Is That Infomercial Stuff Any Good?

Say you replaced your brain with a head of cabbage. You decide gotta have the latest As Seen on TV kitchen knife and label maker combo.

Fall not for their siren song exhorting you to CALL NOW! Instead, check out the reviews at InfomercialRatings to see if really slices, dices and stamps.

There you can learn from other consumers anecdotal evidence and find out that in fact, most of these products are total pieces of crap.

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  1. Narnia says:

    You had me at infoBOOBS!

  2. The_Truth says:

    Maybe its just me but 4 things strike me about all this:

    1 – These infomercials are something I have always considered a scam. After all if something were as great as they claim, why hasent the mainstream picked up on it?

    2 – The quality of grammer and spelling from most of the reviewers is awful, setting that aside though, I believe that a lot of these people are blind to the “Work Hard, Play Hard” princible, and instead hope and pray that these easy fix solutions will be just that. Even more amusingly, most of the negative reviews then go onto say that they are going to try the next advertised product to see if its any better.

    3 – The ads on the site promote other easy fix solutions (I saw one for a 6day slim), ironic?

    and 4 – I honestly dont think people listen and think. The ads usually do infact tell you how they are going to scam you, its just cleverly worded so that its easy to ‘skim’ listen and ignore the warnings. With this in mind, should I really be concerned over how people are getting ripped off, if they fail to listen?

    If a products true cost has to be hidden in multiple payments, or a blender is dirt cheap despite being the best, or it claims that you can have $5000 each month for no work, and I believe this, despite all the warnings and utter lack of common sense, should I be surprised when it all backfires on me? or more specifically, on them?

  3. AcilletaM says:

    Took me a couple times but I was finally able to look at that picture and see the words.

    And hey, I love my knife/label maker combo. I use it every day. It also folds my laundry and keeps my living room smelling fresh.

  4. The_Truth says:

    “11/2/2005 – Angela of Colorado, USA writes:

    We received the first packet of information and then were convinced to pay $5700 for their coaching program with a 100% guarantee that we would make back our original investment within 30-90 days. If not, we would receive a full refund. We have tried to get our money back within the 60 day window and no one returned our calls and no one returned our emails.”

    me – Shakes head

  5. bambino says:

    The_Truth:

    “2 – The quality of grammer and spelling from most of the reviewers is awful, setting that aside though, I believe that a lot of these people are blind to the “Work Hard, Play Hard” PRINCIBLE”

    Hello, kettle.
    I kid, I kid.

    Anyway I agree, it’s guiltily amusing to read the reviews and wonder what the hell these people were thinking.

  6. CTSLICK says:

    AcilettaM Wrote: “Took me a couple times but I was finally able to look at that picture and see the words”

    Words? What words? Ohhhhh, I see ‘em now.

  7. “These infomercials are something I have always considered a scam. After all if something were as great as they claim, why hasent the mainstream picked up on it?”

    A handful of the products simply can’t find a traditional distributor. I’m told that some companies infomercialize a product because it’s a lower-cost route to “test market” it, build name recognition, and see if something a little unusual has a market available to it. Like, say, the George Foreman Grill. There’s this exercise machine Chuck Norris shills for, too, in infomercials (can’t remember the name) which is actually a machine that’s used extensively in medical rehab because it allows strength building without too much joint strain, which has just been brought to market for the retail market, but since it’s a medical brand doesn’t have name recognition in the exercise market (like “Bowflex” does) and it’s a little different from much of what’s available. It may not be the “best” body-building machine out there, but it certainly WORKS.

    But then, most of these are the products you see six months later in the drug store and grocery store “As Seen on TV.” So the ones going that route do tend to find a distributor in bricks and mortar eventually!

    They’re also actual PRODUCTS — not “systems” to change your life!

  8. LRM216 says:

    I admit that, during my 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. nocturnal haze, I have been visually coerced to order a few things based on the miraculous infomercials that were running. I have yet to receive anything that worked even a smidgeon as close to what was advertised in the ad. Oh wait, I did like the Bare Minerals I ordered, until I found out I could go down to the local ULTA and purchase it cheaper and with no shipping fees.

  9. logie-al says:

    When I worked for a small TV station that aired infomercials during the overnight hours, I learned a few things.
    First, the number displayed on the screen is usually tied to what station is airing the infomercial. TV stations receive commission on each sale through the phone number dialed. So if you like the TV station you are watching, and they are a small independent station, dial that number to buy.
    Second, that “CALL IN THE NEXT 10 MINUTES TO GET THIS GREAT DEAL” or other time constraint is utter crap. They usually have no idea when their infomercial is being aired. When I worked at the station, it was up to me as far as which one I wanted to air. We had about two dozen different ones to choose from. If I wanted to listen to Ron Popeil, then I put the food dehydrator or something in… if not, then I chose a different one.
    Some of the things they sell are actually useful. Others, not so much. But don’t get suckered into having to call “in the next 5 minutes” to get your order doubled or so forth. You still have to ask for it when you call.
    The same also applies to the 30, 60 and 120 second commercials that sell the same stuff.

  10. See also the variously-syndicated Does It Work.

  11. AcidReign says:

    …..The worst one I got suckered on was the Quick-Chop. You can’t even fit an Alabama-sized onion into it! And it doesn’t chop. It bludgeons and mashes. Sorta. More plastic for the landfill…

  12. MeOhMy says:

    Hey, Consumerists…if you send me $50 I’ll tell you how I made MILLIONS OF DOLLARS by placing TINY CLASSIFIED ADS in the COMMENTS SECTIONS of GAWKER MEDIA-OWNED BLOGS just like THIS ONE!

  13. superlayne says:

    I’m such a dork. I end up falling for a lot of the cooking utensil and weight-loss ads…I can’t buy anything, so it’s mostly harmless…

    I still want the Betty Crocker Bake and Fill pan, though.