Informercial Gifts Gone Bad

Dec 122011
Authors: Anna Palmer

Eggstractor Egg Peeler is the amazing new revolutionary egg peeler! Tired of peeling eggs? Not anymore! Simply place a hard-boiled egg into the Eggstractor Egg Peeler and out pops your peeled egg. It’s that easy!”

Could there really be a world without the hassle of egg shells? Well, for $24.95, it’s yours. Although a very out-of-the-ordinary invention and quite possibly very unique gift, the reliability of infomercial products such as this is always a matter of question for consumers.

Investigating further into the “Eggstractor,” one finds that the instructions are quite extensive, consisting of about 10 steps. It’s hard to imagine that such a product would make the tedious egg-peeling process easier, but is often not the case.

Another eye-catching infomercial product is called “Smooth Away,” a pad covered with superfine crystals that buffs away unwanted hair easily, safely and painlessly, according to the product’s website. This product, priced at $14.99, appears to be a great alternative to razor burn.

“I would probably buy ‘Smooth Away’ because sometimes shaving your legs really sucks,” Maddi Robbins, a junior journalism major, said.

However, according to “Consumer Search,” this product does just the opposite and tends to cause more razor burn than an actual razor.

Looking at another infomercial product, the body-adjusting, “Slendertone Abdominal Toning Belt,” priced at $150, also makes some questionable claims. This product tones abs in just eight weeks. Sounds pretty incredible, huh?

“Slendertone is appealing because supposedly you don’t even have to go to the gym to flatten your stomach,” Robins said. “How great would that be?”

Well, not according to reviewers, who say it is very uncomfortable, expensive and won’t help you lose weight.

Another potentially gift-worthy product is the “Perfect Pancake,” priced at $24.95. The producers of this product claim that it’s the world’s first spatula-free pancake maker, and it may in fact be. However, reviewers say this product is of poorly built and very time-consuming, as it only makes one pancake at a time.

The lesson could be drawn to always remain skeptical of such products, no matter how alluring.

“Even though infomercial products are appealing, I would never buy them because most of the time they break,” Laura Nelson, a senior health and exercise Science major, said.

But if you’ve ever been drawn into these savvy promotional advertisements before -–or if you’ve found yourself on the more skeptical side of the spectrum –you can’t help but be drawn to products claiming to save time and energy.

“We tend to laugh at these commercials but they are very powerful persuaders,” Jeff Blyskal, a senior editor at “Consumer Reports”, said in a New York Times article. “You say, ‘I’m too smart to buy this,’ but when you laugh, you kind of let your guard down and get drawn into it.”

 Posted by at 6:58 am

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