Infomercials: Many Buy, Few Often

Survey finds few Americans are frequent buyers of infomercial products.

ByABC News
May 18, 2011, 5:19 PM

May 20, 2011 — -- Three in 10 Americans have bought products they saw advertised on television infomercials, but few are frequent customers, and satisfaction is somewhat muted both in terms of the products and buying process, an ABC News 20/20 poll finds.

Nearly three-quarters of infomercial buyers say they've been satisfied with their purchases and with the process of buying the products, generally done by phone or the Internet. But the national survey finds that far fewer, about a quarter, have been "very satisfied."

The survey, produced by Langer Research Associates, also finds relatively little steady, repeat business in infomercial purchasing. Seven in 10 buyers say they've done it rarely or only once; an additional 23 percent, occasionally at most. Just 7 percent of Americans report buying from infomercials very or somewhat often.

But it may be product mix, rather than customer satisfaction, that's driving that sporadic return business. Even among people who are "very satisfied" with infomercial-advertised products they've bought, just 11 percent report making such purchases with any regularity; and among those very satisfied with the buying process, just 13 percent have been back regularly.

For full survey results, click here.

Watch "Infomercial Nation," a joint reporting project with Consumer Reports, on "20/20."