Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 4:43 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

Business

Daily Deal Site WinWin Living a Win-Win-Win — for Merchants, Users and Charities

New to Santa Barbara, the company strives to make a difference in the community

WinWin Living is a daily deal site with a philanthropic approach. It started in Los Angeles and expanded to Santa Barbara about three weeks ago.

“We’re not just another daily deal website trying to take our swipe at merchants’ costs, but an opportunity to take that model and create some good giving to local to the community and charities here in Santa Barbara,” said CEO Steve Firestone, who grew up in the area.

Through the checkout process, users can donate 10 percent of the site’s deal proceeds to charities such as Direct Relief International to aid Japan, the Environmental Defense Center and the Dream Foundation. Firestone said the nonprofits are chosen based on things the users support, such as sustainability, family and youth causes.

“Other models that benefit charities often pick a specific charity, but with WinWin the user decides which ones they can send our money to, directing some of our money to charities,” he said.

The site not only offers deals at 50 percent to 90 percent off dining, events, services, etc., but has teamed up with Greenopia to feature eco-friendly businesses and offers a “city guide” to serve as a resource on topics such as environment-conscious restaurants and the benefits of eating local.

“We’re trying to appeal to family-oriented people with an emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendly consumers,” Firestone said.

He added that while some deal sites strive only to turn a profit, WinWin builds a meaningful rapport with its merchants that’s intended to expand their businesses.

“We’re locally owned and operated, and care about our community and each of the merchants,” Firestone said. “Most of the merchants we know firsthand, and the last thing we want to do is creative negative experience. There’s a creative process that’s stimulating for us. It’s a no-risk proposition.”

The city guide is designed to provide useful tips for the eco-minded consumer or awareness to businesses that normally stay under the radar.

“Santa Barbara is more of a natural fit because of the small-town lifestyle and green model it presents,” WinWin public relations director Carolyn Firestone said. “We try to provide resources that people aren’t aware of or highlight businesses that don’t get much attention or actively market.”

Steve Smith, director of marketing, said employees’ intimate knowledge of their hometown leads to the most interesting deals as well as a mutual trust between WinWin and its merchants.

“There is a high level of interaction between us and the merchants,” he said. “We listen to their needs, outreach to promote sales and make sure we’re available to customize the deals that suit their interests.”

Steve Firestone said the entire idea stems from the desire to care for the people and organizations in their hometown.

“We strive to take the commercial model and turn it on its end and have a powerful impact on what’s good for the community,” he said. “We want to do something positive with the daily deal model rather than focus on profit.”

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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