Spa

By Kelly Hushin

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If you’re anything like the rest of us all-too-busy city dwellers, you’re getting frightened by how quickly the pages of your daily planner for ’08 are filling up. When on earth will you fit in that much-needed massage, facial, haircut, or personal training session? It’s becoming a fantasy to think that such time will ever exist, and even if you do manage to finagle an extended lunch break one day, what are the chances your fave spas and salons have an appointment available?

While we can’t fix the issues that arise out of having an overzealous social life, we can offer a small bit of time alleviation to bring the stress level down a notch; and what’s best is that it won’t require you moving away from your desk at work or computer screen at home.

Lifebooker.com, launched in the beginning of October, was created to relieve some of the time commitment that comes with trying to find open appointments around the city. Since its launch, about 1,200 appointments have been booked through the site. Andrew Unger and Dana Reichman had been developing the site for around two years prior to its launch and followed a business model similar to that of popular search sites like Orbitz.com.

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“We realized that on the Internet, there was nothing that allowed quality service providers to advertise their appointment availabilities,” said Unger. “You could go on craigslist and see some, but we wanted to give high-quality service providers a chance to showcase their down time.”

The concept is simple – spa and beauty providers post their schedules online on a daily basis, giving consumers the opportunity to search for a specific service at any time of day. But how does the Lifebooker team get their clients to post listings? Who’s watching their in-house press and/or marketing people to make sure they’re keeping the schedule updated through online programming?
The truth is – no one has to. “Spas and salons only pay us after people honor an appointment,” Unger explained. “Unlike citysearch.com, which is pay per click, we only charge when someone books and honors an appointment. Generally, the model of advertising sites right now charge their client every time someone clicks on that service provider. We wanted to have a different kind of model.”

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We can rest assured that the appointment schedules are correct because the spa or salon wants business, and undoubtedly will keep schedules updated and open appointment times listed. Lifebooker gives the opportunity to search for open appointments for services like waxing, tanning, facials, manicures, permanent hair removal and more. The health and fitness component will be added soon.
“We plan on doing all types of services eventually,” said Reichman. “We also have rewards that the customer gets. Every time they rate their experiences booked through the site, they get dollars to use for another service booked through the site.”

As Reichman explained, the site gives the consumer tools to compare local services which allow him/her to search for a specific service, neighborhood, date and time, view that location’s service menu and read reviews from patrons who have actually had services performed there as a result of a booking through the site. Unlike other sites which allow any consumers to rate services at given locations, Lifebooker only allows reviews from people who booked and honored an appointment through their site.

The site has also launched a discount engine to allow people to discount certain items based on their schedules. According to Unger, there has been a huge response from clients to offer discounts through Lifebooker. But guess what? Beauty News NYC readers can get a discount right now! Simply follow the steps listed below to receive $50 off your spa appointment!

The best news for the sites users (besides the fabulous discount for us BN readers of course)? Booking appointments is no longer public information, so whether at work or at home, there’s no need to pick up a phone. No more worrying about your boss overhearing you on the phone saying, “Hi. Yes, I was wondering if you have any open appointments on Friday for a Brazilian bikini wax?”

Priceless.

To receive your Beauty News NYC Lifebooker discount:

1) Go to www.Lifebooker.com
2) When you book enter the code BeautyNewsNYC in the gift certificate box
3) Receive $50 off of your appointment
4) Pass the Gift code to your friends and family so they can use it as well!

One use per customer. This offer is subject to change by sole discretion of LifeBooker, LLC.

Originally published January 2008
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