The Consumer Bible: 1001 Ways to Shop Smart

Overview

To address the needs of an ever-more-complex marketplace, Mark Green and co-author Nancy Youman have completely revised and updated The Consumer Bible, and added four chapters of all-new material. Green, a former top associate of Ralph Nader and current Public Advocate for the City of New York, incorporates new tips, strategies, and on-line information to guide consumers to get the best in essential goods and services, and to avoid scams and schemes. The 65 chapters cover it all: food, health care, insurance, ...

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1563052741 New. No major marks or damage. Light storage wear. Paperback, 656 pages, Workman Pub Co; Second Printing edition (April 1995). 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Great ... customer service and a no problem, EZ return policy. Real people, real service, since 1981. Green is a well-known consumer advocate and prolific writer (The Challenge of Hidden Profits: Reducing Corporate Bureaucracy and Waste, Morrow, 1985). In this inexpensive, easy-to-read paperback, he has compiled an immense amount of very useful information on consumer topics. Section 1 covers food, health, home, automobile, finances, clothes, telephone, children, travel, and even funerals, lawyers, and employment agencies. Section 2 treats consumer trend lines and such pressing issues as cheating women, minorities, and seniors and the disabled. Section 3, on consumer skills, covers loans, lay-away, rent-to-own, counterfeit goods, and how to complain. Overall, the information is current and accurate. The author clearly identifies sources of consumer mis ... Read more Show Less

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Overview

To address the needs of an ever-more-complex marketplace, Mark Green and co-author Nancy Youman have completely revised and updated The Consumer Bible, and added four chapters of all-new material. Green, a former top associate of Ralph Nader and current Public Advocate for the City of New York, incorporates new tips, strategies, and on-line information to guide consumers to get the best in essential goods and services, and to avoid scams and schemes. The 65 chapters cover it all: food, health care, insurance, financial services including on-line trading, automobiles, travel and vacations, lawyers, outlet shopping, cable and direct satellite television, tax-preparation software, organic produce, buying a computer--even the best and worst times to purchase a product or service. And the authors and publisher so believe in this book that it comes with a guarantee: You'll save money with The Consumer Bible, or get your money back.

Mark Green is currently Public Advocate of New York City, the elected ombudsman for resolving citizen and consumer complaints. Author of the million-copy bestseller Who Runs Congress? he's planning to run for the U.S. Senate in 1998. Nancy Youman is a writer who has worked with Mark Green for seven years.

One of America's foremost consumer advocates and the bestselling author of Who Runs Congress? offers a one-stop, street-wise education on how to be a savvy shopper. It features 65 lively chapters packed with over 1,000 tips on all goods and services, from food to health, finances to buying a new car. The perfect guide for saving money, time, and aggravation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Green is a well-known consumer advocate and prolific writer (The Challenge of Hidden Profits: Reducing Corporate Bureaucracy and Waste, Morrow, 1985). In this inexpensive, easy-to-read paperback, he has compiled an immense amount of very useful information on consumer topics. Section 1 covers food, health, home, automobile, finances, clothes, telephone, children, travel, and even funerals, lawyers, and employment agencies. Section 2 treats consumer trend lines and such pressing issues as cheating women, minorities, and seniors and the disabled. Section 3, on consumer skills, covers loans, lay-away, rent-to-own, counterfeit goods, and how to complain. Overall, the information is current and accurate. The author clearly identifies sources of consumer misinformation and gives sound advice on how to avoid being overcharged or oversold. Charts and sidebars provide ready information. Recommended for public libraries.-Judith M. Nixon, Purdue Univ. Lib., West Lafayette, Ind.
Booknews
Offers tips on buying goods and services relating to food, health, home and furnishings, technology, automobiles, clothing, children, travel and vacations, and professional services. Also shares insights into shopping, bias in the marketplace, and how to complain. Expanded by nearly half from the 1995 edition. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From Barnes & Noble
Is your credit card number secure on the Internet? Are extended warranties worth the money? Before you spend another dollar--first get practical advice from a top consumer advocate. All the money-saving tips you need to get the best value on healthcare, cars, clothing, repairs, vacations, and more are in this revised shopper's guide. And with coverage on everything worth purchasing (and the scams and schemes that go with them), you'll save time and cut down on the hassles, too!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563052743
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

After serving as the highly effective Consumer Affairs Commissioner of New York City (1990-93), Mark Green was elected and re-elected the City's first Public Advocate—the ombudsman for resolving citizen complaints against government bureaucracy and inefficiency. He is the author of the million-copy bestseller Who Run Congress?.

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Read an Excerpt

Online shopping.

You can order almost anything on the Internet these day: airplane tickets, rental cars, computers, clothes, cigars, kayaks, champagne flutes...the list goes on. Countless big-name retailers have gone online to peddle their goods, like Barnes & Nobles, Ticketmaster, and JC Penny. Yet in 1997, Business Week magazine found that only 1% of consumers with online access frequently shopped via the Internet. The reason? Most people don't feel comfortable typing their credit card number into a system that works by bouncing information over a series of computer systems.

As you become familiar with the Net, you'll find that there are bargains (and convenience) to be had. Just as you wouldn't do business in a store you didn't trust - or buy a "genuine Rolex" from a vendor in Times Square - you shouldn't buy online except from reputable, recognizable companies. A flashy, high-tech site doesn't guarantee the business behind it is legitimate, but the Better Business Bureau does. The BBB (www.bbbonline.org) certifies Web retailers that meet its standards. These feature a special BBB seal on their sites that you can click on; if the seal is genuine, where you can investigate the company's profile. You can also check for any consumer alerts about the company at the Federal Trade Commission's site, www.ftc.gov, or check for news stories about the company by searching with one of the engines described above.

Shop only on "secure" sites that use some kind of encryption - the scrambling and descrambling of information. Anything you send to the site, like a credit card number and other personal information, is scrambled automatically before you send it, making it unreadable to any prying eyes. At the other end of the transaction, the details are descrambled by the retailer using special programs that only they have access to. Secure sites are marked by an "s" after the "http" in the Web address, like this: "https:www.amazon.com". (Amazon.com is an online bookseller that uses encryption technology.) On Netscape, the small key symbol in the bottom left corner of the window, usually broken, will be whole when you're using secure sites. A small, locked padlock appears in the bottom right corner of Internet Explorer's window.

If it still sounds risky, call the vendor. Any retail site worth its salt will also have a toll-free number that you can call to place orders. While Internet commerce has become safer in recent years, it's not so safe that hackers couldn't break into the online sites of ESPN Sportszone and Outside magazine in 1997 and find the credit card numbers of 2,400 customers who had purchased goods from those sites, Luckily, the intruders claimed they were trying to make a point about online security, and there were no reports of wrongful use of the card numbers.

There are also the thousands and thousands of "classical ad" - like advertisements found in news groups and unsolicited e-mail messages offering used computers, used

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: Smarter Shopping in the New Consumer Century...

PART 1: FOOD

Groceries

Fast-Food Outlets

Water

PART 2: HEALTH

Health Insurance

Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacists

Doctors and Hospitals

Long -Term care

Nutritional Supplements

Weight-Loss Products and Programs

Health Clubs

Infertility Services

Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses

PART 3: HOME

Houses, Condos, and Co-ops

Home Improvement Contractors

The Energy Efficient Home

Home Security Systems

Furniture and Mattresses

Pets

Lawn and Garden Care

Moving Companies

Product Safety

PART 4: TECHNOLOGY

Computers

The Internet

Cable Television

Electronic Goods and Appliances

Telephones

Calling Long Distances

PART 5: AUTOMOBILES

New Cars

Used Cars

Car Leasing

Gasoline

Automobile Insurance

Car Repair

PART 6: FINANCES

Credit Cards

Banking on Banks

Mutual Funds

Retirement Nest Eggs

Mortgages and Home Equity Borrowing

Life Insurance

Homeowners Insurance

Debt Collectors

Tax Preparers

PART 7: WHAT YOU WEAR

Jewelry and Watches

Cosmetics

Dry Cleaning

PART 8: CHILDREN

Child Care

Toys

PART 9: TRAVEL AND VACATION

Airlines and Airfares

Travel

Car Rentals

PART 10: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Lawyers

Funerals

Employment Agencies

PART 11: SHOPPING

Outlet Shopping

Home Shopping

Installment Loans

Layaway and Rent-to-Own

Counterfeit and Gray Market Goods

Consumer Privacy

Environmental Claims

PART 12: BIAS IN THE MARKETPLACE

Women

Selling Minorities Short in the Marketplace

Seniors as Consumers

Consumers with Disabilities

PART 13: LAST RESORT

How to Complain

APPENDICES

STATE CONSUMER

OFFICES

SOURCES

INDEX

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