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Online coupons have their place, primarily as colossal repositories for random bargains. Guzzle, a self-funded South African venture wants to be your new favourite shopping companion by offering true value as it roots out discounts and product specials from newspapers, catalogues and other forms of print media.
Guzzle is a “specials aggregator” which focuses on products offered by major South African retailers such as Game, Pick ‘n Pay and Makro. The team collates information from the retail stores, lists the various deals and presents it as a searchable, online catalogue.
The founders, Ricard Meulemans and Oliver Bryant began Guzzle a little under two months ago in September 2011. The duo was also responsible for various tourism ventures, cutting their teeth on sites such as Krugerpark.com and Capetown-direct.com.
Meulemans believes that he has developed a website unlike any other in the South African market and with no plans for international expansion, locals will be privy to Guzzle’s advancements before the rest of the world catches wind to its unique offerings.
“There is no other site on the web in South Africa like Guzzle. We’ve taken the place that was previously filled by newspapers and print media, and adapted it for a growing web-user base,” he says. Guzzle calls itself a “specials search engine”, similar in stride to sites such as Pricecheck, but clever enough to offer access to the major retailers who are currently offering specials on TVs, dishwashers and various other enviable appliances.
Meulemans also stresses the importance of his product: “Although they (PriceCheck) are a general price aggregator, we only show items that are on special, Pricecheck does not have the Major retailers”.
Guzzle should be “the first place you go to before purchasing an item”. An alerts feature keeps users in the loop regarding upcoming specials and which ones are priced the cheapest. Also, and as with most price-aggregation websites, Guzzle is free to use.
Other features include searching for specials based on location and an “interactive specials form” which gives the user further options for discovering their preferred bargains.
“One thing that sets Guzzle apart is that it exists purely for the consumer. We don’t sell anything.” says Meulmans. Guzzle only lists products on special. Listed products also include a timeline, showing when the special expires.
Guzzle’s email alerts encourage users to save more and spend often. Users can setup custom alerts in order to monitor specials as they slowly drop to a preferred price. Watching a ZAR10 000 (US$ 1 252) television’s prices plummet offers delight for some.
The duo aggressively hated searching through “voluminous newspaper catalogues for specials”. When a company eliminates a perceived frustration, innovation quickly follows. Online shopping aggregators have grown rapidly and with Guzzle providing “an easy system for finding what customers want online” it may end up eclipsing the local competition.
Ultimately, Meulemans promises a consumer orientated experience above all else. “The site, the whole concept, is designed with the consumer in mind — we want to take the hassle out of shopping around. Guzzle should be the first stop for any consumer looking to make a purchase”.