April 5, 2011, 6:03 PM

Time Bomb Deals explodes with m-commerce at the local level

The daily deals company will offer steep discounts, but consumers will have to move fast.

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Add another daily-deal program to the mix—one with a distinct twist.

With a tagline “The deal of the day is so yesterday,” the just-launched Time Bomb Deals is attempting to put a different spin on daily deals with a location-based app that offers consumers discounts on goods, but only for a short period of time.

“We make it easy for consumers to discover staggering discounts on the things they want—where and when they will benefit from them the most,” says Brittany Russell, co-founder of Time Bomb Deals.

The iPhone app, for now only offering deals in Denver, sends discounts to consumers as coupons based on their location, determined by the iPhone’s GPS system. Time Bomb says it will offer steeper discounts than other daily-deals programs because the coupons are only available for a limited time–sometimes for as little as 15 minutes.

Businesses can turn deals on and off whenever they choose to avoid over-selling, Time Bomb says, and they can use the program to drive business during off-peak hours or to help sell specific products.

Merchants also can choose how long to run the deal—from 15 minutes to 12 hours, and can control how many deals they offer.  Time Bomb also says its program can cost less for businesses than other daily-deal sites because it charges a set fee for offering the deal and doesn’t take a cut of the deals sold. Groupon, by contrast, typically takes 50% of what consumers pay for discount vouchers.

“Our deals can provide additional revenue during traditional downtime or off-peak hours,” Russell says. “Most coupon services, like Groupon or LivingSocial, take a huge chunk of revenue from the businesses that run deals and don’t give them any control over how long the coupon is available. With Time Bomb Deals a business owner says when to turn a deal on or off, and businesses only pay for offering the deal, not how many deals they sell.”

While Time Bomb Deals—its deals also are available via text message and e-mail—markets itself as the only company offering such location-based, time-sensitive deals, daily-deal powerhouse LivingSocial is testing a similar program in Washington, DC, where it’s based. Called Instant Deals, the LivingSocial program also delivers quick-expiring location-based deals to consumers’ smartphones. Like Time Bomb, LivingSocial says its program is designed to drive business during merchants’ slow periods.

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