Souks, bazaars, department stores, open-air markets, Web sites, and more. People love to travel and discover unique places, mixing culture and art, history and food, and shopping along the way. For those who travel, those who like to buy unusual and original gifts, and those who shop as a way to explore a culture and preserve memory, The Fearless Shopper: How to Get the Best Deals on the Planet by Kathy Borrus (Travelers’ Tales; December 1999; Trade Paperback Original; $14.95) is an indispensable guide to the world’s marketplace.

Part One offers extensive general tips on shopping, including bargain hunting, negotiating like a professional buyer, knowing when to buy and when to walk away, packing for your trip and shipping purchases home, and avoiding scams and rip-offs. It also reveals how to consume less and be an Earth friendly shopper, take best advantage of gift shopping in catalogs, and learn the DOs & DON’Ts of shopping online.

Part Two provides the Fearless Shopper’s Regional Shopping Guide, an extensive buyer’s guide to shopping in over 100 countries. This section reveals the best streets, neighborhoods, markets, and shops on and off the beaten path and lists at-a-glance local specialties. Author Kathy Borrus helps train your eye so you know how to look for one-of-a-kind textiles in South America, handblown glass ornaments in the Czech Republic, sarongs in Cambodia, and hand-forged daggers in the Republic of Georgia.

This comprehensive reference also includes a size chart for children’s and adult clothes in different countries, a city index, and selective lists of trade shows and craft stores, mail order catalogs, museum stores, and organizations and Web sites related to world shopping. Sidebars throughout the book share anecdotes about shopping abroad.

Whether scouring a flea market in Morocco, picking up something at the local market, window-shopping in Paris, or traveling as a professional buyer, Fearless Shoppers will discover hints to shop smart, bargain like a native, absorb culture, sustain fair trade, and make shopping a lifelong adventure.

About the Author

Kathy Borrus is a Fearless Shopper with a degree in “street anthropology.” She is a former buyer for the Smithsonian Institution Museum Shops and is currently a specialty retail marketing consultant and freelance writer.

The Fearless Shopper: How to Get the Best Deals on the Planet
by Kathy Borrus
Published by Travelers’ Tales
Publication Date: December 1999
Trade Paperback Original
ISBN: 1-885211-39-2; 288 pages; $14.95 U.S., $21.95 Canada
Available from bookstores, 1-800-998-9938, or

Just a few of the tips revealed in The Fearless Shopper:

  • Bring a calculator or create a cheat sheet of the currency rates, especially if you are bargaining in a foreign language.
  • Pack small tokens from home–such as pens, caps, or t-shirts-to barter for an item that interests you. These small items can also be used to help negotiate for a more agreeable price. They can also be given away to new friends you meet along the way.
  • Always bargain up from your price, never down form the merchant’s.
  • The closer you get to the native culture the more intriguing the shopping is.
  • If a merchant asks an absurd price, suggest an equally ridiculously low price.
  • Pick-pockets and bag-slashers work markets no matter what country you’re in.
  • Comparison-shop before you leave home. If you’re planning to visit a country with a reputation for good prices on certain items, check out the prices on similar products before you leave home. Write down the information and bring it with you.
  • If you don’t want to overspend on impulse items, stick to your budget and your lists. Be willing to walk away. In bargaining, as in life, you can get what you want if you’re not attached to it.