select

When it comes to the daily deal model, like Groupon, Carlo Cisco believes it’s a fad that is quickly dying out.  He’s the founder of Select, a subscription service offering consumers discounts at many different merchants.  Last week, they announced they were exiting beta and adding additional categories, like travel and entertainment venues.

Before this public launch, Select was primarily a dining club in New York City, offering discounts at quality establishments that have a rating of 20+ on Zagat and 3.5+ on Yelp.  Cisco explained his vision, stating, “What I wanted to create was something that was way more flexible for the consumer, was exclusively good quality businesses, and [for] the restaurant and business to encourage customers to spend more and come back.  That’s where select was born.”

Cisco helped launch Groupon Japan, and quickly realized that this type of model had limitations.  According to Select, fewer than 20% of daily deal users will ever return shop.  Plus, with all of the restrictions and limitations, sometimes deals sites can be downright frustrating.  That’s where Select is different. Cisco called it flexible, and with all of their relationships being proprietary, many times you won’t find a better deal anywhere else.

“We have some that are over 50%, but typically 15-40% off, members can use at any participating location, any time, and as much as they want,” said Cisco on how Select works.  “So, no blackout days or times, no ordering these three things from some stupid, special menu.  It’s a flexible program.  Last I checked, our Avis rate was better than their AARP rate, so I was pretty happy about that!”

By adding over 20,000 merchants, Select has expanded beyond their initial offerings in New York City, even though that’s still where their program is the strongest.  “We’ve basically taken the benefits of the program and gone international,” said Cisco.

What do you think? Is there room for another discount program like Select?  You can try it for free for 30 days, then it’s just $6.50 a month.  You can utilize the Select card, their website, and iPhone and Android mobile applications to view offerings and redeem discounts.

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