Product of the day

All right, so I'm kind of an infomercial freak.  I can't explain why the raw hucksterism so appeals to me, but there's something in the combination of honest greed and mutually acknowledged prevarication that is deeply compelling.




Today, I was watching this and meditating on the signals of relative quality. Those pads that are supposed to cleanse the toxins from your body through the soles of your feet, for example, offer a free lifetime supply, which is a pretty good sign that you will not voluntarily pay money for their product again.

The Sunbeam Rocket Grill, on the other hand, seems like it's priced on a classic printer/razor revenue model:  sell the unit at cost and make money off critical accessories--toner, or blades.  In the case of the Rocket Grill, you pay for the parchment bags that stuff is grilled in.

This is a pretty strong signal of how much Sunbeam believes in its product.  And yet, still, I am not tempted to buy a Rocket Grill.  I don't own a FoodSaver either.  I wonder if this pricing model doesn't work against the product--making it seem less like a splurge than an ongoing project.  I'm just not willing to make that kind of committment to something I see on television at three in the morning.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In