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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)
Pages: Latest, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, ... 1

This question is now closed.

I don't know if it was cheap, but it's certainly useless crap...
The predictive text system that Motorola use on their phones.

Guys, seriously: pay the license fee or whatever and start using T9!
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 10:53, 17 replies)
Haha, Secret Santa gifts!
We did a Secret Santa in my office a couple of years ago, with something like a £5 limit. Therefore, everything was going to be tat - but actually, of the 5 of us, 4 got reasonable things - I got the Flanimals book, one colleague got some nice bath stuff, one had tons of sweets and one got a little gardening set.

But one gift didn't quite live up to this... my mate Tom got from his Secret Santa: a pizza cutter.

We didn't bother this year, mainly because there's only 2 of us now...
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 10:46, 1 reply)
xmas presents
My sister bought me some aftershave from poundland / 99c store. In fact she bought me two bottles, one was "red flavour" the other "blue flavour".
I tried it, then quickly washed it off. Although it failed miserably as an aftershave it make a fantastic fuel for my Zippo - and leaves a fragrant red/blue odour whenever I light a ciggie.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 10:44, 1 reply)
You'll have to forgive me but
I live in Cambridge. What's a Poundland?
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 10:12, 14 replies)
Aldi in *not shit* shock
They sell a cheap razor with disposable blades - the kind of thing that's usually £10 for five sodding blades, they sell for £2.99 or something. And they work a treat. I bought about a thousand of the fuckers in case they decide to stop stocking them.

Apropos: when I was in uni, I remember the womens union trying to get a lower fee for women because they have to spend money on tampons and other ladies' products every month. Compare that to the price of fucking razors every day.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 9:58, 25 replies)
Usb cables...
...needed a USB2 cable for me PSP and thought I'd look in PC World on my lunch break one day. The cheapest I could find was £20. Feck that, went back to the office and found the same one on ebay for 99p (plus £2 delivery). Got the cable 2 days later and works a treat.

Lesson? Don't go to PC World for ANYTHING, no matter how remotely small it is you can get it cheaper anywhere else. Plus the guys who work there are mainly retards. But I don't need to tell you that.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 8:38, 9 replies)
I once worked at Currys
and an "tower system" came in (clue: four letters, begins with "A", sounds like it's made in Scotland). The manager wanted it on display, so we took it out of its box and the entire front panel promptly fell off, exposing the crappy cheap electronics within.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 6:39, 2 replies)
Secret Santa'a reminds me of last Xmas where we had a Secret Santa in my local pub. As luck would have it, I drew my ex-brother-in-law. As the limit was a quid, I had to be a bit inventive to come up with something decent.

So I trawled the net and downloaded a bunch of Certificate Templates. Then I adapted one and gave it to him via Secret Santa.

It read:

To Davy XXXX - The Bigot's Bigot award for services to Xenophobia 2006.

He absolutely loved it and it now hangs in pride of place.

Now even though he's a bigot, he's a fair bigot. He hates *everyone* not born a Northumbrian. In his eyes, anyone South of Newcastle is a Frenchman.

He keeps a special place in his heart for his hatred of Gays, but, oddly enough, not the Gays from the village. Because:

"They might be puffs but they're our puffs. Northumbrians. Not like shandy-drinking-southern-puffs"

(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 6:33, 7 replies)
Another one...
We had a big family get together the saturday before xmas (22 of us i think) and a few weeks before some clown decided it would be a good idea to do a secret santa with a limit of $25.

All fun was being had as the gifts were being handed out, everyone getting half decent "usefull" stuff.

It came to me. It was obvious who mine was from. Mine was a plastic shit M&Ms dispenser in the style of the statue of liberty. My uncle had got back from NY the day before. He must have thought that i was 8*, oh and it didnt even have any bloody m&m's in it.

I gave it to the dog once he left, even he didnt want it.

*im 27
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 5:44, Reply)
Chinese Beer
Always on the lookout for a good wasted/dollar ratio, I was thrilled to discover our local bottle store stocking "Tsing Tao!". It was NZ$15 (approx 3p) for a dozen, and the bottles were big. Choice!

It tasted of very little (a good thing for cheap beer), and I had gotten through a good 8 of them before I felt anything like the familiar effects of beer. The next four however were a different story.

Everyone has a drunken poo story, and I won't go into details because it's tea time, but those crafty Chinese brewers had it in for me. It involved me waking up the following day to find a slippery trail from the bathroom to where my trousers were in the kitchen, out onto the deck and back to the washing basket, and there to where my boxers were under my pillow.

It was quite drinkable if it was cold enough.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 5:31, 4 replies)
My walk-in tool cabinet
About six months ago I went to an auction, as I often do. I found a HUGE metal cabinet, about 10 feet tall by 15 feet long by four feet deep, painted bright aquamarine. I bid, and got it for $90 Canadian (40 GBP, approx) in a fight to the death with a scrap metal dealer. My friends all made fun of me, as the thing is huge and ugly.

However, I got the last laugh when all the tatty crap inside netted me more than the purchase price of the cabinet at the scrap metal dealer. There was also a bundle of usable steel rod, which I use regularly and I've slowly been using up. If that weren't enough, there were also a couple of usable extension cord and a working dial caliper from Mitotoyo.

I also now have what all little girls dream of: my very own walk-in tool cabinet. And if I ever get fed up with it, I can take it to the scrapyard for an even bigger profit.

Sometimes buying tatty crap actually pays off. Yay for auctions!
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 2:14, Reply)
Watch out
When I was younger, my brother and I used to accompany my mum and dad when they went shopping, and on other journeys, etc.

Now, my folk's aren't well off, but they're not skint either, so extravagance wasn't an option really - we scraped by every day.

Anyway, this day, we accompanied them around a 'market', which generally sold cheap stuff, and a lot of second hand stalls (I remembered one sold second hand porno mags! :' )

As my brother and I shuffled behind the folks, I noticed a really crappy, old watch in a massive pile of assorted junk at a particular stall. For 20p, you could have a cheap, dirty, scratched bezel, with a stained strap. Just something you didn't want to look at for too long, never mind wear on your wrist. I laughed, and without hesitation (but 100% jokingly), said 'I bet my dad buys that!'

Now, I don't really need to explain what my dad revealed he had bought on the way home ...
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 1:24, Reply)
Years ago I bought an Amstrad Stacking Hi-Fi system. . And as is my wont, I stripped it down because I was fascinated with the "Noise Reduction" button. If you pressed it, a wee red light came on. But to my untrained ear, I couldn't make out the slightest change in the sound. So I had a look.

Turns out that the noise reduction button had one function and one function only. It turned on the LED. It wasn't connected to anything else - just a simple on/off switch for the LED.

(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 23:12, 2 replies)
If you bought it on Brick Lane market, it's also stolen!
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 22:47, 1 reply)
Lessons learned...
Cheap tat exists for a reason. If there was no demand, no bastard would make/sell it. I reckon that there are two types of people who go out and get things on the cheap:

1. Pikeys
2. People like me

Here are some cautionary tales of how I ended up falling into category number two...

I've never believed in cutting corners on a big purchase. It was either the best or nothing for me, I was happy to pay out £x of my hard earned even if it meant cutting back for a while until I got the money together.
Back in my school days, I worked all hours in part time jobs to fund my Nintendo and video habit. Feeling flush and cocky one day, I walked into my local Sony centre and offered them £900 for for over £1,000 worth of TV and video kit (I like to haggle!) which was duly accepted. This was back in 1995 and as of 2008, the TV and video have now been passed on to the fourth family member and are still going strong.
Fast forward many years from 1995 and it's now time to get a new telly. A nice fuck off great LCD TV, HD, all the bollocks. As I'm kitting out my new house with all the usual white goods as well as the telly, I end up with a nice discount, a wall mount for the telly, some nice SCART cables and a free tumble dryer. The telly was £2,000 of that purchase.
Eighteen months later, the bastard broke. The repair bill? £725. TV prices have dropped dramatically in that eighteen months, so much so that I can get an equivalent model brand new for less than the repair bill. I'm still battling this with Sony now...

And on to other things:
* The nearly new Citroen Saxo that cost me nearly as much in repair bills as I paid for it in the two years I had it.
* The free tumble dryer died a month after the warranty expired.
* The Sky+ box that died ONE DAY out of warranty.
* The £120 Nike Air 360s where one of my cats bit through the air sole and burst it.
* The Roomba "robotic vacuum cleaner" that no longer charges.
* The surround sound system to go with the TV no longer turns on.

And there are so many others. My house is an electronic graveyard.

So fuck it. My advice is:
* Spend £20 on a DVD player, if it lasts a year then great, if not, you can get your money back.
* Get an old German car with full service history for not much money. So far in four years, I've spent £26 on repair bills.
* Fuck Sky and get Freeview.
* Pay peanuts and expect monkeys. You won't be disappointed if whatever you bought doesn't last long but if it does, you'll be very happy.

That's why I buy cheap nowadays - the only thing that could have made it worse is if I'd bought on credit...

Click "I like this" if you agree (or if you think I'm a pikey)
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 22:25, 6 replies)
I worked in a £1 shop once
Well, I managed a week.
Several people, not just one or two but several genuinely came up to me with items and enquired "How much is this, please?".
After biting my tongue and being polite too many times, I eventually broke and said "That one is £2.99". The (genuine) response to that? "Wow! Really?" "No" I replied. Why do you think they named the shop "Everything £1?"

I think that was followed by an obscenity under my breath. I may have known I wasn't staying but I didn't want to be arrested.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 22:06, Reply)
Cheap sex toys
I bought a vibrating metal egg to put up my arse. It was connected via a thin wire to the control unit - and it got lost. I had to inspect my crap like Gillian fucking McKeith to make sure it had come out.

Another time, I bought a cheap plastic vibrating cockring. The bloody thing snapped and whacked me in the cock.

And I bought a cheap vibrator. It didn't touch the sides. Useless.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 21:56, 2 replies)
Chinese motorbike.
You know the saying, 'as crap as a chinese motorbike'?

Well, I bought one. A Kymco Stryker.

I should have been warned by the fact it was virtually brand new and being sold second hand, but I was swayed by the looks which at the time I thought were cool, and the 12year old chavs in the motorbike shop who thought it the most awesome bike in the universe and were impressed by me thinking about buying it.

So, don't buy a chinese motorbike or try to impress 12 year old chavs.

Anyway, the plus points were it was actually super reliable and always started. It had a kickstart if you forgotten to turn the lights off and run the battery down. It was as big as a 400 despite being a 125 so had lots of road prescence.

The downside...oh man.

The exhaust rusted out wihtin 6 months.

The tyres appear to be made from soap and are lethal in the wet.

The kill switch actually makes the rev counter go off the scale (not the actual engine revs, just the rev counter dial) but had no effect other than that.

See all those plastic fairings? If you want to replace the headlight bulb, you have to take ALL those off - they're put together in a weird overlapping way so they're all attached to each other working your way back to the tail light. You can't get to the headlight any other way.

That groovy aggresive pout above the headlights? It casts a shadow on your headlight beam meaning you can't actually see anything directly ahead of you.

God it was rubbish.

Sold it and bought a Yamaha - bombproof.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 20:49, 3 replies)
mistaken identity in poundland!
All this talk of poundshops has suddenly made me recall... whilst as a student I worked for a high street chain (also mentioned in this thread) - I was sent down the road to the local poundshop to purchase some dusters or some other cheap tat (yay worked it into the qotw :-) - Whilst wondering round poundland looking for whatever it was I was approached by a shopper - probably confused by my 'uniform' who asked me where something was -

A quick reply from me in in one tired from a life of dealing with the public and seeing a way to get my own back with no comeback - was along the lines of "I'm far too busy to help the likes of you, why don't you naff off and shop somewhere else" before wondering off further into the store and then legging it.

Cheered me up no end but I did spend the rest of the day hoping she didnt come into my store! Always wonder if they got a complaint.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 20:40, 1 reply)
My Cheap Tat...
A little bit of drink...thinking of my girlfriend...got a sharpie...woke up with her name above my kitty...

oh, you mean THAT kind of tat..
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 19:15, 2 replies)
I've bought some tat throughout the years..

Pirate DVD - Saw them being sold at a stall at a computer fair so decided to try one for three quid. It was the usual filming at the cinema by a disabled cameraman. I knew he was disabled as it was quite obvious he had parkinsons.

Video tapes - Rather than get the usual TDK 3hr three pack for £8 I saw a Memorex 4hr four pack for the same price, bargain! Happy with my purchase I set about recording TV programmes only to discover the tapes had the quality and reliability of a Catholic's contraception. Binned them and went back to using TDK.

Graphics cards - In the 90's I had the unerring ability to always choose the defunct technology in the field. Was doing an xmas job and with my wages treated myself to a new top-of the range card. My card at the time was a Cirrus Logic one meg and was very tempted to go for the 3DFX but it was deemed that the Cirrus Logic wasn't up for the job. Step forward the Rendition Verite V1000, a snip at £179.99

The Verite could do both 2D and 3D, it was backed by Creative and there had been featured in some good reviews and I didn't need the two card set-up as with the 3DFX. My money quickly disappeared on this as did support for this card since every man and his dog went for 3DFX. Fucksocks.

Length? About eight inches in green and totally useless.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 19:01, Reply)
Not strictly relevent
My friend and I were in the first flushes of independence, and were off to the big city to spend our hard-earned pence. Whilst in the tackiest street in town, on which there were, count them, seven pound shops, we found boxes of crappy dog figurines in straw baskets (12) for the eponymous price. Budding capitalists that we were, we each bought a handful. Once home, we removed the shikty looking straw, re-covered the baskets with fabic offcuts and flogged them in his parents pet shop for a quid a pop. They sold quickly, and we got high on cheap sherbet. Happy days...

Length? One time only, they'd sold out when we went back.

(First real post! Only took me a year...)
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 18:55, Reply)
My uncle and his pig-useless gift attempts
Me uncle is a very nice man. Always polite, enjoys a quiet laugh with the family and is absolutely fecking loaded. In terms of family I turned out to be the son he never had and he always bought me loads and loads of cool prezzies (ie top fashion labelled shirts, surfy gear etc). My sister however was the gift donkey as far as he was concerned as he doesn't have a fecking clue as to what to buy her.

He went to Disneyland Paris with his fiancee one year, come back with some cool french tshirts for me and give my sister 1 Disneyland hairclip. She was 15 at the time and looked at it stupid. Another time she was given some cup holder which looked completely out of place in her room (some plastic monstrosity with a gap in the middle).

Thinking about this, she's always been a gibbon for getting bad presents; her old school teacher bought her a bag of fruit for her 18th. "Wow! Me and my friends were all going out to make a fruit salad, what a coincidence! Was not going to get legally fucking hammered on cheap alcopops at all, oh no!"
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 18:41, 1 reply)
anti answer
My experience of cheap tat is somewhat limited as I am, old boy, a bit posh*.

My younger brother's best mate bought me a Calvin Klein belt from Spain.

"Wonderful", I thought, "he has realised my value".

It has various washing instructions embossed upon it in chunky letters (it looks good, honest). Among the words, the immortal legend "Do Not Tuble Dry" is marked. As is "May Loose Colour".

His contempt for me was revealed, but I had the last laugh, as it is still preventing me from indecently exposing myself, this very day, 6 years on.


* almost certainly not true.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 18:16, 1 reply)
Sort of related
I once bought a "used" copy of Kingdom Hearts for the PS2 at Blockbusters - obviously at a discount price. As I left the shop I opened it up to find the disc with quite a few smudges and scratches on it. I re-entered, informed the bloke on the till and he exchanged it for a brand new disc. Hence, one new game at a used game price. Sucker.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 18:14, 1 reply)
Cassette tapes
During my misspent youth one of my most enjoyable passtimes was to record my favourite songs from the radio.

I pilfered all the cassette tapes in my Mum's house to record such musically wondrous songs as Peter Andre - Mysterious Girl and Mark Morrison - Trippin'.

After around six months this new hobby of mine had seen me record crappy pop songs on to all of the cassette tapes in the house making horrific compilation tapes of the most appalling songs of the late nineties. I came to the conclusion I was going to have to fork out some of my pocket money (most of which I saved for strong white cider and cigarettes - me, chav? No!)

The following Saturday afternoon I was shopping with other 15 year old chavs in the town centre. We were perusing the wares of Poundstretcher when I spotted a packet of 10 (yes 10!) blank cassette tapes for what seemed the very reasonable price of £1.00. "Bargainorama" I thought and swiftly purchased said cassettes.

Returning home from our shopping extravaganza I promptly put my on my favored radio station, popped a cassette in and waited for a cool song.

Upon hearing the opening bars of Another Level - Bomb Diggity I pressed record, sang along to the song happy in the knowledge I could listen to it again straight afterwards.

Nearing the end of the song I waited next to my midi hifi system, finger poised ready to press stop so I didn't record the DJ chatting.

Song ends. I press STOP. I rewind the tape and press play, I'm so excited about the next compilation tape when... this dreadful gurgly distorted version of the song plays out.

I was so disappointed I took the cassettes downstairs to my Mum to tell her they didn't work. She asked me how much I paid for them and when I told her she smiled sagely and said they were "cheap tat".

I couldn't believe I'd wasted a precious pound of my pocket money!

Ahh. Them were the days.

Length? About 200 feet when yanked out of the cassette.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 18:14, 2 replies)
Racist thumb protection
Ah the summer holidays of 1985. I was 8 and my brother was 5, and one of the days my dad took the day off to look after us.

He decided that we would visit Stratford Upon Avon as it was just down the road and it was borderline educational.

On getting out of the car, my dad delved deep into his pockets and gave us both two hundred pence. A fortune for a tiny child in the eighties. He told us that we could spend this money on whatever we wanted, but that it was the only money we'd be getting off him that day.

In one corner of the car-park we'd pulled up in, was a stall selling tourist trap nonsense. Ye Olde Maps, Shakespeare Mugs, Union Jack T-shirts and the like.

My brother wandered over to the stall, and returned having spent his entire £2 allowance on...

...a thimble.

But this was no ordinary thimble, for it was adorned with a portrait of none other than Prince Phillip.

He still maintains that it was a worthwhile purchase.

To be fair to him though, I can't even remember how I spent my two quid.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 18:10, Reply)

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