Monday, August 14, 2006


My friend "Jana" is about to become a show host for The Home Shopping Network (HSN). She is debuting near the same time that they're rolling out a new system; shop by remote. It's currently being tested in New York and Hawaii. Viewers can select what they want using their remote control or calling a specialized number which is assigned to each item. We may have this service in the Tampa Bay Area within the next 12 months.

Yet, I still don't understand who wants to sit in front of the TV, staring at some inane talk show host blathering on about the wonders of a simple watch that you could buy at WalMart. I get tired of watching them reach desperately for new adjectives, or attempt to show enthusiasm for something which can realistically not be called exciting. The conversations go something like this:

Show Host: "Just look at this gumball! It's grape flavored, which is one of the top 10 flavors used by candymakers today. Ha ha! Candymakers! I think the more sophisticated word is confectioners. And you know what? Only a confectioner could create this darling little gumball. Why, look at how richly purple it is! Look at how the lights dance across it's surface! Why, it's a mini work of art! And yet you can eat it!

Not many people can order such a product at this low price of only $9.99. That's right! $9.99! And what a bargain it is, too! The kids can't find something like this at your nearby 7-11, no siree! It's practically a one-of-a-kind, and it's selling out fast, isn't it, Marty? It sure is! We only have 98 left!..."

They usually lose me at the "ha ha" part.

You know what would make me buy from HSN? If they had products posted on the computer, with a running tally of items remaining and an easy "click n' buy" feature. If you are masochistic and want to hear the host spout off about the product, you can click on an icon that will give you the entire patter. The current HSN website isn't as interractive and it doesn't instill that sense of urgency that they try to convey on the TV shows.

That would be a great compromise, don't you think? I think I'll give Jana this idea for free.


michelle said...

I give up, you'll have to tell me which friend.

Ed Abbey said...

I usually program my television so that the HSN (and others like it)appear never to have existed. I like it that way. It also cuts down the number of channels I have to surf through from over sixty to just a dozen.

I'm waiting for cable a la carte to hurry up and arrive.

Miss Cellania said...

Saur, your brilliant idea has been taken. eBay. Amazon.

And advertising is a job you get used to. I can get enthusiastic about all kinds of weird things I'd never care about if it weren't my job. Its ACTING!

R2K said...

Well it is possible to do a good job, have a good time, and make good money without feeling like you are curing cancer.

I personally only like to watch because they are great at coming up with BS about products. Often they sell a very crappy cheap product, and that is clear. But you can watch them struggle to cast it in a better light.

Reverberate58 said...

I just cruise on by. Even if they had something at a great price and I could buy it I would pass it up because of the way they hawk the wares. Total turnoff in my book! But scary thing is how many people put their lives on hold and go deeply in debt watching this channel!

The Lazy Iguana said...

Someone I know SWEARS that his mother watches HSN so much that the logo is burned into the lower corner of the TV screen. No word on how much crap she buys if any at all. Some people watch just to see what is on sale next in case they want it.

One time I called the 800 number and asked the operator for "dehydrated water", claiming to have seen it during a "camping gear" segment. The phone operator spent several minutes scowering the computer database for the item. I lost it when I was transfered to a supervisor.

At one point where I almost lost it, I was asked what the item does. I responded: it is a powder you carry when hiking. You add water to the powder and it creates more water.

I would support Bush if he called for an air strike on the HSN network.

mckay said...

saur, that's gotta be a tough gig. she's must be great at thinking on her feet and improvising. hey, you can ask her to say hi to my good ex. he performs on HSN whenever Estoban sells his guitars.

meemaw2 said...

I confess, I have purchased makeup from HSN. I can't think of her name, but she has some excellent products. She is close to 70 and looks great with out plastic surgery. When you hit a certain age, and wrinkles start to appear around the eyes along with the dark circles, what is 40 dollars, really. I love her makeup. I need more. I just don't have the time or patience to wait for the signature line to air. You gave me an idea, I forgot about the website. My mother (ha ha) watches and never buys anything. Grandma, God rest her soul, was a Doll collector and loved the fake jewlry. Only the real stuff for this chick. Mom calls me when she is coming on, but I still forget. In fact mom's first and only purchase after watching for 20 years almost, was the skincare and makeup for me as I complained I was running low. HA HA. I don't know but this stuff in the tube covers everything and doesn't look like cakey on your skin and stays on all day while covering those evil dark circles. I purchased from Dillards and Marykay and other skin care lines and have yet to find a line that is as affordable and works for circles

Christine said...

Oh, God, I feel like I'm at an AA meeting....
But here goes.
I am an occasional QVC viewer.
That's right.
I am.

AND, I buy stuff too. What kind of stuff?
Food, clothes, shoes, handbags, household items, AND costume.
Anything that's poor quality, I've sent back.
I have made some crappy choices, but most of the stuff is pretty darned terrific.

I see no difference between shopping that way, online or wandering aimlessly at the mall.

Oh, yeah. One of my friends is brutally honest. Never has she said that something I've worn from QVC looked like crap.

Senor Caiman said...


You certainly know how to hurt a guy. In my entire life I've never lost more money than I did on my investment in HSN.

KristieD said...

my grandmother loved the HSN. i think most of the presents i ever received from her were ordered from there. sometimes she watched it to actually watch it, while other times, she would have trouble sleeping and just put it on for noise. (and end up ordering me some funky jewelry instead of sleeping!)...So while i would never shop that way, i feel something good and sentimental about it b/c of her.

Eddo said...

Ha ha. That gumball conversation was DEAD ON!! So funny. You should write for that network. I hear that HSN makes MILLIONS. Mostly on retired people who have nothing better to do than sit at home and shop.

My friends mom bought a Camcorder from HSN. A CAMCORDER! That is not a purchase you make through the HSN. Anyway, it came in the mail and it was sooooo cheap. Fortunately, her son had the good sense to tell his mother to send it back ASAP and not to buy anything else. Her husband passed recently and left her with lots of money and sometimes she makes bizarre purchases just because she can. I think HSN exists for people like her.