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Stop Getting Ripped Off: Why Consumers Get Screwed, and How You Can Always Get a Fair Deal Paperback – Dec 29 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Dec 29 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034551159X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345511591
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,737,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Amazon.com: 16 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
savvy ways to outsmart the system Jan. 13 2010
By Christine Gacharna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bob Sullivan is on a mission to educate Americans and change the way we view and spend our money. He genuinely writes to help people; in this case, help people realistically improve their financial situation simply by using the money they already have in smarter, more creative ways.

He writes as if he has an established relationship with his readers. (He does.) He made me come face to face with my own quirky habit of sloughing off responsibility for paying attention to the little numbers. As he explores throughout the entire book, it's those little numbers that add up, ultimately creating opportunity for the long term financial stability that many Americans crave these days.

But he does more than just point out the little numbers and why they are important. He actually takes it further and explains the system, and then how we as consumers can use that knowledge of how the system works to move our money smartly and avoid paying unnecessary fees. There is in-depth explanation of how recent changes in the banking system throw some of our conventional thinking about credit cards, checking accounts and ATM transactions upside down, and what we can do as account holders to maximize our benefits and eliminate financial penalties. As a consumer, I can refer back or skip ahead to different sections of the book as/when needed for specific tips on buying a car, shopping for a mortgage, paying for college, negotiating cable TV and cell phone service companies, whatever is most relevant to my daily life that will translate to long-term financial health.

My guess is that I will easily pocket the cost of this book time and again simply as a result of being educated by it and knowing I have the option to go back and refer to it as needed.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A comprehensive financial guide that will empower consumers Jan. 18 2010
By Joseph Ganem - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In Stop Getting Ripped Off, Sullivan provides an outstanding, step-by-step guide that average consumers can follow to take back control of their financial lives. The economic turbulence of recent years has shown that when it comes to finances, Americans need to vastly improve their decision-making. In Part I of the book, many of the root causes of poor financial decisions are identified. Included in this list are: the failure of Americans to understand basic math, the failure of our education system to teach financial literacy, and our collective failure to recognize and avoid the kinds of irrational economic decisions that have been well-documented by behavioral economists. This makes for fascinating reading, because I don't think consumers fully realize, just how much their lack of knowledge on many of these issues is costing them in the marketplace.

In Part II, Sullivan takes consumers step-by-step through the most important financial decisions that they make, such as buying a house, buying a car, choosing a credit card, or a student loan. This section is packed with money-saving tips and practical advice. Some of his adages are counterintuitive, but upon reflection highly accurate. For example, when buying a home, the mortgage is more important than the actual house. Accordingly, homebuyers should spend more time shopping for mortgages than they do homes. Other advice includes: students should not borrow more to go to college than they can expect to earn during their first year of employment; and responsible credit card users hurt their credit score by holding too few credit cards.

Part III is comprehensive plan for securing your financial future. As Sullivan explains, the surest way to avoid getting ripped off is to have the ability to say no to any offer. Consumers with precarious finances are the ones offered loans with the most unfavorable terms. A consumer with a solid financial footing is in a position to walk away from many of the unfair, and deceptive offers Sullivan exposes.

This book is a call to save our system of free-market capitalism that has been endangered by recent events. A choice-based economic system, like a choice-based political system, needs an informed, enlightened, and engaged citizenry to function. I highly recommend this book. I hope it will be widely read, and lead to positive and permanent changes in consumer behaviors.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
More than pleased....good overall info March 21 2010
By Eugene Lattanzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was in the process of buying a car when a friend/co-worker pointed out this book to me which I immediately purchased from Amazon. Come to find out that this book paid for itself many times over when I did finally purchase a car which had the incorrect sales tax added in which I picked up on because of this book. Lots of good helpful hints which everyone can use!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Helpful and Informative Jan. 25 2010
By Mimi Mouche - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So far, the areas that I needed help with have been EXTREMELY enlightening with excellent suggestions/ideas/considerations. This is an excellent resource book for the confused consumer!!

Understanding the Cell Phone dilema was especially helpful! Satellite vs Cable TV will be my next focus. Suggestions regarding how to deal with vehicle purchases didn't have any new insights (for us), but OTHER mysteries have been unraveled.

As various contracts (especially) come up for renewal, I plan to use this book as my guide to better understanding and the opportunity to negotiate a more positive relationship with service providers.

A TIMELY BOOK!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read for anyone who buys anything March 15 2010
By B. R Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bob Sullivan (no relation) manages to take what one would expect to be a boring topic and makes it not only a good read, but a fascinating page turner.

I consider myself to be pretty financially savvy, but learned several new, practical tips in his chapters on managing retirement funds, credit cards, and purchasing a cell phone plan. Bob also includes additional chapters on topics such as purchasing a house, student loans, purchasing cable, and a few other things I'm forgetting at the moment.

However, even if you know everything about all of the above topics, the book is still a must-read for his opening discussion of how and why corporations are able to "rip people off" and the appalling financial illiteracy of the US population.

While I did check this book out from the library I would actually recommend purchasing it as it will come in handy as a reference book for many future purchases.


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