Friday, October 08, 2010

Embracing Our Inner Tourist: The "As Seen on TV Store"

Hello. My name is Smarty Pants and despite my high IQ, I am sucker for informercials. There, I said it. My mind is just drawn to the myriad solutions for people apparently too incompetent to shave their legs or boil pasta without assistance. I just love those commericals...

"Tired of paint that drips and rollers that slip? Taping off the corners and windows can take hours! Oh no! That paint just got all over your priceless antique quilt! Put an end to the struggle with the Point and Paint."

If you're that bad at painting or it takes you hours to tape off edges, I've always thought maybe you should hire out. Or at least put down a tarp and move your valuables to another room before you start. I don't think that $19.95 gadget (which I bought, by the way) is going to convert you to a pro that can paint an entire room in an hour. For the record, it works for about 5 minutes, then the paint gets on the edges and it just gets everywhere after that.

Doesn't matter what it is. For a flash of a second, I usually consider it. Ron Popeil's Rotisserie (set it and forget it!). Mighty Putty. Tae-Bo. Definitely thought about it. Almost bought an Emery Cat before I remembered my cats are declawed. Green Bags, Hercules Hooks, Aqua Globes... I bought them all. And I got the Ginsu knives free for ordering in the next fifteen minutes.

When we were in the mountains, I was lured in by the giant "As Seen on TV" sign. I was expecting to walk into a place filled with sorrowful people unable to tie their own shoes and employees hyped up on caffeine ready to sell them the solutions with the enthusiasm of Anthony Sullivan or Billy Mays. Sadly, I was disappointed. Not even someone as weird as the ShamWow guy in there. But fortunately, most Walmarts and Targets eventually carry the products I'm interested in (granted, without the free gift for ordering now) and I don't have to pay shipping. And I can take it back in three days if it sucks.

Are you entranced by informercials? Held captive by QVC? What's the best, worst, or craziest thing you've ever ordered off TV? I'm always curious as to how well half this stuff works...


PS. Kimberly and Kira are out and about this weekend. Come visit!

Then, come back tomorrow to celebrate with us as we launch Kimberly's new book – Boardroom Rivals, Bedroom Fireworks! The wine is on us!

PPS. Leanne Banks's winner from Wednesday is Michele L. Please contact Playground Monitor to claim your prize.


Problem Child said...

See, it's then magnetic pen commercial that has me shaking my head. How hard is it to keep up with a pen? They're cheap -- for the cost of just one of those things, I could buy enough pens to have piles all over the house.

(But I do have a Shake Weight and a Kimani Body Shaper.)

Instigator said...

I bought Taebo. On VHS. It is now collecting dust on my entertainment center shelf.

I often find myself watching infomercials. I'm usually intrigued by the gadget. My problem is always I'm too lazy to actually pick up the phone and order the thing. This has probably saved me thousands of dollars.


Playground Monitor said...

I have the thing you clean out your dryer lint trap with. It works pretty well. I don't have as much of a problem here as I did in the house, so it's gone unused for a year now.

I also have a Sham Wow. And when I had the great flood back in August I was using them (they came in a pack of 2 large ones and 1 small one) I was using them on the carpet. I'd wring one out, just toss it on the carpet and man oh man did it just suck water right up. I didn't even have to touch it. Then the carpet folks came and used the vacuum extractor to get the bulk of the water up so I don't know just how much the Sham Wow would have absorbed. And I hope I don't have to ever find out.

I see these things on TV and automatically assume they won't work. It's the old "if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn't" adage. And I get more cynical with age.

Maven Linda said...

I can see me getting a Sham Wow -- if I ever run across one. But I don't watch infomercials. I did once. They were selling a brand of cosmetic. Don't remember the name, but I ended up spending a fortune on cosmetics. It was pretty good, but not THAT spectacular, so when I ran out I didn't re-order, and since then I haven't watched infomercials.

Jean Hovey said...

I want that blow up cooler/salad bar thing, though there is not much chance I can get it since I don't really remember what's called, how much it costs, or where to order it.

I don't watch infomercials, though. It would be a bad road for me. That giant collapsible cooler thingy is advertised in a regular commercial. I saw it again today (or rather heard it) but I was polishing counter tops and couldn't get the info. Probably for the best.

Thingy. That could describe almost every "Order now and get 72 free" item.