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This is a question Cheap Tat

OneEyedMonster remindes us about the crap you can buy in pound shops: "Batteries that lasted about an hour and then died. A screwdriver with a loose handle so I couldn't turn the damn screw, and a tape measure which wasn't at all accurate."

Similarly, my neighbour bought a lawnmower from Argos that was so cheap the wheels didn't go round, it sort of skidded over the grass whilst gently back-combing it.

What's the cheapest, most useless crap you've bought?

(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 7:26)
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Spend £30 on fuel and get...
A big breaker bar, for putting with your socket set and undoing tight bolts. Only £5!

The first time I used it was trying to undo one of the wheel nuts of my 4x4. I stood on it, and it lived up to its name, and broke.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 17:44, Reply)
A couple of summers ago I was working at a load of festivals - long hours, good pay, free bands and hotels right next to the festival sites. We'd bought booze to consume while in the hotel but a few minutes before jumping in the van from London I realised that we didn't have a corkscrew. Knowing the area, I immediately shunned suggestions of picking one up from a small off-license or pound shop, instead choosing to run around the corner to a more reputable chain of large elastic pound stores.

The corkscrew was 99p, shiny and looked eager to get some action - despite its slight frame and quivering arms. It was a good price though - it'll probably get lost in the festival carnage and as long as it opens a couple of bottles of plonk then its time on this earth will have been fruitful.

Imagine my disappointment: the corkscrew was released from the packaging only to buckle while opening the very first bottle. As I neared that delightful pop of the cork, the frail virgin screw bent to just shy of a 90 degree angle... ashamed and embarrassed that its manhood should fail so catastrophically on its very first outing.

Adding to this awful turn of events was the fact that we had managed to find the only bar in the world that didn't have a corkscrew. Thus the wine went untapped, unlike our wallets at the festival bars.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 17:36, Reply)
Packard Bell...
..not a computer - oh no - a Packard Bell Surround Sound system - complete with retro control unit, no subwoofer and a control box with a huge lcd display that was brighter than the TV picture with no way of dimming it.

Bought for £15 at a boot fair, boxed and unopened - bloke who sold it to me actually said 'it looked sh*t so I didn't bother unpacking it'. He was right - used two of the speakers as Rear satilite speakers (after carefully removing the spackard bell logos). The rest of the kit was plundered for parts.

What made me laugh was they were selling exactly the same kit in Dixons for £80... I know that because they tried to sell me one a few weeks later...

...Packard Bell - "Just Don't...'
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 17:27, 2 replies)
Five for a pound
Lovely new hat, cheap new lighter. I'm sure you can guess the rest (in case you can't, a nine foot - or so it seemed at the time - flame shot out, surprising me and said hat).

Luckily, it was a black fake fur Russian-style affair (the hat, I mean), so while the texture was irrevocably ruined in a line up the front, you couldn't really tell by looking. And you could wear it back to front so as to make it even less obvious. At least, that's what I told myself.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 17:26, Reply)
Shit fucking hoover
We bought an Elextrolux hoover for our first home. It was an upright one, and a complete tosser.


It only made the noise of a hoover, it didn't actually do much hoovering.

It was a bagless one (trying to immitate Dyson)and as such collected what dust it did collect into a see through chamber. Trying to get the fucker off the body of the hoover would make you crumple into the fetus position and sob like a baby.

The hose ended at the top of the hoover, so that when you were using it, the slightest yank would cause the hoover to topple over, usually twatting your foot in the process.

We bought a Dyson in Makros in the end, and the next time we went to the dump, we kicked the fuck out of it and lobbed it in the skip. Some dustbusters came over and told us to leave him alone, so we stabbed them too.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 17:15, 1 reply)
Dads and cutting edge technology
ahhh good old papa and his cheap tat tomfoolery. Piece of cutting edge technology:
No.1: Pacific dvd player (don't know why it was called pacific the nearest it probably got to the pacific was moscow) said father well chuffed with said dvd player came out with immortal words "You can't go wrong for £35 even if it lasts 2 years" it lasted 2 months he got a refund from ASDA which leads me onto
Piece of cutting edge technology:
No.2:Can't remember the make but it came from kwik save (I know i cringe when i think about it to) and was a 5.1 all in one dolby digital dvd player with SPEAKERS!!!! welcome to the 21st century dad. I asked dad how much and this time "Only £75 doesn't matter if lasts three years" and he was especially proud that in the instruction manual samsung were CREDITED as SUPPLYING some parts (not making mind you just "supplying" but I didn't have the heart to tell him it was probably the fuse. anyways it nearly reached the three year mark if 4 months is anywhere near three years again a refund is supplied from kwik save (come to think of it that is probably the straw that broke the camels back for kwik save i mean £75, that must have been a years takings for them!) after cutting edge technology no.2 went I took pity and took it upon myself to buy him a JVC dvd recorder and a sony telly just to avoid any further embaressment (Sony telly did go phut after two years but was repaired for £35 take that cheap tat!)
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 16:52, 2 replies)
bahhh motorbikes
i'm a daily mail reader and i ride trident submarines around on pavements and i don't hit any kids just jobless immigrants.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 16:37, 1 reply)
Aldi, Lidl et al...
These establishments have come in for a bit of stick on these pages in the last few days. Whilst I wouldn’t argue that the quality of some goods is debateable, in other respects you can get a good deal if you’re prepared to stick your neck out and overcome ‘brand snobbery,’ especially when it comes to food. My own philosophy is that if you don’t try something, you won’t know what it’s like. So I’ve tried a number of products and been perfectly satisfied with them, often more so than established brand names, and at a fraction of the cost.

However, I remember listening to a Scottish comedian (whose name escapes me just now but I can see his face – appears on numerous panel shows, wears glasses) recounting a trip to his local Lidls and witnessing the local neds shoplifting*. As he said, just how pikey do you need to be to shoplift from Lidls? Can you imagine the scene:

“ Jimmy, bring the van round, I’ve got five quid’s worth of stuff here”!

*I have also witnessed this on a couple of occasions – the guy at the till shot after them as if he’d got a sudden attack of the squits. I’ve never seen anyone move so fast…
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 16:13, 11 replies)
I bought a
breath testing device from a 'Texaco' garage a few weeks ago for a fiver, after 7* pints it said I was safe to drive home....

According to the police officer I wasn't!*

*may not be entirely true.

(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 16:09, 1 reply)
Cheap family story
My father's mother was renowned for her taste for cheap ugly tat. Her useless daughter followed in her footsteps and we all made fun of them behind their backs, especially my mother who loathed the pair of them.

One day in the 60's when Grammaw was proudly showing off some god-awful cheapie souvenier red plastic flower strewn purse, my little brother said aghast, "God, Grammaw, that looks like something Aunt Audelle would buy!" And then immediately clapped his hand over his mouth while the rest of us waited for the Lightening Bolt of Doom Clip Aroung the Earhole he so obviously deserved.

Nope. Went right over her head. She gave him a big smile and a one-armed hug. "Thank you, dear!", clearly flattered at his recognition of her artist's eye for color and form along with her dear daughter's.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 15:12, Reply)
Not so much cheap as just fucking crap
Several years ago I thought I better get my computer protected from all the nasty viruses you get when looking at porn on Tinternet So I'd thought I'd go for the most popular being Norton. Don't bother!

Norton Anti virus or any other pay yearly crapy anti virus. £30 I payed for this crap, Norton anti virus blocks everything. Typing a letter in word...

Norton (oooo cant let you do that mate.)
Norton (Are you sure you want too?)
Norton (If you are trying to type dear please shut down all system software)
Norton (Right thats it I'm blocking you from using your computer ever again and no you can't uninstall me!)

Total crap just download Avira AntiVir® PersonalEdition Classic for free I've been using it for years and never had any probs or conflicts, actualy just stay off the porn sites. AVG is also very good.

Lenght 12 inches but Norton wont let you play.

Owned a Mac no games on it! Plus they're about as user friendly as monkey guided missle.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 14:29, 18 replies)
I never do cheap tat
I can’t, I have an aversion created by a Mum who watched every single penny. She also insisted on telling me the cost of every mouthful of food she’s ever given me. Dinner time would go like this...

Me: Oh! Sprouts!? A great big pile of sprouts. (the one and only food I don’t like)
Mum: Yes, and only 10p for 5lbs and you’ll never guess how much the mince cost
Me: That grey stuff is mince is it? I don’t know, how much?
Mum: 50p! they where about to through it away!
Me: What’s for pudding?
Mum: A LOVELY banana.

Now here’s a thing, when my mum says ‘LOVELY’ in that forcible way, what she actually means is – I’ve picked up something beyond the point of human consumption, probably for nothing, and you will eat it.

And if we did get food that wasn’t half rotten left overs from the market it would be a something like a box of 500 ‘Economy Burgers’…that’s what they were called Mmm Mmm Mmm lovely tasty fried Economy. Don’t think this was because we were poor, we weren’t particularly well off but we weren’t poor.

So now I’m all grown and responsible I’m a fantastic cook and eat like a king every day. If I do eat something like a burger, I’ll make it myself, from ground beef I made myself. Eggs come form the chickens in the garden which are fed on feed I make up myself. I have an almost pathological need for every morsel I eat to be fashioned from the finest freshet ingredients. And when my dear dear mother comes round for dinner every mouthful tastes like ashes to her.

Mum: So, how much is Monk Fish?
Me: I don’t know
Mum: Roughly how much…would you say.
Me: I don’t know I don’t look at the prices.
Mum: The Asparagus?
Me: Yes it’s lovely isn’t it, just a few minutes in hot oven, olive oil, seasoning…so much better that steaming don’t think?
Mum: Expensive is it?

And that’s just the food. Oh the joy of going to school in trousers that were 3 inches too short – Only 2 pounds though.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 14:12, 8 replies)
Cheap biographical tat.
Celebrity biographies. Apparently they make money but how I don't know, some of them are only pamphlet sized. This is only vaguely related to the question, but my Grandpa died recently. He was the kind of man that had lives others only read about in Boys' Own adventures.

I kept meaning to get him to write some of his stories down for me, but unfortunately he died before I could. He's actually featured in a few QOTW replies but I've barely scratched the surface, I'm sure.

The somewhat rambling point of this is to say don't buy those celebrity rags. They're cheap, nasty, not terribly interesting and a waste of cash.

After all, what would you rather read about, yet another soap star's badly worded "struggle" to reach the top of their game in Hollyoaks, or about a man who rallied quarter-ton trucks and was on tea-and-biscuit terms with Nazi propagandist Rudolf Hess?

I must get my pen out one of these days...
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 13:40, 7 replies)
Cheap tat...on Sale

I've just got back from town. I like to get out of the office every day at lunchtime, just to clear my head if nothing else - though there's usually some errand to run, or a nice bench to sit on, a book to read, some lunch to eat - but it was wet so I just trudged around town, down one way up the other.

It was outside a shoe shop. There was a woman or young lady, couldn't tell which, bending forward to look at some shoes (I summised) which were on sale (that's the tat by the way). She had on a short jacket, a scarf and a hat and tight jeans with almost knee-length boots...

Is it just me guys or do you ever get an almost insurmountable desire to give a stranger's arse a good smack? It's not always a gorgeous arse either; sometimes a bit of a fat bum, sometime truly gorgeous, sometimes just average, but the wish, nay, the need, wells up in me. I want to stop, push up my sleeve as I back up, take a bit of a run up, raise the arm high and just give that arse a good honest smack. I can hear the sound it will make, can feel the sensations: the slight bounce-off, the stinging palm, the feel of the cloth, the blood rushing to my face as the surprised smack-ee turns around, surprise turning very quickly to anger perhaps, though I'm tempted to say tinged with amusement or even sly enjoyment or arousal.

Anyway, there I was and there she was and as the above thoughts whizzed through my mind I could feel a grin spreading across my face, and that was when she straightened up and turned round, to see me (apparantly) inanely grinning to myself, but she was caught off-guard and started to smile too, in fact, her eyes sparkled and she turned quickly away, slightly embarassed, and I carried on walking in the opposite direction, the grin fast fading.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 13:32, 2 replies)
Has anyone else done the opposite to QOTW?
-and bought in charity shops things which they knew to be in excellent nick and vastly undersold.
Like the "Ingoldsby Legends", leather bound, for .49p from Oxfam, or a metronome £1.25 from Sue Ryder. Both these worth a minimum of £50 each.
Strange how when you do that at a boot fair it feels great, but taking advantage of Cancer Research brings on the need for confession.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 13:18, 11 replies)
Bought a remote control
vibrator for a bit of a laugh with a girl at restaurants and stuff. Anyway, used it, had fun. Decided to use it again and the battery pack had leaked all over the gaff.

(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 13:15, 3 replies)
another student story
With a student loan in my bank and a morning to skive off me and my friends went to Netto to get some cheap grub. When we spotted - sitting in the middle of the isle - on special offer, a Banana tree - about 4-5 ft tall. Even better - it was only £2.50!!!!

Being students we were instanlty drawn to its aura of the 'ultimate buy'.

we took it back to our halls, and placed it in the kitchen, watering it periodically putting it in the sun ETC... it was funny to everyone who came by for about a week, then it turned yellow, wilted and died.

I felt kinds sad because it had probably taken 4 years of tender loving care for the tree to get to this size - it was a fine specimen... if only the gardener who grew it knew the life it was destined for...

Then again the label did say keep in green house or similar above 15*c with high values of sunlight.... (basically tropical atmosphere)

instead I was in sheffield...mid winter...with a botched heating system, with one window, and we smoked....alot
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 13:06, Reply)
Present for dad - not cheap but certainly useless.
I work for my dad and one day decided to by him a gift.
It was a snip at $580million and now daddy has a shiny new social networking site called Myspace.

Unfortunately no one uses it any more and it's worth diddly squat!



James Murdoch
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:59, Reply)
I don't think my grandma likes me much.
For my birthday one year, my mamgu gave me 3 rusty, used teaspoons, a picture of the Queen, the Queen Mum and Diana lovingly painted on each one.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:55, 1 reply)
compulsive incest
I once bought a book with that title from a street market in Poland. Cheaply printed on bad paper in New York, it was an explicit evocation of the love that only a close family knows. Granddad was shagging his grand daughter and his daughter, who was shagging her son, who was shagging his sister. It was so badly written that it was hilarious. I particularly recall the scene where the father watches his son boning his own mother and feels great paternal pride. Cost me about a quid.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:54, 5 replies)
Somewhat OT, but fun...
Some people don't get it. I was in Poundland a while ago, with the family. We were all giggling quietly at the ferociously confused old lady who was wandering about the shop, charmingly unfettered by reality, who kept asking people how much things cost...

Bless. She even asked Demigod once, when he got too close.

On the other hand, they did mix it up once - to my eternal joy, I've been to the Poundland "Half Price Sale"! Care to guess how much everything cost?
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:51, Reply)
A handy-dandy FM transmitter
I was buying diesel when I spotted it. There's something about paying hogwhimperingly huge sums of money for diesel that makes me think "I know - I've just been brutally shafted for fuel, what other random stuff can I spunk my remaining money on?"

And my eyes fell upon a suitable item. It was misleadingly advertised on the box as 'suitable for all uses, including MP3 player and iPod'. It had a power supply, which looked like a Dalek's butt plug, and wouldn't fit in the cigarette lighter plug in the car, and a slot for a battery. I put in a battery, and excitedly plugged in my iPod, never pausing to consider the wisdom of plugging my £200 iPod into a device that cost less than £7. It had a slider switch to choose the frequency. You had a choice of 7, all of which were quite random. So I slid the switch to the first, and pressed the power button. Not much happened, so I tried to tune the car radio into it. I got the sounds of "Pimpin Ma Ho FM". I don't remember that one from Radio Times, but ho hum ('scuse the pun). Eventually, preset 6 seemed to be free, so I tried that. I tuned the car radio in to it, and drove away. I had iPod sound in my car! I was overjoyed! The fact that it sounded truly awful didn't dim my enthusiasm. I collected Pink Goddess from work, and she once again demonstrated the piercing insight that she is justly famous throughout the world for.

She pointed one indignant finger, and fixed the device with the kind of stare that would intimidate tanks. Finally, she spoke: "What the ---- is *that* s---?"

I explained the wonders of FM transmitters, how it would work on any MP3 player, and how we could now listen to music as we drove. "It sounds s---!" she retorted. Bowed, but not broken, I continued to fiddle.

After a week or so, I'd discovered that if I used a whole FM band, I could drive from ours to Dudley and back with only two slides of the slider. We did a trip to London, which ended up with Pink Goddess handing it back to me with a Meaningful Look. This look meant, "You are a lucky cnut, for you are seated and wearing trousers. Were it not for those two facts, that device would currently be inserted where The Sun Does Not Shine"*. The rest of the journey was completed in what could only be called a stony silence, broken only by Demigod's snores from the back seat, the tinkle of music from Pink Goddess's headphones, and for me the gentle hum of tyres on the road.

I hid the thing before I stood up, just in case. After all, I would be removing my trousers later, and I had no wish to explain this one down the local Casualty department.

It's probably still in the car somewhere. I haven't seen it for ages, nor do I wish to. Instead, I learned from this mistake, and went straight to the One True Home of the bargain - the Computer Fair. See below for how *that* went...

* Pink Goddess has a face that is marvellously expressive as well as breathtakingly beautiful.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:48, 6 replies)
I blame the war...
I have been exposed to cheap tat from various directions in my youth. I have some very cheap relatives!

But one of the stranger things purchased must be by my grandma. She is a compulsive bargain hunter - her house is filled with piles of 'stuff' that she refuses to get rid of.

So she returned from a charity auction with her elderly friends. With a stack of 6 old computer keyboards. She neither owns a computer, has ever used one, or completely grasps the concept. But seeing as her children and grandchildren all use them, we may like a replacement battered keyboard. 2 of the said boards didnt work. And I own a laptop. She seemed very put out I didnt want one!


(ps; my 1st ever b3ta post! how exciting! and hi Sexface, who got me hooked on this thing!)
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:41, 2 replies)
Computer Fairs
OK, I'm a geek. I love computer fairs. I should bloody know by now, but I don't. Appalling random crap I've bought includes:

A whole PC - laden with illegal software, plus software that *should* have been banned, like Windows ME. Around the time that I got it legit (installed Linux) the disk died anyway.

A USB keyboard with typing errors on it... "Caps Look" anyone? The keytops being a mix of UK and US was a nice touch.

A powered USB hub - nice and slimline, looked good, came with the USB cable. All good, I thought, until I plugged a hi-power device into it and - where's the power supply?

Some memory. Half of it didn't work.

A cordless phone... with a big red "NOT APPROVED" sticker on it, despite the green one on the box.

A CD drive - to be honest, I don't know if it broke the CD, or if the CD broke it, but let's just say that the sound of a CD exploding in a drive is something that I won't forget in a hurry.

Another keyboard... lasted a week.

And the only thing that's still working - I bought an iTrip for £15. It's still working several months later. I could have got two for £20, too.

Computer fairs - just don't.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:29, 2 replies)
This may have bindun...
But I decided to get ink. Well, I was somewhat egged on by the person I was going out with. And off I went to the "artist's" shop. I noted that it seemed to have a somewhat odd odour. Now, at this point I was young and innocent. *Now* I know what weed smells like.

I choose a design. It's a Chinese character that's supposed to say "Father", cos I are one. And on we go. Well, I sat in a somewhat wobbly chair, and the vaguely stable guy comes in. He says he'll just get Bill. Words like "Oh" and "dear" spring to mind. Bill shuffles in, in a state that I'd now recognise as "monged". He proceeds to spark up the tattoo gun and have at my precious left arm. Which I'm quite attached to. It's the only left arm I have! Half an hour later, my arm is dripping blood, most of which is blue.

The other guy charges me £15, and I pay up. I go back to work. When I arrive, the receptionist goes somewhat green. I look down, to note that my shirt is no longer white in the left arm department. Back to Asda for more shirts (yes, more cheapness).

It bled for a week. I went around with clothes I hated on, and wrapped it when I could. Ow.

Eventually, it healed, mostly. Most of the ink was lost, and it sort of looked like a fuzzy grey outline. Ow.

I had it re-done in the end. The new artist looked at it and asked "What cnut did that then?", before redoing it painlessly. It now looks superb.

How's *that* for cheap tat?
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:04, 7 replies)
my DAD liked driving in his car...
My car history isn't bad. My dad, however... from when I can remember...

1981 Vauxhall Chevette 1200 saloon in hand painted two-tone blue & silver

1983 Toyota Starlet. Beige with a black roof.

1986 Austin Metro HLS. Beige. Lasted a week.

1985 Austin Montego L. Red. Good car, but very slow.

1990 Proton 1.3GLS saloon. White with a gold stripe and GLS on the rear quarter panels... top of the range motoring, indeed.

1987 Nissan Laurel saloon, in what can only be described as "a hint of turd".

1992 Vauxhall Nova 1.2 Luxe saloon. Terrible.

1989 Ford Sierra 1.8LX. Grey. Had been round the clock more times than I cared to think about but was a nice enough car.

1999 Ford Escort 1.6 Finesse. Arrived after the Sierra finally gave up the ghost. Not really a bad car, but everyone seemed to have them... then again, who would have bought any of the other junk he had?

Other than the Escort he never paid more than £1000 for a car. Few of them made their second MOT.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:04, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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