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Monday, March 3, 2014 - 7:34pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The newest way of getting deals from Las Cruces merchants is already receiving some buzz after the weekend launch of text message deal finder OneEighty.
The concept was created locally at the Arrowhead Center after the developers saw the need for consumers and merchants with some discount apps neglecting the Las Cruces market.
"It works on any cell phone so you can find deals you want with your phone, buy them with your phone and redeem them with your phone," said OneEIghty Co-founder Jon Forrest.
The system is completely based off of text messaging so it does not require an internet connection or a smart phone.
A customer simply signs up through the OneEighty website and is able to customize their specific interests on their profile.
Once a member, the system will only send out messages on deals the person is interested in.
"You're not going to get deals on massages if you don't like massages," said OneEighty Co-founder Tim Swope.
If a member is interested in a specific offer, they simply follow a series of text commands to make a purchase and redeem the deal.
"It's quick, it's easy and it's faster than what people usually take to respond to text messages," said New Mexico State University student Maria Garcia.
Garcia redeemed an order of nachos at The Game Sports Bar and Grill.
She said having deals from a restaurant she frequents is an added bonus.
"I'm a broke college student as is," she said. "So the more money I can save on food, the better."
The creators feel the system will also benefit the businesses as it will send out deals on the spot to people they know are already interested.
The merchant also has full control of the dealing by setting limits on quantity, length of time and price.
Forrest said if a business is having a slow day, they can send out a deal to members in hopes of having them make a purchase.
"Within minutes people are going to see that offer, buy it and come into the store," Forrest said.
Milagro Coffee on University Avenue is coming up on 16 years of serving the Las Cruces community and during that time, owner Bernie Digman has changed the way he targets his younger customers.
"They have a different way of communicating and we have to step with that and learn how to communicate with them," he said.
For Digman social media is a must and is something his coffee shop does on a daily basis but he said a direct message draws in customers a lot quicker.
"You've already identified people who already want to be part of it," he said. "It's not like your cold calling somebody about it."
The founder and operator said he also likes the fact OneEighty does not require any activation costs or equipment fees.
A small receiver similar to a credit card machine simply prints out two receipts for the business owner and customer.
"There's no bookkeeping challenges and it's easy for the staff to use," Digman said.
OneEighty will only charge when a purchase is made.
The creators are hoping to expand the system to more area businesses and other locations once the word continues spreading.
Current business offering OneEighty deals: