In a Recession, the Consumer Is Queen

The recession may be killing the economy, but anyone with a wallet and a strategy feels like a royal

Mario Tama / Getty

The first clue came when I got my hair cut. The stylist offered not just the usual coffee or tea but a complimentary nail-polish change while I waited for my hair to dry. Maybe she hoped this little amenity would slow the growing inclination of women to stretch each haircut to last four months while nursing our hair back to whatever natural color we long ago forgot.

Then there was the appliance salesman who offered to carry my bags as we toured the microwave aisle. When I called my husband to ask him to check some specs online, the salesman offered...

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