4 ‘As Seen on TV’ Products That May Not Be Worth the Money

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

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We’ve all seen a commercial like this, where a fast-talking commentator packs an abundance of information into a 60 second commercial. Most of these commercials follow a similar formula: First, we’ll see a person use the product for some everyday task, and it will work perfectly. Then, we’ll see testimonials from others who have “bought” the product. These consumers, of course, have nothing but wonderful things to say. Lastly, the commentator says the product costs some ridiculous price, like $49.99. He then cuts the price in half, doubles the offer, and maybe even adds in another perk, like a free gift or free shipping and handling for those who order quickly.

Although most of us are aware of these sales and marketing techniques, we are still drawn to these products. In years past, As Seen on TV-type products were primarily displayed and sold in the middle of the night, on infomercials. Now, you see these commercials during regular viewing hours, and many of the commercials are the same length as traditional commercials for well-known products. We also see these products in drug stores and big box stores alike.

Some of these products turn out to be really successful simply because they are quality inventions, and they do what the commercial claims. On the other hand, some products do not perform as well as they appear to on TV and it doesn’t take long for negative reviews of such products to hit the internet. Here are a few products that received a particularly negative response. These products either don’t work, they are overpriced, or they are completely ridiculous.

1. The UroClub

Claims: The UroClub’s description states, “How many times has this happened to you? You’re playing 18 holes with your best buddies, drinking water, beer, sports drinks, etc . You’re coming up to the 3rd hole with no rest room in sight. There are no trees or bushes around and you just have to go, what are you going to do?”

“The UroClub™ is the discrete, sanitary way for your urgent relief. Created by a Board Certified Urologist, it looks like an ordinary golf club, but contains a reservoir built into the grip to relieve yourself. The UroClub™ is leak proof, easy to clean and no more embarrassing moments,” says the product’s description.

This product does serve its purpose, as it may very well act as a portable potty in the event of an emergency on the green. The few user reviews we’ve found say that for the most part, the product functions as the commercial says it does.

Problems: Although you may very well be able to urinate in this golf club, the product does not truly address privacy concerns. In the commercial, those around the UroClub user may easily be able to figure out exactly what he is doing, and the product says its goal is to provide discretion. Also, we have to ask: Can you actually use the golf club as a dual purpose golf club and sanitary means by which to use the restroom? If so, how ideal is it to use a golf club filled with urine?

2. Cheers to You

Claims: This motivational CD contains eight tracks filled with cheering and applause. The idea behind this product is that those who listen to it will be motivated by the positive comments and energy.

Problems: The product’s website, thegoodcheercompany.com, is no longer active. Perhaps people were unwilling to pay $24.95 for insincere words of encouragement, something you can get for free.

3. No! No! Hair Remover

Claims: The No! No! website claims that, “in 2004, at-home hair removal was tedious, painful and messy. No matter what you tried – waxing (ouch), shaving (endless), depilatories (smelly!) – hair ALWAYS grew back. And then came no!no!™ Hair Classic with revolutionary Thermicon™ technology. The no!no!™ Classic was the first at-home solution to deliver pain-free hair removal that allows you to go weeks without shaving. Finally, everyone around the world, no matter their gender, skin color or hair color, could discretely, safely and effectively treat themselves at home.”

Problems: Not only are these hair remover systems expensive (the 8800 Face and Bikini Professional Hair Removal Kit costs $279 on HSN), the reviews of this product are overall negative. Most people who have purchased this product say it is ineffective, and only a relative few consumers say they’ve been able to benefit from this product.

4. Nopalea

Claims: This product claimed to relieve pain and inflammation. It was marketed to people with pain, arthritis, and other health conditions. On the TriVita website, a single 32-ounce bottle of the wellness drink costs $39.99.

Problems: A few months back, the FTC took notice of this product’s so-called benefits and apparently, these benefits are not backed by the proper scientific evidence.

According to the FTC, “the defendants are charged with violating Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act by:

  • making unsupported claims that Nopalea significantly improves breathing and relieves sinus infections and other respiratory conditions, and provides significant relief from pain, swelling of the joints and muscles, and psoriasis and other skin conditions.
  • making false claims that the health benefits of Nopalea were proven by clinical studies.
  • failing to disclose that supposedly ordinary consumer endorsers were in fact TriVita sales people who received commissions for selling the defendants’ products” (So those testimonials from were from paid actors, as opposed to real consumers.)

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