Satellite Orbiting Earth

Product/Service Name

CheapTweet

Brief Description

CheapTweet finds all the deals, coupons, bargains, sales, and discounts people are talking about on Twitter and collects them at CheapTweet.com, where visitors can search for, vote on, and save these deals. You don’t have to be a Twitter user to take advantage of the deals on CheapTweet — the site is free to use and open to anyone. CheapTweet currently lists more than 49,000 deals from hundreds of retailers, ranging from the largest nation-wide chains to the smallest Etsy shops.

CheapTweet

CheapTweet

The Inspiration

Jenn Davis, Chief of Community Experience:

“We’re heavy Twitter users and it’s great for social interaction, making friends and keeping up with people. If you’re on Twitter long enough, though, you see that there are a lot of Twitter users mentioning a great sale they found, offering coupons or tweeting Twitter-only deals. This is really useful, money-saving stuff! The problem was that it’s not practical (or even desirable) to follow everyone tweeting deals and there just weren’t any good tools to find them. We created CheapTweet to aggregate these tweets in one place, promote the best ones and make it easy to search for exactly what you’re interested in.”

Key Features

  • Find deals. View highest-rated deals as voted on by users and most-discussed by Tweeter users. Other ways of finding include product categories, keyword search, and various time-bound filters (e.g., newest, last 12 hours, etc.).
  • Receive deal alerts. Follow CheapTweet on Twitter and receive information on new deals.
  • Save deals. Save and categorize deals that you’re interested in, but not quite ready to purchase.
  • Rate deals. Vote deals as either good (“It’s Cheap”) or no good (“It’s Lame”).

Benefits

Save money on shopping purchases — fashion & beauty, tech & gaming, entertainment & travel, home & family, and food & drink.

Costs

Free service. Account sign-up is optional, but required if you want to vote and save deals.

Similar Products/Services

There are a lot of similar services that aggregate deal information, but CheapTweet is unique in that it mines the information from Twitter users.

Opinions from around the Web

None yet.

Company Background

CheapTweet is one of several services and products managed by Appozite, an Austin-based company founded in 2008 dedicated to improving the way people shop online. The company released CheapTweet on November 25, 2008. According to Compete.com’s November 2008 traffic statistics, CheapTweet received 5,000+ unique visitors during the first week of its launch.

Smartlife’s User Advice

One of the many to-dos we have here at Smartlife is to assess which deal sites are the best. There are piles of them out there, and it’d be convenient to know which ones help you shop most efficiently and effectively. Until then, it’d be imprudent to make a definitive recommendation on whether or not to use CheapTweet.

I will say, though, that CheapTweet has a lot going for it. For one, it’s the first service that I’ve come across which aggregates deal information from the exploding community of Twitter users (probably near 2 million at this point). Appozite, the company behind CheapTweet, adeptly recognized the mass number of merchants and individual bargain hunters using Twitter to exchange deal information, and developed the technical means to mine and share this information with everyone. In many respects, Twitter functions as a simpler and more efficient way of exchanging deal information, as opposed to firing off emails or posting messages on forums like you have to do with other deal sites. Twitter’s message-sharing convenience will only increase its use among deal sharers, putting CheapTweet in a very good position to become one of the Internet’s top deal-aggregator sites. But its information advantage is likely to be short lived, as other deal sites develop the technical capability to aggregate deal tweets. So CheapTweet must focus its marketing and community-building efforts to expand quickly. Right now, the site doesn’t employ some of the incentive-based techniques that attract and encourage users (particularly non-retail store users) to submit deal information and only a limited number of deals are currently being voted on by the users (but that’s because the site just launched). From a user standpoint, this means that the VERY best deals might not be visible.

In general, there are a number of optimal ways to use deal sites like CheapTweet that Smartlife will discuss in a future post, but one that I’ll bring up here is related to reducing “data smog,” which can, in the case of shopping, cause wasteful impulse buying. To reduce data smog, I’d like CheapTweet to create the ability for me to import my “wish list” from an external source (such as Wishlistr) and allow me to set self-defined deal alert notifications (e.g., every three months) for only those items on my list. This would help me filter out all the consumer junk that I don’t need to see and would be bombarded with and tempted to buy through traditional searching and browsing.

Bottom line: CheapTweet is a promising service that could become one of your go-to sites for deal information, assuming it matures quickly.

Smartlife’s Recommendation: WATCH IT/TRY IT

Image credit: cristimatei / iStockphoto

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Product Watch is part of an on-going series that cuts through the sales propaganda and marketing hype, and reviews products and services from the standpoint of the user and how they actually help us get more out of life.