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Posted on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 6 a.m. launches The Real Deal, a daily group coupon for Washtenaw County-area businesses

By Stefanie Murray's first group deal today invites readers to take $25 off $50 worth of food at Metzger's German Restaurant. It’s just one of the great daily discounts we'll now be offering in The Real Deal, a program that launched on our site this morning.

A wide variety of Washtenaw County businesses have already signed on to offer a daily deal, from salons and grocery stores to restaurants and retail shops. If you like shoes — and who doesn't? — stay tuned: we'll have a great deal for shoes and handbags later this week, as well as deals from a popular downtown salon and a longtime local fitness apparel shop.

The Real Deal is a group-coupon style system. Participating local businesses offer an unusually steep deal, and a certain number of people have to buy the deal to make it active.

Every day at 6 a.m., the new Real Deal will be unveiled in's Daily Headlines e-mail newsletter. The Real Deal will also be promoted throughout the website, on Facebook and Twitter, on other websites such as and on digital billboards on US-23 and I-94 — making it easy for our readers to find and buy the daily deal and providing wide exposure for advertisers.

"The Real Deal provides Ann Arbor area consumers true value by offering significant discounts to local area businesses," said Matt Kraner, president and CEO of "It offers local businesses a new opportunity to connect with consumers while guaranteeing sales results as opposed to a more traditional online advertising model which delivers brand impressions and website visits. The Real Deal actually guarantees revenue or the advertiser pays nothing."

To offer a Real Deal, advertisers work with to come up with an enticing, deeply discounted offer for customers. Most businesses are offering deals of 50 percent or more off regular prices. Once and the advertiser agree on a deal, and the minimum purchase number is set, the deal is scheduled.

If the minimum number of deals are sold — starting at 6 a.m. each weekday — the deal is activated. The advertiser then gets a check with a share of the revenue generated from the deal, and customers bring their gift receipts into the business for redemption.

If the deal is one you're interested in, the best thing to do is buy it as quickly as you can and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You purchase the deal online using a credit card or PayPal account. Once the deal is "tipped" — when the minimum number of people have purchased it — then your credit card is charged, and the deal is active. You'll get a gift receipt by e-mail to print and take with you to the store.

Each deal will only be available for a limited amount of time — another reason why it's good to purchase early.

For more information, check out the frequently asked questions page about The Real Deal. If you have questions or want to share what you think about The Real Deal, leave a comment below, e-mail or call 734-623-4652. Businesses interested in The Real Deal can e-mail or call 734-623-4620.



Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 11:29 a.m.

Will we be able to sign up to have the real deal send to our e-mails in the future?

Bob Dively

Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 10:34 a.m.

Thanks, Stefanie. I agree that it's important to specify that there's no expiration date. As is the case with the Metzger's deal, I wouldn't automatically assume that no mention of expiration date means that there isn't one. Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, and all that.

Bob Dively

Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 10:20 a.m.

Please make sure to specify when the coupon expires.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 6:54 a.m.

Thank you Ann for backing our soon to be Governor, and thank you for this wonderful offer. What a nice Christmas gift to your followers. Groupon will someday be envious of this move, this is much more geared toward Ann Arbor residents that Groupon Detroit Deal of the day.