Home shopping contributes to clutter

Go ahead and tune into any one of the home shopping channels for a few minutes. It is a bit entertaining to see how excited the TV salesperson gets about ridiculous items like a bedazzled hat. These 24 hour shopping stations make it very easy for people to purchase things they don’t need.

Home shopping is convenient and definitely serves a purpose for people that are not crazy about shopping via the internet or unable to shop at traditional brick and mortar stores, but with that convenience comes the ability to easily accumulate clutter.

This story of a homebound woman is heartbreaking. She suffered a stroke and became infatuated with purchasing tons of items she didn’t need.

She couldn’t walk, but she bought shoes. She couldn’t cook, but she bought six Jack LaLanne juice machines. She rarely left home but she had two 12-foot closets stuffed with still-tagged evening wear when she passed away.

This is obviously an extreme case but QVC is a multi-billion dollar company with legions of faithful shoppers ready to shop at the drop of a bedazzled hat. The comfort that some of these people find in purchasing items is sad and a bit disturbing. If you know someone that has a shopping/hoarding problem, get them some help if at all possible.

10 Comments for “Home shopping contributes to clutter”

  1. posted by missdona on

    My grandmother had this issue before her passing, but not to the degree of the person noted above. She never went into debt or anything like that.

    It was during the hey-day of HSN and QVC and way before the internet.

    She would buy Hummels and Capi-de-Monte figurines. There was a delivery nearly every day and it made her happy. We got rid of a ton of stuff when she passed, but her clutter truly helped her self esteem.

  2. posted by Scott on

    My wife was one of these. Before she died, we went through two or three years where $300 a day on home shopping wasn’t unusual. All financed on an endless series of maxed-out low-limit credit cards. It was agony. I’m still working on shoveling out the strata of worthless goods from my house (and paying off the debts). It’s an addiction for some people, pure and simple (although currently unrecognized by the DSM), and the people behind QVC, HSN, and ShopNBC knowingly prey on the most addicted victims, their best customers.

  3. posted by David on

    Why pick only on the TV shopping channels? The same can be said of many internet retailers as well. They all target their best customers to purchase more stuff

  4. posted by anonymous QVC defender on

    My grandmother LOVED QVC – but she rarely ever bought anything… so I hate to see people completely blame the companies… they’re partially responsible but not entirely… Obviously there are people who can watch it almost all day and almost all night and still not buy very often (a couple of times a year at most) – but she watched for the hosts (back when the hosts all had set times they were on – the good ol days with Kathy and Jeff!)

  5. posted by robyn on

    my grandpa would buy stuff every once in awhile from them. and what made the clutter worse was that with every order they sent you a bunch of free crap too. so when he passed and we cleaned out his house, which already had too much stuff in it, we found like 20 boxes of crap in the basement that had come as freebies with orders!

  6. posted by Jude on

    I watched QVC for a weekend once and decided that people watched it for the companionship as much as the stuff. The people they choose to sell the items become substitute friends who act interested in whatever the callers say. I get the same thing out of reading and commenting on blogs–a (probably false) sense of companionship and community.

  7. posted by BigNerd on

    Jude: On QVC: My sentiments exactly. Pure snake oil… a unitasker mecca.

    By the way, who coined the term “unitasker”? I have incorporated this into my vocabulary. I sound like quite the know-it-all. 😉

  8. posted by Cynthia Friedlob, The Thoughtful Consumer on

    The place to go for help with obsessive-compulsive disorders is:


    The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation has an entire on-line section devoted to hoarding.

    I recommend this site highly!

  9. posted by Aaron on

    My friend’s mother used to record shows on their VCR anytime she left the house just to keep up with what she missed buying while she was out.

  10. posted by Tina on

    I know my mom has an Obsessive Compulsive and Hoarding Disorder and is lonely. And many people in the US self medicate with shopping. Unfortunately, when the elderly do it, they can spend their entire retirement nest egg. We call mom daily and have someone visit her but still the shopping continues and packages arrive daily. We can’t get conservatorship because she is still quite sharp, so she continues to shop and is buried in junk she has looked at once and never used. They are really good. I wish I could block her account because now we need to send money to get the basics covered. It’s upsetting.

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