April 13, 2020 | Eul Basa

Shoppers Reveal The Products They Bought That Looked Amazing But Actually Sucked

We've all been there: You've seen a product so cool that you just have to have it. You buy it, wait for it to arrive, and when it does, you open the box only to be... disappointed. It doesn't look like it did on TV and it doesn't work like it did on the Instagram ad. You've been duped. So how do we know which products are really worth purchasing? From vegetable cutters to makeup, these people reveal the products you may want to think twice about before buying.


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#1 Hair Removal Products

Anything that is supposed to remove hair permanently.

#2 GrandPad

GrandPad. Bought one for my tech-illiterate mother-in-law for Christmas. I spent three days trying to set it up with tech support before admitting it was a piece of $200 crap. I ended up returning it and customizing an older android tablet for her. We made it so she couldn’t install or buy anything without a password, hid all the system controls so you can’t find them without search, then hid search.

I installed only a few apps that she needed and hid and disabled the rest. I made it so I could remotely update and change things from my iPad. Installed a better keyboard for her eyes and we were good to go. Her favorite apps are bingo and YouTube where she watches nature videos all day. She has a radio installed and an app for local news.


#3 Onion Chopper

I hate chopping vegetables so I bought one of those automatic things they show on TV. A whole diced onion in 30 seconds. It mainly just smushed everything and got clogged up and took forever to clean. Turns out a knife and cutting board is easier.

Kitchen Vegetables ChopperFlickr

#4 Electronic Football Game

Showing my age here. One Christmas when I was a kid, I was dying to get the electronic football game. I opened up my presents and there it was. I set it up and plugged it in and the players just vibrated all over the place and fell over. That’s first down. I set up all 22 players again for second down. Rattle hum hum splat. Same thing. You can see where this is going. Never played the thing again.


#5 Treadmills

I have a new treadmill and elliptical I can sell you...

#6 Bendarros

There were these things called Bendaroos that I would often see on TV as a kid. They were these bendy things you could stick together and build stuff out of and they looked SO COOL. My cousin bought a pack of them and invited me to play with her. The Bendaroos turned out to be these pathetic waxy sticks that you could not really build with. They didn't bend easily, they didn't really stick together, but they did make your hands and everything else sticky.


#7 Pedi Paws

Pedi Paws, that rotary nail file for dogs. It would have taken at least 20 minutes of filing per nail, and no dog is going to hold still that long! What a waste of money!


#8 Magic Ham

There was this ham that had commercials that were specially addressed to kids. The commercials said that if you take a bite of the ham, you go on an adventure. It also showed the kid that ate it teleporting into a spaceship and going on a space adventure. I bought it and... it was just a regular ham.

Delicious sliced ham on the kitchen BoardFlickr

#9 Tooth Whitening Kit

Tooth whitening kit. It comes with some gel and a blue LED thing you put in your mouth for a few minutes twice a day. Used it for two weeks with absolutely no change. That was $30 down the drain.

#10 Ultrasonic Dishwasher Device

An ultrasonic dishwasher device. You fill up the sink, add some liquid soap and turn on the USB powered ultrasonic vibrator device that will peel off any dirt from your dishes. All you need to do is rinse after five minutes. Total flop. It turns out we don't have that tech yet. And it would waste too much water.

Tableware Current Dishwasher KitchenMax Pixel

#11 Dyson Fans

One of those Dyson fans, it looked awesome you could your arm through it. It was expensive, loud, overly bright LED, collected loads of dust and the worst part was that it blew with the capacity of a pack-a-day asthmatic smoker.

1280px-Fans_by_Dyson_1_2018-06-02Wikimedia Commons

#12 Cat Deterrent Devices

Those "inaudible to humans" cat deterrent devices you're supposed to be able to hide in your garden. It was really loud and piercing and utterly ineffective. I eventually gave up and just got a cat. Now, only one cat poos in my flowerbeds, which is an improvement I suppose. That, and I know what he eats.

#13 Drones

A drone. They're so cool. Fly around and look at stuff from above. Then what? Don't use it. It's a pain to carry around and set up.

#14 X-Ray Specs

Everything I bought as a young child from a mail-order joke shop. That includes:

- X-Ray specs that were not in any way X-Ray: If I remember correctly, it had plastic red thread in the eye pieces of a cardboard glasses frame.

- Handshake electric shock: This was just a wind-up thing that buzzed when your 'victim' pressed a button. It was so bulky and obvious, mounted in the palm of your hand.

- Sea Monkeys: Need I say any more? The advertisement in the catalogue had cartoon animals. These were barely visible specks of dust.

- Fake dog turd: This mostly looked convincing. Apart from the flat area on top from the plastic moulding manufacturing process. As long as you didn't look at that, it was convincing.


#15 Magnet Door Cover

That screen door cover with magnets so you or your dog could go in and out as you please without letting bugs in. It's made with the cheapest possible materials that would rip immediately.

1280px-Banasa-dimidiata-on-screen-doorWikimedia Commons

#16 Compact Bike

A bike which folded about as compact as one of those cloth camping chairs. I went to the mall and bought one from the As Seen on TV store (warning sign I chose to ignore). It had terrible silicone rubber wheels (like rollerblades but bigger) and was direct drive. The cogs slipped on even the slightest of hills, making it less than useless in my city. Also, the seat was uncomfortable and made it feel like all your weight was on your tailbone.

#17 Back Pain Mat

This thing on Amazon for back pain. It's like a mat that you lay on covered in plastic spikes. It's uncomfortable at first but supposed to increase blood flow to the area. A lot of people swear by it but it didn't do anything for me. I returned it.

#18 Vegetable Cutter

A plastic thing from Kickstarter with a whole bunch of attachments that promised to dice onions and cut other vegetables in interesting ways. The blades and edge didn't quite align so it never cut all the way through. The colours were cool though. I donated it to a secondhand shop and feel a bit guilty that someone is going to spend money on it.


#19 Shopkins

I bought Shopkins for my sister thinking she would play with them she lost them all in a day

#20 Robux

Useless Robux (Roblox currency). When I was eight I loved Roblox. I begged my parents every day to buy me Robux as I had seen ads for it and YouTube videos of people loving Robux. Finally, for my birthday when I turned nine, I got a few Robux gift cards— about 22,000 Robux. That's about 50 to 80 dollars-ish. I was so happy, but after literally like two days I quit Roblox because I was bored.

I was really disappointed at how the Robux went. I thought every girl in Roblox would be with me after I bought multiple useless Roblox items. I forgot the account name and password, but I think I only used like 1,000 Robux and honestly it was useless. I also remember trying to send an email with the help of my parents about getting a refund because I literally thought I was scammed.


#21 Weight Loss Belt

That big belt you wear around your waist to help you lose weight. I was 17 and spent nearly six months savings on that thing.

Diet Fresh Slim Health Weight Remove HealthyMax Pixel

#22 Flatball

Remember the Flatball? You were supposed to be able to squish the ends together and throw it like a frisbee, then it would pop open and you catch it like a ball. After a couple of uses, it wouldn't stay in "frisbee mode" to throw and my kids stopped playing with it, even though they begged us to buy this $30 piece of garbage. Whenever they asked me for the latest cool thing they saw on TV, I'd go, "What's the Flatball rule?" And they'd say, "We're not getting that piece of garbage!"


#23 Club Penguin Island

Club Penguin Island. It looked so great in the ads, and I loved the original, but it turned out to be a complete waste of money that was boring and locked out 80 percent of its content to non-members.

#24 Mr. Clean

Mr. Clean. When I was a five-year-old kid I saw an add on TV where you'd wipe the tiles and it would transform into flowers and waterfalls. I BEGGED my mom to get a bottle. My disappointment was immeasurable when it did nothing but clean the tiles. I felt lied to. My mom said don't believe everything you see on TV and part of me died that day.

#25 Moon Shoes

Moon Shoes! I was so excited as a kid to use these but the first use caused a broken ankle. You could barely jump with them in the first place.

#26 Snoopy Snow Cone Maker

I’m 37. I distinctly remember begging for, and then being thrilled to receive, the Snoopy Snow Cone Maker. It was such a piece of garbage. I was an immensely disappointed five-year-old. It was all plastic, as I recall, and you were supposed to turn the Snoopy on the top, which would ostensibly grind ice into snow. This would not occur. Then the powder that you would shake on top of it was utterly vile. I think I played with it once. It was utterly disappointing.


#27 Shamwow

Shamwow. All the Sham with none of the Wow. The advert made it seem so great for drying EVERYTHING. It doesn’t dry anything. It just soaks up and spreads water around.


#28 Frozen Turkeys

Coming up to Thanksgiving a year ago, a local grocery store advertised frozen turkeys for just 39 cents per pound. The catch was that the turkeys had to weigh at least 22 pounds. Of the few turkeys left for purchase, the one I found was 27 pounds. Even though it was cooked just right, the bird was tough—dry, chewy, and had a foul taste.

Heritage_turkey,_thanksgivingWikimedia Commons

#29 Double Lightsaber

Darth Maul's double lightsaber. That thing looked so cool in the ads when I was a kid. Then, I got it and it wasn't even a lightsaber! Just cheap plastic with a light.

#30 Creepy Crawlers

Creepy Crawlers. There was this really catchy ad and they looked really cool. The ad even had kids scaring their sisters or parents with these bugs they created. I was a young boy, so of course it was on my Christmas MUST HAVE list. It was just some liquid plastic and rubber stuff (probably absolutely loaded with cancer) that you baked in this little oven. It smelled horrible, and it just produced some lame little rubbery fake insects. I was done with that crap in a day or two at most.


#31 Stick-On Bras

Those stick-on bras that don’t have a back strap or top straps. Never have I looked so much like a sad Eeyore, and never have I had to figure out if peeling slowly or ripping fast would be the best way out of a sticky situation.


#32 The Tiger Game

The Tiger Game.Com, that handheld game device. And, to be fair, a handheld system with two cartridge slots, a touchscreen, internet capabilities, and games like Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Duke Nukem. and Resident Evil 2 is exactly what I got. They just forgot to mention that it sucked.

1280px-Tiger_Game.Com_with_cartridgesWikimedia Commons

#33 Watercolor Paints

Some really cool watercolor paints. They were really bad quality but my dad bought them for me so I still use them for practice.

#34 Tag Heuer Watch

I got a couple. Once, I bought a Native American Indian blanket through mail order for like $80. When I got it, it was cheap felt with a machine-printed design on it. The ultimate insult was a printed note along with it that said, "Please don't return this blanket, it's been prayed over just for you."

Another one, less to the topic, was my son, who bought an awesome Tag Heuer watch in Chinatown for $10. It was a real nice three-dial watch with moon phases and who knows what else. But, while we were driving home he blurted out from the back seat, "Hey! These dials are just stickers!"

TAG_Heuer_Monaco_V4Wikimedia Commons

#35 Sea Monkeys

The As Seen on TV Sea Monkeys. The pictures looked like cool weird sea creatures. In reality, they were brine shrimp. Not nearly as cool as similarly advertised Magic Rocks.

#36 Teddy Ruxpin

I didn't actually purchase it myself, but Teddy Ruxpin. I begged for that thing and finally got it for Christmas. In commercials, he looked like a cuddly stuffy who talked to you. In reality, he was a rock hard cassette player covered in a thin layer of felt. Snuggling with that thing was like trying to cuddle a vehicle transmission.

He was heavy and only worked with special cassettes that cost four times what a regular tape cost, so the one he came with was it for me. The story was boring, and I lost interest in it almost immediately. The worst thing was the gadgets that moved his eyes and mouth were incredibly loud. You had to turn up the tape volume all the way to cover up the buzzing and clicking. Total disappointment, man.


#37 Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder Idealist. $60 primer. Smells good though!


#38 Electric Football

Electric football. The ad made it look like I would be deploying offence and defence and playing a cool miniature football game. The reality was that you flip a switch and most of the "players" fall over immediately, while the remainder just spin in a circle or head in random directions. Totally not worth it.

Electric-Football-GameWikimedia Commons

#39 Fushigi

Fushigi. That zero-g ball thing

#40 Fake Chewing Gum

One item that did live up to the advertisement in that mail-order joke shop catalogue was the fake chewing gum. The outer part did look very similar to the real band. And when you pulled out the fake piece of gum, a mouse-trap mechanism would slam—hard—on to your index finger. That was actually painful. It delivered on the promise and did work.

#41 Remote Control Car

When I was a kid, I remember seeing a commercial about a remote control car that could drive on the walls. Of course, I was amazed. Turns out it was a 10cm long car that had a vacuum system built in. It made a lot of noise and was super slow.


#42 Bike Lock

There was a bike lock advertised in Popular Science. It looked fairly sturdy, and the cable would recoil into a casing that fits in a bottle holder on my bike frame. Well, somebody was able to quickly cut this lock and get it out of a secure bike lock area. Turns out, the core of the cable was about half as thick as it looked, due to the clear vinyl coating over it.

#43 Slap Chop

Slap Chop. Tried slicing already sliced apples and it just broke.


#44 Transformers Underwear

When I was like six or so, there was a commercial for Transformers underwear that came out just before Christmas where the kids wearing them could transform. They were the only thing that I asked for for Christmas that year. I forget what Santa got me, but I distinctly remember being disappointed that it wasn't Transformers underwear.

Later that day, my grandparents showed up and when I opened the Transformers underwear they got me, it was by far the most excited I have ever or will ever be in my life. I went to the bathroom and put them on, then went back into the living room and proceeded to try to transform in front of my family while they laughed at me. I remember my grandfather joking, "Maybe you need to plug them in first!" That is easily the most let down I have ever been by a commercial.


#45 Any As Seen on TV Product

It’s quite uncommon to find an As Seen on TV product that’s actually worth its weight in gold


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