Northwestern grads launch coupon site Bare Deal

By Wailin Wong
Posted Jan. 12 at 11:46 a.m.

A pair of Northwestern University graduates has launched a Chicago-based online deal company that merges snail mail and the Web.

Bare Deal, founded by Justin Shapiro and Glen Andrianov, launched Wednesday in Chicago and the site lists 12 additional cities where the company plans to expand, including Los Angeles and New York.

Chicago is home to tens of Web companies offering local daily deals, including Groupon, the pioneer of the space. Groupon’s co-founder, Andrew Mason, is also a Northwestern alumnus. Shapiro and Andrianov graduated in 2008.

Bare Deal offers weekly, rather than daily, promotions. And in contrast to Groupon, where members pay a certain amount to get a steep discount, Bare Deal does not charge for its deals. Instead, consumers that sign up on the site select a deal in their city and receive a scratch card in the mail within a week. The card is good for a discount between 40 percent and 100 percent off a certain purchase amount.

In Chicago, for example, Bare Deal’s first offer is for 50 percent to 100 percent off a minimum $35 tab at Lockdown Bar & Grill in Ukrainian Village. A 100-percent discount means the scratch card can be redeemed for $35. With a 50-percent discount, the card is worth $17.50.

The odds of getting each tier of discount are listed on the site. In the case of the Lockdown promotion, buyers have a two percent chance of getting the full $35.

At Bare Deal, members begin at one deal per month and earn points through a loyalty program that makes them eligible for more frequent promotions if they use their cards before the expiration date. Members that fail to redeem their cards will have points docked from their account.

Andrianov said Bare Deal’s business model gives local businesses additional visibility because they can customize their scratch cards as “a tangible branding tool on top of online marketing.”

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  1. Nora Jan. 12 at 2:13 pm

    Daily deal sites and group-buying websites are a great way to save on the products and services you need, whether it is groceries or furniture. It is great to see more sites popping up.

    A great site to use to find the deals and sales in your area is They’ll send you a daily email with the greatest discounts, ensuring you can save everyday.

  2. Kris Jan. 12 at 4:04 pm

    Nice plug nora – how about a comment rather than a marketing plug please? Thanks.

  3. Brendan Jan. 12 at 6:21 pm

    Kris, it’s not a private forum…you gonna cry about a little competition?

  4. Lucy Bowels Jan. 12 at 7:16 pm

    Snip and throw it away.

  5. Dead Space 2 for XBOX360 Jan. 13 at 7:14 pm

    I though it intereating.