiatlly he had to physically visit retail shops in Harare explaining the concept to the business owners and helping them put their products on the page for free. He says he has plans to monetize ‘somehow’ in the futue but that he’s not desperate for the income right now.

In future, he said, Bargain Buddy will be an independent site and Facebook will become just part of the social marketing of the website. Steyn believes bargains as a niche have been largely ignored with online businesses crowding in regular classifieds services; web and mail list based.

Of course running third party ads on Facebook has some restrictions. Facebook would clearly prefer that anyone run their ads through their ads systems so they get a cut for them. Steyn says they are aware of this and that the plan to become Facebook independent is part of a solution to the issue.

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5 thoughts on “Local bargains ad service, Bargain Buddy, grows rapidly on Facebook

  1. Great concept but Sean should find a way of moneytizing this project fast (if thats his objective). I say this because if you look at Groupon which is loosely similar to this, they started with so much traction and a following but a lack of implementing a sustainable business model is making the company spiral out of control.

    On a side note, I really like the fact the founder says that he actively visited retail outlets to get to utilize his services. A problem I’ve seen with Zim “startup” founders is that they build a site and then sit behind their laptops hoping for the best instead of hitting the streets with good ‘ole flyers and word of mouth.

  2. The previous comment took the words right out of my mouth. If he does not make this a business soon, someone else may latch onto the idea. There’s always a value attached to paying for something, especially something that is so needed with increasingly emerging businesses in Zimbabwe.

  3. This is a sound concept that could go viral as an African type “Craigslist.” With the unique Zimbabwe economic situation being as it is, there should be every reason for this to work. Consumers no longer have to tramp around looking for a deal. Its right here in the comfort of your own home while retailers have an excellent source to reach far more consumers. Monetize this as soon as you can.

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