With a full-tilt recession honing our instincts for sniffing out a bargain, you’d think the (somewhat unfounded) elitist cachet of an iPhone would preclude it from being a tool in the cheapskate arsenal. But Denver-based Coupon Sherpa aims to bring saving to the mobile space, by turning the 20-million strong base of iPhone and iPod Touch users into on-the-go coupon clippers.
The app works by finding coupons online for goods in brick and mortar stores that have partnered with Coupon Sherpa (which include CompUSA, Zales Jewelers and Tiger Direct) and then generating a barcode which can be entered by an in-store clerk for instant savings. The company was founded by brothers Luke and Jesse Knowles. Luke previously founded freeshipping.org, a site which lets consumers find online retailers that offer free shipping.
It remains to be seen if iPhone owners will embrace Coupon Sherpa, especially since there are iPhone apps that can scan product barcodes and find cheaper deals online. But its a testament to the malleable nature of both the iPhone platform and the app community surrounding it that new ideas like Coupon Sherpa have a chance to gain traction amongst consumers.