Hi Reddit! We’re the founders of Slickdeals, the world’s largest online deal community. Our community is all about finding deals and saving people money (we’re like reddit for deals). We don’t actually sell anything, but we show you where to get the best savings and value.

You’ve got the original founding team here, Van (/u/mr_sd Founder), Bryant (/u/slickdealsceo Head of Product) and Vitaly (/u/red_solar Head of Tech).

Van (the founder) started the website in 1999 as a poor starving college student finding deals to save himself money, and since then we’ve ballooned into the largest deal community on the Web with up to 12 million unique visitors a month (in comparison though, reddit has 85 million uniques!) In 2009, we had 3 employees. Today, we have 35 employees and we’re still growing! In fact we’re constantly hiring for designers, developers, and more!

As you all know, Black Friday is soon upon us, and it is the busiest shopping season of the year so we’re hunkered down and extra busy. We actually just spent a bunch of time and effort releasing our new Black Friday Apps (both Android and iOS) and are busy spending days and nights cataloging deals... But we wanted to take some time to give you guys the opportunity to ask us anything about the website, the company, the black friday madness, merchants, leaks, crazy couponers or even the technology stack behind Slickdeals. Most people don’t realize how challenging it is to run a website with 200m+ pageviews a month with 2 sys admins and 40 servers, but being small has forced us to be extremely efficient.

Ask us anything! (Proof: http://i.imgur.com/s2ztJhQ.png)

We'll start answering questions at 12:00 PST / 3:00 EST!

Edit: Thanks for all your questions! We had a lot of fun answering questions and hearing your comments and feedback. It's really humbling to hear how we've impacted people's lives and saved them money. I only hope that we can continue to be worthy of your trust and your patronage! Please feel free to message me here on Reddit or on Slickdeals anytime you have comments or feedback!

Comments: 950 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

TyrionSwaggister250 karma


slickdealsceo121 karma

[Bryant] She's not a bot! And actually it seems like she retired :(

american_engineer7 karma

I think of her as being a username that belongs to more than one user. Maybe to the slickdeals staff who have figured out some special channels for getting deals and possible program Selma to release them at specific times. Possibly releasing prearranged deals that retailers "leak" to slick deals ahead of time.

slickdealsceo39 karma

Nope, we absolutely has nothing to do with her. If we did, we'd want to post more useful and detailed information.

We actually reached out to her once to see if she wanted a tshirt.. swag, etc for posting so much and she even declined.

Then we thought she was a merchant shill, but after inspecting her posts, she posts deals from all sorts of different people.

We do know that she got deals from newsletters and merchant feeds though so she did have an edge up from mere "mortals"

emmawatsonsbf12 karma

Or other merchants pay her to get those deal posted on the forums kinda like what you guys do.

slickdealsceo23 karma

We suspected this and even checked into this too, but could not make any determination as to whether or not this was true due to the fact that there was no pattern.

It was known that merchants sent her deals directly, but there was no evidence of payment.

trainsaw77 karma

Whats your view on $D users who "game" the system, such as threatening to cancel to get a better deal, calling Amazon and complaining because so and so got this deal and why can't they? A notable example was news coverage of the Walmart price mistake which specifically name dropped $D and it's user base for not handling the cancellation of those mistakes well. It gets your name out there but also seems to cast it in a negative light. I'm a fan of your website and use it daily however there does seem to be a small segment of your user base who seem to believe they're entitled to having low prices handed to them instead of taking advantage of existing offers/deals, which in my interpretation, was the spirit of the site.

slickdealsceo79 karma

[Bryant] Well, we definitely don't support anything that involves fraud. You'd be surprised about the stories that we hear and the lengths that people would go through to get a deal. For example: one time, a user suggested that users should distract the cashier and then punch in a discount code on the register. This is a no no.

However, when it comes to things like price mistakes and cancellations, I believe burden rests on the merchant to provide a good customer experience and ultimately it's their responsibility. Should everyone expect to get anything out of it? No. They shouldn't try to circumvent the system or attack some poor customer service rep on the other end of the line either...

That being said, if its a legitimate offer or policy (such as price matching a TV at Amazon) we're all for it.

pokemon32329 karma

Why don't you guys have a cashback program?

slickdealsceo41 karma

[Bryant] One of the reasons is because we care about our editorial independence. We want to be able to post whatever deals we want. You'd be surprised about how many merchants will send us a cease and desist because someone posted something like a Pizza Hut coupon that was "designed for the email channel" only. It's the internet! Everyone's gonna share what they find.

The second reason is we don't have the staff or resources. Cashback is a huge issue when it comes to tech, security, customer service etc, especially when you deal with people's money. Right now, we want to be at arms length. That isn't to say that we aren't always considering our options and doing research about the feasibility of doing something like cashback in the future.

banananon24 karma

You use referral links for all or most deals posted on SD. You still make money on those, right?

slickdealsceo23 karma

We monetize where we can (its actually an automated process), but cashback relies on a stronger merchant partnership.

PhDeeezNutz57 karma

Just wanted to say that the Deal Alerts feature is the best on the web. It's saved me thousands of dollars, and that's a conservative estimate.

What do you see as the greatest unknown or little-known features of the SlickDeals site?

slickdealsceo37 karma

[Bryant] Since you already use Deal Alerts, do you also get push notifications using our mobile apps?

Outside of that, there's something called Slickdeals Live which is a real time feed of votes, posts and comments. Fun fact: This feature took down our own website in the past when it first came out hah. (We basically ddosed ourselves)

zWeApOnz17 karma

I love slickdeals live! Worth dedicating a secondary monitor just for this page.

slickdealsceo10 karma

We definitely do this in house too!

diggmedown46 karma

I've used SD for a long time and lately I stop going to the site because i'll spend needlessly but I just want to ask if the give aways are legit and who supplies the prizes? I've always been a little sketched out by them.


slickdealsceo40 karma

The giveaways are 100% legit. We (Slickdeals) actually purchase the prizes ourselves and ship them to the winners. You can see a list of past winners and prizes here as proof!

NakedJuices3 karma

Are you guys giving out cars again this year? ;D

borogodo7 karma

I remember last year's cars give away. It seemed really sketchy because the winners were all SD very active users.

InfamousBLT10 karma

Could be confirmation bias...the active users of SD would be the ones who would be the most vocal on SD about getting the cars, simply because they're already active on SD. So people who weren't active may have won, and just didn't say anything. Or they did say something and were ignored/forgotten because they weren't that active anyways.

slickdealsceo18 karma

We did an analysis one year after members accused us that only new users were winning (funny how everyone thinks they're not winning), but it ended up being a pretty even split. Just the luck of the draw.

djmonarck36 karma

Your site has saved me so much money over the years but I'm pretty sure I've also bought countless items that I didn't really need. So I guess this is my way of saying "Thanks!"

slickdealsceo27 karma

[Bryant] Thanks :) We're victims of our own site too, but in the end it feels good to get a really good deal, plus someone could always use it.

We eat our own dogfood for sure!

blastorama24 karma

What deal in the history of your site represented the biggest moderation nightmare, and alternatively, what deal do you feel like most people overlooked?

slickdealsceo26 karma

[Vitaly]. The mega touchpad firesale thread is probably the one that lasted the longest. Of ~290,000 posts about 40,000 were deleted as part of moderation. http://slickdeals.net/f/3220862-hp-touchpad-9-7-wifi-tablet-16gb-100-32gb-150-free-shipping. The others that come to mind are purpose-driven threads that went through some community in-fighting/rule violations: Kohl's thread, Victoria Secret thread, Printable coupon thread (before it had members actively monitoring it) - lots of fraud potential there

LFCHD22 karma

I just want to say thank you, I constantly tell people about your site and have bought countless items and saved tons of money. Any updates coming for the site? Also, it would be awesome if you posted on Twitter when deals hit the front page!

sdcgrady22 karma

Also, it would be awesome if you posted on Twitter when deals hit the front page!

We do :)


slickdealsceo22 karma

sdcgrady here is one of our developers!

Crispy72419 karma

What do you use for your website framework? Do you use anything for real-time profiling? Do you regret any choices you made originally during initial development & programming? If you could do it all over again, what language & framework would you have written slickdeals in?

slickdealsceo20 karma

[Vitaly]. Our forum is our de-facto vBulletin platform with a lot of modifications to make it scale and work for our (deal sharing/hunting) purpose. A very significant portion of (our) code is segmented and largely standalone, we try to sandbox and separate features as much as possible to ease maintenance, testing and potential of code interactions/collisions.

As of late, we have been using New Relic monitoring for a lot of the realtime (and lower level) monitoring, as well as a lot of post-mortem tools (Cacti, NagiOS) to tell us when things go bad.

Looking back (and forward for the TODO list) we'd love to make our architecture even more decoupled, be more diligent about code, reviews, testing, etc from the get go, as well as really attacking some of the skeletons in the closet we continue to encounter with the forum platform every day.

If we did it all over again.... that's a difficult question to answer with 14 years of code (10 years of forums experience) behind our belts. I'd definitely think scale faster/sooner, and bake it into initial products as much as possible - as those are usually hard to fix post-factum without a complete re-architecture (basically restarting from scratch).

[Bryant] I think that there have been some challenges fixing vbulletin's code to make it scale for large websites. A lot of vbulletin's code is "legacy" and not object-oriented. However, I think PHP has been a pretty good and robust language for us.

A lot of the work in recent years for our infrastructure has been around databases and data as well as performance tuning.

mattate3 karma

Hi I am the tech guy behind hotukdeals, the biggest deal site in the UK and mydealz the biggest deal site in Germany.

We have actually moved away from vbulletin as it gives us a lot more flexibility to make the community what we envision it should be, instead of constantly fighting and compromising because of limitations of vb code.

We moved away I think 4 years ago and I have to say it was probably the best decision I've made as a Dev (even though I was green at the time and there were a lot of initial issues)

Scaling actually became much easier after the switch, and I sleep much easier now feeling confident the site will stay up if there is a morning rush. In conversations about new features the word vbulletin never come up as well.

slickdealsceo4 karma

Cool. Nice to meet you!

How big are you guys in terms of traffic? Most of our issues didnt come until we hit the much larger traffic spikes.

TyrionSwaggister17 karma

What's the best deal you've seen since the site's inception?

blinyellow35 karma

Bing Cashback was a great time, made so many deals sweeter.

My favorite deal of all time involved Walgreens, 1800 Flowers and Bing Cashback.

It was around valentines day, and Walgreens had boxes of chocolate for something like $4 that had a peelie sticker with a code for $20 to 1-800 Flowers (I believe it was the deal mentioned here ). I bought 3 of those, so 3 $20 stickers. Now these worked as gift cards towards 1-800 Flowers so they were stackable, and better yet, Bing Cashback had 25%, and since these were gift cards and not coupons, I got 25% back on the full price ($60*.25=$15).

So the final result was something like $12 out of pocket at Walgreens, 2 dozen roses shipped to my house for valentines day, and about $15 cashback from bing.

3 boxes of chocolate, 2 dozen roses, and $3 in my pocket.

slickdealsceo14 karma

Literally free money!

vinhboy3 karma

Jeebus, you kept an on going list all these years?

slickdealsceo4 karma

These are just what we remember off the top of our head!

possibletofapto16 karma

Will I ever win a daily sweepstakes? I've been entering everyday for the past 2 years ;_;

slickdealsceo11 karma

[Bryant] Keep trying! the odds are pretty good actually as many members have won multiple times now.

BittahProfessional15 karma


This FTC filing (along with an influx of new c-level talent on LinkedIn) indicates that Warburg Pincus either purchased outright or purchased some percentage of SlickDeals late last year.

Was this decision at all influenced by the success of WhaleShark's acquisition of RetailMeNot?

And, in your opinion, what does this greater trend of deal site acquisitions (SD to Warburg, Bens to Internet Bargains, FatWallet to Ebates/PMB, Techbargains to Experian, Deals2Buy to WhaleShark/RMN) mean to the bargain hunting / internet affiliate industry?

Did these founders just want a cash parachute or is this influx of outside money making it increasingly difficult to successfully operate as an independent site in a space with very low barriers to entry?

slickdealsceo10 karma

You've got a good pulse of the industry, who do you work for? :)

We took an investment to help grow slickdeals and help us find more deals for more people. The founding team, along with all the original employees are still here, and in fact still heavily involved (actually really involved, as evidenced here, but did you know all our employees have thanksgiving together at the office because its so busy for us that it’s all hands on deck for thanksgiving through cyber monday? It’s not so bad though, we have a fun time, and the company provides all the fixings. Check out last year’s spread: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8480/8211461151_77d310aeb2.jpg

Regarding your other questions, its hard to guess why someone sold or took investments or did other things. Some people do just want to cash out, some people combine for strategic purposes, and then others do it to scale. What does it mean for the community? Hard to speculate because I dont know what each company has planned, but I can tell you for us it means we have more resources to do more ambitious things. I'll be the first to admit that I dont know everything, and the more help (talent, experience) I could get to make slickdeals even more successful and useful to consumers, the better.

It is a little more difficult to operate because you have these big companies like RMN spending tons of money and you have to be competitive. But thats not the only reason why someone should sell or invest.

I dont think its a low barrier to entry, depending on what you're trying to do. Sure its easy to start a "deal" site where you scrape or take other people's content, but its far harder to build a community millions strong and that is our leverage. Plus, users will eventually find the source of the content and they will reward the source with their patronage, and they in turn will be rewarded with the most timely content.

We believe its an exciting time for Slickdeals because even though we're 14 years old, we're just getting started. As we mentioned before, we grew purely through word of mouth and as you saw we gained a lot of experienced talent who can help us become a better company and create a better service. We believe we have plenty of room to grow and become even more successful, and we were lucky enough to find an investor who shares that belief and is "hands off" about it too: they're letting the management team here run the company... It took us a lot of deliberation and searching to find someone who shared our viewpoint: they recognized that the community is the most important part of Slickdeals, and that the users are first and foremost.

anexanhume15 karma

How much does it bother you when posts originating on slickdeals are cross-posted to other deal sites like cheapassgamer?

slickdealsceo24 karma

[Vitaly] A little. Then again, our users post deals to SD that are taken from other sites too. In the end, this is a sharing site, and if people share elsewhere, or from elsewhere - it's fair game. We live in the internet world, and we can't control what spreads where.

[Bryant] If it's just natural sharing of deals, we don't mind. Its the internet, things are meant to be shared. We did however have an issue where websites scraped our content wholesale and then rewrote our links so that they'd take our revenue. That was upsetting because we put so much work into building and cultivating the community to have someone rip it off.

FreeGums14 karma

Have you ever gotten a letter from another web/sys admin from a store site in response to being SlickDealed? (slow their webservers to a crawl)

slickdealsceo17 karma

[Bryant] We've taken down a lot of sites, we might not necessarily get a letter though. Sometimes an email saying "please, please take down this deal you're killing our servers!"

Some notable sites include ebay + paypal, discount mags, walmart, dell (a lot), hp (and everyone who sold HP touchpads), and more that I don't even remember. It happens, especially to smaller sites.

NakedJuices12 karma

Are you guys doing this AMA do get more people to go on slickdeals? Also why don't you guys have a cashback program like FatWallet?

slickdealsceo17 karma

Just answering questions as founders since we thought it'd be interesting leading up to black friday.

Fun fact: We’ve got 108,000 facebook fans, 145,000 twitter followers, 3,500 google plus subscribers (hah), and Reddit still sends us more traffic than any of those guys combined. And we dont even "try" here (nor can we).

Re: cashback see http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1qx1b0/we_started_slickdeals_the_largest_online_deal/cdhdmnv

grandmasterkif12 karma

I have impulse bought so many things because of your website...

Question. What future plans do you have with slickdeals?

slickdealsceo15 karma

[Bryant] We want Slickdeals to be a household brand. With only ~12 million unique visitors a month we know that there are still plenty of people out there that can learn about Slickdeals.

We want to be the company that you trust to give you the best advice about any purchase decision and to facilitate the purchase process by giving you everything you need to know. That's the vision and direction we're going for.

fugon11 karma

I love $d will you please acknowledge my existence?

slickdealsceo19 karma

We love you too fugon.

vwzee10 karma

Big fan of SD here. Get a lot of great deals off your site and really appreciate it!

One thing I have always wondered - do you guys solely generate your revenue based on advertisements? Or do you have any type of agreements in place with various retail outlets/websites?

Oh - and does anyone ever really win that damn giveaway? I swear I have entered it everyday for the past 2 years and have never won!

slickdealsceo11 karma

[Bryant] We make money off of advertising and affiliate revenue. These are usually done through affiliate networks such as Commission Junction or Linkshare. In short, we get a small commission for generating sales for some of these companies (but not all).

However, as you can expect, we don't always make money and in fact that isnt a factor in deciding what makes it to our Frontpage. Our deal editors have complete authority and independence about choosing what makes it to the frontpage (for example free burgers at Jack in the Box, even though it makes no money). The deal editors are sourced from our community so they were users who were picked for finding great deals.

Regarding the giveaway: The giveaways are 100% legit. We (Slickdeals) actually purchase the prizes ourselves and ship them to the winners. You can see a list of past winners and prizes here as proof!

nickfinity9 karma

How's it going Mr. Slickdeals, Bryantq, and Redsolar? This is Kramer! from the forums. No question really, just wanted to say hi to you guys. :wave:

slickdealsceo9 karma


ArchangelPT8 karma

NA only or do you have an European version?

slickdealsceo9 karma

International expansion is within the realm of possibility :) What we need the most though are passionate users in those areas to help build the seed the community.

You interested? :)

Destro1908 karma

Long time user of SlickDeals and I wanted to say THANKS!

That said, How do you feel about deal sites effect on Retail brick and mortar stores and do you think that physical stores are dying?

slickdealsceo16 karma

[Vitaly]. I personally think that death of retail stores is an overstatement. Look at Apple, for example - their retail stores are blooming - both for research and purchase purposes. In the end, it's all about what value a store adds. If all it sells is commodity goods and provides no discernable value to the end user, competition (online or offline) will put it out of business eventually.

People still like having the convenience of 'I want this today' and there are many things that many will never buy online (clothing, shoes are the obvious ones). I'll give you a real life example. My family member owns a mom and pop appliance store which successfully competes with Lowes and Best Buy within walking distance by satisfying the post-purchase service requirement. They've done it for many years, and people specifically come to them to buy things. It's all about finding the niche that you fill in the end - and you'll have no problem surviving.

TyrionSwaggister8 karma

How often is a deal so hot that you buy it yourselves before listing it in "Hot Deals?"

slickdealsceo6 karma

/u/LavernicaDeLuca's statement is true in that our users post most of the deals. However, when a deal editor notices something especially hot, they'll send a company wide message to give everyone a heads up.

We use HipChat!

boslan7 karma

What were some of the most difficult challenges in the early stages of slickdeals?

slickdealsceo15 karma

mr_sd there is the original founder of Slickdeals (Van).

Dh2587 karma

Lemme start off by saying that I'm a huge fan of slickdeals. It is easily responsible for 30% of my daily electronics, including an HP Touchpad and some nice speakers.

Slickdeals has certainly drawn some flack in the occasional price mistake thread, most recently the Walmart price mistake fiasco within the past few weeks. Most of the complaints come from concerned citizens, but I have never seen an actual company response.

Has slickdeals ever received complaints from the actual companies themselves (in accordance to losses caused by threads), and how were they dealt with?

slickdealsceo10 karma

[Bryant] We try to keep a good relationship with the merchants, and part of that is educating them that Slickdeals is a community. Its a forum of users who act independently.

"Would you blame Facebook if you got bad PR there? Would you blame Reddit? Then you shouldn't blame Slickdeals". We do allow merchants to do customer service on our website (but not many take us up on that offer, or do it well).

That being said, it has not stopped some companies from complaining. Most companies realize though that if they had a price mistake, it was their error. Its not like someone at slickdeals came and hacked their system and changed the prices.

somemadeupusername7 karma

What do you think about resellers? Some people lurk SD just to get deals they can then resell back at a higher price. Are you against it? Do you think it's fair game?

slickdealsceo3 karma

[Bryant] I'd prefer that more unique people were able to get into a deal, but its not like we can do anything to stop it. Some merchants have gotten better about order limits though.

olentz6 karma

Can you share us your current revenue stream, and what changes after 2009? I mean, you don't go from 3 to 35 employees by pure luck :)

slickdealsceo6 karma

[Bryant] Wouldn’t you like to know :D Well we’re private so we wouldn't really answer that question, but we make money through ads and affiliate marketing. Since we’ve started, our users have purchased over a $3 billion dollars worth of stuff, and saved them just about as much money!

In terms of what changed in 2009, thats when we really decided to launch the company as a real business. Opened an office in Las Vegas, hired developers, and people to help run the site. Luckily the investment was worth it as we continue to grow.

[Van] I decided that to grow SD and give it the love it deserves, we needed an office so that we can work together in person rather than remotely. In the first 10 years, everything was done remotely and it was great as a small team but you can only accomplish so much. After opening up the office, we added mostly devs and a business person to handle merchant questions.

Chalupster6 karma

Hi! Been a big fan and user of the site since 2007 and very grateful for all of the money your system has saved me. Unfortunately, I have noticed an increasing number of trolls and very rude users (old and new) in most of the major forums over the past 2-3 years and it only seems to be slowly getting worse and worse. The report system has done very little which is disheartening because I think this negativity may be scaring away a lot of new users and hindering many a discussion.

Nonetheless, thank you for your site!

slickdealsceo6 karma

We're working on a new "post rating" system that'll allow users to vote on individual comments, and that should help. We'll highlight the good ones, hide the bad ones.

LavernicaDeLuca5 karma

How do you respond to the allegations that you only promote deals to the front page that make you money and/or that you get paid for promoting certain deals to the front page?

NOTE: I do not believe these allegations and in fact have disputed them when I see them on Slickdeals, mostly just curious what your response is.

slickdealsceo15 karma

The fact is our editors have complete editorial integrity about picking which deals make it to the frontpage.

We sort of have a "separation of powers" here at Slickdeals. Our merchant relationship team and our deal editing team are kept at arms length.

This is how you get deals for free tacos at taco bell which clearly don't make us any direct revenue.

Its no doubt that we make money off of frontpage deals, but we certainly don't purposely try to hide deals. Sometimes deals get missed by a deal editor just because they're human and they have to review so many deals...

Now in the effort of transparency, I will say that if there is a deal that is at Amazon and at Walmart for the same price, for the same shipping, we'll typically optimize for the one who makes us a little more money. We list both though. You'll often see a deal thats something like:

Walmart has a deal for x. You can also get it at Amazon here.

So people still have a choice.

iancole855 karma

I just want to say THANK YOU for running an amazing website and not screwing it up.

I have been a member since 2008 and have gotten in on some legendary deals including winning a $10k Kawasaki jetski in the '09 eBay Holiday Sweepstakes.. the accidental Sears 50% off everything sale in 2010.. the Home Depot $50 off $100 coupons this year.. BA 100k CC signups 2011.. OO/Nextjump contests in '09 and '10.. Lowe's FB Holiday sweeps '10.. and on and on and on.

I even built an Excel spreadsheet that pulls in the threads in Hot Deals and auto-updates, so I can check Slickdeals constantly at work without looking like a slacker.

Your website has been an incredible resource, a big part of my life. and I evangelize for you guys on the reg. Keep up the awesome work!!

slickdealsceo4 karma

Glad you like the site! It's always a great feeling to get in on a slickdeal.

digjam5 karma


slickdealsceo7 karma

We're actually experimenting with a new sorting algorithm based off of reddit's and you might see that roll out soon to the search results and forums!

Oxden5 karma

Why so many front page deals from tanga? Seems like crap usually...? Just curious. Oh and I love the site. Found it 2-3 years back. Now I've got all kinds of people hooked on slick deals

slickdealsceo10 karma

We mostly go on votes! Sometimes the community is a strange thing - we see ebbs and flows about what the community likes and dislikes. Remember when there used to be meritline deals all over the place? now there are none.

cookiemonster5754 karma

I just wanted to say I visit your website everyday. Thanks for everything!

slickdealsceo3 karma

Thanks for using us! I'll take a line from southwest airlines: We know you have lots of choices, so thanks for choosing Slickdeals.

newyorkyankz4 karma

Over / Under 7.5 million revenue per year? Since I know you don't want to get into specifics

slickdealsceo4 karma


ohkissit4 karma

This is my other most frequented site besides reddit. I've been a member of SD since 2007. I still check it daily just like reddit.

I love a deal, but they sure don't come around like they used to.

slickdealsceo6 karma

Retailers are getting smarter, so price mistakes happen less and less, but there are still good deals. :)

DohRayMeme4 karma

How many HP Touchpads did you buy? Honestly though, how many users did that fuster cluck bring to your site and how many stayed?

slickdealsceo6 karma

It was one of the biggest days for us, even larger than Black Friday. We bought a lot, I think we got one for every employee as a perk :)

tigs844 karma

First off, I'm a big fan of SD. Thanks for all of your work!

I want a new TV, but for various reasons, do not have the desire to do Black Friday shopping. What are other good times during the year to purchase TVs?

slickdealsceo4 karma

[Vitaly]. I personally get that asked a lot by friends and family. My answer is always the same. I get my holiday/birthday/special day shopping done during the whole year. I buy things that are good-to-awesome price when I know that's something I'll use some day (that impulse spending!) and I always had. Black Friday is a great time to get some of those one-off deals, but in the past something like TVs, for example is happening year round. Early in the year (Feb-March) when there are model line changeovers to new, and improved current year models, often during major sporting events (Superbowl), Father's Day and sometimes Black Friday. With TVs, each year has the 'best size' - this year it's 60-65" models, which are the best 'price-per-inch' ratio (last year it was 55"). The main thing with TVs - settle on the features you absolutely need, and don't look for 'nice-to-haves' or specific brands, since chances are if you do that you will overpay.

[Bryant] It doesn't apply just to TV's either. Good deals happen year round (and often times are even better than Black Friday).

BladeAP3 karma

You have saved me SO much money in the last few years. I seriously love slickdeals.

slickdealsceo3 karma

Thanks for using us!

newyorkyankz3 karma

What is the revenue of Slickdeals per year (can give a range if that makes you feel more comfy) :).. just curious..

slickdealsceo3 karma

S e c r e t. :) we’re private so we wouldn't really answer that question, but we make money through ads and affiliate marketing. Since we’ve started, our users have purchased over a $3 billion dollars worth of stuff, and saved them just about as much money!

TyrionSwaggister3 karma

Be honest, have you ever taken a deal down because it was so smokin' that you had to get in before it was gone?

sdcgrady6 karma

No, we have never taken down a deal just to get in on it :)

slickdealsceo4 karma


strumpster3 karma

What data is used to establish that you are able to call yourselves "the world's largest online deal community?"

Just wondering. Peace, and good luck out there!

slickdealsceo8 karma

[Bryant] Basically we looked at all of our competitors in the deal website space and looked at their traffic numbers. We have the largest out of all of them.

cthulhu_1103 karma

Just wanted to say thank you for saving me a ton of money! Keep up the amazing work.

slickdealsceo4 karma

Thanks, happy to be of service! :)

singapureca_ot_varna3 karma

Can you share some insight about the technologies that run the site? I guess you started with the forum software, but I saw it grow so much, I guess you have quite a few extra pieces around it?

Edit: Thanks for being around! I discovered SD in 2009 and been constantly hitting at least the front page every day since :)

slickdealsceo3 karma

[Vitaly]. We are huge fans of building our site architecture ourselves using components which do not come with a mandatory license for everything production. So we use a fairly standard web stack that we self host: (free/open source) Citrix XenServer for hypervisor, CentOS as core operating system, HAProxy load balancer, MySQL (Percona), PHP, Lighttpd web server, memcached, gearman, Sphinx (search), Cassandra (write-heavy traffic, messaging), Postfix (email), lots and lots of cron/daemontools, Cacti/NagiOS (monitoring). All of that runs on commodity hardware, and everything except databases and HAProxy runs inside (small) virtual nodes (most of which are cloned from the same template). We try to take a 'shared nothing' approach and rely of hundreds of small nodes of which significant percentage can fail without end users noticing. So there are no SANs or any major centralized storage. We have been using (consumer grade) SSDs for all our databases since 2009, and never looked back at spinning disks.

AMAbutTHAT3 karma

How were you able to market SD so successfully when there were so many deal site start ups at the time. Before SD, I used Anandtech, BensBargains, and FatWallet.

Thanks for the AMA. Huge fan. You guys helped me save so much money over the years! Congrats on the success. Keep up the good work.

slickdealsceo6 karma

Slickdeals has grown by word of mouth thanks to our community posting, rating, reviewing deals and products and evangelizing slickdeals to their friends and family.

It grew way faster than any of us expected. In 1999 when Van started the site, he just told his friends… Last year we had over 12 million unique visitors in November, our busiest month and we hope to exceed that this year again. Believe it or not, from 1999 to 2012 we grew purely through word of mouth: friends telling friends. We didn't spend a dime on marketing or advertising. I think that just shows how great of a site we are... So good that people would recommend us to their friends.

But considering the size of the market, there are still plenty of people who don’t know about us and who are spending way more money than they need to. Our goal is to reach everyone and teach them the Slickdeals spirit of saving money.

If you search Google for ‘slickdeals’ and go to News, you see all the great articles that list slickdeals as one of the top site and apps for deals

And these are all articles that these writers made without our participation.

johncmpe3 karma

What are the key differentiating factors between a job candidate that is offered a position and those that are not?

slickdealsceo2 karma

[Bryant] Honesty, competency in the required job skills, and whether or not the person fits in with the Slickdeals culture.

What determines whether or not a person sticks around after being hired includes work ethic and the desire to self-improve and learn.

[Vitaly]. I will answer from the tech side (I have hired most of our tech team). In no particular order: -(required condition) Initial skillset -Drive to write good software (dev) -Hunger for learning new things (dev and ops) -Presence of (some) personality -Low resistance to deal hunter mentality brainwashing

Aleyha3 karma

Love your site's idea and implementation. Thanks for making it.

slickdealsceo5 karma

Thanks, glad you find it useful!

boslan3 karma

How does everyone find their deals? How did you find your deals starting out? Are most really just common users stumbling upon a good deal and posting it on the forum? DJ3xclusive can't be human.

slickdealsceo3 karma

Editors look for deals through newsletters or merchants sometimes email stuff for us to consider. Users find and post their own deals as well.

DJ3 is totally human :) He's out of new york.

dave3883 karma

who do you guys classify as your biggest competitor?

slickdealsceo3 karma

It depends which space we're talking about.

Fatwallet is probably the biggest competitor in terms of deal community

RetailMeNot is probably the largest competitor in terms of coupon sites.

ilikelogic3 karma

With '12 million uniques' a month, and a plethora of deal data, how will you leverage this in the future? What is the next $D product?

Surely you can do more than just be a forum.

I've been on the site for 8 years.

slickdealsceo3 karma

The goal is to be an authoritative resource for shopping. Someone you can rely on to give you all the information you need to make an informed shopping decision, but not only that. We want to make sure you get the most -value- for your money.

There are lots of opportunities for us to provide that value and you'll see us roll out features and content to that regard.

hiimfive3 karma

Are there benefits to having a lot reputation points?

slickdealsceo4 karma

Its like karma. :D

blinyellow2 karma

So I love Slickdeals for finding general merchandise, and it is excellent for that. However, one area that I wish worked better was the grocery store type items. I know you guys have a forum dedicated for it, but it is mostly about coupons, and isn't very friendly for newcomers or casual viewers. And, unlike most regular slickdeals deals, grocery stores are very regional (even if a particular store is nationwide, the prices for groceries varies widely).

It would be awesome to have a tool where you put in your grocery list, and it gives you the cheapest place to buy those items right now. Of course to keep all that pricing data up to date is a huge task, but if any website has the community to do that, it is slickdeals.

Of course a tool like that would require a huge amount of work to make it work well. So I guess my question is there anything bigger and better on the horizon for slickdeals and groceries?

slickdealsceo2 karma

Hmm. You never know. But we love to hear feature requests like this from the community :)

Deadlifted2 karma

I'm gonna ask two questions on this AMA and then sell the extra on eBay.

I have no money, but I'm always on your website. Why?

What was your favorite/best deal that's even been posted?

slickdealsceo2 karma

Because when you do have money, you'll know what to get and where to get it :D

Best deals: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1qx1b0/we_started_slickdeals_the_largest_online_deal/cdhfgaz

Kingtutsnuts2 karma

What is the slickest deal you can offer me, right now?

slickdealsceo3 karma


Sign up for this credit card, spend $500 and get $200 cash back.... no annual fee.. that's free money!

stfu_whale2 karma

Why don't B&M Deals get Front Paged? They don't have an affiliate link so you can't make money, but aren't those deals the reason people come to SD...to save money?

slickdealsceo4 karma

B&M deals do make it to the frontpage, but only in certain circumstances.

For example, we'll promote an in-store lowes coupon no problem because they're a national chain and have a reputation.

But if its a small one off deal with limited quantity it just doesnt make sense to promote it to a nationwide audience.

That being said, we also have a mechanism that allows us to promote frontpage deals to certain regions only (but limited in use at this time).

Frajer2 karma

Do you guys get any sort of kickback when I click on a link for a deal?

slickdealsceo3 karma

[Bryant] We get affiliate commissions on sales we generate for certain stores. For some stores we get nothing at all, but still post the deals because its in the best interest of the community :)

cdsparks2 karma

Hey there! Daily SlickDeals user here. Thanks for doing this!

How do you guys maintain high site traffic, when there are so many copycat websites (coupons, deal of the days, etc.)? Other than the fact that the structure is unique, but have you noticed a loss of traffic due to the fact that there are low barriers to entry in this market?

slickdealsceo4 karma

[Bryant] I believe its because our users trust us. There are lots of deal sites out there, but they aren't as trustworthy as we are, nor do they have a community. We're community driven, constantly audited and watched by our community. We recognize that the community is who we are, so we're extremely loyal to them.

We have editorial integrity, posting only the best deals. Even when our editors have made mistakes in posting a deal, they've just as quickly removed them based on community feedback. Lots of other deal sites mix in paid advertisements and users are smarter than that.

fa532 karma

Are you receiving a lot of complaints about the iPhone app crashing?

slickdealsceo3 karma

:( We're working on it!

maverick8031 karma

Just wanted to say I love the site and thanks for making it all possible.

Could you please tell my friend Justin, who checks the site every hour, every day, that he needs to save his money, and not spend it irrationally on items, although discounted, not necessary at all? (A snowboard in Houston)

Thanks guys and keep up the good work!

slickdealsceo2 karma

[Bryant] I bought a snowboard too and I live in vegas!