There's a new deal in town.
Setauket resident Rafael Vasquez has launched a new business, AllDealsLocal, which he describes as a hyperlocal take on websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial.
So far, AllDealsLocal has partnered with places such as Ann Marie's Farm Stand, Setauket Village Diner, and The Dish to offer discounts.
Mary Ann Deriso, owner of Ann Marie's Farm Stand, was one of the first to offer a promotion via All Deals Local: $10 for $20 worth of goods. She said it brought new faces into the store.
"People I never saw before bought it and came in," she said. "I thought it was a good deal. People like them [deal websites] and they’re using more and more of them these days."
Some may see it as a form of advertisement, Vasquez said, but there's one key difference: Merchants are only charged for their participation if the deals sell, whereas advertising carries an up-front cost. Merchants can design a deal to benefit their businesses, from the dollar amounts to the length of time offered.
"It gives the business owner flexibility to experiment with it because there’s no up front costs," he said. "They can structure and come up with something that they think would drive traffic. If it doesn’t work, and they don’t drive any traffic, no harm done."
Vasquez said he started AllDealsLocal as a part-time venture while working full-time with his family's contracting business, Setauket-based JJR Associates, which has been around for three decades. He is hoping to expand AllDealsLocal in the future as he begins to add other towns, including places like Port Jefferson and Smithtown.
A former retail stock broker on Wall Street, he said he learned some valuable business lessons in his previous occupation.
"That was a lot of work," he said. "You realize it takes time to build a business. It teaches the values that people like: Being sincere, being straightforward."
His version of a local deals website originated in his realization that many of the offers he was receiving weren't relevant to him based on geography.
"I started doing research, and there’s a lot of demand locally for those types of deal-driven traffic," Vasquez said. "I know that Groupon is in our area, but I feel like my company has more of a voice in supporting local business and being part of the community."