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bevRAGE

You’re probably familiar with cash-back apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Shopmium, which aim to be all things to all shoppers by saving you money on a wide variety of grocery products. For those who prefer healthy and natural foods, there’s a set of rebate apps that specialize in that area.

And now, there’s an app that will save you some money when you want to let loose a little.

A year after a regional rollout, the rebate app bevRAGE has gone national. It offers cash back for beer and liquor purchases, whether in store, or in a bar or restaurant.

The idea came to CEO Dounya Irrgang a couple of years ago, when she was out with a friend. “There was a bar promo going on,” she told Coupons in the News – the kind where attractive women pour samples for thirsty patrons, in order to promote a product. Conducting such promos in bars across the country requires a lot of time and expense. “I was wondering if there could be a more efficient way of doing this,” Irrgang said.

A couponer herself, Irrgang was familiar with the use of coupons as a promotional tool. But alcohol is more heavily regulated than groceries – most states don’t allow coupons on alcoholic beverages. Instead, many brands rely on old-fashioned mail-in rebates, which are time-consuming, as they require you to fill out and mail in forms and receipts, then wait around a few months for a check.

So what if there was an easier way – like an app? An Ibotta for booze?

The initial idea behind bevRAGE was to offer rebates for purchases in bars and restaurants. The concept quickly broadened to include retail stores as well.

The app launched in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island last May, and went national this month, with a few exceptions. State laws prevent its use in Alabama, Hawaii, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah. But bevRAGE is working to change that, encouraging those states to bring outdated laws into the 21st century. “When the liquor laws were written, there were no rebate apps,” Irrgang said.

In the meantime, Ibotta and Checkout 51 both now feature rebates on beer and liquor among their grocery offerings. So what makes bevRAGE different?

“We are only in the alcohol business, so there is no clutter,” Irrgang explained. While the other apps may have a handful of alcohol offers that grocery shoppers may or may not be interested in, bevRAGE features
dozens of deals for the dedicated drinker, that are far more detailed than anything the others offer. In addition to brand-name beer, wine and spirits, there are “any brand” offers like “any tequila cocktail”, “any import draft” and “any shot”.

As a result, 70% of bevRAGE’s users are ages 21-37, with more men than women participating – a sought-after demographic, since they’re not necessarily the types who are clipping coupons and sending in their grocery receipts to Ibotta.

“And it’s easy to use – we don’t ask questions, there are no surveys, no videos to watch,” Irrgang said. The app uses location services to let you know where brands are available near you, but offers are not specific to any retailer or restaurant. New offers are made available each week, and once you upload a photo of your receipt, payment is made via check or directly to your PayPal account within 48 hours – you don’t need to reach a minimum balance before cashing out. The average rebate amount is $3.50 in stores, and $4 in bars and restaurants.

“It’s a great way for people to discover new brands,” Irragang said – at a time when more alcohol buyers are using their smartphones while they shop. A recent survey by the advertising and marketing agency XenoPsi found that 49% of respondents had used their smartphones while shopping for beer. Of those, 62% said they ended up buying a beer they had never purchased before, and 18% reported buying more beer than usual. Most of those shoppers were going online to read reviews and recommendations – but now, if they download bevRAGE, they can take rebates into consideration, too.

The app also allows brands to obtain data on customers, wherever they prefer to do their drinking. If you buy a particular brand of beverage in a bar, that brand might entice you with an offer to purchase the same product – or a complementary one – the next time you’re in a store.

So if you enjoy an adult beverage from time to time, now you can add another app to your savings arsenal. When it comes to earning cash back, savvy savers will no doubt raise a glass to that.

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