ShamWow Commercial A Scam? Wow!

What’s up with this deceptive edit in the ShamWow commercial?

Watch this clip. First Vince pours cola on the carpet square. You see the cola pooling underneath. He lifts up the square to show all the soda. Then there’s a cut as he puts the square back down and you can see all the soda underneath is gone. He rolls the ShamWow over the square and wrenches the waterfall of cola out into the bowl. Best of all, Vince starts off this part by saying, “We’re going to do this in real time!”

It’s strange why they would resort to this editing trick because according to the comments I’ve read on Consumerist and elsewhere, the ShamWow works. Maybe though just not with drying up a whole glass of soda from the carpet.

[via Drivelocity]
PREVIOUSLY: Snuggies And ShamWows Beseige Nation’s Cheap Airwaves


Edit Your Comment

  1. Justin Linett says:

    why dont they just make a shamwow snuggie so i never have to leave my couch again even for restroom breaks.

  2. Jubilance22 says:

    The ShamWow does work, I love it.

    I want that chopper thing that Vince is hawking now…

    • FrankenPC says:

      @Jubilance22: Yeah, the chopper looks great. I wonder how it will stand up to the pounding over time.

    • OscarWinner_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @Jubilance22: @FrankenPC: All I know is you’re gonna love Vince’s nuts.

    • Phydeaux says:

      @Jubilance22: Look at this, don’t like chopping onions? {pulls onions off table} They make you cry, they make me cry, look how easy it is to chop onions, no tears.

      Need to make a salad {grabs more things off the table}? Salads are good for you. Everyone should eat more salads and they can with the slap chop.

      Now, you’re going to love my nuts… {reaches under the table}

      To the relief of everyone he actually produces a bowl of nuts. Why weren’t the nuts on the table like everything else? Because I think the people that produce these things try to have a sense of humor.

      • Anonymous says:

        Vince considers himself a comedian. Ever seen Underground Comedy movie? Written and directed by the same guy. He produces the commercials too.

        • kityglitr says:

          The legend of Vince is a heartwarming tale. Google “ShamWow, Vince, Scientology” and all will be revealed. Short version; Vince joined Scientology to break into the movie biz. Scientology takes his money and alienates him from friends and family. Vince’s movie bombs/pisses off Scientologist. Vince is shamed and shunned by Scientologists. Vince leaves the fake religion and devotes almost all the money made from selling his movie (Underground Comedy Movie), ShamWows, and SlapChops to fight the evils of Scientology! Yay Vince!!!

        • ScottRose says:


          Oh. God. No.

          I own the underground comedy movie (I refuse to capitalize that title), and it was the Worst Piece of Crap that Ever Did Crap.

          I am a huge fan of toilet humor, boobies, and slapstick. That movie somehow completely fudged up all three. Seriously never watch, buy or rent that movie ever.

          • StreamOfConsciousness says:

            @ScottRose: Glad I was correct in going with my gut on that film. The box art made it look like it might be great (hey I was like 16!) but I could not bring myself to watch it.

    • Turcicus says:

      @Jubilance22: The Pampered Chef has made and sold one of those things for years. It’s nothing new.

      • CFinWV says:

        @Turcicus: Yea, I have had the pampered chef chopper for like 12 years now, haven’t used it in almost that time. It’s nothing wonderful.

      • MissPeacock says:

        @Turcicus: I got suckered into attending a Pampered Chef party a few months ago and they said that it was the most popular item they’d ever sold. Someone gave me one a while back, but I’ve rarely used it. Vince does make it look exciting.

      • failurate says:

        @Turcicus: We have one and we never use it. It’s a pretty miserable device, not sharp enought to cut anything and frequently gets gummed up. More smashing and squishing then chopping.
        The Vidalia Chopper, that one actually works.

      • Cattivella says:

        @Turcicus: They’re even older than that. I spotted a couple similar devices in an antique shop that were from the late 60’s/early 70’s. Definitely not a new idea.

        • privateer says:

          @Cattivella: My mother still has one. (Of course, she still has everything from her 1960s-70s kitchen, just like the old lady yesterday had everything from her 1930s kitchen.)

          I remember it had these metal slats in a criss-cross pattern, inside a round green plastic tube that was almost as big around as a salad plate. There was a spring-loaded plunger attached to the cutting slats that, as a kid, was fun to pound the hell out of over and over. You could mince a lot more of Vince’s nuts in that thing than the SlapChop.

          My mom always worried I would chop my fingers off in it. They probably would have chopped up better than the army men I put in it.

    • Rob Weddle says:

      @Jubilance22: Stop having a boring tuna! Stop having a boring life!

    • semanticantics says:

      @Jubilance22: You have to cut things small enough to fit in the Slap Chop (and other similar products). Idea: keep your knife out for 3 seconds more and finish the job.

    • bcsus83 says:


      That concept has been out for YEARS, though. I remember seeing a commercial by…crud…Ron Popeil? for a similar product in the early-mid 90s. We bought a similar one from a kitchen outlet store. It worked ok, but it didn’t cut things evenly and I wasn’t that impressed. It didn’t do anything I couldn’t accomplish with my favorite knife in about 30 seconds.

    • HogwartsAlum says:


      Me tooooo….

      I saw the ShamWow at Walgreens but not the SlapChop. They shrunk their “As Seen on TV” aisle. I think I’ll try another Walgreens!

    • StreamOfConsciousness says:

      @Jubilance22: Yeah, I was skeptical but the thing is pretty badass. For once a product works almost entirely as advertised!!

  3. Asa Gismervik says:

    it really does work. but dont ever buy them from the company, go to the flea markets and get them 2 for 5 dollars.

  4. JanetCarol says:

    Popular Mechanics recently did an article putting the sham wow and other infomercial products to the test.

    Pretty interesting

  5. rhinojosa says:

    It’s a Sham! Wow!!!

  6. keithldick says:

    I caught that one the first time I saw the commercial… Pretty sad when they have to resort to deceptive advertising to sell a cheap product..

    I’m sure most of those infomercials are using the same kind of techniques to sell you something that just does not work like it is advertised…

    Why the FCC is not overseeing these kind of things is beyond me…

    • CubeRat says:


      I kept missing that edit until my fiancee pointed it out to me.
      On a side note, I like how in his new commercial for the chopper, Vince again tells us that they can’t make that deal all day. Oh Vince, you crafty rascal.

    • Jose De Leon says:

      Actually if you search you tube or click some of the other clips, it actually does work. You see other people try home experiments.

    • cuchanu says:

      @keithldick: The FCC has more important things to do, such as pretending that women’s nipples are evil.

  7. aguacarbonica says:

    It’s deceptive, but does it REALLY qualify as a scam? Apparently the ShamWow really does have some impressive soaking powers, but maybe they felt they needed the extra emphasis to get people to buy something off an infomercial.

    It’s wrong, but I guess “scam” is such a loaded word that it implies the thing doesn’t do anything near to what’s being advertised.

    • silver-bolt says:

      @aguacarbonica: That’s exactly what is being implied. The sham does not lift that much soda off carpet AND the underlaying surface, leaving both completely dry and lacking any moisture to it. Hence, scamwow.

      • Moosehawk says:

        @aguacarbonica: I’ll bet money it doesn’t lift soda from underneath a carpet if you just roll it over the top as lightly as he does. Do you see how dry it is under?

      • tbonekatz says:

        I’ve seen this done at places where they sell these and it does really soak up the soda, although it is not completely dry underneath. They invite you to run your fingers over the table to see how dry. There is still moisture, but not a puddle. What bothers me is that they use a very thin cheap piece of carpet with no pad. Generally you woild have a carpet pad and thicker carpet. That might not clean up as well.

    • plyhard13 says:

      @aguacarbonica: Its only a scam because he says, “We’re going to do this in real time” but then there’s an edit.

  8. JanetCarol says:

    Sorry – that is only for one – there are more on their site and I think the whole article was in ….. February? maybe.

  9. savdavid says:

    Anyone who buys infomercial crap like this deserves what they get.

    • illtron says:

      @savdavid: Dude, chill the hell out. It does actually work. They might overstate it a bit on the commercial, but it works very well.

    • donopolis says:

      @savdavid: So let me get this straight…You believe that it’s it’s okay for an advertiser to say whatever they want, because the consumer should just know better? Where is the line for that? Is it okay for Coca-Cola to now start claiming that diet coke cures cancer because we should know better?

    • dtmoore says:


      it’s just a microfiber cloth, go to costco and get a 10 back for 20 bucks…

    • StreamOfConsciousness says:

      @savdavid: Well I hate to destroy your carefully crafted reality but in this instance (I know it’s not the norm) the product does in fact work.

  10. TechnoDestructo says:

    I’m not seeing it. Are we talking about the cut at 5 seconds?

    • Tito151 says:

      When he lifts up the piece of carpet to show the puddle underneath it at around the 3~4 second mark, then at the 5 second mark, he puts it back down and most the puddle underneath the carpet is gone.

      • TechnoDestructo says:


        Okay, the notes on the video seemed to indicate that it happened later. I was thinking this was about something more subtle, because that cut was obvious.

  11. silver-bolt says:

    I noticed this like a month ago, but hasn’t this commercial for the scamwow been around for years?

  12. Chris Stone says:

    Yeah, a lot of people already have been talking about this, and Vince actually did an interview with CNBC about the commercial, and they did talk about this.

    Darren: Lot of people say you used a different carpet for the cola experiment. Did you?

    Vince: We poured too much cola on it the first time and it looked messy, but that’s the same carpet. And when I say “real time” that is really picking up the cola from the carpet.

    I can see how he could be being honest about this, but you have to wonder why they couldn’t just grab another piece of carpet and start over…

    Did you know apparently HE made the ShamWOW himself? Did you know the original name for this was Sham It Up? I’d recommend viewing the entire interview; it’s quite interesting.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I read an interview with Vince (who’s also the company’s owner and not just a paid actor) that the reason for the cut was that they thought the first shot was too messy. Why they didn’t just go with a cleaner shot all the way through I have no idea. Shouldn’ve know people would pick up on the difference. Commercial was shot over several weekends.

  14. Robert Isbell says:

    it’s better than the us automaker commercials, now those are the true scams, and you people keep falling for them.

  15. Barry White Stripes, Office LW says:

    Dont you people know that Vince is selling Shamwows to fight Scientology?!

    Also, you are going to love his nuts.

  16. silver-bolt says:

    Also, isn’t “Sham” already a synonym for “scam”? HA!

  17. IHateYourKids says:

    There’s also a cut when he covers his mouth with the ShamWow! You can hear a voiceover cut in.

  18. Blueskylaw says:

    It took people that long to notice the cut/edit?

    How else was he able to suck up that amount of soda that already puddled up beyond the borders of the carpet?

    Capillary action?

  19. Eels says:

    They are selling Shamwows at BJs now for 30 bucks. The temptation was really hard to resist yesterday. I guess their absorbency is so powerful they come with a tractor beam pulling you toward them.

  20. OscarWinner_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Thank you Consumerist. I thought you were going to go with the line people give that from after he says “real time, that they did cuts there. Some say the counter under the carpet is bone dry when he lifts it, which shows that it’s fake, but if you watch, you can see it’s still kind of wet. I guess these are the same people who pick apart footage of the Trade Centers and say one cloud they interpret as Satan shows that the Government did it b/c they are AKA “The Great Satan”.

    And here’s a little something for Sham-Wow fans. NSFW(language):

  21. MissPeacock says:

    I bought some of these for my parents at Target for twenty bucks. They really like them for kitchen spills and so forth. I don’t think I would ever order them online or on the phone, though, as I wouldn’t want to give them my credit card info. You can probably find them in the As Seen On TV aisle in Walgreens as well.

    • HogwartsAlum says:


      I’m going to watch the flea markets too. This TV stuff sometimes shows up in someone’s booth. AND…you can open the box to check inside before you buy without some thug of an associate tackling you.

  22. Pibbs says:

    Why does he always wear the headset? Could the production crew not afford a microphone?

    • HurfDurf says:

      @MrPibbistheGreatestSodaEver: THIS. This exactly. That’s been my problem with Vince since the first time I saw the commercial. I must know what that is about. He reminds me of a carny with that thing. Also the part where he introduces himself, “VINCE HERE” as if I know who you are and we are already on a first name basis.

  23. smythe says:

    There are obviously cuts in this video, its not a conspiracy. (seriously how much time do you have on your hands?)

    I will not buy the product on the deceptive marketing alone, great product or not.

  24. parad0x360 says:

    I have a shamwow and it does not suck up liquid off a carpet like they say or show. It works no better than a normal shammy. Its def not worth $20

  25. Joe Lachiana says:

    First off, the parody video is too funny. Second, I say all of these products are secondary to the real money maker outrageous shipping markups based on weight and then filling the box with as much dollar store garbage they can find for free “just pay shipping and PROCESSING (not handling but PROCESSING)” and it’s now the best deal ever.

    Even though they are probably making 200% mark up on products they are giving you “for free”. Good scam until EVERYONE starts to do it which they are. Scratch remover with a “free” vacuum. 27 fake shammies that are just one large one cut up. Comes with a free ass hair trimmer. Why? Cause it fit in the box I’m sure.

    Good idea to make money but nothing to do with the quality of the products.

  26. AgentTuttle says:

    Movie quote trivia: “For the benefit of the court, could you please explain “time code?” Just because I don’t know what it is, doesn’t mean I’m lying.”

  27. chrisjames says:

    All cleaning product commercials use the same editing trick. Even though ShamWow is being extra deceptive by claiming it’s real-time, the others are still implying that the amazing feat of cleansing is actually occurring as shown.

    With many, it of course is a scam. But, some products do work as advertised, just not nearly as well as they want you to think. The ShamWow may be able to lift a liter of soda out of a carpet, but it’ll take you a long, back-breaking afternoon of labor to do it.

    It doesn’t really matter that ShamWow is using the same deceptive trick. Whether something works or not, and whether they are honest about it or not, you should never, ever trust the commercial!

  28. framitz says:

    My wife picked up some scam-wow at the county fair. Try drying a car with it – FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.

    It does work as shown for spills though so not a total waste.

    • Tito151 says:

      Yea, I had one of these from a long time ago when it was called the ‘MagiCloth’ and they really suck at drying your car. While the car was dry, it also had a ton of orange lint all over the car as well.

    • Jack T Ripper says:

      @framitz: Dear God… And people wonder why their car has swirls all over it. It may be an absorbent material that sucks water off anything, but do you really feel good dragging that across your paint? If you are going to use something like this to dry your car then you really need to blot with it and not dry it like you are drying a dinner plate. And even blotting is going to be pointless if the water is sheeting on your car. Get a good coat of wax on your car and watch the water stand up and bead. That is when something like this might blot out the water better.

      Sorry for the rant. I’m a detailer and I spend most of my year repairing the damage that people cause to their paint using garbage towels like these.

  29. Anonymous says:

    The biggest reason that people think they are a scam is that the commercial and information included with the product don’t actually tell you how to use it correctly. It must be damp to work.. Will not work correctly when completely dry.

  30. lessersiren says:

    Our local paper (Springfield IL) ran their own soda test on ShamWow and it failed.


  31. diasdiem says:

    Introducing the Wow Shaman

  32. akronharry says:

    They sell them at the Hartville Flea Market in Ohio for a buck or so.
    I use it for spills on my snuggie as I sit in front of my Amish Made Electric Fireplace.

  33. AbsoluteIrrelevance says:

    Consumerist, did you also see the editing when Vince squeezed the Shamwow the second time? He goes back and smacks the Shamwow into the carpet and a second waterfall comes out, but the camera changes 3 times. Probably so they can have time to remove the Shamwow and drunk it in another cup of soda.

  34. sumgai says:

    There’s a reason they call it the SHAMwow. Cuz after you get sucked into their SHAM you’ll say, “Wow, I’m an idiot!”

  35. bobhope2112 says:

    Don’t question Vince unless you want your testicles slap-chopped. Well, one of your testicles slap-chopped at least.

  36. pschroeter says:

    When I bought them I didn’t expect them to be as good as in the commercial, but they are almost as good. They’re nice to leave near areas where you would like to quickly sop up an accidental spill, like the living room.

  37. Frank says:

    Stop having a boring tuna.

  38. warf0x0r says:

    Whenever they say “Watch this…” its a scam, they’ll cut and cut until they get the scene they want.

  39. squidbrain says:

    They wore me out with those ads. I had to have one. Turns out I found a similar product on amazon that gave more towels for less money (Super Chamois). Works great and it too is “made in germany”.

  40. grimdeath9740 says:

    I noticed the jump the first time…you can clearly see the liquid around the edges of the carpet square but after the jump they are gone…hmm mysterious

  41. Remix69 says:

    Apparently nobody listened to me when I mentioned it:


  42. StreamOfConsciousness says:

    I won’t argue about this commercial..cause yeah it is obviously edited. But my mother decided to order some of these things (along with a freaking snuggie) and they actually seem to work quite well.

  43. Mike Grace says:

    @Justin Linett the Shamwow Snuggie, now there’s an idea that truly is worthy of cult worship.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I noticed that the first time I ever saw this commercial and immediately knew that these things must be a waste of money (also, I knew that I hated Vince).

    My friend got some ShamWows, she said that they’re crap and are exaggerated about 1,000% in the commercial.

  45. cametall says:

    I noticed that when they first started airing the ShamWow and Vince.

  46. fatcop says:

    You gotta be doing an impressive amount of coke to have a stroke as young as Vince did.

  47. É®îç says:

    You mean no one else saw this until now? Come on! Who didn’t yell at Vince about the sloppy edit the first time they saw the ad!

  48. Alex Herrera says:

    I ask myself the same question about my girl’s vag.

  49. mofomon says:

    i always watch infomercials for edits so I saw this one early on and also didn’t understand why they did it. Everyone i know with a shamwow is pretty happy…. so… why the shady edit?

    made no sense to me and even made me question the product.

  50. Anonymous says:

    you do not get double by using web site. $19.95 for total of 8 which are sold locally for $19.99 (without the 7.95 s&h). complained via e-mail about the lie on the commercial. No response to e-mail but web site was changed to show 2 of each with “double” for online purchase. SCAM and LIES

  51. birdbrains says:

    There are a ton of “knock offs” for every “as seen on tv” product on the market. China is the largest of the knock off producers. I worked in a retail warehouse for a while and you would not believe what’s out there. Everything from “snuggles” (the snuggie knock off) to shamwhatevers to footegg whatchamacallits. For every 1 genuine product out there, there are 5 knockoffs. Buyer be ware.