Local businesses offering text-message coupons

Saving money is now just a text message away.

Local eateries and stores, including Red Cactus, Waffle House and University Couture, have teamed up with Collegetokens.com, a Web site where students can search their area and find coupons to their favorite hangouts and have them sent via text message, one of the site’s co-founders, Kelvin Stroud, said.

Stroud, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, said the idea came to him when he realized that the coupon books he got after he purchased his books every semester were a waste.

“We thought, ‘Why not go with this text message revolution that is going on?'” Stroud said.

To receive the coupons, students can log on to the Web site, select their locations, and coupons for local food stops, clothing stores and even gym classes will be listed, he said.

Students can pick and choose which coupons they want to receive by typing in their phone numbers and clicking on “send coupon by text,” he said. The last step is going to the place of choice and showing the text message to the cashier, he said.

Coupon text messages can be forwarded to friends, as well, Stroud said.

“You can reuse the coupon until it is expired, which means that if you want to, you can come every day,” Stroud said.

Businesses that are interested in signing up to use Collegetokens.com can contact Stroud through the contact list on the Web site, Stroud said. Once signed up, the businesses are able to change the contents of their coupon at any time using the business login; therefore, users should check the Web site weekly for new deals, Stroud said. The site also includes maps and reviews for the venues, he said.

Mario Calera, manager at Red Cactus, said he decided to team up with Collegetokens.com because he saw it as a way to get more customers.

“We have not had many people use the coupons yet, but we are hopeful,” Calera said.

Sarah MacPhail, a sophomore advertising/public relations major, said she didn’t know about the Web site but now she will check it out.

“I think that it is a great idea for college kids because we all have our cell phones permanently attached to our hands,” MacPhail said.