San Diego’s Extrabux, With a Boost From Old-Fashioned TV, Sees Online Shopping Traffic Skyrocket

12/1/09Follow @bvbigelow

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product pricing and related information about tax, shipping and handling fees, discounts, and cash back offers through its partnerships with Best Buy, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and other retailers. “We work with 60 percent of the top 2,000 retailers,” Auerhahn says. “Basically, Extrabux is best used by somebody who knows what they want to buy and are searching for the best deal.”

Extrabux, which now has eight employees, has raised about $300,000 from friends and family, and is working to close an additional $350,000 in a convertible loan from the Maverick Angels, an angel investment group based in Westlake Village, CA, Nascenzi tells me.

The online entrepreneurs say they had provided information about Extrabux to Gifford weeks ago, but never received anything from her in response. The televised report, however, triggered a flurry of searches for Extrabux on Google, which in turn triggered additional coverage on the New York Daily News’ website, mashable.com, and other online news cites providing tips for Cyber Monday consumers.

Extrabux ScreenshotSome rival retailing websites offer comparison shopping and others offer coupons or rebates, Extrabux combines the features of all three. But as some media accounts noted, Extrabux may not be the best discount shopping portal or offer the best rebates, so consumers should check the deals available at other retailing websites as well.

While today’s Internet traffic at Extrabux was down from Cyber Monday’s peak, Nascenzi says the startup uses a variety of techniques to retain its customers: “Once someone joins our site as a member, they continue to use the site not only for finding the lowest price on particular items, but to get cash back and coupons on their everyday purchases,” Nascenzi writes in an e-mail. Extrabux also generates traffic from member referrals and by using search engine optimization to align keywords on its website with the terms that online consumers are using as they search for such things as “iPod Nano, lowest price,” or “Nintendo Wii.”

Auerhahn, who shares an apartment with Nobbs, says online traffic to their website began to spike in San Diego at 4:40 a.m. West Coast time. Auerhahn says his roommate was jumping up and down in his boxer shorts, yelling “Dude! You won’t believe this!” as he followed the wave of Internet traffic on his laptop.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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