Infomercials suck me in every time! If I’m flipping the TV channels and I come across an informercial for just about anything, I’m riveted. My all time favorites are Bosley Hair Restoration and Hair Club For Men, but I can’t get enough of make money from home schemes, and skin care product infomercials. They promise the “what if” that we are all seeking. What if there really is a way to make $50,000 a month by working just a few hours a week, or what if this product will really cure my acne and wrinkles? It’s the same concept of people that come back to Vegas over and over, after losing thousands of dollars. What if I do win the Megabucks this time around?
If I see an infomercial, I automatically assume the product won’t work
The irony is that I’m always taken in by infomercials, but I feel “smart” now, and assume if I’m watching an infomercial, the product has to be terrible. I didn’t always think this way. When I was at my lowest point with my acne, I couldn’t take the Proactiv commercials anymore, and ordered the products. At the time, the infomercials were so convincing and it seemed inconceivable that the products wouldn’t work. How could they not? Look at the before and after pictures! Look at Jessica Simpson’s blotchy chin, and look at her after using Proactiv!
I dutifully used the Proactiv for two months and it didn’t work. I give Proactiv credit – my face didn’t look worse after using the products. It just didn’t look better. My boyfriend at the time used the system too, with the same results as me.
Infomercials usually come with money-back guarantees
This is great news! You can always get your money back if by some “slim” chance what you buy doesn’t do what it says it does. Did I return the Proactiv? No! I should have, but I didn’t. Since it didn’t make my face worse, and since I was lazy and didn’t want to go to the post office, and since I felt a bit guilty about sending it back, I didn’t. This, of course, is ridiculous, since Proactiv should be feeling guilty for screwing me over at my most vulnerable time.
I don’t know the statistics, but I don’t think very many people send back infomercial products, even if they don’t work. I just read The 4-Hour Workweek, which is about a guy that makes tons of money selling vitamins online. The whole thing sounds a bit infomercial-like (but on the internet) and he offers a money-back guarantee on his site. He claims he hardly has any returns, even though I’d be shocked if the vitamins really do much. He says most people just don’t bother returning the product due to the hassle.
The placebo effect
I also think the placebo effect takes place when you buy from an infomercial. You want to believe the product will work because it says it will work, and you want the promised results. You also don’t want to admit you’ve been duped. With the Proactiv, I kept looking in the mirror thinking, “well maybe I have a few less zits.” Then I would count the pimples, and once I lost track at 50, I concluded my zits were definitely not going away. The only other informercial that enticed me enough to actually pull out my credit card was the Thighmaster! Ha. I used to thighmaster like crazy in college, and I even ended up getting the Buttmaster too! Did I see results? Probably not! This time I blamed it on “user error” and determined I just didn’t use it enough, even though I’d do hundreds of repetitions a day. I held onto those things for years, until they finally ended up at The Goodwill.
Maybe some infomercial products really work?
Yesterday I caught a new infomercial for Freeze 24/7, a cream that is supposed to instantly work like Botox to tighten skin and erase lines. Unlike every other skin care product, this one works instantly!!! I know it’s got to be hogwash, and the next time I go to Sephora, I’m going to sample the product right then and there to prove myself right. Fool me once (Proactiv), shame on you, fool me twice (Thighmaster), shame on me, and I will not let Freeze 24/7 fool me again!
And do you want to know the real reason I haven’t tried the super duper popular Bare Escentuals mineral makeup? It’s because they do infomercials for it! Well that, and the fact that I don’t like loose powders cause they are messy. Yesterday I also caught an infomercial for Thermaclear, which is similar to Zeno – it’s a device you hold to a pimple, and the heat is supposed to zap it and make it go away fast. I know a lot of people think Zeno works well, but I’m now convinced Thermaclear is probably bogus.
Before you get sucked in, research the infomercial product first
I always check out MakeupAlley.com’s Product Reviews before I buy any cosmetics or skin care. For popular items (like Proactiv) you can read hundreds of reviews there. Epinions.com is another great review site where real people review all sorts of popular products (including skin care ones). And then there’s InfomercialRatings.com which is all about…infomercials! Yikes, I just looked at that site and remembered how I was sucked into buying a horrible Ionic Pro air purifier that didn’t work, and the ozone it emitted gave me a bout of asthma. Wow I’m a total sucker. That product I actually tried to return, and I was furious about the whole thing since it made me sick, but it took me more than 30 days to realize the air purifier was the culprit (when I read about its hazards in Consumer Reports), so I couldn’t get my money back. Grrr. I feel horrible, but I sold it to some poor sucker on Ebay.
Prove me wrong! What infomercials have you bought from, and wound up with the product of your dreams?