Shoptimism: Why American Consumers Keep on Buying No Matter What


Book Review by C. MacDonald

The holiday season is upon us and Californians have already begun to make their gift purchases, buying surfboards for their next big win at the Surfing Senior Olympics or U.S. Open of Surfing, skateboards, or event exotic trips around the globe. If the economy's hurting so bad, why do people continue to buy?

There's a book with a fascinating and in depth look at why people shop and buy the way they do, "SHOPTIMISM: Why the American Consumer Will Keep On Buying No Matter What", by Lee Eisenberg, published by Free Press. The author, who was EVP of Land's End and Editor in Chief at Esquire, writes with humor, emotion and as one who has thoroughly researched his subject from every possible angle the past several years–from going with his wife to observe how she purchases "a little black dress" to working as a clerk in Target to analyzing scholarly data on buying and selling.

You'll learn about:

  • the difference between wanting and needing
  • classic vs. romantic buying
  • the psychology of men and women shoppers

Lee Eisenberg's "Shoptimism" will be around a long time, not only as a delightfully entertaining and insightful read which makes for a great holiday gift, but as a reference resource on what makes people tick when it comes to buying and selling. No matter good times or bad, the author thinks we'll continue to buy because there's plenty of good to be bought and "to have is to be". With its flair for optimism, this book couldn't have come out at a better time.

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