Win/Fail: Which “As Seen on TV” Products Are Worth It?

As seen on TVThe best and worst "As Seen on TV" products, from dog-hair picker-uppers to hands-free wine drinking, as tested and rated by Reader's Digest editors.

Sticky Buddy
Price: $10 + $6.99 S&H

What the company says: It's the "super-sticky lint roller that has the power of glue without the goo!" Use it on clothing, carpet, or furniture to easily remove "hair, dog hair, crumbs, cat litter, and much more!"

What we say: Let's throw our hands in the dust-free air for the Sticky Buddy! "This was great. I picked up hair and dirt from my carpet. And it all came off the Sticky Buddy with a simple wash in the sink," said one editor. "Perfect for small jobs," crowed another, especially for "cat hair." "There's a thing called a vacuum cleaner …" was the sour chorus sung by others.
Overall: 3.5 out of 4 stars

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SlobStopper
Price: $14.95 + $4.95 S&H

What the company says: "Bibs aren't just for babies!" "The stain-defending, commute-protecting, and stylish SlobStopper" is a "waterproof barrier."

What we say: "On my way to the train, my bagel landed on the bib and not on my pants-that's a good thing," said one oinker. But others deemed it meh: "I don't have much use for a bib, as I am over the age of three." In fact, it could cause more harm than good: "I spilled coffee, and it seeped under the SlobStopper's neck and dripped down onto my feet."
Overall: 2 out of 4 stars

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Style Snaps
Price: $10 + $7.99 S&H

What the company says: Forget tailoring your pants! Style Snaps uses snaps and adhesive to allow you to "change your hem as often as you change your shoes-without a stitch." Shorten or lengthen your pants on a whim; "it just couldn't be easier!"

What we say: Actually, it could be easier. While our testers loved all the "options," one fashionista noted that the instructions were "unclear and the photos unhelpful." "If you're the type of person who shudders when she reads the dreaded phrase some assembly required, these are not for you," added another. A third tester found them a bit flimsy: "The directions say to use four sets" for each hem, "but I think six are necessary. How embarrassing would it be to have the snaps come unstuck and cause you to trip?" One of our editors asked, "Haven't these people heard of double-sided fashion tape?"

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One Touch Jar Opener

Price: $21.95 + $0.85 S&H

What the company says: "Open the toughest jars with just one touch" while saving "time, frustration, and aggravation …" "Just place the opener on the jar, and press the button. That's it. The opener loosens the lid," solving all your jar-o-drama.

What we say: "This is like the little engine that could," said one happy tester. "It's slow and robotic, but it works, making it great for older folks-or my youngish wife, who asked me, 'Where's that jar opener?' when she couldn't open the peanut butter." Though the device is not the most intuitive ("Where were the instructions?"), "once I figured out how it worked-it was magical. Like watching a really good waiter get a wine cork out in one seamless pull."

Overall: 3.5 out of 4 stars

InstaHang

Price: $14.99 + $7.95 S&H

What the company says: Kiss your hammer and nails goodbye because now you can "hang any object big or small in seconds." "Just place flush against the wall, push" the top, and into the wall a peg goes. "No more large nail holes, no more hammer damage." Pegs hold "up to ten pounds."

What we say: "It's like a big stapler," said one tester, but "kind of difficult to load. And the spring-load is chintzy." Not only that, added Mr. Pessimist, but "it took me three tries to get one to stick in my plaster walls. The pegs were too easily pulled out." But one editor was wearing rose-colored glasses after tacking up a frame. For "smaller, lighter pieces, the InstaHang is a win," she said. But for anything heavier, count on it to be an #InstaFail. Update: That piece of artwork our editor hung so effortlessly? It crashed to the floor a week later.

Overall: 2 out of 4 stars

-By Perri O. Blumberg