Mark Elwood

Books | Mark Ellwood


Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World (Penguin-Portfolio)

10 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

America has transformed into a country where everyone has caught bargain fever. Discounts happen more frequently and with deeper price slashing than even a decade ago: where once sales were used to juice traffic on certain days, Groupon and its ilk have made sales a daily concept. Discounts are no longer the exception, they're the norm.

Indeed, as those discounts accelerate, full price has become a quaint, retro notion that's rapidly losing any meaning. Everyone wants a deal, a steal, a hook‐up to a discount or a way to cut costs. People don’t only want a deep discount, they expect it, and won’t settle for anything less.

Bargain Fever is a romp through this cut-price landscape, zooming from a small town near Tampa to the outskirts of Tokyo, from Bergdorf Goodman to the bazaars of Istanbul. Among other things, it reveals:

  • 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?

And the most important question of all: why are we always chasing a deal today, and what does it mean for the future?


Accolades for Bargain Fever include:

A brisk tour of the quirks of retail, Bargain Fever is fascinating. – Wall Street Journal
Bargain Fever is just as fierce, funny, tenacious, and tantalizing as its author. I love this book. – Kelly Cutrone, TV personality and author
Well-written and illuminating, Ellwood reveals the implications bargain shopping holds for American retailing not just in the present, but for years to come. – Publishers Weekly
An eye-opening, readable examination of the world of bargain shopping in today’s retail world. – Kirkus Reviews
This book is a bargain hunter's bible. — Michael Tonello, author, Bringing Home the Birkin
A book after my own heart, Bargain Fever lifts the veils off the sales, ensuring even more that you'll never pay retail again. - Carmen Wong Ulrich, financial contributor, CBS This Morning & author "Generation Debt"


You can pick up a copy of Mark’s latest book via Amazon, iTunes or from a local bookstore.