The moment I saw it, I just knew it would change my life.

My eyes grew bigger and my heartbeat stepped up a notch as I sat up straight, bolt upright from my previous position on lying on the couch. My head spun slightly. I was not sure whether it was because of the quick movement, or what I was seeing.

A vacuum cleaner robot.

On my television.

Gliding around picking up dirt and skuzz from the floor while it’s shining, happy, model-like owner laughed into her margarita. Did I want to be happy, drinking a margarita while laughing at a robotic vacuum cleaner?

You bet your sweet ass I did!


At the end of the very impressive and thorough demonstration, just after the lady smiles as she dumps a generous amount of dirt and hair from the bag less device into the bin, I am informed of the price.

I am defeated by economic restrictions. My floors continue to be vacuumed the old fashioned, manual way. I resent it.

I also remain surprised that I fell for this cornerstone of selling. I was seduced by an infomercial and it got me thinking…How many of us are out there?

susannepostMy own experience with buying things off the telly is limited to this one time, while I was studying at university. I had surrendered to the traditional honor of putting on an impressive amount of weight, due to my diet of beer and hot chips. And watching daytime TV.

One day, an infomercial came on to show me that, in just 7 minutes a day, I could transform my chunky thighs into long, slender limbs. And get this!

I could do it while I watched telly!

I immediately ordered my ThighMaster. From memory, it was just 3 easy payments. But it was going to be so worth it. I could not WAIT for my new legs!

The ThighMaster arrived and I set to work straight away. I sat on the couch, carefully placing the V-Shaped device in between my knees and squeezed them together. The ThighMaster had different ideas.

It sprang towards my face like a rabid dog, leaving me with a very noticeable black eye, which was interesting to explain to people.

“My black eye? Oh, it is fine. I was attacked by my ThighMaster…”

Suzanne Somers lied to me. It was not easy to use.

Infomercials, otherwise known as Direct Response TV, have been around since 1950, and the first item to be presented was a Vitamix Blender. Since then, all manner of crap has been presented to us, showing how our lives might be better if we just pick up the phone.


richardWho can forget Richard Simmons trying to coax us to Sweat with the Oldies? And what about The Snuggie! Watching Richard Simmons has never been more comfortable. Cold elbows are the pits.

One magical invention, a food processor called The Magic Bullet, produced sales exceeding a quarter of a BILLION dollars in just twelve months, thanks to the power of persuasion and people’s desire to chop up shit.

Former boxer George Foreman made more money flogging grills that he ever did copping punches to his face. The fact that the grill was never his to begin with puzzles me. Manufacturer Russell Hobbs came up with the device and paid $137 Million dollars to George so they could call it after him.

Hey, I would be honored just to have something named after me! It would have to be some type of bra. Watch this space….

If you choose to buy from an infomercial, are you a complete sucker?

Totally. How fabulous that Justin Beiber is trying to convince me to get on board the Proactive train!

schtickyEver heard of Vince Offer? He is the current reigning king of tele-flogging. Vince finds ordinary objects, specializes in creating an extraordinary buzz around them and before you know it, you are on the phone ordering your ShamWow, your SlapChop or your Schticky.

So convincing is our Vince, that I only just resisted ordering a Schticky recently. If I were one of the next 20 callers, I would have got a mini Schticky absolutely free…

Infomercials, it would seem, mainly focus on cleaning equipment, cooking equipment, cutting equipment and of course, exercise equipment. And, come council clean up time, you can tell which of your neighbours got sucked into buying the Ab Circle Pro, as evidenced by their abandonment on the nature strip.

Quite possibly accompanied by a Robomaid.

So I ask you, dearest Hooplarians, have you ever bought something from the telly?

How’d work out for you?



Mrs Woog. Not Drowning, Waving…

Mrs Woog’s To-Don’t List

G-Spot Amplification

Ewww Your Baby Stinks!


mrs woog*About Mrs Woog: “I can be found in the laundry, folding laundry, sorting laundry and dropping off the dry cleaning. I am mum to two boys, boss of my husband and master of a cat and two guinea pigs. Come nightfall, I watch TV while tweeting which drives Mr Woog insane. I like to read cookbooks and eat out. During my waking hours I ferry kids around in the Mazda while drinking takeaway coffees and listening to talkback. I think about going to the gym every day. I used to work in the publishing industry before I realised it was nothing like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld made out like it was. Now I write this blog. And I never get writer’s block. It is a gift I have.” You can follow me on Twitter: @Woogsworld.


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  • Reply March 13, 2013

    Wendy Harmer

    “Do you have at least one major household appliance bought from an infomercial”?
    Hey Mrs Woog, if it’s a question one of those “are you a bogan?” quizzes, we qualify.
    My husband bought our vaccuum cleaner AND our mattress off the telly.
    Both are very good… but I was a bit surprised when they turned up at the door, I must say…Likewise my Ah bras.
    He is not to be trusted with a credit card and the remote!

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    Yep late one night while studying, I bought a Genuine simulated reproduction gold Fob chain (- yes peeps thats how long ago it was, Fob chains and folded up collars were all the rage!). It arrived with great anticipation…it couldnt have been more hideous, yellow beyond belief, and chunky in a bad way! Eurghhhhh
    So when being Hypnotised in the middle of the night watching I am very restrained, but those steam mops looooook …..soooo…goooood.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I too, almost bought a robo vac, but didn’t. I then saw a much cheaper hard wood sweeper ball at Woolies for $40 and snapped it up. I was thinking of all of the hard to reach bending I would avoid!! When I got home I found out that it was a ball with a cloth cage on the outside, I set it to work and after 15 minutes I had retrieved it from getting stuck under things eight times, so much for the not bending. It did however push all of the dog hair to the skirting boards that I could conveniently sweep up later.. FAIL.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    No~ but entirely tempted by Ah bras~ so much like a singlet, though I have not worn a bra since I was a teenager but those bras look comfortable. Unlike the conventional versions of a bra which cut into a woman’s shoulders and do strange things to a woman’s “shape”. I was transfixed by the Oprah program on a well-fitted bra.

    Meanwhile, an old friend bought a sewing machine from the telly~ she never,ever sews!!

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I do have a robomaid… i bought it after seeing it on the TV, i just had to have one and I have to say that Roberta works magic on my floor when the toddler isn’t around to try and jump on her and use her as a skateboard!
    We run her when I’m at work and i come home to crumb-less floors. she is cheap labour in my opinion!
    My previous purchase was a travel sewing machine. needless to say that it was a waste of money and couldn’t sew anything thicker then tissue paper. Its currently on my bedroom dresser to remind me not to buy into the whole hype that are infomercials.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I watched a lot of infomercials in the early hours of the morning with my newborn a few years ago and was sure one day I’d wake up to a delivery of a FlavorWave ordered in my sleep deprived state….the ad with Mr T in it. Very convincing!

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I laughed at myself reading your description of “that feeling” because I realised how familiar it is to me. Mind you I only ever recall buying one item from an infomercial, which was a collaborative decision made by my ex husband and I. We bought gym equipment, which 12 months later was sold at a garage sale to our neighbour. We saw that same gym equipment at many local garage sales over the next few years!

  • Reply March 13, 2013

    Aeron Winters

    I’ve never purchased anything from the TV, but I did purchase a Magic Bullet in a Danoz shop (or something like that anyway). I used it until I wore it out, so all in all a good purchase. I also purchased a Thunderstick (now that is going back awhile) from the same shop and it is still going strong. It will see a lot of use as we get back into the cold weather and the season of soup (I love a good smooth soup). So, does it count if they were infomercial products that I purchased, even though I purchased them from a store?

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    We have a Robomaid but did not buy if off the TV, shes brilliant. Two teenagers love Pro active and it works very well but again did not buy off TV. Did buy some eye cream stuff once but it caused a stinging sensation when i used it…so I tried to return it…despite the ads saying its easy to return its not at all !! You only have 30 day to return and they post out a return form which very never showed up despite me calling 4 times and 4 times being told it had been sent, and no they don’t email or fax!! Of course the 30 days had run out by then so they would not take it back. Also be careful how you unwrap your parcel…if its not in the originally packaging and sent back EXACTLY how you got it then theres no refund either. Oh and lastly don’t ring and complain because it irritates them and they hang up.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I bought the Magic Bullet for some extraordinary amount of money and have rarely used it. Then to rub salt into the wound they turned up in every cheap shop for about $30! I think I paid around the $175.

  • Reply March 13, 2013

    Nikki @ Styling You

    Not me. I have to restrain the husband, though. He is easily seduced by kitchen gadgets.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I did buy the Ah bras (or Genie bras) and have never regretted it. They are so comfy and supportive! And every 6 months, they me up and ask if I want to buy another 3 for $50… can’t beat that price 🙂

  • Reply March 13, 2013

    Lisa Aherne

    Not me, but my housemate bought a vacuum cleaner from an infomercial. Superior suction? You bet. My elderly bedroom carpet now resembles the waves washing in on Mooloolaba beach. It hasn’t ripped up the floorboards yet, that could happen any day soon. Would sell my soul for a nice placid robomaid to deal with the doggie hairs littering the floor.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    Ahem- yes!! A stupid scratchy wool filled quilt I hate- shame I know ok I know shame – but those steam mop thingos look so good- I really want one- surely life will be magic if I buy one?;)

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I used to listen to my mums Richard Simmons tape and do aerobics in my bedroom for YEARS. It was called “Wake Up And Breathe.”

    I miss it.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I have a friend who has bought quite a few things from TV. She does still use most if them, but the exercise ones have been given away or are sitting forlorn in her spare room (originally planned as gym room).
    One thing to be aware of that she found out, the 30 day return deal starts from when you ordered it over the phone, NOT from when you received it. If it takes 2 weeks to arrive, that is 14 days gone from your 30 days.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I hate to admit it, but I have bought something from a TV late night promotion. My Husband was snoozing in front of the TV late at night, as is his habit, and he saw this product. He immediately thought it might be good for me to try. It is the “Genie Bra”. I waw sceptical of course but looked at the ad the next night. It looked amazing. A bra that fits anyone and is constantly comfortable. You pull it on over your body like a pair of knickers! So, I went ahead and ordered the three for the price of one offer. I have never looked back!! They are truly amazing and the most comfortable bra I have ever worn. I have now put several girl friends on to them who also swear by them. Out with all the old bras, that have never fitted with uncomfortable metal bits that dig into you, and in with the Genie Bra!! Yeah. Mind you I was not so sucked in that I am now looking at all the ads and buying everything I see. This is the one and only product I have bought and I thank my Husband for his forsight!

    • Reply March 13, 2013

      Mrs Woog

      Do they work for big boobs? I am gifted in the chestical area x

      • Reply March 14, 2013


        @ Mrs Woog. This is exactly why I thought I would give them a try as I have the same glorious boobs!! Yes, they do and somehow take the strain off your back as well. Give them a try!

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    Ummmm, forgive me for being a little skeptical Genie – that is quite a coincidental name you have there!! I just don’t see how a ‘one size fits all’ can possibly work for the larger breasted, and how can what looks like t-shirt material actually have proper support?
    Back to topic – I bought a series of The Muppets on video (yes, video) was very hungover and did have to cancel the subscription after a few months – but I do still love The Muppets!!

  • Reply March 13, 2013

    Maureen P.

    Am still laughing…really enjoyed this article and the comments.
    My children live in Canberra and they’d come home carrying on about this Shamwow (which could soak up Lake Burly Griffin, apparently). They said the ad was hilarious. They’d make a reference to it, fall over laughing and I wouldn’t have a clue!
    I have never purchased anything off the T.V. But you know what? I’ve always wanted to!

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I am chestically-gifted, as so wonderfully put above. The genie/aahh/etc bras are not supportive enough for my 12Fs on a general rule. But they are wonderfully comfortable for sleeping in, and I have worn 2 at once for slightly more support. And I didn’t buy them off TV, it was one of those email deals instead!

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I honestly change the channel when the infomericals are on. Don’t stop to see what they are flogging now. I am very surprised this form of selling still exists!

  • Reply March 13, 2013

    Narelle Matheson

    Such a good laugh to be had from both the article and the posts!
    I have always been very sceptical of the quality of the stuff offered for sale on the tele, but one memorable day my sister and I were having a tele and crap food day when an ad came on for an amazing offer of knives, knife block, steak knives and sharpener and scissors! AND if one called immediately it was two for the price of one! Well, we grabbed the phone and excitedly dialled the number, got into the queue, listened to the muzak for 10 minutes, by which time reality hit us, so we sheepishly hung up and congratulated each other on our commonsense in not introducing half a ton of useless ironmongery into BOTH our homes and got back to the business of demolishing the large bag of min- chocolate bars! So funny.
    As for the bras on offer, they aren’t too bad, but there are nicer and better ones on offer in lingerie departments. A bit pricier but more supportive if one has more than an A cup. Being an older bustier girl, I really feel better with defined cups!

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I have never bought anything from an infomercial, but every time I have an ADO or am home from work sick, I gravely inform my husband when he walks in the door that we are in dire need of funeral insurance :/

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    Guilty…I just had to have the ab-roller!!!

    My sister is an early childhood teacher and the other day, one of her 5 year old boys burst into the class and said ‘Mrs Boylan, wanna see my mini schticky’!!!! Um…AWKWARD!!!

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    No, but a family member loves their robot vaccuum cleaner that wanders around the house in the dark while everyone sleeps.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I succumbed to a snuggie. Two arrived in an awful shade of blue, complete with two utterly useless book lights. Left one unpacked when I found the first impossible to actually wear – like a back-to-front dressing gown, and a totaly magnet for cat hair. Clumps of it, Interwoven into the fabric. Impossible to remove. Used it as a substitute blanket on the couch one winter, then dropped it behind a kitchen chair where the grey cat found it and commandeered it for a few months until it got too furry even for him.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    My Mum got sucked into the ahh bra/genie bra. USELESS. For both her D cups and my F cups.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    Not bought from the telly, but some kind of ab stretcher was bought, and a second hand exercise bicycle. Both were popped into a fireplace and bookcases built in front of the fire places. It will be a surprise for someone one day.

    I can afford a robotic vacuum cleaner, but I can’t bring myself to spend the money. Maybe when it becomes time to get a cleaner, I could manage without and justify a robotic cleaner.

    But Dear Mrs Woog, ass? Is that what we say in Australia?

    • Reply March 13, 2013

      Mrs Woog

      Andrew, because of the nature of the subject, I wrote this piece in an American accent. Hence ass x

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    Ah Mrs Woog you really brighten my day.

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I totally want an ah bra now. Is this an infomercial in disguise???

  • Reply March 14, 2013


    Yes. Guilty as charged and no regrets. I love my Genie bras and Ah bras – I’ve ordered several and am in the process of chucking out all my old style bras.
    I have also just bought a Schticky. It’s fantastic for removing cat hair from clothes, dog hair from carpet and hopefully cat hair from curtains – haven’t got there yet. Only problem is it takes quite a bit to wash the hair off it, but I do have very hairy pets.

  • Reply March 14, 2013


    Until last week no. But I could resist no longer and bought a make up product. And I rarely even buy makeup!! My husband has been keen on me buying ahhh bras for years now. It is a constant batle to convince I won’t actually go “aaaaahhhh”.

  • Reply March 14, 2013


    Mrs Woog, I can’t rest until you know about Cami Secret. It’s a veil for your cleavage. The infomercial is fantastic.

  • Reply March 14, 2013


    Guilty as charged, your Honour! I love my steam mop and my aaah bras, but there is one thing I love more……… my daughter and I play this silly game where we mute the tv whilst the infomercials are playing, and make up our own words instead, full of fantastical claims and expressions of wonderment. The more outrageous the claims, the better. It’s hilarious – do try it (you have to say that bit in a Dilmah voice)!

  • […] Shamwow! My Life an as infomercial […]

  • […] Shamwow! My Life an as infomercial […]

  • Reply March 31, 2013


    I bought some Genie/Ah bras and found them to be most handy when painting….I never stick my nipples in the paint tin anymore. If that is what is claimed as support. Robotic vacuum cleaner, getting one very soon….I’m an optimist.

  • […] But right before this happened, I was starting to think that perhaps I should invest in a treadmill, after all it had been over 20 years since I owned a piece of fitness shit. […]

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