Here is a list of 12 random things (popular or not) that will never find a place on my shopping list.
1. Neon Lights Under the Car: Yeah, what? $199.95 for lighting up the underside of the car? Now, as frivolous as it may sound to me, I have seen more than a dozen cars in our small town with these lights. You seriously need to have an absolute dearth of ideas about where to waste your excess money in order to buy this stuff.
Sometime in the past, we were driving behind a Camaro that had some neon lights underneath it. My wife noticed it and asked me:
Why does that car have lights under it?
I still don’t have a good answer for that question, except “to show-off to people who care about lights under a car“.
2. Gillette Fusion Power: I wrote about this a long time ago, but it fits this list so let me mention it here. I haven’t understood why anyone needs an “onboard microchip” in a shaving razor. The razor body in itself is not very expensive (about $12 on Amazon), but the cartridges are a rip-off ($18 - listed as $29.99 on Amazon - for a pack of 8). It has some pretty useless features like this one:
Enhanced indicator Lubrastrip signals when it’s time to change the blade.
The time to change the blade is when it doesn’t shave properly - that shouldn’t need “enhanced indicator signals”.
3. Electric Toothbrush: I think people are going nuts in trying to make everything “electric” and automatic - either that, or we are forgetting how to do things manually - simple things like brushing our teeth. Here is some information on how to brush your teeth properly:
Generally, most dentists recommend a circular technique for brushing. This includes brushing only a small group of teeth at a time and gradually covering the entire mouth. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. (source: How to Brush Teeth Properly)
Now, why does anyone require a
$129 $119 electric toothbrush to do that? Is this 2-minute activity becoming so laborious for us?
4. Color Inkjet Printer: These things are .. well, horrible. In general, printers must be holding some kind of a record for being the least reliable of all electronic products. “PC load letter” must be the most hated term in the office world (remember those guys in the movie Office Space? - I seriously feel like giving that kind of treatment to many printers).
Regarding inkjet printers, if you use them too much, the replacement cartridges will cost you an arm (and a leg) and if don’t use them regularly, the ink is going to dry up in a while and you will eventually end up replacing the cartridges. It’s a loss-loss situation with these printers.
Also, in the last 4~5 years, I have probably “needed” color printouts for like 2 times (totaling about 10 pages). Heading over to Kinko’s works out pretty economical for such needs.
5. iPhone: $499 (4 GB) and $599 (8 GB)? Give me a break - it’s supposed to be a phone. I don’t want the internet in my pocket, and I don’t want the talk to my friends while I am listening to Aerosmith, and I don’t want to type a boatload of text with my thumb. The only free time I have to indulge in activities like watch movies, surf the net, etc., is when I am at home - and have access to other time-wasting products (like a TV and a computer) to do those things, so I don’t see the utility of a $599 gadget for doing that.
Plus, from my personal experience, I won’t hesitate to say that AT&T sucks - big time. I must have spent 238536 hours of my life trying to get due credit on billing errors on our AT&T phone bills in the past. A 2-year contract with these people is just out of question.
I just need something that allows me talk with the person on the other end without any distractions (like dropped calls, horrible receptions, etc) and I don’t need $499 to pay for that. Come to think of it, you can get two Wii consoles in that kind of money!
In fact, with the availability of some good free phones (or phones with negative price), any cell phone deal that costs more than $10 ~$15 for the instrument seems like a bad deal to me.
6. GPS Navigation Unit: It’s not like I drive regularly in the tropical rain forest region or the Siberian wilderness - the places where I drive to are well documented on all paper maps and there are easy to read directions on roads all over the country (except in New Jersey). So yeah, I won’t be spending a few hundred dollars on this electronic doodad as long as $6 paper maps are doing the job.
Also, I have a theory (based on observing a few people) - those who have a hard time finding roads using maps also have a hard time using the GPS technology effectively. Technology cannot solve problems created by lack of attention, lack of planning, and general panic.
7. “Memory Foam” Mattresses: Take a look at this price for a queen sized memory foam mattress. $5,799! are you kidding me? How can people get peaceful sleep after spending so much money on a mattress? (of course, there are cheaper ones available - I am just giving an example)
Here is a typical sales pitch for such ridiculously expensive products:
By purchasing a memory foam mattress, you arenâ€™t paying money for a mattress. Youâ€™re paying money for your health. Youâ€™re investing money into your better sleep and less back pain in the morning. So tell me, is it worth risking your health by purchasing a cheap crap in this case? Definitely not.
I love these sleazy marketing tactics: create buzzwords –> make up stories –> create unnecessary health concerns –> rope in suckers.
There must be a few genuine products in this memory foam business, but now-a-days, every Tom, Dick, and Harry is using that term “memory foam” and it’s becoming difficult to spot the good from the bad.
8. Regular Incandescent Bulbs: Done with those filament light bulbs already. Will never buy one in future. These bulbs are not very economical in the long run - neither for your wallet nor for the environment. Plus, I am not a great fan of the yellow “soft white” light.
9. Cell Phone Signal Booster Stickers: The concept sounds like scam and probably is a scam. Read more about it here. If it were so easy, cell phones would have come with these stickers built-in. If you search Google for these things, you will come across a lot of “positive” reviews. Seems to me like the signal booster sticker interferes with psychology in certain instances - “I have paid money for this stuff, and hence it must be working” type of mindset.
10. Radar Detectors: Fancy detectors ones can lighten your wallet by as much as $400+. How about driving within speed limits instead? that doesn’t cost a penny and it is completely stress free. If you think you will save a lot of time by driving fast, read this and think again.
11. Services by Best Buy’s GeekSquad: Take a look at these prices and services. I am pretty sure these guys target some old people (or the absolutely ignorant) who hit the monitor when their computer slows down. Come on, $249 for installing Windows?
Operating System Upgrade
Professional installation of the latest version of Microsoft Windows that best suits your needs. Software not included.
In store: $129
In home: $249
A couple of hundred more bucks and you will be able to buy a brand new computer.
12. Two Way Pet Communication Device: This $199+ gadget is not a conventional item, but I found it pretty funny, so I included it in this list. Just read this list of “features”:
Speak to Your Pet up to 12 Miles* Collar & Harness available for Cats & Dogs Control up to 14 Pets with one Radio “Call Owner” Button LED Lights with 2 Mile visibility
Lol.. things are out of control here.
By the way, this whole SkyMall shop is full of such fancy stuff. Does anyone ever buy products from these people?
There are many other funny/interesting (and pretty much useless) things (for example) out there, but for now this is enough from my side. Feel free to share things on your must-not-buy list.
Image sources: www.andysautosport.com, www.worldnetdaily.com, www.become.com, blog.scifi.com, www.gadgetell.com, images.amazon.com, www.lolkeegan.com, shopping.com, askbobrankin.com, k43.pbase.com