Mary Song is a serial travel entrepreneur and a supporter of this site, most recently with her new company, Yuupon. The site, which officially launches tomorrow, takes a different approach to flash sales — one that may be advantageous to travelers looking for a deal. Song explains.
How did you come up with the name Yuupon?
We like to define Yuupon as “Best vacation friend.” “Yuu” in Japanese means ‘distant’ or ‘leisurely’ and by extension can be interpreted as ‘vacation.’ “Pon” in Japanese means “best friend.” Put them together and you get Yuupon.
How does it work?
Yuupon is a new kind of flash deal site for travel offering accommodations at a 40 to 90 percent off published rates. We’ve unbound the high-pressure restrictions that most flash deal sites use to drive purchases, giving the traveler freedom to snag a substantial deal with time to select dates later, and no need to worry about a minimum number of sign-ups in order for a deal to be valid. All packages are fully transferable, and can be used by friends or family, regardless of who purchases the trip.
How about the terms? Aren’t some flash sale sites pretty restrictive?
We will have the best price for the property anywhere for the duration of the deal on Yuupon, including the property’s own website. Yuupon offers refunds and credits with the most flexible and accommodating cancellation policy in the flash deal space.
What’s the booking process like?
Every week, Yuupon features eight or more travel deals. Newsletter recipients get early alerts of new deals. Booking a deal is easy. Travelers simply browse, find the trip they want, and secure it in that week’s cycle through our quick check-out process.
After purchasing, customers receive an email with a PDF voucher that they can print and save to their computer. They then call the reservation number on their voucher to reserve their selected dates.
How is Yuupon different from other sites that do flash sales?
Most flash deal and group sites come with many restrictions. We’ve done away with hassles at Yuupon and eased the pressures while still providing the great deals consumers have come to expect in the market.
There’s no need to commit to travel dates at the time of purchase. The trip packages are fully transferable. A trip booked through Yuupon can be used by anyone, including friends and family.
There’s no group mentality and no need to worry about minimum sign-ups before a deal is valid. We offer the full discount up front to the first buyer, and every buyer after that.
Also, there’s no regretful cancellation policies to deal with later. It’s no fun to get a deal that you’re so bound to that you can’t cancel. We offer a full cash refund within eight days of purchasing the deal, and Yuupon credit for cancellations made after eight days prior to the end of the voucher date.
Where did you get the idea for Yuupon?
I came up with the idea in 2008 when I was falling in love with one of the deal-a-day web sites, buying T-shirts for my son.
Where are the Yuupon deals?
Yuupon offers a wide variety of accommodations from budget to mid priced to luxury and high end. Yuupon deals are available in many cities and locations from action-packed hot spots to remote U.S. beaches and the Caribbean.
Can you give me a few examples of the types of deals you can get on Yuupon, and how much money a traveler can expect to save?
For launch week, our featured properties are about 50 percent off. However we have loads more deals and discounts coming.
For launch week, we have hotels in Anaheim, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Destin, Fla., Orlando and Kissimmee, Fla. Details are here.
One final question: What is Getaway Gold?
Consider Getaway Gold as a launch gift from Yuupon to customers.
During the launch period, Yuupon is turning over $1 million in marketing budget and dispersing it in random amounts in increments from $10 to $1,000, to each member’s account in the form of vacation dollars called Getaway Gold.