As Seen On TV Products

5:36 PM, Jan 5, 2010   |    comments
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As Seen On TV Products
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  • Consumer Reports
  • WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- There are infomercials for exercise equipment, and kitchen gadgets.

    And, of course, there are products you never thought you'd need.

    "Now there's the Snuggie, the blanket with sleeves," says the manufacturer's commercial.

    According to marketing experts, these powerful selling tools pump up the dopamine levels in your brain, and stimulates your impulse to buy.

    "That's why infomercials have claims and testimonials flying at you, and they say, "order in three minutes" because your dopamine levels drop in about five or six minutes," says Kim Kleman.

    Consumer Reports routinely tests infomercial products like the AB Circle Pro.

    It's advertisements claims it's "the fastest, easiest way to have the flat washboard abs."

    Panelists gave the $200 device a whirl.

    "Following the Ab Circle Pro's strict diet will definitely help you lose weight.  But the three-minute exercise routine, not so much," says Alex Willen.

    Turns out the workout is about the same as the going on a brisk three-minute walk.

    Consumer Reports put the Slap Chop to the test by chopping nuts, onions, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, even chocolate.

    But the chopping gizmo doesn't chop evenly.  And, it took 20 slaps or more to chop harder veggies, like carrots.

    The infomercial for the sleeved blanket says, "The Snuggie keeps you totally warm."

    Consumer Reports' Pat Slaven says, "We tested the Snuggie by washing it 10 times looking for shrinkage, pilling and also lint.  Pills are these fuzzy little balls, and between them is bare fabric."

    And in 10 washes, lots of lint came off two Snuggies.  Plus its one size fits all claim hardly stands up.

    So, the next time you see an infomercial product you really want to buy, resist the urge for at least 10 minutes.  That'll give  your dopamine levels a chance to return to normal.

    A couple of infomercial products did well in the Consumer Reports tests.

    The Magic Jack plugs into your computer via a USB cable.  It lets you make and receive calls via the Internet.  But costs a fraction of what similar services like Skype and Vonage VOIP charge.

    And, the $10 Ped Egg removes calluses and dead skin from your feet better than a pumice stone. 

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