Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World
written by Mark Ellwood
published by Portfolio/Penguin
About the book – from Goodreads: A spirited investigation into the phenomenon of bargain hunting, now bigger than ever.
When Coca-Cola offered the first retail coupon in the 1880s customers were thrilled. But today’s shoppers, plugged into Gilt Groupe, RueLaLa, and Living Social, see sales and discounts as the norm, not the exception. The relentless pursuit of deals has totally changed the relationship between buyers and sellers.
In this playful, well-researched book, journalist Mark Ellwood takes readers deep into the discount game, both high end and low. From the haggling markets of Istanbul to Black Friday in a suburban mall, to pinnacles of global luxury such as Hermès and Louis Vuitton, companies and consumers are engaged in a constant game of cat and mouse. Some companies now change their prices literally second by second. Consumers, for their part, turn to coupon apps and strategic Twitter analysis to find great bargains.
Today’s unorthodox tactics range from “secret” sales for frequent shoppers to brands going so far as to destroy unsold merchandise rather than slash prices. Ellwood offers fascinating insights into the twisted economy of bargain hunting, with more than a few shopping tips for readers.
From the publisher: Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World by Mark Ellwood is the book you need to survive the new world of shopping. Everything is on sale, all the time. Discounts aren’t the exception – they’re the norm, and everyone wants a steal, a deal, a hook-up or a way to cut costs.
Ten years ago, retailers sold just 15-20% of their inventory at some kind of promo price – today, that number is 40-45%. Put simply, sales of sales have more than doubled in a decade. Bargain Fever looks at the seismic changes in shopping over the last decade, and offers a survival guide full of tips to triumph in this new cut-price world.
- Are you one of the 25% of Americans who are genetically programmed to be bargain addicts, unable to resist the pull of a hormone nicknamed buyagra?
- What are the four magic words that will wrangle a discount out of virtually any sales assistant?
- Why isn’t it ever worth shopping the SALE rack at a department store?
- Are you carrying a superfake designer handbag without even knowing it?
- How does one woman earn a million dollars every year – simply by reselling coupons?
- Who runs America’s best sample sales – and why are some of them top secret?
- Why is much of the merchandise at any outlet mall not even worth browsing?
With Bargain Fever in your hand on the next trip to the supermarket or the mall or sitting in front of your computer, you’ll never need to pay full price for anything, ever again.
About the author: Mark Ellwood is a journalist and retail expert whose reporting on retail has appeared in the Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, W, Wall Street Journal, T: The New York Times Style magazine, and Travel + Leisure, among other publications. He is also a TV producer and presenter. He lives in New York City.