Shopping For Nonsense

Facebook seems to have my number this year. In the past, I could never figure out why they were targeting their advertising toward me with odd and irrelevant products. For a company that supposedly has more data on our interests and habits, it didn’t seem like they really paid any attention to it.

This year they’ve got me hooked on a steady diet of ads for affiliate link sales sites. These are the ones that get you to click with headlines like “28 Products Under $10 That Will Transform Your Life” or “42 Simple and Effective Backyard Upgrades”. There are dozens of sites that advertise like this and then give you a list of (mostly) junk that you can click through and buy on Amazon, Target, Wayfair, or other online retailers.

BuzzFeed, in particular, has a huge section of these ‘sales articles’ on their webpage.

It turns out I’m a sucker for these affiliate links. I know that they are getting kickbacks from Amazon for things I actually buy through their articles, but every once in a while I find something interesting. Most of the stuff the articles feature have bona fide 4-5 star reviews.

A few handy things I’ve bought this year include: a slick recharging stand for my Apple Watch; motion activated outlets for my garage lights; a desktop mounted power/USB strip; bicycle hoists to hang on my garage ceiling; a gooseneck iPad holder that holds the screen at just the right angle; a powerful, rechargeable car jump starter battery; some microwaveable egg cooking cups; and a bluetooth ApplePlay connector for my Jeep.

It seems like all silly stuff, but many of the items are things that I use everyday. They solve problems I didn’t quite know I had until I saw these ads on Facebook. The funny thing is that the more I click on them, the more Facebook serves them up to me. Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many already, I am finding less and less things that interest me!

What interesting sites have you found to shop for online?

Image Credit: Pixabay

5 thoughts on “Shopping For Nonsense

  1. My buying is based more on recommendations made by others and focused on accomplishing tasks.

    Right now I have two short term projects that I am working on. One is restoring a car and the other is taking down the ivy on the side of my house and planting firesafe xeriscape plants in the flower beds instead.

    For the car, I am visiting YouTube videos where a presenter walks through fixing whatever I am working on at the moment. Some of the posters list specialty tools that they are showing in action with a link to Amazon mostly to give them affiliate credit.

    For car parts I am using a combination of Amazon, Rock Auto, and specialty Corvette stores. Most of the tools I have bought lately came from Harbor Freight.

    I have already removed the ivy from my stucco. While researching how to get the ivy tendrils off my stucco, I found a gent in the UK who starts the removal process by burning the woody parts off using a propane weed killer. A weed killer is really a large torch. I received on Saturday and have ready tested it and estimate it will save a couple days.

    For plants I am researching at native and xeriscaping sites. When it comes time to plant, I am planning to visit a nursery with my drawing and am planning to lay out in the soil and outline of the my flower beds, and get the owner to help me with final choices and arrangement. He knows more than I will ever know about what plants will work best with my sun exposure and micro-climate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A propane weed-killing torch! That sounds like a fun activity. 🙂

      I think Elon Musk was selling some flamethrowers a few years ago. Maybe you could use that!? He marketed them as “not a flamethrower” to get around some government restrictions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tim Allen would have approved of it on “Tool Time”.

        Here is a list of other uses listed on the box:
        1) Starting charcoal
        2) Stripping paint
        3) Melting ice
        4) Killing gophers by filling the tunnel with propane before igniting it (this one is an off label use that I saw on YouTube)

        Here is the irony. An insurance underwriter made me take down the ivy because of his worries about fire safety of the ivy on my stucco. And, here I am removing it with a 300,000 BTU weed killer. I bet the underwriter would be having kittens if he saw me in action.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your ivy approach reminds me of the kind of story featured in the Reddit thread r/maliciouscompliance. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Klaus, look at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley for water wise California Native plants. There stock of plants is likely low at the moment as this is not the time of year to plant, but you can get good ideas. We redid our former yard in Orange County a decade ago with a palette of natives.

    Liked by 1 person

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