Confessions of an Infomercial Junkie
by Gary Kurz
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Hello, my name is Gary. I am an infomercial junkie. I admit it. I have a problem. Marketers have found a way around my natural male tendency to hate shopping by bringing the stores right into my living room; and I have been easy prey for them.
I think the word "junkie" has never been used more appropriately then when assigned to those who routinely watch infomercials, as my closets are full of useless and unneeded "junk". Eventually, that junk will find its way to the front line of a yard sale, but until that time it remains a testimony to my addiction. More evidence of my dependency exists in the homes of friends and family, which are littered with hand-me-down exercise machines that I excitedly bought but had no use for.
Quick thinking allowed me to pass on my "good fortune" to them before they realized they were enabling my problem. I suppose that I would never have perpetrated these dastardly deeds on family if the machines could have been sold at a yard sale. Unfortunately, supply and demand are in a great imbalance for these items as countless other junkies are unsuccessfully offering their machines in their own yard sales just down the block.
I know you are laughing at me and I deserve it. However, I will bet that yours is a nervous laughter because you know that you are as guilty as I. You too are an infomercial junkie. You hate to admit it, but you are. Your closets are full. Your friends have been duped. You may try to deny it, but your next credit card bill and your next yard sale will be all the proof anyone needs to convict you of having your own problem.
Am I saying that all infomercials offer useless and inferior products? I am not. There are some great products out there, but there are some real losers too. I don't know how many times I shocked myself with one device before the federal government came out and told the public that it was a pipe dream. In my mind I salvaged my dignity by telling my wife "I knew it all along", but I think she is the one who knew…knew better.
There are great diet plans and get rich quick ideas too. I have not had a lot of success at the former, but the latter has proven quite beneficial to me. I have spent a lot of money on real estate infomercials and made my investment back many times over. I have also had the pleasure of meeting some of the real estate gurus who grace our living rooms on these television spots.
Whether a product, service or idea works for you depends on a lot of factors. Some of those would be:
• Do you really need it or are you buying on a whim?
• Is it right for you? If you weigh 350 pounds can you really see yourself mounting a tiny little exercise apparatus successfully?
• If you are allergic to peanuts, is that nut and berry diet a good idea?
The point is, don't allow yourself to be impulsive. Infomercial products are generally good things if you need them. Therein is the key…if you need them. Impulsiveness is the life-blood of infomercials. Why do you think there are so many full-length programs with motivational orators hosting them? They know that hype will move people to be impulsive. Discipline yourself. Before you start watching an infomercial that may interest you, ask yourself "Do I need this product or service?" If the answer is "no", then turn it off before the hook is set.
My experience as an infomercial junkie has led me to finally develop a fool-proof process to determine if I need a product or not. It works every time, all the time. I simply ask my wife. She does not mince words. She does not give in. Her answer is always "no". You'll be happy to know that my closets are now empty and my friends and family don't mind visiting anymore.
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