Launched in November, Drop Down Deals Already at Profitability

12/16/10Follow @bvbigelow

A new San Diego startup, Drop Down Deals, is launching a website today that is intended to complement the free downloadable Web browser plug-in the company officially unveiled last month.

The company has developed a clever approach to help online shoppers quickly identify and apply valid discount coupons to their purchases. In an interview a few weeks ago, CEO Aaron Mendes told me that many coupon codes available may not be valid on websites like RetailMeNot.com, which attracted some 90 million unique visitors over the past year and is expected to generate $30 million in revenues this year, according to ZD Net.

“The coupons change constantly,” Mendes told me. “On any given day, there may be no coupons available for a specific site. Most coupons don’t last more than a month or so anyway. They expire and get replaced.”

Mendes says Drop Down Deals has solved this problem by developing a free plug-in that remains hidden until a user visits an online shopping site for which coupons or deals are available. Then the application opens a drop-down window on the right-hand side of the screen that shows the coupons and coupon codes available for that retailing site.

“We do it by a domain browser that automatically detects what shopping site you’re on and then shows the coupons for that site,” Mendes said. The company says the service works at more than five thousand retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, Dell, Kohl’s, Hewlett-Packard, Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Patagonia, and Ralph Lauren—and according to Mendes, “We only display coupons that are valid.”

Mendes says Drop Down Deals also enables users to apply the coupons immediately; it’s not necessary to got to a dedicated coupon site or exit the retailer’s page. “It’s a very simple tool that doesn’t bug users unless they’re shopping,” he said.

With today’s launch of a Drop Down Deals coupon site, consumers will have the choice of browsing through tens of thousands of coupons across thousands of retail sites, using a website that shows more than 150 shopping categories. When used with the Drop Down Deals free Web browser plug-in, the company says consumers no longer need to search for coupons while they shop. To view available coupons, consumers simply click on a desired category, which pulls up a list of retailers and correlating coupons. To use a coupon, users click on a link associated with the category, which takes them directly to the retailer’s site for immediate use.

The company launched its browser application in beta form in September, and Mendes said it’s been easy to acquire users from around the world so far. Drop Down Deals quickly gained scale because “we had a lot of partners,” the browser plug-in is free, and it’s often bundled with other software. Mendes said more than 3 million Drop Down Deals plug-ins have been downloaded in the past month or two.

The company, which was funded by a private investment group called Sambreel Holdings, and already is profitable. Mendes told me, “We get an affiliate’s commission from the store where they bought the product,” but he declined to provide specific revenue numbers or to say how much capital the company raised.

The pace of the company’s progress is just one example of how Drop Down Deals has been moving at Internet speed. Mendes told me he was recruited to join the startup just three months ago, after working through this summer as the chief marketing officer at Carlsbad, CA-based Wellness.com, a website for sharing information about health and happiness. He estimates the company now has close to 30 employees, and adds, “We’re hiring more people every week.”

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

By posting a comment, you agree to our terms and conditions.

  • h warren

    What I want to know is how do I get rid of that obnoxious drop down? I can’t do anything, it even interferes with my work computer!!!!

  • dylan

    I downloaded this and deleted it within 10 minutes of use. It embeds advertisements on websites you visit(even facebook!) and slows down your browser. Unfortunate as this article really does make it seem like a great plug-in.

  • mwd

    I want to know how to delete it too. I can’t find it in my list of programs, and if I “installed” it or downloaded it, I don’t know where. HELP! Every website hangs up as DropDownDeals hunts for coupons that I’m NOT going to use!

  • mwd

    Now I know. To uninstall it, go to wherever you uninstall programs (Control Panel, and then who knows on your machine?), search for Yontoo something. UNINSTALL. With Firefox, you evidently don’t have to restart to have it stop doing the DropDownDeals thing.

  • hwarren

    Oh thank god. Med is my hero!!!!!

  • http://dropdowndeals gdlooker

    IT SUX! AND IS DIFFICULT TO FIND TO UNINSTALL> THEY MAY HAVE GOOD DEALS< BUT IT ACTS AS A VIRUS AND INFECTS YOUR COMPUTER WITH UNWANTED ADVERTISEMENTS EVEN AUDIO COMMERCIALS THAT HAVE NO VISIBLE SOURCE WHILE YOU DONT EVEN CLICK ON THEM WHILE DOING OTHER TASKS!

  • whatever

    mwd, you rock. gdlooker you are right. what i would like to know is how this got on my system. it sure as hell never asked me.

  • http://www.dropdowndeals.com DDD_Support

    Drop Down Deals is safe and secure. It is not a virus. The plug-in is approved by McAfee Secure, Norton AntiVirus, the BBB, and download.com. If you are experiencing any difficulties with Drop Down Deals, you can visit the support page at htt://www.dropdowndeals.com/support or leave a message on the ‘contact’ page.

  • LIZ

    Simple enough.

    Go to Tools>Internet Options and look under Browsing History.

    Click Delete.

    A window will open up asking you what you’d like to delete. Simply un-check everything except History and click Delete

    • Stefanie

      Thank You Thank You Thank You. I did not find Yontoo or Drop Down Deals in my programs to remove/uninstall. This however worked out perfect, I really didn’t think it would be gone but it is history!!!!! Everyone who is having issues with locating this file to uninstall, just do this. I use google chrome and this worked. Deleted everything except for download history!
      Liz you rock!!!

      • Stefanie

        Well, it worked for a while but it still keeps coming up, I have to delete the browsing history and repeat the process over and over, it will be gone for a while then it shows up again. Still no Yontoo or DropDownDeal in any of my programs to uninstall. This is a very vicious program and completely unwelcome

    • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.tenrec07.blackford Aaron Blackford

      Thankyouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!

  • jjf

    It may not be a virus, but it certainly could be called annoyware. I never asked to install it. It just showed up one day. The uninstall is very non-intuitive.

  • Linda

    Really easy to remove in windows – go to start and control panel. Click on add/remove programs. Scroll down to Yontoo, click remove, and wait about a minute.
    ALL GONE!!! YEAH!!!

  • Rosalee

    I have the annoying drop down thing and it only shows up on my online college site and now it preventing me from logging out. I looked in my programs and there is nothing about Yontoo anywhere. I want to contact them but iam not giving something that i think is a scam my email address someone help me get this thing off! It doesnt show up anywhere but my school site!

  • http://www.dropdowndeals.com DDD_Support

    Hi Rosalee,

    Sorry you are having trouble with the plugin. If you want to uninstall it, go to your Control Panel, Add & Remove Programs, and uninstall Drop Down Deals. If you have questions, you can contact us at support@dropdowndeals.com.

  • Sue

    Thank you for instructions on how to uninstall DDD. I would enjoy the deals, but it resides over an X I need to close a webpage preview and as it does so the right side of the DDD tag is cut off, so I can click neither DDD’s X nor my window’s X. If you can fix this, like let me move it or not cut off the right edge or whatever, I will consider reinstalling DDD. Thanks again.

  • http://www.dropdowndeals.com DDD_Support

    Hi Sue,

    We would like to look more into the issue you are experiencing and provide you with a solution so that you can enjoy Drop Down Deals’ free coupons and deals. Please email support@dropdowndeals.com and provide us with more details on the issues you are having. We would love to help you!

  • hwarren

    Yeah Sue, give us your email so that we can also send you unsolicited emails about their virus-like program that you didn’t want or ask for.

    peachy!

  • http://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2010/12/16/launched-in-november-drop-down-deals-already-at-profitability/ ashley

    thank u this was really helpful…i am addin this because it helped my sister

  • Edmond Scott

    HOQW DO I GET RID OF THIS!!!???? I NEED TO KNOW HOW IT GOT IN MY COMPUTER!! HOW WHY WHEN WHO ALL OF THIS!!!! I WANT IT OUT NOW!!! HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!

  • http://www.dropdowndeals.com DDD_Support

    @Edmond Scott – We’re sorry you didn’t like Drop Down Deals. To disable Drop Down Deals visit http://www.dropdowndeals.com/Settings and turn off Drop Down Deals. Please let us know if you have further questions and email us at support@dropdowndeals.com

    • Mari Collis

      That does not work!!

  • S Bate

    Drop Down Deals is a virus that gets installed on your computer without your permission and uses your computer resources to put annoying pop up coupons in your face every minute. I know they claim not to be a virus, bla bla bla, but anything that installs itself on your computer and makes life miserable and forces you to research how to uninstall it is a virus by my definition.

  • DDD_Support

    Drop Down Deals is not a virus. You can see that it is certified safe by major antivirus programs, Norton Antivirus and McAfee to name a few. The uninstall instructions are not hidden or obscure and can be found directly on our website for anyone not interested in having Drop Down Deals enabled on their computers.

    • Unimpressed

      Poor, poor response. It doesn’t matter how easy it is to uninstall and it doesn’t matter if it’s safe. It’s still a virus if it ends up installed on your computer via the backdoor when you didn’t ask for it. What a sad world we live in you think this is acceptable and seek to justify it. It’s offensive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/shackleton.darren Darren Joy Shackleton

      even following the instructions to remove it does not remove it completely. i for one am getting very irate at the rubbish it is causing on my laptop.

    • Mari Collis

      I don’t give a damn if it is not a virus. I want it off MY fucking computer yesterday!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/renee.m.downing Renee Downing

      BULLSHIT. As per the uninstall instructions (http://www.coupondropdown.com/uninstall.php), my Firefox (v19.0.2, Mac) does NOT show this as an installed Add-on. I can’t find it anywhere.

  • http://ddd DDD Support

    DDD_Support … u R a VIRUS!!!!! The whole thing is BS … I dont care what Norton, McAfee and all the rest say … Can ya take a hint by reading the posts here … pretty much your company just doesnt care … I dont shop, I dont ask for coupons, etc … And drop down deals has taken over my FACEBOOK page somehow … the page I use most next to Itunes … Sorry, but just sayin’…. I really hope the tips here worked to get rid of it … I’ll go look now.

    • Mari Collis

      I agree I am ready to get off Facebook. I can’t read comments on photos. Go Away already.

  • Crsvirgorabbit

    how in the hell did i get this crap on my browser

  • harry

    this program is pissing me off, iam not even american so all the coupons are useless to me to start with, i dotn even know how i got that program in the 1st place!! its just adverticement in disquise!!! whilst 99,99% of internet users wanna get rid off adverticements this company make s a program to throw even more junk at computer uses.. not very good is it!!!

  • asdf

    What a piece of shit. I can’t believe this company is trying to come across as a legitimate company. Someone needs to shut it down.

  • ME

    If there is something on your pc that you didn’t put yourself and is difficult to remove, IT IS A VIRUS! Get off my Facebook!

  • PISSED OFF

    so EVERY ad that shoves itself into my face will result in an INVOICE to the company that sponsors it as well as dropdowndeals as I NEVER installed it and now it’s taking my time to get rid of it. Since you visit this site ddd support – this is your only notification – each infraction will result in an invoice of $5000 – as you have been notified, you will be deemed to have accepted my terms of service. Should you claim that you didn’t AGREE to this, you can now feel a bit of my pain.

  • JANE

    I have a brand new windows 8 computer. If this program is a virus, then it was installed @ the factory. It is VERY irritating. I have looked for it in control panel….and it’s NOT THERE. I want it OFF!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.lockyer2 Brian Lockyer

    damm virus how dare they put this stuff out there!!

  • Steve

    Hi All,

    I just got this malware on my computer and sent an email to
    the author of this article. I’ve pasted the email string below (it’s easier if
    you start reading from the bottom and go up). Since this is the internet, Email
    addresses have been removed.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    From: Steve Cogrin

    To: Bruce V. Bigelow

    Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for your reply. But rather than asking me to post a
    redundant, it would be nice if you would try to “make up for” advocating a
    malware program, and create an article about how to easily remove this crap
    from people’s computers. However, as per your request, I’ll paste this Email
    String.

    Steve

    From: Bruce V.
    Bigelow

    To: Steve Cogrin

    Sent: Friday, July 5, 2013 3:49 PM

    Thanks Steve

    This wasn’t apparent when I wrote the story almost three
    years ago. You should cut and paste your e-mail into the comments section under
    the story.

    bvb

    From: Steve Cogrin

    To: Bruce V. Bigelow

    Sent: Friday, Jul 5, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Hi Bruce,

    It a nice glowing report you’ve written about Coupon Drop
    Down.

    http://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2010/12/16/launched-in-november-drop-down-deals-already-at-profitability/

    But to be truthful, it’s just another annoyance that somehow
    gets into people’s computers and steals their time in one of several ways:

    ·The computer slows down.

    ·The “deals” are constantly popping up whether or not I’m
    shopping.

    ·The software then hijacks my browser and takes me to a site
    I never intended to go.

    ·Now, in order to remove the stupid software, which I never
    wanted, I’ve got to spend my time to figure out how.

    All in all, even if I were one of the people who had
    intentionally installed the software, the couple of dollars I might save
    because of Coupon Drop Down, certainly would not be worth the time being
    wasted. This is the great hidden truth of most of these companies-they may or
    may not save you a little money, but the consumer is still paying for it with a
    ridiculous amount of wasted time.

    If the company wanted to be honest and actually provide a
    useful service to the consumer, then they would change this from a “push”
    application to a “pull”. I.E. If I’m actually shopping for something, and not
    just browsing, then there would be a button I could push to check for the best
    price and launch the program. But then again there are plenty of sites that do
    that for me anyway—they search the web, looking for a particular product and
    then list the prices from lowest to highest. In other words Coupon Drop Down is
    just another way of annoying thousands of people (and stealing their time), in
    the hopes that a tiny percentage of those will actually make a purchase.

    Steve Cogrin