In contemporary society, it can often seem that the message of 'buy, buy, buy!' besets us from all corners and practically everything is for sale - in fact, in 2010 UK retail sales were over £293 billion. Everything from groceries to gadgets are now available to purchase with only the click of a mouse. But is this a positive thing? This book looks at the issues surrounding consumption and consumer power, including the impact of the recession on our buying habits, at consumer rights, at how to be an ethical shopper and at the effect of the consumerist message on children. The information comes from a wide range of sources and includes government reports and statistics, newspaper articles, features, magazine articles and surveys, literature from lobby groups and charitable organisations.