I don’t know about you, but I really get sucked into the ads and infomercials. Every so often, I buy a bunch of these “As Seen on TV” items to test whether they live up to the extravagant promises.
I’ve actually found some good products that I still use (Genie Bra; Trendy Top).
But, no surprise here, many of them are a waste of money. I try ’em so you don’t have to.
First, some “As Seen on TV” tips:
• Check the fine print.
• “Free” is usually not; you’ll pay exorbitant shipping, postage and handling charges.
• “Money-back guarantee” usually means they keep the SP&H costs and you pay the postage to return it.
• Shop for “As Seen on TV” products at drugstores and giant retailers like Wal-Mart to avoid SP&H charges.
• If the product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Here’s how the latest half-dozen stacked up in my testing.
Miracle Socks, $10, getmiraclesocks.com
The promise: “Soothe, massage and energize your legs and feet”; don’t look like “ugly medical compression socks.”
The facts: They look like ordinary trouser socks but more supportive — but they’re not soothing or energizing.
The verdict: So-so; wish they cost half as much.
EZ EYES KEYBOARD
EZ Eyes keyboard, $14.95, buyezeyeskeyboard.com
The promise: Letters “four times” larger than an ordinary keyboard; spill an “entire glass of water” on the keyboard and it still works.
The facts: Letters on keys are only two times the size of ordinary keyboards (I measured); a few ounces of water poured on the keyboard, and it never worked again (and I had to restart my computer); keys close together make it hard to touch-type.
The verdict: Good for vision-impaired typists who hunt and peck. But be careful not to spill!
Sticky Buddy, $10, stickybuddy.com
The promise: “The power of glue without the goo!” Reusable and “great for pet hair.”
The facts: Hard to rinse; loses its stick after three or four uses; decent pickup of stray couch pet hair but lousy on a sweater; teeth help clump up pet hair to pick up by hand, so who needs the roller? A piece of tape wrapped around your hand works as well or better in many cases.
The verdict: You don’t need this.
Stretch Genie, $9.99, stretchgenie.com
The promise: “The shoe stretching miracle that instantly stretches shoes.”
The facts: The “miraculous” liquid is drippy and hard to apply. The plastic stretchers make no difference.
The verdict: Doesn’t work.
Hot Booties, $14.99, orderhotbooties.com
The promise: Put booties in the microwave, and then “enjoy the warm cozy comfort of long-lasting heat.” Natural linseed holds the heat in for up to an hour, and lavender seeds provide “a fragrant aromatherapy to help soothe and calm your senses.”
The facts: Heat lasts only 13 minutes, max; booties feel as if you’re walking on a bag of sand; uneven sole no good for those with balance problems; linseed smells so bad you have to wash your hands after putting them on.
The verdict: N-O!