According to the Electronic Retailing Association, the infomercial industry  brings in $400 billion a year. I knew infomercials did big business but I didn’t know they did four hundred billion dollars a year!
It reminded me of a time I drove a U-Haul with my friend Ian from Pittsburgh to New Jersey. We were moving all of our stuff back to his home after college and I marveled at the sheer number of infomercial products he had. He had basically everything in the Ronco catalog, from the Showtime rotisserie to a food dehydrator. It was hilarious packing these into the truck because I’d never actually seen many of these products in person. What’s even funnier is that they were completely clean – he’d never used them. I don’t know how often I’d use a rotisserie but chances are I’d use it at least once. That’s when he told me that they were all from his mom. Apparently his mom loves buying stuff from infomercials.
I can understand the sales behind some of the novelty items. I’ve been in bars when people go on “Snuggie bar tours,” which basically has them going from bar to bar wearing Snuggies (obviously!). The fun factor alone is enough to power sales in what’s basically a blanket with sleeves.
That said, I’ve never purchased anything off an infomercial. Have you? Do you use it?
(Photo: alyssazumpino )