Sunday, July 17, 2011

TSC And Me

Last week, I wrote about The Shopping Channel, the changes over the years and how it fills a need for those of us who don’t like to face the crowds or don’t have access to a variety of stores. Today, I want to tell you about my experiences with TSC.

It took me quite a while to really start watching TSC. I’d flip channels and occasionally stop there for a few minutes, but I just wasn’t that interested in anything they seemed to be selling at that time.

Somewhere around 1997, I actually started watching once in awhile. It took me till August of 1998 to finally make my first purchase! I’m not sure why it took that long, but I think I was just plain skeptical and I knew I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of returning a product that I didn’t like. After all, returning to TSC was a bit more complicated and expensive than returning an item to the local Sears Catalogue Outlet! (FYI: Returns are much easier now!)

Well, as any of my friends can tell you, after that first purchase, it didn’t take long for me to make a second, third and who knows how many more since then! I’ve become a fan and have even managed to get a couple of my gal pals hooked on shopping with TSC! One of them actually calls me “The Jewellery Devil” as I email her whenever I see something I know she would love!

My purchases varied greatly in those early years. Some were more successful than others. It was more by trial and error that I learned what lines that I liked and which ones to avoid. I rarely ordered from a first time line unless I’d already heard of it and knew about the products. I’ve pretty much kept to that rule. After all, only lines that are successful are even given a second chance or invited on a regular basis. Being on air every few weeks or months generally signals a level of quality and a good viewer response.

There have of course, been some glitches along the way. On a handful of occasions, I received damaged items and a couple of times got the wrong size/colour. There were also a handful of return billing questions and errors. However, when I called customer service and explained the situation they have always been more than willing to work to make things right. I know from reading others comments online, that isn’t always the case, but I am only speaking from my own experience here. (I’m linking several of my product purchases here to either a previous blog post of mine or a TSC page.)

For the most part, I’ve loved the purchases I’ve made. Bedding wise, I bought my down duvet, a down blanket and throws from Westex! The first set of Jersey Knit sheets, I ever bought was from TSC. I’ve bought several sets retail since and wouldn’t sleep with any other kind now! I bought pillows from Tony Little a few years ago.

Speaking of Tony Little, I’ve bought two Gazelle’s (wore out the first one) and go 3 miles every 2 days. Just bought my second Easy Shaper Bar - wore that first one out too! The first fitness equipment I bought, over 10 years ago, was a Body Break Bike which I still use every other day. Have gotten a few other fitness pieces from other vendors over the years – some more successful than others!

Years ago, I bought talking phones and loved them! I still use my Sharp Mini System and I love my Clickfree!

I’m not sure where my buying habits would rank as in many ways I’m not your typical female or shopper. I don’t wear makeup or use beauty products due to skin sensitivities and allergies to scents/chemicals. I’ve never been a fan of pinks, reds, prints or frills. I wear as close to 100% cotton as possible but finding clothes that fit right is tricky when your arm length and inseam are about an inch or so longer than the average gal! I couldn’t walk in heels to save my life! I don’t have a huge collection of purses although I do have 4 Hey’s Travel Mates and 3 Buxton Bags along with a couple of denim purses I’ve had for eons!

Jewellery wise, I have to stick to a minimum of 10K gold, 925 sterling silver or stainless steel. Have never been a fan of costume jewellery or anything ornate. I like to keep to genuine gems but have never been fond of diamonds! Yes, I know I am strange but that is what makes me unique!

I’ve been lucky enough to buy a few pieces of Ammolite. For the most part I stick to sterling silver now and I probably have more jewellery than I really need but that doesn’t seem to stop me for long! I prefer simple designs and buy the most from Silver By Sajen and Himalayan Gems collections. I love the knowledge and folklore that is also provided by guests/hosts. (Note to self: write a post on jewellery!)

Kitchen/Household products is another area that I’ve had fun shopping in! Years ago, I bought a Daily Blender. Phil Parker - the man who demonstrated it - was such a character! You never knew what he’d say next and his appearances were a must see! I bought a Deni Scoop Ice Cream Maker years ago and have been making my own ice cream, sherbet/sorbet ever since – although now I use the attachment for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer - both purchased from TSC! Foreman Grill was another great purchase! You can get some great ideas and tips from watching the cooking segments!

If I could talk to the buying department at TSC:

I’d BEG them to bring back Orange Clean! I LOVED the products and really wish that they would be back on air. I can’t find the Orange Clean Multi Purpose Concentrate anywhere around here! Even with the S/H it was worth the money for me – especially with my allergies! I’ve never been able to tolerate the smell of bleach so I can’t live without my Oxy Clean! Luckily, I can find it locally!

Ott-Lite is probably the best product I EVER found through TSC. I have two desk lamps and three floor lamps! ( “You Ought To Try Ott!” ) I only wish they would carry the bulbs that are equivalent to the incandescent 40/60/100 watt ones that screw into the standard size light sockets. They are very difficult to find and I usually have to get mine from someone visiting the USA.

I’d ask the jewellery buyers to bring in:
- solid bands (sans metals) - smooth and/or faceted - in various colours of agate and other gems. There have been several agate necklaces and bracelets offered through various lines and during Jewel Of A Deal over the last year or two and I like being able to match my pieces. In particular, I’d like blue, purple, green and black/white agate please!
- I’d also like a green chalcedony ring to match the Himalayan Gems Pendant #443-168!
- a snowflake obsidian ring in a very simple bezel setting to wear with any of the snowflake obsidian pendants that I have from Silver By Sajen.
- Would also like a very simple sterling silver blue jade pendant to match a ring I bought a few years ago.

As someone who doesn’t really enjoy shopping in stores, I am grateful that there is a place like TSC that I can watch on TV or browse online to make my purchases.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see what’s new on the website....


July 3 - Meeting Norm
July 10 - The Shopping Channel


colleen Walker said...

hi dn...i used the love watching the shopping channel, looking at the jewellery and lights especially. as far as i can remember, i've only bought 2 items from tsc: a beautiful tiffany-style lamp, which i've loaned to my son...i'll get a pic next time i visit so you can see, would love to get another one to match. i've forgotten what the pattern name is but it's brown and yellow squares. i also bought a vacuum cleaner which didn't turn out to be too successful as it broke after a few months.

you've got me thinking about watching tsc again. like you, i really dislike going out shopping and often come home with a migraine. my dr. says it could be from the lighting in the malls. some things i just have to see with my own eyes to check out. i love sterling silver jewellery also...i'm looking for something in particular, which i wished i picked up in mexico when i was there or "the one of a kind show" here in toronto.

colleen Walker said...

hi dn...well you've won me over...i've now got tsc on instead of cp24. thanks for sifting through all the silver jewellery and finding those oval-link chains i've been looking for...i now have 2 that i'm mulling over to buy.

hope the winnipeg heatwave doesn't last too long...keep cool.

dnsyl57 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dnsyl57 said...

Hi Colleen - I warned you - I'm not nicknamed "The Jewellery Devil" for nothing!! LOL!
Happy shopping!!
- dn

PS - screwed up my first comment so deleted it! I'm hot and tired - that is my excuse!! :-)