If you’ve been looking for an excuse to take dance lessons or a reason to try out a new restaurant in Escazú, there’s a chance you’ll find extra motivation at www.miferta.com, a new Costa Rican discount website launched this week.
Miferta – whose title is a hybrid between the Spanish words mi, meaning my, and oferta, meaning offer or sale – is a bilingual Costa Rican site that offers discounts of from 40 to 90 percent on things such as hotel stays, meals at restaurants, yoga classes, gym memberships and just about anything or any place that is willing to slash prices for a limited time to attract more customers.
Inspired by the hyper-popular U.S. site www.groupon.com, Miferta is pitched as the go-to site to find the deals of the day or the week that are offered by participating local companies.
On Tuesday, Miferta’s first operating day online, the site offered a 40 percent discount for a one-night stay at El Milagro hotel in Tamarindo in the northwest Guanacaste province, a ¢10,000 ($20) saving on a ¢20,000 meal at the restaurant I Love Sushi, in the central Pacific town of Jacó, and a 60 percent discount for a professional photo session at André Image Studio in San Pedro. All offers expire on Sunday.
“It’s basically a way to inspire people to go out and try new things and places,” said Ian Haet, Miferta’s general manager. “If you’d been thinking about going to a new restaurant in (the western San José suburb of) Santa Ana, for example, you might not have the motivation to drive across town for a ¢20,000 meal. But if that meal was offered for ¢10,000 one weekend, it might be the right motivation to inspire you to go try it out.”
Subscribers to the site receive discount updates by e-mail, such as a deal on ice-cream, lunch or a Spanish lesson, and can purchase the discounted offer through Miferta.com. Buyers receive a confirmation number, which they must present at the location. When the transaction is processed at the venue, Miferta receives a commission on the deal.
The deals appear to be catching on. Although The Tico Times could not find out how many subscribers the site had as of this writing, Miferta’s page on the social networking site Facebook had more than 3,000 followers.
“Some hotels might think, ‘why would we do this?’” Haet said. “Well, say a hotel looks ahead and sees that in two weeks they are completely vacant. If they decide to put up a deal on Miferta for 60 percent off for that week and that week only, there’s a good possibility that a few customers will bite on the deal. If they do, the customer gets a lowered rate and the hotel gets customers when they had none. Everybody wins.”