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.
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?