The Ashland Beacon
When most people go shopping, they immediately look for a deal. There is an adventure in finding a good coupon for an item that you want or realizing that an item that you have been eyeballing for a while has finally gone on sale. Local online (for now) businessman Wesley Davis has taken the art of finding a deal to a whole new level with his Facebook page “Wesley’s Red Hot Deals and Steals” by finding coupon codes to help people save money on everyday (and some not so everyday) items that people were going to buy anyway.
Davis got his start in marketing on the local radio stations. At age 13, he was an intern on WLGC 105.7 and at 16, he came back to work for the company. He got started on the AM side of the dial with his own Christian show on Sunday mornings. When a colleague left the world of radio and took a position as the Director of the Habitat for Humanity, Davis watched him turn the Habitat’s Restore in Huntington into a competitive store, mostly through Facebook. At that time, online sales were not something that many people knew a whole lot about and it was long before Amazon Prime became something that everyone had.
When he jumped into sales and marketing himself, Davis got the opportunity to live in China for a couple of years. He met people who were online sellers that wanted to make their merchandise more available in the United States. At that time, there wasn’t much of a market for using coupons online, but Davis had learned couponing and how to be frugal from his mother. “My mom, the Coupon Queen! She had a tackle box that was organized by aisle. She had three boys,” shared Davis. During that time, companies “had double and triple coupons and they still allowed overages, so the family would walk out of the store with free groceries and a check.”
Those days are gone, but coupons are not. When Davis came back home to Kentucky, he found himself standing in Kroger one day “giving a tutorial on digital coupons in the middle of the aisle” to help a couple of elderly women save some money on bacon. When he looked up, he realized that he had attracted a crowd and he thought, “well, this is actually kind of fun.” So, he started doing more with digital coupons from local stores and sharing them on his personal Facebook page. Davis said that “everybody likes the art of shopping” and they like to share the deals they found with their friends.
One day, someone told Davis that he could make money doing exactly what he was already doing. So, he set out to start the Facebook group “Wesley’s Red Hot Deals & Steals” out of “a passion for saving people money.” Though the group was misunderstood in the beginning because people thought that he was literally hacking and stealing codes from Amazon, David was able to prove that nothing that he has is stolen. He gets coupons directly from people selling the merchandise. Now there are several groups doing what Davis is doing but he is the one credited for being the original red hot run deal group.
Davis’s motto of “you don’t have to pay full price” has really served his group well as he tries very hard to “cater to things that people buy anyway.” Merchandise can range from clothing to food items, diapers to camping gear, toys to items for the kitchen and the home, and everything in between. Some coupon codes can only be used one time but most of them are codes that several people can use until either the code times out, or the item sells out.
Davis started the group with just a few family members and friends. Four years later, through the power of social media, he is now up to more than 34,000 followers. Davis said that he has really enjoyed meeting new people, getting to know the buying habits of the people on his site, and learning about new products. He likens Facebook to “being in a mall because foot traffic is guaranteed.”
Though Davis does make a commission off the deals that he posts, a lot of the time it is as low as 1% so he looks for deals that will appeal to a lot of people at the same time. Most of the coupons are for at least 50% off of the item being sold. Some of them are for a little less but sometimes he can find coupons for as much as 70-80% off an item.
Davis has another group online for his biggest group of followers that come from here in the tri-state area. It’s “Wesley’s Tri-State Red Hot Deals & Steals.” While he is looking for a place to set up a physical storefront, Davis is going to use this page to post deals and coupons for local businesses here in the tri-state area. When he does find a storefront, he hopes to focus on a combination of new merchandise and pallets. He will have daily deals and an item of the day, or doorbuster to get people in the door to shop. The store will be open during prime shopping hours on weekends so that “everyone can find a great deal.”