As Seen On TV

You Clap On! the television and there it is. Yet another ad for a product that you never knew you wanted. You turn up the volume on your Personal Sound Amplifier. Did you hear the announcer correctly? Could it really be? All that and a free gift for only $19.99 plus shipping and handling? You use your Big Button Phone to dial the number on the screen. After all, the operators are standing by. You can’t keep them waiting! Ten to fourteen days later, the package finally arrives. Is it everything you thought it would be?

Possibly, but only if your expectations are low.

I have to admit that I have purchased some of these products. Since I am a natural pessimist, sometimes I am actually pleased that some As-Seen-On-TV products are actually as good as advertised. Here is my review of some of those As Seen On TV products that have ended up at more doorstep.

The Good

The Buxton Organizer – I had my doubts. I carry a big purse and I thought there was no way to fit everything into such a tiny package. For the most part, however, this bag really does hold everything. The biggest problem I have with it is that there are too many compartments. I know the whole point is to be organized, but I often put something in one of the pockets and forget where I put it. What I really need to do is open up my purse and yell, “Hey, give me my Visa card” and then have the item magically appear on the pile inside. But since this feature doesn’t exists, I guess the Buxton Organizer will do until someone invents a voice-driven handbag.

Moon Sand – My daughter loves this. Her only complaint is that it didn’t come with all the molds and accessories she saw on the commercial. That’s another lesson – make sure you know what comes in the package and what will cost extra. Also, I am not totally convinced that this substance really comes from the moon.

Craft Lite Cutter – This paper cutter comes with several different blades that cut with straight or fancy edges on the paper. I have been trying to cut straight lines with scissors for nearly 40 years and I still can’t do it. Finally, I can give out school pictures of my kids without chopping off an ear. On the photo, I mean, not the kids.

Since I’m usually expecting the products to be crappy, it’s scary when they can’t even meet this dismal standard:

The Bad

Roll-N-Gro – I rolled it. It didn’t grow.

Floam – Some of the colors were too dried out to use, even fresh out of the package. The colors that weren’t dried out either didn’t stick to surfaces very well, or if they did stick, were extremely difficult to remove.

Digidraw – This was my son’s first experience with buying something he’d seen on TV. He learned very quickly that you can’t believe everything you see on television. This has a mirror-like piece of plastic which is supposed to reflect an image so you can copy it onto a sheet of paper. The mirror kept falling down as he was drawing, and the image was too dark to trace very well.

Aquadots – Actually, the kids had fun with these and they worked just like was shown on TV. Unfortunately, they were recalled because they were found to be poisonous. I guess fun and safety don’t mix.

And if you act now

Resist the impulse. Do your budget a favor. If you must have any of these products, or any others you see on TV, save yourself the cost of shipping and handling. Most of the products wind up at your local drugstore within a couple of months. Good luck and happy shopping. Individual results may vary.

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3 Responses to As Seen On TV

  1. Cindy says:

    I bought my mom the gopher at the drug store and she loves it! My mom is short and it’s a long grabber arm thing that’s great for getting things out of the top of the cupboard.

    Hubs bought me the pasta pot for Christmas one year and it was awful. The non-stick coating came off after about 2 uses.

  2. Jen says:

    I am in love with the Sham-wow commercial. I’m not going to buy it anytime soon, but I love the commercial.

    Our local news tests out As Seen on TV items and reports on their effectiveness. Before buying, visit your local news channel’s website to see if they do something similar.

  3. Carol says:

    We got suckered by Digidraw, too! Also, you can add those Green Bags to the list. They work ok the first time out, but they seemed to loose their effectiveness after you wash and reuse them. (The package claims you can get 8-10 uses from each bag.)

    What I do with “As seen on TV” stuff is just wait until it shows up at my local Walgreens. I’ve found that if the product is really a winner, it will usually show up on store shelves. If not the TV original, than a close knockoff. If you don’t see it at retail, it’s probably a dud. Plus, I hear you can buy a lot of that stuff on eBay.

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