There’s nothing like a bout of insomnia or boredom to get you to pull out your credit card and purchase that new mini countertop oven, or exercise equipment that is being hawked on your television screen.
After all, those infomercials are still very popular for a reason. They work.
I have found some problems over the years with buying from TV infomercials. Here’s how to fight Infomercial Fever, and what you should know before you buy something from a television commercial.
They Upsell, Upsell, Upsell
The first problem is the tactics the online sales people use to get you to purchase more than you bargained for.
My husband and I have become quite adept at saying, “No… no… no… no… no… no… I’ll just take the item advertised on the television. No… no… no. Thank you.”
This can go on for a half hour or more. The order takers on the phone are under pressure to not only sell you a second or third item, but also to get you to join a buyers club or some other useless ongoing membership.
But What’s The Real Price?
Another problem with buying from infomercials is the misleading price. My joke is that when they say “for only 3 payments of $99.99” that they say it with a little giggle.
About 6 months ago, I almost fell for the temptation to purchase one of those red exerciser chairs, and so I watched the show with rapt attention waiting for the price to be revealed. What they said was: “Try today for just $14.95.” The price was so good that I wanted to purchase several for my home and then one for everyone I know.
Then I decided to search the Internet for the product. After the Internet revealed the real price of $119, I never did purchase the exercise equipment. It turns out, the price advertised on TV was the price you pay to try out the item. If you keep it, then you pay the full price in 4 monthly payments.
My Best Advice
If you want to purchase an item from an infomercial, my advice to you is to:
1. Check the Internet for the actual price.
2. Check an auction site to see if you can purchase it in ‘like new’ condition.
3. Go to your local “As Seen on TV” store to purchase it without shipping costs and no pressure to buy extra services or items.
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.