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.
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!
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.
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!
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!