Ridiculous products we buy

Whether it is as a result of some extremely clever marketing, or just because we like the idea of a product, I never fail to be amazed at some of the stuff we buy that either we don't need, or that simply has a major flaw in the concept behind it. This hub is going to be a tribute to the products that simply shouldn't sell well, and in some cases that I am amazed got as far as the shop shelves in the first place.

If you too have any ideas of your own for products that you feel warrant a place in this list, feel free to add them to the comments section at the end of this hub, along with your explanation of why you feel the product in question simply shouldn't work!

Tomatoes on the vine. Truly the people who marketed this idea were geniuses. Think about it for a moment, the growers have to pay workers to pick tomatoes which adds to the end cost of the product considerably, so why not save time by simply getting the workers to cut chunks of the vine off with maybe 8 tomatoes on each and then sell them that way! Hey, why not go one step further and make out the tomatoes are better quality when purchased like this, therefore charge considerably more for them. The end result is lower costs and a dramatic increase in profit margin.... total genius.

Scented sanitary pads

I remember these from back in the 1980's when I believe they first came out. They were advertised on television at the time, and I recall thinking what a wonderful idea........ wrong on so many levels! You see there is a major flaw in the idea, essentially by wearing these quite strongly and usually distinctively scented pads, you are a walking advert for the fact you are in the middle of your monthly period. The fragrance they used was unique, and certainly the last thing a young teenager needs is to be trotting through the school corridors surrounded by a haze of 'I am on my period' perfume. The really scary thing is that these can still be purchased today, and whilst they may have improved the fragrance by now, there is still a risk that a chap whose wife, girlfriend etc used or uses these, will have no trouble recognising the scent when he catches a waft of it on a stranger, in much the same way as a man can often name a perfume a stranger is wearing based on those his partner or ex-partners use.

Cat Milk

This totally unnecessary product has apparently been very successful as it has been on the shop shelves for some years now. What I don't understand is why! Once a kitten is weaned from its mother it doesn't need milk, full stop. If it does it has been weaned too young and should be on a formula provided by a veterinary surgeon, not from a supermarket shelf. Adult cats are far better off on water, and should get all the nutrients they need from a good quality diet such as Royal Canin, Hills Science Plan or Iams. With this in mind I can only assume that those clever marketers have been busy again, and have worked on the principle that people always assume that cats and milk are two things that go together. The gullible public have fallen hook, line and sinker for the marketing, and now cat milk is a popular purchase for cat owners, and especially for those with new kittens. Forgive me as a former veterinary assistant whilst I go and bang my head against a wall with frustration at the naivety of the general public.

Fragranced 'Pooper Scooper' bags

Anyone who has a dog will be familiar with 'pooper scoopers' and the small bags you insert into them in order to pick up any messes your dog makes whilst you are out on your walk. Now I am reasonably confident that when you have picked up your doggies poo in the bag, you don't immediately place that bag anywhere in the vicinity of your nose... correct? So will someone please tell me why someone thought it would be a great idea to make scented 'pooper scooper' bags! In my personal experience I have always held the full poo bag at a considerable distance from my face, so much so that bearing in mind it also has a knot in the top by now, I can't smell anything from it, good or bad. By fragrancing the poo bag I am not suddenly going to bury my nose joyfully into it in order to benefit from the new and improved scented version, no, I am still going to hold it at arms length until I locate a suitable bin to dispose of it in. I would therefore love to know how many dog owners actually buy the scented versions in preference to the non-scented ones, and if so, why?

Socks with toes

Whoever invented these must have done well if they took out a patent on the concept. Socks with toes have now been around a good number of years for no good reason that I can see. Anyone who has ever tried to put these things on will know just how awkward they are, as unlike fingers we don't have quite the same degree of control over our toes. With a pair of gloves we can effortlessly spread our hands out and manipulate our fingers into the ideal positions to slide into the appropriate finger of the glove. Try doing that with a pair of socks with toes! In reality what we end up doing is manually using our hands to feed each toe into the correct section of the sock, after which our toes are now slightly more spread than we are used to, resulting in shoes feeling too small and discomfort or even blisters after walking in them for any distance. I can only draw the conclusion that no-one ever buys these for themselves, and that socks with toes are the kind of item that a grandmother buys for her grandchild or a friend buys as a joke.

G Strings and Thongs

Whether you are a man or a woman, surely you cannot find a 'g string' or a thong comfortable! In the case of the 'g string' I can only assume a man invented them because he found them sexy on women, and in the case of a thong I can only assume a woman invented them as revenge for the 'g string' idea. I know they remove the problem of VPL (Visible Panty Line), but really, is it worth it? Anything that feels like a cheese wire inserted in your bum crack cannot be a good thing surely, and has the potential to be downright agonising if someone decides to give you a wedgy for a laugh (note, a wedgy is when someone sneaks up behind you and yanks your underwear up your back, resulting in a large amount of it being dragged into the obvious orifices in the process). Thongs and 'g strings' do seem to perform one service though, and that is they act as a form of 'anal floss' for bum cracks, apparently reaching the parts normal toilet paper can't!

Epilators

A true instrument of torture invented because us women have a desire to keep certain areas of our bodies hair free, and preferably for as long as possible. Marketed largely on the basis that not only does an epilator pluck the hairs out by the roots, so leaving a smoother finish, but this means that the hairs will not return for anything up to six weeks. The TV adverts show attractive, elegant and relaxed women, apparently feeling no pain as they glide this contraption up and down their apparently already 'hair free' legs. The reality is somewhat different though, and it makes waxing look like a walk in the park by comparison. Having been given one of these evil devices by my Sister one Christmas, accompanied by promises that "they are not the instruments of torture they used to be", I decided to have another go at using them. A very bad decision as I quickly realised that nothing had changed and these were still just as excruciatingly painful to use. To prove my point I got my Husband to endure a session of me attempting to remove the thick coat of hair from his back with it, something I realised was never going to work about the time he had climbed half way up the front of our wardrobe begging for mercy, and the epilator was completely clogged up with hair. Ever since that day my epilator sits on a shelf in my bedroom unused.

Leaf Blowers

This invention is kind of like a virtual broom, only instead of bristles it blows air at high speed through a nozzle. The theory is that the gardener will use this contraption to easily 'sweep'  the leaves in his garden into a pile he can dispose of later. The reality of the gadget is that it blows the leaves all over the place, and by the time you chase all the escapees back to the original pile, you would probably have achieved a greater degree of success if you had simply used a real broom instead. Thankfully the manufacturers are now waking up to their mistake, and the newer models actually do vacuum up the leaves into a bag. I can't imagine why that idea wasn't the first thing to pop into the inventors head originally!

Sanitising Sprays

Marketers seem to spend an excessive amount of time trying to convince us that our houses are complete death traps of germs that must be eradicated if we are to have any slight chance of surviving until the end of the day. We are bombarded with adverts for products claiming to wipe out 99% of all bacteria, including e.coli, the flu virus etc. Now I refuse to use any of these products, and last time I checked no-one in our household has ever had an attack of e.coli or any other equally nasty form of poisoning. Even if someone did get a cold as a result of a stray, non-annihilated germ, we are meant to catch colds, be exposed to germs etc, this is how we build up our immune systems. Over sanitising our homes is actually a very good way to catch more colds, not least because the moment we set foot into the outside world where the real germs cannot be destroyed, we are a walking Petri dish for them to thrive in, our immune system a blank slate they can exploit.

As a child I was always up to my neck in mud, dirt, playing outside, and generally being a normal child. Yes I did spend a lot of time suffering with colds and coughs, but this is what is meant to happen. In my forties now, I go for a year at a time without catching colds at all, even when I have been in the company of people riddled with flu themselves. In other words I have developed a very tough immune system, and I swear this is because our home was not over sanitised, just kept clean the old fashioned way, with a damp soapy cloth.

Floor Polishing Slippers

Who on earth thought up this idea? Firstly unless your entire house has wooden floors you will probably need to change your footwear every time you leave the room in order to avoid them getting soiled before you return, (possibly having picked up granules of dirt that might scratch your lovely wooden floor). Secondly, the majority of us tend to follow the same routes as we enter and exit a room, and we certainly don't make a habit of walking over every square inch of our floors. This means we could potentially end up with a highly polished 'path' on our wooden floor, surrounded by a larger area of dull, unpolished floor. Thirdly, we are in effect setting ourselves a death trap, as we are creating an increasingly more slippery surface whilst wearing a completely non-grip soled slipper. Lastly, we would obviously look like a complete 'tool' if seen wearing these!

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Comments 35 comments

Victoria Stephens profile image

Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

There are some crazy things on the market these days. Some of my friends say toe socks are the comfiest thing they can possibly wear, but they make me cringe at the thought of putting them anywhere near my feet.x


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Victoria, thanks for commenting. I used to have a pair of toe socks years ago, and I found them distinctively uncomfortable, I certainly wouldn't wear them again. Apart from anything else, the length of people's toes varies enormously, so there is a reasonable chance the length of the toes in the sock will not be appropriate to everyone and will be painful, causing rub points, blisters etc.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

As commented on another hub,genious,though a high commodity,unfortunatly it still seems to be a fool's paradise.:(


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL, yes you are right Mentalist acer, it also applies on this hub and to the people who are daft enough to fall for the clever marketing of these products. Thanks for commenting :)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

I reckon the leaf-blower was the biggest con foisted on the dumb public. But millions were sold! I have never seen toe-socks, thank goodness. And all these anti-pathogen products. The trouble is, people won't think, read, get educated, so they buy all this crap. Must go, my local Tesco is selling hard-boiled egg zippers cheap! Bob


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Bob, very true re-people. They can just be so gullible and believe whatever they are told by the marketers. LOL re-your comment on the egg zippers though :)


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

I bought a stupid egg separator from the TV, was the dumbest thing known to man/woman... it was supposed to remove the shell from the hard boiled egg.. It mostly blew the egg all over the kitchen. After it sat a few years collecting dust I finally threw it away!

Funny stuff!! I figure if I want to dust the floor, we'll just wrap the baby in swiffers and let her go!

Voted up, useful And funny!!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Sweetsusieg, I can't even imagine how such a device could work, it certainly would be useful IF it worked. I love the idea of wrapping the baby in swiffers though, you could patent that one :)

Glad you enjoyed this hub and thanks for the votes.


Suiiki profile image

Suiiki 5 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

Thongs and g-strings can actually be quite comfortable if they are made correctly and fit well. I have a few of them, but I don't wear them every day, only when I feel like I need a little extra sexyness in my day. The problem is, though, that they HAVE to fit properly, otherwise you get the "butt floss" effect.

The other products, though, I can see your point with. They are over priced and unnecessary in my opinion. The only antibacterial product I use in my house is toilet bowl cleaner (with the exception of occasional bleach use) and that is only because I have found a product that helps keep the ugly stains away, and it just happens to be anti-microbial.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Suiiki, you actually managed to find a thong that is comfortable, that is no mean feat. I have never found one I liked, and it isn't because the thong part is too tight, even if it is the right size it just feels like it needs to be 'pulled out' of the crack in order to feel comfortable.

I use bleach in the toilet and to clean the bowl. In the bathroom we use cleaners, but not antibacterial ones, just standard bathroom cleaning sprays, so I do get where you are coming from.

Thanks for the feedback :)


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

Amazingly funny hub! Where to start with the comments though...hmm...my aunt was a lover of the toe socks. My daughter did too for a bit. I don't believe in sanitizing the house. Germs does a body good. I enjoyed watching my neighbors using a leaf blower and rake to take care of the lawn. It provided cheep entertainment to see one blow while the other one dashes.

The slippers look like an accident waiting to happen. (In my house anyway, but would be a great way to entertain the children.)

I have never been a fan of ripping the hair off my legs. Or using scented items to cover some smells. (I will agree with you on the pads though.) And thongs should be an outlawed item for those that abuse them.

All I can say is great job! I had give this one a vote up...What were they thinking?!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi tlpoague, delighted you enjoyed this, and thanks for sharing your memories of toe socks and leaf blowers. I too am not a fan of ripping hair off my legs, preferring to the less painful, but more frequent option of shaving. Scented pads, never again, and as for thongs, for some reason I have ended up with about 5 pairs that I never wear. I only keep them in case I absolutely have to avoid a 'visible panty line' on a specific outfit, and to be honest I can't even remember the last time that was!

Thanks for vote up :)


strich56 5 years ago from California

Very enjoyable read. I've not bought any of these products but I have a few, "must have", items in the cupboard that have not seen the light of day since they left the store!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi strich56, glad you enjoyed this. You are not alone in the unused "must have" items. I have some heated eyelash curlers I tried once and found not only fiddly, but actually virtually ineffective. They have not been used since:) Thanks for your feedback.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Leaf blowers do fill a need, misty, they allow the home owner to blow the fallen leaves on his or her lawn on to the neighbor's lawn. Caution: the leaf blower operator must operate the leaf blower in the dead of night or wear a mask and hoodie during daylight hours.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL drbj, but what if your neighbour is doing exactly the same thing and you bump into them in the dead of night, are both of you going to 'blow' each other on the lawn???? ;) ;) ;)


mikeq107 5 years ago

Ok, I have been away too long, ok I’ll admit I have been borrowing money to buy your crazy products and so I couldn’t pay the rent so I was tossed out on the street, But at least I looked good in my green floorshiners and I knew were Cynthia was and the time of the month because of the pads and thankfully I had the leaf blower and a card board sign that read " Blow Jobs for food"

Nice to see you again Cindy ..great Hub as alwalys.. :0)

Mike :0)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Mike, long time no see, but wonderful to see you here on one of my hubs again. So pleased you liked it, and your comment did make me laugh. Hope it won't be long before I see you on more of my hubs again :) Blessings to you and your family.


fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

A genial Hub! There are really many useless things on market today! Yours are only a few but representative examples.


mikeq107 5 years ago

Thanks Cindy :0) Pleasuer to be back !!!

Mike :0)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

So true fucsia, there are loads more products I could quote, but the hub would be endless!! Thanks for commenting :)

Hi Mike, keep on visiting :)


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 5 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

I guess instant pikelet mix, and bottled water (in NZ anyway) are high on my list of stupid money-wasters, Cindy.

Cheers,

Peter.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Peter, great to see you here. What is 'instant pikelet mix', I have never heard of it? Totally agree on the 'bottled water' issue :)


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 5 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

In our supermarkets you can buy packets of flour, baking powder, sugar etc. ready mixed (Just add an egg and milk woo woo!) for people who are too stupid or too lazy to mix their own, with which you can then make pikelets. I think that you can get a similar product for scones. Gee look Ma, I can COOK! (I suppose they may make sense for children and young city brides, maybe)

Cheers.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Ah now I get you Peter, yes, we have things like that too, for pancakes, Yorkshire puddings, cakes etc. Very lazy, especially when the ingredients are so very basic. Thanks for explaining.


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 5 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

Yeah Cindy, that's my bitch, money-grubbers convincing people that its too hard to mix a few common ingredients (which is bull as they still have to stir in eggs and milk.) I've used the premixed cake packets occasionally as I don't normally stock everything needed for the very occasional cake that I bake. There's bugger all call for eye of newt in everyday cooking, easier to buy a ready-mixed MacBeth Damned Spot Cake.

Cheers.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Absolutely Peter, the hard part is the actual mixing, not weighing out the basic ingredients. I can understand it if you baked so rarely the surplus flour etc would go out of date before you used it all up, but otherwise, just plain crazy!


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

Ha ha, I voted your hub funny. I actually do buy tomatoes on the vine. And those slippers that help cleans the floor as I walk looks pretty interesting too. Let me check if they sell those on Amazon. You should have put it in as an Amazon product module in your hub. I would have clicked on it.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks BlissfulWriter, I am sorry to say I too am guilty of occasionally buying tomatoes 'on the vine', but still object to paying more for them. Found the slippers for you, I have put the Amazon capsule immediately below them at the end of the hub, (aligned to the right).


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

I absolutely love that you wrote about this very topic, there is a certain strange pull many have to these products I know I have seen it too many times now. People just have to have them! Thanks again, funny too.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Fluffy, I agree, we are fascinated by novelty items that we think we need. I saw it summed up somewhere recently where they stated that the local village market was "Packed with those essentials you don't need", made me laugh out loud, so true!


2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

This is a funny hub - partly because we have to laugh at ourselves. Both of us have bought at least one of the products listed - not saying which.

The other thing I have fallen for recently is special ironing water. Then I bought a new iron and the instructions say to use ONLY tap water. So that was £1.50 literally down the drain.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Pat, at least you are honest enough to admit that you have both fallen for buying at least one of these products. I think I am guilty of at least three of them in the past (much wiser now) LOL.

Thanks for popping in and commenting. Always great to 'see' you.


Rachelle Williams profile image

Rachelle Williams 5 years ago from Tempe, AZ

They don't really sell Cat Milk...do they?


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Yep, I am afraid they do Rachelle, although it is lactose free because cats are lactose intolerant, (which is why cows milk is so bad for them and water is better).

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