Exclusive: Coupon Sherpa promises to make coupons reliable again

There's no shortage of coupon sites on the Internet, which makes standing out a difficult task ... and all that more impressive when a new competitor emerges.

WalletPop was able to score an exclusive interview with Luke Knowles, the founder of Coupon Sherpa and FreeShipping.org, to find out what he thinks will make Coupon Sherpa the number one source for coupons on the Internet.

WalletPop: Luke, thanks for your time. Can you tell me what makes Coupon Sherpa special?

Coupon Sherpa: We see some problems with online coupon websites and we wanted to create a coupon website so that it would help our iPhone app. So we thought, why don't we be the ultimate coupon website that's missing right now.

"The biggest problem with coupon websites is that a lot of times you go to coupon sites and the coupons just don't work. You know, they don't work or they're expired and the sites just leave them up there so there's not a whole lot of quality control.

"So with Coupon Sherpa we're really going after that word 'reliable.' We want to be 'the reliable coupon website,' that you can trust. We're aiming for a success rate of 99.9% with our coupon codes. I know human error does creep in but we're going to put the quality control measures in place to account for that.

At the same time, besides just being the reliable coupon website, we want to provide all different types of coupons. Most sites focus on online coupons, like coupons codes, because that's the only way they can make money. So we want to be online, printable, grocery and pretty soon we'll add local coupons. So we want to be the one resource you need for coupons.

WP: When you say local, do you mean my local coffee shop can get online and put a coupon up?

CS: Yes, so coupons for what's around you, those coupons that are available near you.

WP: It's great to hear that a coupon site is tackling the problem of reliability. Earlier this week WalletPop posted about the incredible number of shoppers who will continue a purchase even if their coupon is rejected. Something like 50% of consumers will actually continue and make an online purchase.

CS: "Right, yeah, you've probably experienced this a hundred times. Coupon sites will list all these coupons and they don't work. There's no quality control there. So we're working directly with the merchants to get coupons specifically for them. If they aren't directly from the merchant, we test them.

WP: You're working directly with merchants. Can I still submit a coupon I find?

CS: "You can share coupons with us. Now we're not just going to put it on, we'll put it on if we find that it works, but we're going to make sure it works before we put it up. Sometimes that will involve us doing a fake checkout or doing additional research on the Internet to try and find an expiration date.

WP: Tell me a little more about the social aspects of your site.

CS: "We're trying to do the social thing; you can tweet any coupon and you can vote coupons up or down 'Digg' style.

WP: What's your favorite coupon from Coupon Sherpa right now?

CS: "It'd have to be the $25 off of a $100 purchase at Sports Authority. I also saved something close to 40% off of my Banana Republic purchase at an outlet mall recently using the Coupon Sherpa iPhone App.

WP: Are there any other Coupon Sherpa features coming that you can tell us about?

CS: "We're going to be creating an 'Ask Coupon Sherpa' feature on our site where it ties the whole site into Twitter. People can ask questions to Coupon Sherpa related to saving money or coupons or deals. He'll answer them real time on Twitter as well as answer some in more detail on the 'Ask Coupon Sherpa' section of the website."

WP: Thanks for taking the time to tell us about Coupon Sherpa, we appreciate your efforts to make coupons easier and more reliable.

For being a relatively new coupon website, Coupon Sherpa boasts an impressive number of major retailer coupons, and the current selection backs up the quality of quantity approach that Knowles claims will set Coupon Sherpa apart from its competitors. Right now there are good coupons for Target, Kohls, Finishline and many others to use online and plenty more that you can print out and use in store.

It's up against some hefty competition, but Coupon Sherpa is off to a good start -- it already saved me 20% on a pair of dress shoes!
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