I’m a sucker for infomercial products

I have to admit it. I’m a sucker for infomercial products.

But I’ll also admit that I’ve never actually order one after seeing it on television. So no Thighmaster, no Snuggie, no Pro-active zit wash for me.

Oh okay, there was that one treadmill I bought a couple of years ago. But then they told me the delivery man wouldn’t carry it up two flights of stairs to my apartment, he would only drop it off at the ground floor. Needless to say. I cancelled the order. How the hell was I supposed to carry 80kgs up two flights of stairs?

But I digress. You see, I don’t have to see the products on television. Now, they even pop up on YouTube. And I can’t resist. I think it’s a condition that’s genetic.

My dad is the same. When I was little, he only had to walk past a shopping centre demonstration of some whizz bang pots and pans and suddenly we were carrying a set home. I’ve continued the family tradition. There’s the potato peeler that I saw at the Easter Show. They were $7 each. But the demonstrator made them look like they had been designed by NASA. So of course I thought that $13 for two peelers was a bargain. Til I saw them at David Jones for $5 a piece.

Then there was Shower Power. Again, the Easter Show. The two boys in their red bow ties showing me how to get grime off windows and presenting me with their folder full of testimonials … I was sold. I picked up two bottle there and then and had to carry them all over the show for the rest of the day.

And don’t let me loose in a QVC (like a massive Bunnings-style pharmacy in the US). They have entire AISLES dedicated to infomercial products. When I’m there, I don’t even have to watch the TV commercial or watch a live demonstration. There’s something about the informercial packaging that makes me buy – in bulk. I have various pieces of exercise equipment (that have been used once), grooming products (that have never been used) and gadget to use on my pets (which they run away from in sheer terror).

That hasn’t stopped me from the latest addition to my infomercial product collection. It’s the Pet Zoom! This time, I received an email from one of those daily deal sites. I’ve NEVER bought from a daily deal site … till this informercial product came along.

Unlike other infomercial products I own, I’ve actually used this one. For the past five years, I’ve been struggling to brush my fussy fluffy white cat Rex with anything he doesn’t bolt away from. But it appears that I’ve found the answer.

Pet Zoom. So there you go. I rate it.

And just remember. If you’re peddling anything that has a cheesy voiceover, lots of testimonials, loud packaging with lots of bullet points and is something that I don’t really need … I’m a sure thing.

About Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is founder and national director of the Australian Writers' Centre, the country's leading centre for writing courses. She is a journalist, blogger and author. Her latest book is "Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business" (Wiley). Valerie is a keynote speaker, small business commentator, and investor and mentor to startups and businesses in Australia.