THE BARGAIN HUCKSTERS by Ralph Lee Smith

THE BARGAIN HUCKSTERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Utterly fascinating, extensive and well-documented, The Bargain Hucksters should be handed out with Friday's pay check as a public service of the welfare state. It's that significant a contribution in the area of Caveat Emptor 1962. Ralph Lee Smith has missed none of the despicably shrewd ways by which the American consumer is bilked of billions every year. There are, of course, the quick-kill shysters who advertise in Movie Magazines and write off the Federal Trade Commissions's intervention as an overhead expense, the sellers of signet rings to 10 year olds who are then called upon to peddle the company's wares, and the ""rare coin dealers"" who rely on the dollars they get for their catalogues. But as important are the subtler workings of the more successful: the inflated list prices; the bastardization of science for the sake of sales; the funeral ghouls who mulct the mourners. There's a whole chapter here devoted to the business of charity. And although one wonders whether it is strictly consistent which Smith's concern, it is nevertheless interesting to know of the superfluity of seeing-eye dogs (he claims that most blind people don't want them) in the face of the dearth of funds for mental health (Schizoids, it seems are a ""hard sell""). The market place will be a safe place for these revelations.

Publisher: Crowell