ManDeals launches new daily deal site, just for the dudes

Coby Dilling

Like most guys, Coby Dilling loves a good deal. But when his wife signed him up for Groupon last November, the 34-year-old high school English teacher wasn’t too impressed. “After a couple of weeks of the spa treatments and bikini waxes and whatnot, I actually went back to her and said, ‘Hey, honey, where are the man deals?’”

From that dinner conversation, ManDeals.com was born. The new daily deal site is launching Thursday, with a discount for the Iron Bull sports bar in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. (For $10, buyers of the coupon get $20 worth of food and drink). Over time, Dilling hopes to offer discounts on other things guys love: golf, white water rafting, sporting events and, of course, beer.

ManDeals joins a long list of other companies — commonly known as “Groupon clones” — that are attempting to draft off the success of the big daily deal sites.

“Groupon, for a certain audience, is fantastic. They’ve absolutely killed it,” Dilling tells GeekWire. But it wasn’t quite filling his needs as a man.

And even though Groupon is the top dog right now, Dilling also thinks the heavily funded Chicago company is vulnerable since many of the people who use the service never return to the local merchants for repeat business.

“It is a one-and-done, and, quite frankly, I don’t think that benefits those businesses that offer those deals,” he said. To address the problem, ManDeals.com plans to offer ongoing promotions for local merchants.

Right now, the company is comprised of seven part-time workers, including one other teacher, who pooled about $50,000 to get the idea off the ground. Dilling hasn’t quit his day job at Woodinville High School, north of Seattle. He’s hoping to juggle the hectic days until the summer vacation hits in June.

“The 20 hour days are starting to add up, but it has been a lot of fun,” he says.

But the summer won’t provide much of a break. Following up on the Seattle launch, Dilling plans to roll out sites in Boston, Denver, L.A. and San Francisco. Six other city sites also are in the works, and the startup is considering looking for additional capital from angel investors or venture capitalists.

If the startup meets with success, Dilling said he’s prepared to give up a teaching career that he loves.

ManDeals.com isn’t the only daily deal startup targeting guys. Dealometry launched a daily deal service last month, offering “smart deals for smart guys.” While ManDeals.com plans to focus on local neighborhood or regional spots, Dealometry initially has focused on discounts with retailers like American Athletics, which recently offered a 49 percent discount on Converse sneakers.

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews and Facebook.

  • Guest

    Congratulations on the launch! I too am disappointed by the number of deals that presume me to be uncomfortable with the amount of hair on my body or with the colour of my nails. I’ve phoned Groupon about this, but they did not comment before press time.

  • Victor

    Do we really need another daily deals site? How many different ways do people want to skin a cat? This is a space that is getting absurd.

  • Guest

    It’s a good market niche, and a necessary one. Bottom line: If they sell deals for good “watering holes”, I’m buying and so are many men I know. Best of luck!

  • http://www.daniellemorrill.com Danielle Morrill

    Reminds me of manpacks.com which launched a few months ago… seems like women are still the primary buyers online, but maybe this is changing

  • Guest 2

    So thinking about the similarities between today and the internet bubble do you think the number of companies going after the local shopping / discount / find the best local deal market is more or less than the number of online pet stores that got funded ‘back in the day’. How many of those companies are still around? Maybe Groupon or someone could buy the rights to the sock puppet.

  • Coby

    Just wanted to say thanks again to John! ManDeals appreciates the coverage and the fact you articulated we want to change the daily deals game by offering long term promotions, events, and advertising for the companies we do business with. We look forward to getting you some of those man deals you want, John. Great work.
    Coby

  • http://www.thecityoftides.com/ Jeremy Mattocks

    Band wagon? Jump on that sucker.

    Sorry, I can’t help being a little snarky. It’s in my nature. But in all seriousness, I signed up. I’m tired of being offered half-off mani-pedis (whatever those are if they are legal) and I think you’ve got a solid idea.

    Now someone just needs to start a daily deals site for hipsters. They’re thirsty for some deals.

  • http://www.thecityoftides.com/ Jeremy Mattocks

    Band wagon? Jump on that sucker.

    Sorry, I can’t help being a little snarky. It’s in my nature. But in all seriousness, I signed up. I’m tired of being offered half-off mani-pedis (whatever those are if they are legal) and I think you’ve got a solid idea.

    Now someone just needs to start a daily deals site for hipsters. They’re thirsty for some deals.

  • Brunettebanana_21

    Play hard, be safe, and remember that Dilling loves saving but not in that way.