See on TV, but buy at the store

Have you seen Billy Mays or Ron Popeil lately? Chances are good that you have. According to DM News, about one out every four TV ads is a direct response television commercial. Direct marketing is a growing $300 billion industry. In addition to producing measureable sales for the advertisers, consumers must like something about direct response ads. In fact, TiVo Top Commercial Rankings reports from 2007 found that some of the least fast-forwarded commercials are direct response spots.

My own research has taught me that the ads are also appealing to children. Recently, my kids came barreling up the stairs in a tangle of appeals that included “Not even burnt on cheese will stick!” “No more flippin and floppin!” and “Moms love it!” They were so convinced, and in turn so convincing, that I actually purchased a Big City Slider Station—but not from TV or the Internet.

This time, I uncharacteristically remembered my 20% off coupon when I went to the local houseware store. They had a whole As Seen On TV section that included everything from SpaceBags to the ShamWow. There were many benefits to buying my Big City Slider Station from the brick and mortar store.

1. No high pressure up-sales
2. I got to really look at what I was buying
3. I only paid $16 (20% less than the advertised $19.99)
4. Immediate gratification
5. No shipping and handling fees
6. If necessary, an easy return process

So next time Billy or Ron talk you into a product, consider picking it up during your next trip to the store. Now that I’ve started looking, I’ve seen As Seen On TV items at a number of places including Target, Rite Aid, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Don’t worry—instructions on how to get my free prep slicer were included!

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

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