Deepak Tailor is the founder of www.latestfreestuff.co.uk, one of our favourite freebie sites.
We caught up with Deepak to ask him a few questions about freebies, online business and the future.
What lead you to setting up latestFreeStuff?
The website was launched in 2012. The UK was deep in a recession and I know household budgets for families across the country were really stretched. Setting up the website was meant to be an escape for consumers to browse thorough the site and try new products without any of the expense. Really helping people better their lives was the main reason I setup the site.
Secondly, I was always disappointed by the range of freebies on offer on other freebie sites. I felt like these sites focused far too much on advertising rather than actually giving the consumer what they want, which was the free products. With LatestFreeeStuff I wanted to create a new competitor that only listed genuine freebies without any of the traditional marketing loopholes.
Did you and/or do you personally use a lot of freebies?
I get freebies and samples everyday, so yes most of them get used. Personally, over the last few years it has become a brilliant method for me to try products before I buy. The samples I have received and tried has really led to me changing my buying habits and helped to introduce me to new products on the market. We get messages from our users everyday saying thank you for helping them find all these new products.
How did you get LatestFreeStuff to the position it’s in now?
Well there was lots of hard work and dedication. When I first launched the website I was running the whole site by myself. So I was writing all the content, finding new deals, posting on Facebook and Twitter and answering users questions. It really meant that I was working 18-19 hour days to keep things running smoothly. Luckily now we have a team who help to manage the website and partnerships with brands.
What were the biggest challenges you faced?
Well the biggest challenge was really during the launch phase of the website. Convincing the first group of users to trust my website was really difficult. I remember trying to keep sending new and exclusive offers to try get people to notice LatestFreeStuff instead of our competitors. What I have come to realise is that most startups find it really difficult when they first launch their product and service. Once a small group of users begin to trust your brand things start to become much easier.
Do you find you have a particular type of user or is there a wide range of kinds of people who are after freebies?
Well after talking to the users and looking through the stats on our website/social media we have noticed that over 70% of users are female. Predominantly we have come to realise that most of the users who browse through LatestFreeStuff are really interested in beauty products, household goods and baby products. They seem to be the most popular categories on the website.
How does a freebie site make money?
Well that’s an interesting question. We get paid a small commission when users apply for some freebies listed on the website. At the moment, only 5% of the website is monetised. We are very selective about which offers we list on the site to make sure they pass our strict quality controls. Everyday we add five new offers to the website and email newsletter. Many days we have no monetised campaigns. All the offers are just genuine offers from top brands and companies. Our strategy is really to keep growing our website and email database so we have more users. The more users we attract the bigger the brands we can attract.
In your experience, are there quite a lot of fake freebie sites out there?
We find lots of dodgy looking freebie websites all the time. There are many that have copied our website concept and design. They sometimes add very risky and untrustworthy offers. These offers aim to steal users contact details or sell them onto third parties. We are proud of the fact that we will only work with genuine brands and make sure all the offers listed on LatestFreeStuff are real.
What’s the best freebie, in your opinion, that you’ve ever featured?
We have received lots of amazing freebies over the years. But the freebie that really stands out was a free Colgate electric toothbrush (worth £180). They had 8,500 to giveaway and we were the only freebie site to list the offer. It was available on a first come, first serve basis so most of our users got one at the time. Our Facebook page was flooded with users who were really chuffed when it landed on their door.
What would your advice be for anyone considering setting up an online business?
Well there are lots of tips I can give to entrepreneurs looking to setup their online businesses. The first rule is you need to be passionate about what you’re new business is. If you’re not interested in the product or service then it’s probably destined to failure down at some point. The second tip I would offer would be to try and keep costs as low as possible. This may involve you doing lots of the work yourself but this is crucial at the start-up phase. The last tip would be to make sure you work hard. When I started LatestFreeStuff I was working 18-19 hour days. The hard work really pays off when things start to kick off.
What’s next for LatestFreeStuff?
Well there are always lots of exciting developments happening at LatestFreeStuff. This week we launched our new iPad/Android tablet app. Our team have been working on getting it developed for over 11 months now so there’s been lots of sleepless nights behind the scenes. We’re really excited to get the app into the hands of the users and to see what they think. I’m sure they’re going to love it! We know we’re the first freebie site to launch an app on a tablet device, which makes everything even more exciting.
Here are the download links if you want to try and app yourself:
Do you love freebies? What’s the best freebie you’ve ever received? Let us know in the comments below.