'As seen on TV' or too good to be true?

Ellen and a team of testers put a new slew of infomercial products to the test, so you don't have to

  • Pin It

Why doesn't somebody invent a …?

How many times have we asked ourselves that question about an item that would make our lives easier.

And then there are these gizmos advertised on TV that we never knew we needed, but they sound as if they'd truly solve a problem we hadn't thought much about.

For instance, what if you could buy slippers that you just throw in the microwave, and suddenly your achy, stressed feet are so much better?

Or a computer keyboard with big letters that can also survive a spilled drink?

How about a liquid that you spray on your tight shoes and — ta-da — they're now a perfect fit?

Well, somebody has developed all of those miraculous products, advertised them ceaselessly and made them available to us.

Don't know about you, but I really get sucked into the ads and infomercials. They are so convincing (even if the people talking seem to be shouting at us).

Every so often, I buy a bunch of these "As Seen on TV" items to test whether they live up to the extravagant promises.


Click here to see photos of the items Ellen tested.

In some of the tests, 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.

Here's how the latest half-dozen stacked up in my testing (with the help of my co-workers Maureen Hart and Regina Robinson, and Regina's mom and sister).

Before ordering 'As Seen on TV' items online:

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.

 shopellen@tribune.com

  • Pin It