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    Senior Member Senior Hubber
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    Jul 2006
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    It is the couch potato’s ultimate fantasy. Stretch out comfortably hit the remote with mobile in hand, and shop to heart’s content.
    Is tele-shopping a passing fad or a trend setter? Judging from the air time, which is being devoted it seems the program has a lot of viewers. But fewer and fewer are falling for it as days roll by. The traders though are trying their best to exploit the consumer mindset.
    Anybody with a phone and TV is the target customer. The products on offer are range from electronic equipments, physical fitness, equipment, toiletries, and kitchen gadgets perfumes to slim kits. Once you order it would reach your door step through agents.

    Though many have burnt their fingers through tele marketing there are some who do not regret their purchases. “The ads crate awareness about the products in the market, I bought a cutlery set and every body liked it” says Renjini a house wife.
    It’s people thinking on these lines who have sustained tele marketing. “WE HAVE OUR own market. You are assured of product authenticity. When you buy a product at least you know that you are getting the brand you want” says Tharun who runs a tele shopping centre at Kesavadasapuram. We do not home deliver goods, unless we have a bunch of orders from that particular area” he added.
    According to Tharun, “Rs. 99 show is a big hit. People can visit our shop CHOOSE WHAT THEY WANT. You will get these products else where. We have no agents to sell them outside.”
    On the flip side, there are others like geetha and friends, who bought a Rotimaker only to regret. They fell or it and bid adieu to the rolling pin. The next day the four crestfallen faces revealed enough. The chapathis were like dried cow-dung. Now it is the good old rolling pins and the rotimaker is gathering dust on the loft”
    Infomercials entice the viewer by offering huge discounts on the product if ordered within 30 minutes.
    Narayanan a bank official purchased three fitness equipments after seeing the demo. “It is something great. There is 24 hour customer care. Mention what you want and give your phone and credit card number. The product will be at your doorstep” says Narayanan explaining the convenience. “I brought an easy crunch an ab-isolator and ab-coach-ALL FITNESS EQUIPMENTS WITHOUT CONSULTING A DOCTOR.” He justifies his actions saying that after all they are for fitness gadgets” and added, “I am not a regular user. The novelty of the product attracted me. Now I have almost stopped using it.”
    Betty is obese. Naturally she is tempted to buy a slim kit. The ad showed a diet mix. It claimed to reduce the body weight by 5 kg with in 48 hours!! “According to DR.BALAGOPAL, Associate professor Medical College Trivandrum, there is no chance of losing weight 5 kg with in 48 hours. Water forms 80 % of the body weight. Unless that amount comes down drastically, the weight remains the same. The claims are fraudulent.”

    The ad promises to return the money if the drug is found ineffective. Betty and others go after these products seeing them as the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Tharun says “the product has more takers.”
    In some cities, there are clubs. On your first purchase you will become a member. This entitles you to send a gift to anywhere within India with just a phone call. Ofcouse you will be billed for it. It saves the trouble of going out. No hassles” says Ramakrishnan a retied official. But this wipes out the fun of shopping. “How can you ascertain the quality of the products? asks Sulochana a house wife.
    If we go by the proverb seeing is believing, tele-shopping is will continue to have its followers. AS LONG AS THER ARE PEOPLE to buy what ever is available in the market, especially those who are prone to temptation, tele shopping is sure to stay.
    (weekend express June 2005)


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