After 35 years, The Wise Guide, a weekly shopper, rolled out its last issue Monday.

Based on Main Street in Westbrook for the past eight years, The Wise Guide circulated 28,000 papers throughout southern Maine, from Sanford to the Sebago Lake area.

According to owner Dee Battista, “a little bit of everything” is to blame for the end of the publication, including businesses cutting down on advertising due to their own drop in sales, and online sites, like eBay, taking over the business of trading goods.

Battista said she had been thinking about ending the publication, which advertises businesses, services and classifieds, since January, as the rise in heating oil started affecting everything.

“It’s a trickle-down effect,” she said.

But still, the move came as a shock to many of the people who have advertised in the shopper for decades.

Mark Duval, owner of Duval’s Service Center in South Portland, said he’s been advertising in The Wise Guide for last 20 years. He said he was surprised last week to hear he would have to find somewhere else to promote his garage.

“They’ve been around such a long time,” said Duval, who liked advertising with the shopper because its wide coverage area exposed his business to a varied demographic. “I think it’s going to be a void in the industry,” he said.

Jim Pippin, owner of B&J Electronics in South Portland, said he’ll struggle to find something that worked as well for his business as The Wise Guide has for the past 16 or so years.

“Everybody picked it up because it was full of great deals,” he said.

Battista said she’s heard from a lot of her regular customers, who are upset to see the publication end.

“People are really broken up about it,” she said.

According to Battista, despite the fact that Monday’s issue has an announcement that it was The Wise Guide’s last, advertisers don’t believe it’s true. Though there are several signs outside the Main Street shop, Battista was inside Tuesday, taking calls and tying up loose ends.

“People are still calling to place ads,” she said. “It’s a real sad thing.”


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