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Another View: Join the online coupon party at Marketplace Deals

By: Tony Hazarian, Journal publisher
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We didn’t make a Super Bowl commercial featuring Timothy Hutton or a blue-collar mechanic who found new life in a red dress. We don’t plan on signing up a national, brand-name company to get a ton of free press. We already have all the press we need, and it publishes community newspapers that keep Placer County informed. We toyed with the idea of picturing a fat cat wearing a gold chain floating on a cloud, but decided we’d serve our product straight up, no chaser. We want to help businesses succeed, and we want to help local shoppers find a good online deal at local restaurants, local stores and local service providers, just as we’ve done in print for 135 years. Meet Marketplace Deals. Launched Thursday, Marketplace Deals is the newest addition to our suite of online tools for readers, shoppers and businesses. And this one is particularly good for bargain hunters. You’re probably familiar with our newspaper websites, and likely have used our other sites to search for a home, find a car, clip out a coupon or catch up on regional sports action. Marketplace Deals is part of our robust business directory, NorcalMarketplace.com, which has more than 90,000 businesses from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re searching for auto services in Auburn or pizza near Penryn, you’ll find it here. Marketplace Deals is a big step further than search. It’s actually quite a leap. Like the fast-rising online coupon sites arriving in your email box daily, Marketplace Deals delivers an offer of 50 percent off or more to a local or regional business. Signing up for the e-mail is free. If you like the offer, you click, you buy, you print out your coupon and you redeem it for big savings at local restaurants and businesses. Unlike the national sites, however, the customer service you’ll receive is local. Marketplace Deals was built, designed and serviced by Gold Country Media Interactive in Roseville, and our sales and support team is made up of local people who understand the unique area we live in. This week’s offer is a $20 coupon for AJ’s Casual Eatery in Roseville for just $10. Just off Highway 65 and near other shopping opportunities, the restaurant offers a menu of gourmet sandwiches, salads and home-style cooking, along with a nice selection beers and local wines. OK, I can hear it now … why is the Auburn Journal publisher sending business down the hill? What about Think Auburn First! I love the Auburn shopping experience as much as anyone, and truly believe that what sets Auburn apart are the people and friendly customer service our business community provides. Marketplace Deals is for everyone looking for a good deal at a great price. We fully expect to have plenty of Auburn-area offers online, as well as offers from Colfax, Newcastle, Loomis and other foothills businesses. We also know that good deals are worth driving for. So if you see a deal from Folsom or Lincoln for a business or bistro you’ve been dying to visit, we want to open that door for you, too. A new deal breaks each Thursday. As the site grows, we’ll offer multiple deals each week, with our goal to have a daily deal for you in the not-too-distant future. It all starts with registration for the weekly email reminder. Simply click on NorcalMarketplace.com and sign up, and we’ll deliver the deal to you every Thursday morning — more often as more deals become available. You won’t find a fat cat, but we can promise a great deal. ------------------ Looking for a great deal? Sign up on NorcalMarketplace.com.