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"as seen on tv" gifts.

there aren't many principles that i stand absolutely by as i tend to be a generally relative and adaptable person, but there are some that i feel pretty strongly about whether for reasons that are sensible or arbitrary.

one of those has to do with the refusal to even consider buying any product that follows the marketing paradigm of infomercials or imfomercial hybrids no matter how much the product might seem worthwhile. I define infomercial hybrids as any telly advert that says "call within the next x minutes", "but wait, ther's more!", "we'll throw in another one for free!", &c.

the fact that such product's value might actually be worth its bottom line when doing more research doesn't even play for me. ShamWow! is a good example of this, where the product does more or less what it's advertised to do, and the fine print inconsistencies aren't big enough to make a difference to the likes of me, and the money that one would spend on it is pretty reasonable given its return. But Vince Offer could advertise that thing for one cent with a money back guarantee including shipping and handling and i still wouldn't go for it because of the principle i maintain about such things.

This also ends up translating to things that i may see while shopping that has a "As Seen on TV!" logo on it. i don't have a telly at home so a lot of the these sort of products aren't on my radar, but i make the assumption that anything in the store that has a "As Seen on TV!" logo on it comes from an advert that has this marketing model. So while i may look at it curiously to see what it's all about, there's never even the inklings of the beginning of any formation of thought to buying it.

I called up my parents on dad day to wish dad a happy dad day and chat and all, and random chatting ended up veering towards the fact that my apartment isn't very energy efficient because of some of the nooks and crannies that need to be sealed up, common places like under the front door, other places like where there's a small hole in the upper part of one of the windows, another part where the wood doesn't completely seal the window frame for some reason, &c. I had said to them that i wasn't terribly worried about it because it was just a rental and that i didn't know how much longer i was going to stay here; if i was in this space for the long haul i might consider putting some work into more serious home improvement, but as it stands right now i'm not willing to put the time and money into that sort of investment and i deal with its flaws. My parents told me that there's some easy cheap products out there that are basically short U-shaped foam inserts that you can stick underneath a door to seal any undercracks, and i said that if it ever becomes a priority i know what i need to get from Home Depot/Lowes, it's just not a priority right now.

That was the end of the conversation and i didn't think too much of it, but today in the mail i got a parcel from my parents. I opened it up and found that they decided to buy and send me two Twin Draft Guards, a product that's supposed to keep draft from leaking in and out of front doors. When i saw what it was, i rolled my eyes and laughed a little. Secondly, the product is designed for standard house/apartment doors which is not what my front door is. That's not necessarily an issue because i can always cut the material or something, but it's funny that my parents bought two of them since my back door which is more standard is sealed fine, and the drafty front door is about 4/7 the size of a standard door. But firstly, it has a very bright "As Seen On TV!" logo on it.

I'm not sure what i'm going to do with them. There's a part of me that feels obligated to use it since it's a gift that came from my parents, but the overriding principle that i uphold about these sort of products ends up taking precedence over that, especially given how impractical it is for my particular set up and the knowledge that it won't really be a big deal to my parents. They might be somewhat frustrated with me about it, but they'll get over it without any big tiff or anything because my parents can do some funny small things sometimes but they're also pretty awesome. Maybe i'll keep one of them as a reminder for the story, but i keep enough clutter as it is, so i'll probably end up giving them away or selling them on ebay or something.

Comments

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jenni9
Jun. 26th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
Those products are so annoying. I think my father bought that orange spray cleaner and oxyclean and I thought, you could have used ANY cleaner with elbow grease & it would have done just as good of a job!

How thoughtful of your parents...lol!
malaika02
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
I have a similar dilemma with the gifts my aunt and uncle tend to buy me. They got me a $50 gift card to Saks, which I don't even know what to do with. I basically disagree with the conspicuous consumption involved in shopping at a place like that... I can barely find anything on sale for $50 or less, other than a pair of "designer" flip flops for $45, or something like this horribly tacky thing:
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=282574492706748&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446244313&R=98686216563&P_name=Juicy+Couture&bmUID=1277735176017

I just don't get it. Do they think I'm spending $400 on... well, ANYTHING besides rent?
lifeofmendel
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
*laugh*

yeah, $50 at Saks is a kind of like $2 at a DVD store. I bet that would be even funnier if i knew your aunt and uncle, but it's still pretty hilarious because i can picture my aunt and uncle doing the same sort of thing. :)
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