If you’re in the market for 50% off a restaurant gift certificate, consider checking out your local television or radio station. Yes, really. Many stations receive restaurant gift certificates in exchange for air time. They then turn around and sell the certificates to the public at a steep discount. Yeah, it sounds strange to us too, but here’s how it works…
The company that came up with the concept is the Cleveland-based IncentRev, and it’s a coupon broker that facilitates the on-air promotions. Essentially, it works like this: A retailer—say, a new restaurant—“buys” exclusive air time with the station in exchange for 100 gift certificates, which the station then promotes on air for half-price. Viewers can buy the gift certificates on a first-come, first-serve basis by accessing the station’s Web site. All parties involved say it’s a win-win arrangement. Viewers get a bargain. A small retailer essentially receives free advertising. And IncentRev, which does all the paperwork, and the station split the money.
IncentRev doesn’t appear to have many partners in major cities, but it’s still worth a look. There are two ways to find deals in your area. You can enter the station’s call letters directly before IncentRev’s url, like so: http://wlox.incentrev.com. Or, follow this link and perform a Google site search by typing in the name of your city.
If you do find a deal in your area, you’ll want to closely read the terms and conditions. These are gift certificates, after all.