My As Seen on TV Buying Compulsion

I have another bad habit I have to admit to.

I am an impulse buyer. Sometimes, I will buy something that I don’t need, put it away, and the next time I see the item – usually still unused, I think, “Now exactly WHY did I buy that?”

I am a sucker for a deal. Such a sucker that I will buy multiples of a good deal, thinking that some of the extras will make great gifts. But afterwards, I suffer from buyer’s remorse. Why did I buy all of these, and who did I intend to give them to?

Worse for me are infomercials or any product sold “As Seen on TV.”
I have a Set it and Forget it Rotisserie, a Magic Bullet, some magical cooking pan called the Turbo Cooker that was supposed to cook five course meals in one pan in 15 minutes, and which sits in a cabinet unused. I admit, I do use the Rotisserie – it makes a great Rotisserie chicken, but seriously, I could save time and money by just picking up one of those store made Rotisserie chickens that every supermarket sells. And so that’s what I mostly do.

The cooking pan lasted a week of experimentation. The directions and recipes for those “quick” meals turned out to be much more time and less delicious than what I saw on TV. The “easy” part was perhaps the most deceiving as the directions needed a physicist to decipher. This was a news flash for me – those smiling people demonstrating it and gushing over it were LYING!

I used the Magic Bullet for the first two weeks, making the delicious guacamole which was supposed to be “quickly and easily.” Except I tired of the extra thirty minutes of finding obscure ingredients at the grocery store for that “quick” guacamole. It was easier to buy the store bought stuff, and not much taste difference.

I really went wild with exercise equipment on TV. First a slider mat and footies that simulate skating, then an aerobic “glider” followed by yoga tapes, and mat,  an “ab roller” and then an Ab Cruncher, an exercise ball never inflated, etc. They are sitting in my exercise/family room – but hey, it gives me an excuse not to join a gym because I already HAVE a fully stocked gym!

These days if a product comes on the TV, if my husband can’t grab the remote fast enough, he will throw his body in front of the TV, shielding it from my view like he was protecting his first born from a searing missile.

That’s okay though, because I can let you in on a secret. (but promise not to tell my husband) Many pharmacy and other store chains now sell these products, in a department that is titled “As seen on TV.” Each box carries that logo too, just so suckers like me can remember how wonderful the product looked on TV, and feel compelled to buy it.
That’s where I got my glass wizard, that didn’t quite work as well as advertised, and now sits in a box on the closet floor. That’s also where I got my click on lights, that are not as bright as they seemed on TV and burn out much more quickly than you would think, making them completely impractical.

I DO NOT regret my microfiber towels, however. In fact, I highly recommend them. Those and the furniture sliders. (that slide HEAVY pieces of furniture like it it is weightless!)

It’s not as if I have absolutely no filter for these products. Take the Gingsu knife for example. I knew instinctively that if it cut through a can that easily, a finger would never be safe.

One time,  I got a little writing bonus for something, and what did I do with the free money? I spent hundreds of dollars on things from the “As Seen on TV department.” I went to the store to buy some necessities, walked by that department, and that is the basis of the problem. If I see it, I definitely want it.

Ron Popeil and his cronies were brilliant at coming up with this marketing ploy, especially for the weak, like me.

Knowing how dangerous it might be for me, I have stealthily avoided the Home Shopping Networks and their ilk. There’s no telling how in debt I would be if I tuned in to those. (And I have a friend whose husband only wishes they had blacked out these networks)

Although I can probably beat any responder on sheer quantity of silly stuff bought on impulse, let’s hear what your impulse buy was, and how you regretted it later.

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