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Bargain Fever

by Daniel Scheffler
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Thursday Oct 17, 2013
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World traveler, and super charmer, Mark Ellwood debuts as a book writer with his shiny "Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World." Interesting, as well as hold-your-tummy funny, the book scans the world’s addiction to the best deal possible. I’m talking shopping deal here. Long over are the days of leisure shopping in your Sunday finest and sedately strolling for something wonderful and snazzy to pick up gently from a rack or a table.

Now it is all about getting the best possible deal. It’s about doing it right now for the least amount of money and the least amount of hassle (well, depending on how you see hassle) and making sure your deal is better than any other deal possible on the planet. Or, actually, better than the deal that your neighbors managed to get for starters. And definitely better than the deal your parents’ friends that come to bingo on Thursday managed to wangle. Those are the ones you need to beat at all costs. Ellwood, in his true wit, escalates these kinds of questions and highlights the newfound wonderland of bargain hunting.

Even if you’ve never thought about it, now you will every time you take out that credit card or reach for the money clip.

The author’s backstory, which we now are hankering to hear more about, revels in his parents’ own discounting and lovely bargaining states of mind and how that trickled so magically down to Mark... or, call him "Mark-down." A well researched, many-a-shopping-trip-undertaken book that might inspire you to start saving with some coupons or to slaughter down a price even when you’re not standing coffee cup in hand at a Turkish bazaar. The statistics -- like one in four American shoppers will buy something only if it’s on sale, and almost half of all merchandise carries a promotional price -- are shocking, but after a chapter or two into the book starts to make perfect sense. Even if you’ve never thought about it, now you will every time you take out that credit card or reach for the money clip.

Ellwood not only interestingly enough covers "buyagra," "how to other half saves," "Groupon anxiety" and "discountphobia," he goes as far as to consider the future of this crazy bargain’s fever dream. Whether it all lives in showrooms or reconsiderations of what final price means, Ellwood has used his book as a motivational tool to prove that no one (yes, not even you, he’d say) will need to pay full price ever again. He’s also so suave about it, that what could’ve been dead boring, that it will keep you laughing -- maybe even all the way to the bank?


Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World
Mark Ellwood
$18.87
Portfolio Penguin

by Mark Ellwood

Based between New York and Cape Town, Daniel Scheffler writes about socio political and travel matters and is working on a memoir. Follow him on Twitter @danielscheffler.

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