Eyes on Retail, a website that highlights good buys and how to snag them, has been developed by New Springville resident

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Brookstone in the Staten Island Mall has discontinued items with 80 percent discounts.

Modell's Sporting Goods in Charleston has clearance men's sneakers and some items priced at $5 and $10.

Not bad, right? Imagine being able to get updates about discounted items on a daily basis.

One small online Staten Island business, Eyes on Retail (www.eyesonretail.com) does so each day by looking for sales and bargains. Then, it provides information on where to find them, regardless of whether it's from a big box electronics store or a tiny clothing store.

Kenneth Cybulska, founder of the tiny company, hit upon the concept several years ago.

"It occurred to me while shopping that others probably do the same thing I do: The first place I go is to see what's on sale and maybe I can snag a bargain," said the New Springville resident. "And I bet there's a lot of people that do this, so I formed a website based on that idea." Cybulska, a full-time transit analyst, conceived the idea in 2006 and incorporated it two years later. Now in 2012, he's redesigned his website and is looking to continue to satisfy Staten Islanders' shopping needs.

"We believe we're a benefit to the consumer because they get a leg up on unadvertised house bargains," he said.

Cybulska recalled a story about a woman who once told him about a clearance-priced ceiling fan she spotted. The woman went home, measured the room where the fan would go, but upon returning to the store, saw the item was already sold.

His goal is to make sure people know what to do before heading to the store.

"We're more like a newspaper," he explained, noting Eyes on Retail will not be selling any products.

He said the business takes the shopping experience seriously, and Cybulska hopes that his website becomes an "engine of job creation and high-tech economic growth and development, right here on Staten Island." "We're creating value by taking every retail store's clearance and close-out merchandise, and creating a product or service using the Internet," he added.

The website works simply by having a person wander through a store, find discounted items, photograph them, and then pop the pictures onto the website with a brief description.

The goal is to have "market mavens," or people who hunt bargains, in the future. Cybulska also hopes small businesses and Eyes On Retail will link up to get the smaller shops to stand "shoulder to shoulder" alongside big box retailers.

Grasmere resident Barbara Sanchez, a marketing consultant, noted that the social networking environment further enables Cybulska's business to thrive.

Eyes on Retail doesn't just offer information on deals. The website offers advice on when and where to shop for specific items.

"Desperate times call for desperate measures. Eyes on Retail proves that there are still new ways to shop and save money using the Internet," added the business owner.

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