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Old Jan 6, 2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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Should you 'Buy This Now!'? Infomercial Products Reviewed

Infomercials are the Rodney Dangerfields of advertising: They've gotten no respect for their quirky hucksters, ceaseless superlatives, and corny product names since at least the early 1960s, when Ron Popeil pioneered the Ronco Veg-o-Matic.

"The magic of TV and film editing and shooting can make anything look good," says Christian Holiday, CEO of Global Media Marketing, an infomercial producer in Santa Ana, Calif. According to Larry Nusbaum, managing director of Vertex Capital Management and CEO of Ronco, which Vertex bought in 2008, "About half of infomercial products deliver on their promise, 30 percent do what they say but are a bit expensive, and the rest are junk."

In recent years, Consumer Reports has turned up a mix of "miracle" gadgets and goops that deceived, delivered, or landed somewhere in between. Read on for a roundup. Products are current, though packaging might have changed. Prices don't include shipping, which can hike the cost a lot. Freebies are often included.

Slap Chop....

Magic Jack....



Grease Bullet....


Tyre Grip & AutoSock....

Ab Circle Pro....

Debbie Meyer Green Bags....

Mighty Putty....

Okay, time to confess. Who's bought something off an infomercial and was it worth it?
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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I have bought none, though from your list I confess to coveting Slap Chop, MagicJack and Snuggie

I also saw a commercial for some device that helps people stop snoring and I want that too

However, since most of this stuff usually ends up being cheap junk, I haven't been able to get myself to pull out the credit card and CALL.NOW!!
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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I never order unless they tell me I have to have it!
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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Location: Canada, eh?
There was once an ad for something called a "Turbo Cooker" which was essentially a wok with a wire rack for steaming foods at the same time. The ads promised you'd "steam fry" your way to healthier, faster meals. Don't know about all those claims, but the unit was a pretty good wok and my mom made good use of it for years.

She also had a Miracle Blade knife set which I have inherited, the serrated edge is great for slicing cheese and bread.

My parents also have (see a pattern here?) a one of those rotisserie grills ("Set it and forget it"), which they've used a few times, I think it worked well but all the specialized gadgets are a pain to take out, use, clean, put away, etc. The same applies for their bread maker, pasta machine, sandwich maker, etc. -- they work well, but are so much trouble to use that they get used rarely.

Fun story: I was once somewhere in Florida shopping at one of those stores that features "as seen on TV" products. A little boy, no older than about four years old, came up to the shelf featuring the rotisserie grill and started pointing and yelling "Look dad! Set it and forget it!" His dad sheepishly admitted that maybe his kid was watching too much TV

OK, what was that thing called? *googles* Ah, the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie, of course!
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 08:17 PM   #5
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The two As Seen on TV products I can remember buying are PedEgg and Windshield Wonder, but only when I stumbled upon them in Walmart.

The PedEgg works really good, much better than a pumice stone. Heck, after using it for a month I've not had to use it anymore since. A miracle, perhaps?

The Windshield Wonder works really good and gets the windows in my car streak free, but it's made out of really cheap plastic and the wand ended up breaking while using it one day. I was able to fix it with some black electrical tape and since it's worked as good as new.

The thing that kills me about the infomercials is they always give you "two for the price of one." Why would you need two of them? Can't I just get one for half the price? If I really, REALLY want an item I see on an infomercial, I wait until it's available in store.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 08:47 PM   #6
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I ca't live without my magic bullet
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 09:19 PM   #7
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I don't have any of these, but I do love the Slap Chop Remix. It's great.

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Old Jan 7, 2010, 11:07 PM   #8
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The George Forman grill. Great for making your meats dried out and chewy plus spices turn into a disgusting crust.

I'll stick with pan cooking, roasting, baking, grilling and barbecuing.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 11:13 PM   #9
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was given a knock off slap chop and used it once...put in an onion slapped it once and the top broke off, slapped it again and the remaining erect steel rod almost punctured my hand. would not buy from again..do not recommend.
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 12:00 AM   #10
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I have a steam shark, and its great. Not quite as easy to use as on the commercials, but it does a good job, doesn't leave my hardwood floors wet, adn reusable pads are a better deal than swiffers in my opinion.
It's these little things, they can pull you under.
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 12:03 AM   #11
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never ordered anything

and ive never been wowed by any product ive seen being cold on tv..
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 01:45 AM   #12
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How about this one...the shake weight.

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Old Jan 8, 2010, 06:44 PM   #13
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I have one of these:

Flavor Wave Deluxe convection oven

And you have to be careful about using this oven--it really does cook food with surprising speed, thanks the combination of convection, conduction and infrared heating. It took me some practice to avoid burning foods.
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Last edited by SactoGuy18; Jan 8, 2010 at 06:48 PM. Reason: correct wording
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Old Jan 8, 2010, 09:00 PM   #14
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Wow, has anyone seen the Lee Majors Bionic Hearing Aid? I thought it was a parody when I first saw the commercial. I'm going to buy one of these so I can be like the Bionic Man!

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