Wikileaks For Retailers

Matt Schwartz reveals the tricks of the trade for a whole new generation of internet shoppers and bargain junkies:

[T]hanks to forums that aggregate the collective urge to save money, novice deal hunters have access to FAQs and tutorials addressing everything from the inventory cycle at Target to methods of handling hostile cashiers. For those who know where to look, these sites form a sort of WikiLeaks of secret deals, a searchable directory of rock-bottom prices and money-saving techniques as labyrinthine and cunning as the retail universe it seeks to map. In this world, each product has two prices. First there’s the suggested retail price”a blatant lie,” as Jeffrey Tan, a top-ranking SlickDeals user, calls itpaid by everyone else. Then there’s the real price, available only to the deal-hunting elite.