Monday, May 21, 2012

Quitting the Q: Goodbye, Home Shopping

I’m coming out of the closet as a former viewer of QVC. Sadly, I can’t stomach it anymore. Yes, the astronomical prices of gold and silver have taken a little zest from my life. Goodbye, QVC.

For those of you who are sane, reasonable people who don’t watch television shopping, QVC is the biggest shopping network. On TV for over 20 years now, the company got its hold over cuckoo Americans like me by hawking gold and silver jewelry. Oh, and of course cubic zirconias, the diamond look-alikes that once sparkled in my ears.

Like many, I was turned on to the gateway drug of QVC by a girlfriend wearing a pretty gold ring. It was back about 1990 when she shyly told me she’d purchased it from TV. From TV! I was shocked, amazed, and I admit it, titillated. I wanted a pretty gold ring, too, by golly, and soon I had one. Set with pretty peridots and juicy-colored amethysts.

Oh, I was hooked.

I was living alone at that time, lonely and bored. The QVC “hosts” as they’re called, talked to me as if I was one of the girls. They worked to create “relationships” with viewers, and after all, there’s a 30 day unconditional money-back guarantee! They were there for my viewing pleasure, 24-7, always perky, showing me shiny stuff. I do like shiny stuff. Oh, those were heady years, way back before the internet, you sweet youngsters.

Only my cautious nature about spending money saved me from certain ruin. I liked gold, but after all, it was $200.00 an ounce! So I limited myself to one or two gold items a year (or every other year), and a sprinkling of sterling silver and gems here and there. I even tried a few of the cubic zirconias, but only if they were small enough to be possibly be mistaken for “real.” Oh, I was sly.

But then came the rise, seemingly overnight, in gold prices. QVC executives could not have imagined what nearly $2,000 an ounce gold would do to their programing, once so heavy with gold jewelry shows. 

Bracelets that once sold for $200.00 on their network now priced at a staggering $1,000 retail. Even sterling jewelry pieces today commonly go for over $100.00, a price that impulse buyers (is there any other kind of buyer for TV shopping?) found harder to justify.

What was a shopping channel to do? The Q started pushing designer handbags, such as Dooney and Bourke, pricey cosmetics from Philosophy and Bare Minerals, costume jewelry by Joan Rivers and Nolan Miller, fashions by Bob Mackie and Issac Mizrahi.

Eh. I tried a few cosmetics, but it just wasn’t the same rush.

What broke me of television shopping once and for all were the vacuum cleaners. When the best my on-air buddies could do was try to strong-arm me into buying a Dyson or an Oreck, I knew we were through.

A vacuum cleaner does not make my selfish, materialistic heart flutter like a 14 kt. gold bauble. No. Not nearly shiny enough. Maybe they could try embedding some cubic zirconias in the vac handles? Maybe not. 


Goodbye, QVC. It was fun while it lasted. Yet another former guilty pleasure gone. Sob.

P.S. I sold a pile of my old jewelry recently, and you know what? I wish I had bought more back in 1990. If only I had loaded up on the stuff, I’d be able to finance a Mediterranean cruise on the proceeds. Who’d a thunk my dirty little secret buying habits would have proved so profitable? I’m still astonished.

You’ll never get that kind of return on a pet-hair attachment super-suction vac.


  1. Wish I was smart and bought gold years ago :)

  2. Who knew? Gold stayed within the same price range for so long.
    Time for me to get my pan out and head for the stream.

  3. I was hooked on kitchen gadgets for a while, not sure if it was the same channel. That insomniac-shopping plug was quickly pulled when none of them performed as promised.

  4. Bummer! I did get a smoothie maker from the Q that is still going strong. And how I have lusted for a Kitchen Aid stand mixer from them-- but one thing we don't need in this house is more cake, sad to say.

  5. I never much liked wearing gold jewelry...or much of any jewelry really. But yeah. I wish I had a little stash of gold myself right about now. It's certainly worth more than my pathetic 401k.

  6. Funny part was, I never really wore it that often. I can hardly stand jewelry at all nowadays since I'm so--ahem--warm all the time.

  7. My mother-in-law was a late night 2am shopper! She was practically on a first name basis with the operators at QVC. Many of our Christmas and Birthday gifts came wrapped in QVC boxes.

    I do love white gold, not so much a fan of gold-gold, but I do have a few pieces. Hmm...that cruise is sounding nice, wonder how much mola my bling would fetch??

  8. Any love that offers up a vacuum cleaner deserves to be kicked to the curb.