Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World by Mark Ellwood

By Mark Ellwood

Discounts aren't any longer the exception, they’re the norm. yet is that bargain really a bargain?

Paying complete expense is so passé. 1 / 4 of the population will merely open their wallets if whatever is on sale. everybody desires a deal, a thieve, a hookup with a chit or the way to lower bills. humans don’t only desire a deep undefined, they count on it and won’t accept something less.

They’re fortunate, then, that nearly 1/2 everything sold in the US is indexed at a few type of promotional price. It’s a seismic shift that has made shoppers more savvy than ever, producing phenomena like extreme couponing, flash revenues, and Groupon. 

So there’s by no means been a greater time to be a buyer, right? might be. have built their own tricks to guard revenue margins amid such markdown mania—ones that come with mystery revenues, shifting prices, and shredding completely reliable clothes.

during this playful, deeply researched publication, journalist Mark Ellwood takes a visit into this new landscape. He indicates how a few individuals are, particularly literally, born to be discount junkies due to a quirk of their DNA, and uncovers the sales-driven sleights of hand that dealers hire to hoodwink unsuspecting buyers.

Ellwood takes us from the ground of upscale department store Bergdorf Goodman to the bustling aisles of a Turkish bazaar, from the hole Disney world of rural Pennsylvania to a city in Florida that can declare to be couponing’s non secular capital. We meet savvy dealers attempting to wring worth from every cent—stalking style editors’ tweets to learn about pattern revenues or tenting in a single day for a cut-price computer.
Ellwood additionally uncovers the darkish facet of discounting: how geared up crime steals coupons en masse and how sure boutiques restrict discount rates to VIPs,
operating mystery decal promotions from which the ordinary patron is excluded.
Bargain Fever is a guide for thriving during this new era, while deal looking has long past from being a sign of indigence to at least one of intelligence. There’s never been a greater time to be a buyer—at least if you understand how the sport works.

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It would be silly to leave it on the rack. Sold. On your way out of the mall, you walk past the red Target logo. It’s just too cute, that red, black, and white Sale sign with a picture of Bullseye the dog. Just ten minutes to browse, you tell yourself, as the deals are so good. 99, aren’t on sale, but you could do with a spare pair to keep in the car. Sold. Driving home toward the freeway, Walmart and Costco are looming. They jog a guilty memory—you should have brought the grocery list on the fridge—so you detour quickly to see if anything catches your eye.

If dopamine is triggered so reliably at the sight of a shopping steal, how does anyone manage to emerge from a store without snapping up every bargain on offer? Thankfully, there’s a trip wire in our brain that takes the form of a chemical tussle between three distinct regions. The nucleus accumbens, the insula, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (call it the DLPFC—all the experts do) all react to that tsunami of dopamine. Together, they decide whether or not we should act on dopamine’s prompting.

Take a Harry Potter devotee, going Hogwarts-wild over the sight of a beloved box set. That surprise appearance was an ideal dopamine trigger. At the first surge, the nucleus accumbens flared with excitement; its level of activity in direct relation to how much a subject desired the treat. Then, when a price appeared next to those books, the brain activity shifted to the insula. It’s the brain’s Debby Downer—a stoic processor of chronic pain or disgust (How much is it? ). If the price of the item was lower than expected—Just twenty bucks for all seven books?

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