Subject: Re: Frommer's best deal on the planet
thought this might be of interest to some of you--Sandy in LA

For World-Wide Shopping Tips Budget Travelers Can Really Use, We've Come Across a Great Resource: The Fearless Shopper The Fearless Shopper: How To Get The Best Deals on the Planet was written by Kathy Borrus, a former buyer for the Smithsonian Institution Museum Shops, and it's a highly useful shopping guide. What you will get are a lot of helpful do's and don'ts (in North African and Middle Eastern markets, bargain in early afternoon when vendors may be heat-weary and more amenable to cutting a deal; don't buy Russian religious icons as souvenirs--taking them out of the country is illegal), along with a rundown on shopping in practically every visitable country in the world: what the best bargains and specialties are, how to find the major open-air markets and shopping districts, where the best market towns can be located, how to haggle, how to spot local scams and avoid being ripped off, what's legal and what isn't, and how to get your precious items home, among many other useful bits of advice. (One of our favorites: to test for authentic silk, light a match to a thread; if it curls or melts, it's phony, but if it leaves only ash it's the real thing.) Not all the information will be useful to a budget traveler---but the bulk of what Ms. Borrus divulges is of keen interest to the budget-minded traveler. You can buy the book (the retail price is $14.95) in most well-stocked bookstores, or online at