Are Infomercial Products really worth the costs?

as seen on tv

When you are having trouble sleeping, do you reach for the TV remote? If so, infomercials are there to keep you company, but they’re probably not the best thing to watch to help you fall asleep. Infomercials are made to be exciting and catchy. They dramatize a problem you didn’t know you had, make you think you need their solution, and leave you wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and “Where can I get one?” But are they really worth the cost? The short answer most of the time is “no.”

Here’s why:

1.) Shipping and handling can cost more than the product is worth. If the product is something you really want, wait for it to come to a store near you that sells products “as seen on tv.” (Walmart and Bed Bath and Beyond are a couple that sell these products.)

2.) You often don’t really need the product. Although it looks amazing, cameras and editing can make anything look amazing. Ever wondered why they offer a special deal if you call in the next three minutes? It’s because the dopamine levels in your brain rise and make you more prone to impulse buying. Wait ten minutes for the dopamine levels in your brain to regulate and then ask yourself if you still think the product is a good idea.

3.) Based on research, they set the payment to $19.95 because, psychologically, people feel like they can part with $20 with little repercussion to their finances. Make sure you calculate the total cost. Six easy payments of $19.95 plus shipping and handling are more than it seems when you make impulse purchases.

4.) Some products do not work well enough to justify the cost. Often you could find something equal in price that is just as good or better, for example the Snuggie blanket with sleeves. For the price you would pay to purchase the Snuggie, you can find another blanket in a store of higher quality for less.

5.) Don’t fall for the façade that shopping via infomercials is more convenient. There are other options. If you really need to shop with convenience, many stores offer free shipping with online purchases and you often can find coupon codes if you search for them.

There are Some Exceptional Infomercial Products.

In contrast, many products have done well despite the ability to shop smarter elsewhere. Here’s a list of the top ten best-selling infomercial products according to

#10. The Thighmaster sold $100 million in total sales.

#9. Sweatin to the Oldies with Richard Simmons brought in approximately $200 Million.

#8. The Snuggie has approximately $400 million in total sales. (How many of us laughed at the idea of a blanket with sleeves?)

#7. Ped-Egg- Total Sales: Approximately $450 Million

#6. Showtime Rotisserie: Total Sales: $1.2 Billion

#5. Bowflex continues to bring in money with annual revenue of $193.9 million.

#4. George Foreman Grill brings in $202 million per year.

#3. Total Gym- Total Sales: $1 billion

#2. P90X- Annual Revenue: $400 million

And #1 is Proactiv with yearly revenue of $1 billion.

Based on these numbers, people who watch infomercials want to look and feel good. Five of the ten are tools for working out and number one is to help with acne.

Got Financial Blemishes?

When it comes to your budget, making wise decisions is very important. If you are trying to lose weight or get fit make sure you do it wisely. There’s no need for it to cost you more than is necessary. If you are trying to pay off debt or save for your next big purchase, infomercials shouldn’t hold you back. Watch this comical video of a new mom, Penny, who turns to an infomercial for help while trying to lose her baby weight after her recent pregnancy. She wanted to be slapped skinny but the only thing that got skinnier was her wallet!

Courtney is Clearpoint's Social Media Specialist, a mom of two boys, married to her high school sweetheart, introverted by nature and a lover of music, movies, coffee and all things Asian. People and their behavior is her specialty; helping others is her passion.

Want help with your budget?

Our counselors will review your budget and credit report with you for free.

Get Started

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest credit news and money management tips from Clearpoint and Money Management International—sent weekly to your inbox.


Read More Like This


Leave feedback or ask a question.

No responses to “Are Infomercial Products really worth the costs?”