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(Mental Floss)   We've all seen them. We've all made fun of them. We all roll our eyes in our smug superiority over the thought that anyone would ever buy anything from an infomercial. And we are wrong. So very, very wrong   (mentalfloss.com) divider line 63
    More: Interesting, Toll-free telephone number, total sales  
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5869 clicks; posted to Business » on 16 Mar 2014 at 12:28 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-16 12:16:31 PM
I did get suckered into buying the Ronco dehydrator...made a ton of beef jerky.

I say let those bald among us who have not considered Ronco GLH to cast the first shamwow!
 
2014-03-16 12:35:04 PM
www.thereplicapropforum.com
 
2014-03-16 12:41:26 PM
I'll give my props to the SlapChop (okay, there's a hundred knock-offs that are probably just the same).  I use that sucker several times a week.
 
2014-03-16 12:41:40 PM
So they were put in random order? Or they too lazy to finish the research between annual sales or total ever?
 
2014-03-16 01:04:37 PM
photos1.blogger.com
 
2014-03-16 01:06:16 PM
These products do seem to have a common theme. . .they work as advertised.
 
2014-03-16 01:17:08 PM
Loving my Magic Bullet, getting a kick, etc.
 
2014-03-16 01:17:49 PM

Lord Jubjub: These products do seem to have a common theme. . .they work as advertised.


True. I don't know how many damn Pocket Hoses got returned last year because the connector broke (or on a few, the water pressure was high enough to make the thing rupture.)

My George Foreman grill was great when I was single. One burger or two hot dogs or one piece of chicken cooked quickly and lazily.
 
2014-03-16 01:23:17 PM
After spending years cutting of the callouses off the bottom of my feet with dikes (and boy they didn't like that, those silly women) I bought a Ped-Egg and the thing really works.
 
2014-03-16 01:31:18 PM
I happen to love my George Forman grill, hands down the best $50 I've ever spent.
 
2014-03-16 01:33:50 PM

Lawnchair: I'll give my props to the SlapChop (okay, there's a hundred knock-offs that are probably just the same).  I use that sucker several times a week.


You mean this slap chop?
 
2014-03-16 02:01:03 PM
Subby needs one of those perpetual calendars so year old articles don't get submitted.
 
2014-03-16 02:03:02 PM

Cornelius Dribble: Lawnchair: I'll give my props to the SlapChop (okay, there's a hundred knock-offs that are probably just the same).  I use that sucker several times a week.

You mean this slap chop?


I've never had a slap chop... but the gorilla puppet thing wasn't doing a lot of slapping. He was like pushing the plunger down.

Hey! This hammer doesn't work! I can't push nails in with it.

/Watch this... you're gonna love my nuts!
 
2014-03-16 02:03:25 PM
Jeezus, do they really to load 19 flash videos on one page?  Screenshots and links would have been fine.
 
2014-03-16 02:17:31 PM
I got my George Foreman grill about 12 years ago. Aside a couple of dents on the top from being moved from home to home multiple times, it still runs great.

I plan on keeping it even after we've moved to a place with enough outdoor space for us to invest in an actual grill, because we still like eating burgers on cold winter nights.
 
2014-03-16 02:36:34 PM
I never put together the fact that "Ronco" is really just Ron Popells name.
 
2014-03-16 03:31:33 PM
I honestly wish P90X made more money than that.
 
2014-03-16 03:46:54 PM
We have saved hundreds of bucks in haircuts with the flo-bee.  Not a joke, and not embarrassed.
 
2014-03-16 03:56:46 PM
Bowflex was one of the first infomercial things that got big. And dear lord that was over 20 years ago.
 
2014-03-16 04:11:26 PM
Magic Bullet and GF Grill work like champs.

Wife uses the ped egg.

P90X is a beast of a workout program.

Oxi Clean is amazing stuff.

There is plenty of crap being hawked, but, there is some legit stuff too.
 
2014-03-16 04:30:44 PM

WhyteRaven74: Bowflex was one of the first infomercial things that got big. And dear lord that was over 20 years ago.


Pretty sure that started out as Soloflex, and 100% sure I owned one.
 
2014-03-16 04:44:45 PM

ReapTheChaos: I happen to love my George Forman grill, hands down the best $50 I've ever spent.


Agreed. Had one for several years.  Makes cooking very easy.  And slightly leaner.
 
2014-03-16 05:17:16 PM
The ThighMaster has really helped Suzanne Summers improve her thighs.

img.fark.net
 
2014-03-16 05:19:39 PM
I have had 2 bowflexes, the really old one and one of the latest ones.  They are fantastic if you get them used.  Those things depreciate faster than an american car and I'm glad Bowflex doesn't have my name anywhere near their database.

I think the only thing I ever really bought off an infomercial was a dehydrator after the one I got from my girlfriend broke.  This was before the "as seen of tv" aisle opened in every pharmacy and some grocery stores.

I've gotten my money's worth out of a couple GF grills and a magic bullet, but those were bought at stores.
 
2014-03-16 05:44:08 PM
Slapchop looks identical to a product my mom owned over thirty years ago.

I am amazed it got the traction as some kind of new product that it did.
 
2014-03-16 06:01:55 PM
Don't buy those Eggies things.
They suck and the egg sticks to the many tiny parts.
Terrible product.
 
2014-03-16 06:53:44 PM
Ever clean any of the kitchen crap? All the time you "save" is made up for in cleaning.

I half invented the expand-a-hose, but I was playing with pnuematic muscles. Switch the length of silicon tubing and woven sheeth and you have a contractile pseudo muscle.
 
2014-03-16 07:00:29 PM
I got my mom to buy an Authentic Hand Hammered Wok like 25 years ago. Still use it all the time. I have tried to find that infomercial anywhere on the Interbutts, but no luck.
 
2014-03-16 07:45:50 PM
kittyhas1000legs:

My George Foreman grill was great when I was single. One burger or two hot dogs or one piece of chicken cooked quickly and lazily.

Same.  I use mine for hot dogs, bratwursts, the occasional pork chop or chicken breast.  Probably the best way to do them if you don't feel like firing up the outdoor grill.
 
2014-03-16 08:04:43 PM
"I half invented the expand-a-hose, but I was playing with pnuematic muscles"

Is that anything like an erection?
 
2014-03-16 08:10:33 PM
I'm not going to lie, I use my snuggie frequently, so that i can read in the ice box that is my house
 
2014-03-16 08:30:29 PM
I used to do retail and one of the sections we had was As Seen on TV (owned by Telebrand services). My personal theory is that there is a price/quality distribution clustered around a single price point. Things well below that, like the 99 cent "magic" paring knife, were disposable and no one complained about it only lasting 3 months. Things above that had to work to a certain degree, simply because those required some semblance of planning and budgeting. But $20 seems to be the magic point where the average goober on the couch says "I NEED ONE OF THEM". The most common prices in the section (observed over 22 months at this place) were $20, $10, and $5 in that order.

I have absolutely no doubt that it was intentional.

All the "Free Dumb" coins, most kitchen gadgets, most rejects from Sharper Image, $20 or X number of payments of $20 each.
 
2014-03-16 08:32:52 PM

DrSansabeltNoShiatSlacks: "I half invented the expand-a-hose, but I was playing with pnuematic muscles"

Is that anything like an erection?


Nope. Blood is thicker than water.
 
2014-03-16 09:36:11 PM
I make my Thanksgiving turkey in my Showtime Rotisserie every year and I constantly get compliments on it. Worth it for that alone.
 
2014-03-16 09:47:13 PM
My roommate got a George Foreman grill. Great little device. Unfortunately, he never cleaned it properly, and it quickly turned into a rancid slab of grease. Which is weird, because those things are supposed to clean pretty easily.

I've seen some cooking toys that would be awesome to have. (Love my kitchen.) Most of those toys do things that are just as easily done by anyone with a gas range, though. I didn't actually need to buy a convection oven, for instance, but I prefer it over the gas oven. I like to think that I'm generally immune to infomercial persuasive techniques (I can't think of anything that would convince me to buy a Snuggie), but sometimes I like to watch the ones for kitchen equipment.
 
2014-03-16 09:58:21 PM

Infomercials wouldn't exist if they weren't wildly profitable.

Otherwise, what would be the point? Half an hour to explain an exercise program? Sure - nearly half a billion bucks for a set of DVDs and a few manuals means that their profit margins are enormous. Most of these products are high-profit, low-cost, and those infomercials are money-makers for the content distributors that air them during off-peak hours. Sure, I'm restating the obvious, but that's the point - it's obvious that they work, because we see more and more of them show up for shiattier & shiattier products.
 
2014-03-16 09:58:34 PM

marxychick1: I make my Thanksgiving turkey in my Showtime Rotisserie every year and I constantly get compliments on it. Worth it for that alone.


Huh, never even thought about doing a turkey in it, even though I use it regularly for chicken - like you, always to compliments... may try that this year.
 
2014-03-16 10:27:16 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I used to do retail and one of the sections we had was As Seen on TV (owned by Telebrand services). My personal theory is that there is a price/quality distribution clustered around a single price point. Things well below that, like the 99 cent "magic" paring knife, were disposable and no one complained about it only lasting 3 months. Things above that had to work to a certain degree, simply because those required some semblance of planning and budgeting. But $20 seems to be the magic point where the average goober on the couch says "I NEED ONE OF THEM". The most common prices in the section (observed over 22 months at this place) were $20, $10, and $5 in that order.

I have absolutely no doubt that it was intentional.

All the "Free Dumb" coins, most kitchen gadgets, most rejects from Sharper Image, $20 or X number of payments of $20 each.


So Wal-Mart?
 
2014-03-16 11:22:46 PM

Lawnchair: I'll give my props to the SlapChop (okay, there's a hundred knock-offs that are probably just the same).  I use that sucker several times a week.


This.  Big time saver, I use my knockoff for chili, chana, lots of things where you need to turn a mound of veggies into mulch.
 
2014-03-16 11:35:41 PM

Lord Jubjub: These products do seem to have a common theme. . .they work as advertised.


Bowflex? I've tried them in stores and they're flimsier than a wet noodle. If you put any serious effort into a workout it'd break. Think I'm joking? They did a recall a while back because the STEEL was breaking and hitting people in the head.
 
2014-03-16 11:39:06 PM

Propain_az: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I used to do retail and one of the sections we had was As Seen on TV (owned by Telebrand services). My personal theory is that there is a price/quality distribution clustered around a single price point. Things well below that, like the 99 cent "magic" paring knife, were disposable and no one complained about it only lasting 3 months. Things above that had to work to a certain degree, simply because those required some semblance of planning and budgeting. But $20 seems to be the magic point where the average goober on the couch says "I NEED ONE OF THEM". The most common prices in the section (observed over 22 months at this place) were $20, $10, and $5 in that order.

I have absolutely no doubt that it was intentional.

All the "Free Dumb" coins, most kitchen gadgets, most rejects from Sharper Image, $20 or X number of payments of $20 each.

So Wal-Mart?


My employer? No. Kitchen Collection LLC, owned by NACCO Industries. It's a home housewares, kitchen crap store mostly in the midwest/south that caters to bored, stupid housewives.

/It's a little scary what a clean shaven guy in a polo shirt can sell with some sweet talk
 
2014-03-17 01:33:33 AM

Smackledorfer: Slapchop looks identical to a product my mom owned over thirty years ago.

I am amazed it got the traction as some kind of new product that it did.


Pampered Chef has had the same thing for a while now too. But for things like that I go at it old school:

naturalfamilytoday.com
Yes, I actually have one and yes, it's awesome. I've even ground up hard candies on top of ice cream.
 
2014-03-17 02:42:51 AM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I have absolutely no doubt that it was intentional.


You remember that one show on Discovery, Pitchmen? Hosted by Anthony Sullivan and Billy Mays until Mays died and basically took the show with him. They got into the whole process of as-seen-on-TV products: which products are worth trying to sell that way, verifying that the damn thing actually works, the method of selling them (protip: 'wow demos', aka showing the product managing some ridiculous feat ala Crazy Glue holding the guy's hardhat to the girder, are not only good but actively sought out), whether the sales pitch actually worked or not.

Yes, they did actively try and get to a $20 price point.

Also, while I'm here, Phil Swift is no Billy Mays.
 
2014-03-17 04:55:01 AM
I bought p90x, it's great for my workout style. I eat like a pig until I'm sufficiently disgusted with myself, I do p90x for a couple months and burn off all the fat, and then eat like a pig again.
 
2014-03-17 09:16:41 AM
My mother in law was a sucker for infomercials.  And my wife would often end up getting the products when they arrived and my MIL got buyers remorse.  The stupidest thing she ever dumped on us was a frozen pizza cooker that was basically a turntable with a little cooking element than ran from the center to the rim on one side.  You turned the thing on and it spun your pizza around so that the whole thing got exposed to the cooking element every time around.  Stupid looking, cheaply made and only capable of doing one thing.  Your perfect kitchen appliance.  I think I tried it once just for the hell of it and then we tossed it.
 
2014-03-17 10:04:32 AM
I have four of the perfect tortilla pans because I love taco salads with a tortilla bowl http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Tortilla-Pan-Set/dp/B008UA4POE They work pretty well. It makes a great dish.
 
2014-03-17 10:20:16 AM

peasandcarrots: Which is weird, because those things are supposed to clean pretty easily.


I believe they have ones you can stick the plates in the dishwasher now, but the one I have is a total pain in the ass to clean... but they work well enough.
 
2014-03-17 11:26:07 AM

Gosling: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I have absolutely no doubt that it was intentional.

You remember that one show on Discovery, Pitchmen? Hosted by Anthony Sullivan and Billy Mays until Mays died and basically took the show with him. They got into the whole process of as-seen-on-TV products: which products are worth trying to sell that way, verifying that the damn thing actually works, the method of selling them (protip: 'wow demos', aka showing the product managing some ridiculous feat ala Crazy Glue holding the guy's hardhat to the girder, are not only good but actively sought out), whether the sales pitch actually worked or not.

Yes, they did actively try and get to a $20 price point.

Also, while I'm here, Phil Swift is no Billy Mays.


Or its more clever cousin, "only $19.99!"
 
2014-03-17 11:40:24 AM
I expect several exercise items -> RTFA -> yep.
 
2014-03-17 11:42:13 AM
I bought my Little Giant ladder after watching several of their informercials and I must say, it is the safest, sturdiest, and most versatile ladder I've ever owned or been on. I know there are knock-offs on the market now, and likely it IS too high-priced (I paid about $300), but I'm currently 59 years old and when I climb it, I feel awfully safe. But it is a heavy sumbiatch...no doubt that's what makes it so stable.

Late one night, Mrs BrianGriffin and I were watching one of those Time/Life music collection infomercials...the 60s or something like that. We had both been imbibing liberally that evening and it was, like, 2 am, and before I know it, she is on the phone ordering the 8 CD set. Turns out, it was a great collection and well worth it.
 
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