Payments Expert Patricia Carlin Interviews Michael Tulman, Founder & CEO of Dealfind.com

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you know who these guys are. Dealfind.com is the leading daily deal site in Canada, and they are just getting started.  In May, Dealfind secured 31 million dollars in investment funds from three leading venture capital investors.  The team behind Dealfind is not just doing something right, they are doing everything right.

My career in e-commerce payment processing started in 1998, and I have never looked back. Our industry is constantly evolving. I have worked with many companies who came to me with nothing more than a concept that grew into a million-person subscriber base. The “dream” is truly attainable on the web.

In my line of work, I do get the opportunity to speak with company founders who are shaping the way consumers spend their time online.

I had the pleasure to chat with Michael Tulman, the Founder and CEO of DealFind.com to find out how his company became such a powerhouse in the group buying space in less then one year.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

PW: Mike, when I was eight years old, I took a piece of paper, folded it into the shape of a wallet, secured it with a few staples and branded it with my insignia PB. I made about 100 of these. Then I put the wallet in all my neighbors mailboxes with a note that said “If you would like to have this custom-made wallet designed by Patricia Bachkoff, please leave a $1.00 in your mailbox tomorrow morning. “

I made about $50.00. This was not too shabby for kid my age. I always knew I had the ability to control my financial future.

You were a consultant for KBMG then went on start Menupalace in 1999. How did you know you would be successful on your own?

Michael Tulman: Dealfind was launched as a division of MenuPalace.com. We already had 11 years of experience selling advertising to small local businesses, and we knew how to manage a large local sales force. We also had 11 years of online traffic acquisition so we really we had all the pieces of the equation that were needed to start Dealfind.com

PW: What changes/innovations do you expect to see in the group buying industry as this market matures?

Michael Tulman: I feel that consumers and businesses will start to only deal with the reputable group buying websites.  The ones who stand behind their product. The companies who have earned the customer’s trust will be the leaders in this space.  

PW: How do you see Dealfind growing in 2011-2012, what changes can we expect?

Michael Tulman: Over the next 12 months, Dealfind.com will continue to open up new cities across Canada and the USA. We will also keep growing our user base. We expect to be in over 100 cities by mid-2012.

PW: What do you think the key will be to maintaining Dealfind’s level of success? I know everyone loves a good deal but is there any concern about group buying losing popularity?

Michael Tulman: I feel that most of the smaller group buying websites will shut down or consolidate. The number of companies in this space will be reduced. The companies that are left will be the ones who know how to provide the best service to merchants and consumers. People always like to find new places to dine, shop, and so forth. Offering an initial discount is a great way to get people to try a new business.  I do not think this business model will go away any time soon. This is true performance advertising.

PW: Some payment processors have labeled group buying websites as “high risk” as there is a potential for significant chargebacks.  What type of pre-cautions do you take when boarding a merchant?

Michael Tulman: Dealfind always makes sure that we find the best merchants in a particular space i.e. spas. Having said that, if a merchant does go out of business, Dealfind makes sure to promptly refund all of our customers for that purchase.

***As Dealfind.com continues their systematic expansion into the United States, there is no doubt that they will be giving Groupon and LivingSocial a run for their money in no time.

Patricia Carlin

Merchant Account Management & Payments Consulting

www.PatriciaWeber.com

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