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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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This question is now closed.

Not bought, but given...
...and probably from a pound shop...

when slimtallgoth was with his ex he used to get some fabbo christmas presents from his in-laws

(a *lovely* family who put him down constantly mostly because he couldn't drive a car...were so far up their own arses their teeth got in the way of vision...whose dominating mother declared herself a microbiologist and scientist even tho she was just a teacher in a two-bit college ((nothing wrong with teachers btw, but its a bit like me describing myself as chancellor of the exchequer, y'know?))...who out did the Klumps in table manners...)

((sorry...off on a bit of a rant there!))

these 'presents' normally consisted of some scourers, some toilet rolls, and, one memorable year, a pack of nappy sacks - now I'm not dissing their usefulness, but, wtf?? Scourers?? Whyyy??
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 23:52, Reply)
A Close Friend...
takes great delight in spending as little as possible on the worst piece of tatt he can find... for his mothers Crimbo presents.

Worst of all he pretends they are serious gifts so that he gets to enjoy the uncomfortably strained, faked 'thank yous' and laugh at how his mum has to bear their presence in the flat until he leaves again.

Examples in the past few years include:

- A 4ft "Rasta Man" sculpture with his hand out- in his hand is glued an ashtray (she doesnt smoke).

- A second hand inflatable garden pool (their 'garden' is a 5ft square courtyard).

- [and my personal favourite] A fully life sized scupture of the ancient greek discus thrower- crafted & glued entirely out of uncooked penne pasta.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 23:26, Reply)
In Sunderland in the early 90's, there was a lowest-price baked beans war between Netto and Food Giant (aka Food Pig). 10p per tin... 5p per tin... 4p per tin, etc...

Netto won; 2 free tins of Netto-brand baked beans with every purchase. You could go in and buy a loaf of bread for 19p and get 2 tins of beans free. 2 meals, with enough money left for plenty-o-booze.

Marvellous, although a little heavy on the quackage after 3 weeks.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 23:19, 1 reply)
Hyper Value
Hyper Value was a chain of shops selling very cheap merchandise. I think it may have been limited to Wales. It sold a lot of rubbish, as I'm sure you can imagine from the rather OTT name. In addition, its slogan was the slightly sinister "More than you bargained for!".

I remember seeing tins of spaghetti in tomato sauce of no particular brand, a month out of date, being sold for 5p. Isn't that illegal? How old are tinned goods by the time they go out of date, anyway? I'm sure they would have been fine...hmm.

They also had cassette tapes of singles that obviously had some surplus surviving for a few years, mostly 90s era...I suppose they had to go *somewhere*. I bought one; it was Dubstar - quite a good song actually.

They had a range of board games that shamelessly copied the products of more established companies; for instance there was an obvious replica of "Frustration!" called "Don't be Angry!". Could have been perfectly serviceable, I suppose.

The Hyper Value chain apparently owned some sort of holiday park on Barry Island. I dread to think...
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 22:41, 7 replies)
My dad (God rest his silly soul) was a...scrub that...THE chief purveyor of cheap tat. When he died in 2004, we cleared out his drawers and wardrobes (twas sad, but I laughed at some of the shit in there)

His purchases included:

1) Pair of yellow - the yellowist yellow that ever there was - desert boots - £3.50 from TK Maxx. Still living under my bed - he's been dead 3.5 years.
2) Countless pairs of towelling socks from God only knows where - they were all bobbly, and that was still in the packaging.
3) An orange tracksuit - fuck knows, but the label was still attached, it said "CLEARANCE 0.99"

He was funny my dad, aye. He'd bring his bargains home and show me and invariably I'd roll my eyes behind his back and say "Well done"

He taught me the value of money though. Bloody spend it while you're still breathing for fucks sake.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 22:32, Reply)
Secret Santa DVD
I bought my workmate "Teen Wolf Too" (not starring Michael J. Fox) on DVD for Secret Santa.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 21:36, Reply)
My 21st birthday
A few years ago I turned 21 and my friends, being poor students decided it would be an idea to buy 21 items for £1 each. This resulted in such delights as:

a doll's tea set.
a grotesque figurine of a tennis player who I can only assume is Pete Sampras.
a pack of 5 childens' toothbrushes.
a cannister of butane gas, and
an LP of Middlesborough steelworkers singing various folk songs.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 21:35, 3 replies)
Are things that hard to translate?
Almost bought a confusing kids toy from a pound shop near my house.

On the cover was a picture of a small boy looking excitedly over at this little girl.

According to the speech bubbles the boy was saying :- "Are you succeed?"
To which the girl replied :- "Yes I can 100"

Still not sure what the game was about though.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 21:05, 2 replies)
We were that poor when I was a kid....
Our clothes were given to us by the Education Department (Leopold Street Building in Sheffield, if anyone knows it - it's a posh wine bar now) at discount rates.

I remember the sweaters cost about £2.00. They felt like it too - just look at them the wrong way and the sleeves would fall off, never mind playing football in the school yard or having a scrap in the corridor...

Thing is, most of the estate we lived on were in the same boat, so most of the kids on Shiregreen had the same clothes in the 80's.

Good times.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 20:59, 1 reply)
Worst time to feel ill/sick.
When did you feel sick, and why was it terrible timing? Was it your just before, or during a friends wedding?

Tell me your stories! and i might make one up during the week..
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 20:12, 2 replies)
On 99p DVDs
Costcutter gold over the years:

Omega Cop - Stars Adam West as commander of a post apocalyptic wasteland where a rogue cop is hunting down mutant pirates via the twin methods of really slow, poorly executed kung, fu and collecting random hotties in his armoured truck.

Psycho Cop - teens are hunted down by a serial killer cop who on some hideous oversight of the LAPD has failed to have his license revoked. Lines include "Move out of the way! You're obstructing justice!" and "Bitch!" (delivered by Psycho Cop in the middle of a completely unrelated scene about a mile away in some awesome display of telekinetic prowess, or possibly poor editing).

Dangerous Orphans: I'll let the tag line speak for itself on this one - "A bullet made them orphans. Revenge makes them dangerous."
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 19:55, 5 replies)
Best Present Ever
I decided to go out of my way to buy my mate the worst, cheapest DVD ever for his birthday (as I'm crap at buying good gifts anyway), so off I went to the land of the pound, and struck gold with: 'Pole Fishing with Bob Nudd'. Success!
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 19:22, 1 reply)
Working on a big outdoor arts event in birmingham, about 15 years ago, I set out to find some lunch for my crew. It was sunday and everywhere around the site was shut. Kept looking and finally found a little corner shop open.

All I could get my hands on was a sorry assortment of biscuits, sweets and crisps. All were mysterious crap brands. One thing that caught my eye was packets of 'Shockers' "Four licorice flavour gumballs, which ones the shocker" Bought a packet each for everyones desert.

Back at base after our hearty meal our game of gumball russian roulette begins.

Taking it in turns to chomp on the gumballs we speculate on what the shock might be

Could it maybe be really hot?
Or really sour?
Oh hang on, has it made my tongue blue?

Three gumballs gone, one left in the packet and so far no shocks.

I bite into it and immediately start to retch uncontrollably

Squinting at the packet I discover that the mystery ingredient is.... Ammonia. Like biting into one of the bleach blocks you get in urinals. Well I have to confess I didn't see that coming, that was indeed quite a shock.

Never saw them on the shelves again either
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 19:11, 3 replies)
Just remembered another. I should start shopping at classier establishments.
Ever been to Netto? It makes Lidl and Aldi look like Harrods.

I bought a loaf of bread for 9p. I didn't expect it to last long. My suspicions were correct. I opened it, and it was mouldy.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 18:39, 4 replies)
Poor Aldi/Lidl...
.... Are getting a right kicking on here. And now I'm going to put my boot in.
I lived next to stables, and so, in Summer, the whole are was buzzing with flies. Opening a door or window (As you are wont to do on a summers day) meant letting in the winged pests, who would happily buzz around my house annoying the crap out of me. I'm a poor drop out, so when a "friend" pointed out that one of those cheap foreign shops was selling electronic bug zappers for something daft like a fiver, I tought "Wahey! That'll do nicely." I plugged it in, and watched, waiting to see which fly got caught up first. They all ignored it. Dancing around the air in front of me, taunting me. I kept it though, thinking that if I even got one fly with it, I'd be happy. I did hear a crack come from it once, but when I looked, I saw a fly flying away, woozily, from it. Blasted thing.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 18:03, 1 reply)
Am I...
the only person who finds it amusing that one of the rotating Google ads below 'cheap tat' on the front page is 'get free Primark clothes'?

*irony-ometer explodes*

EDIT: it seems I am.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 17:49, Reply)
your mother
suck it, Trebek
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 17:39, 1 reply)
Moroccan markets
I lived out in various parts of Morocco for a year and what i found with some of the markets was that there were generally three types, the dead/nearly dead animal ones(like a bloodbath), the tourist junk ones and then the jumble sale stall where the poorest people sell what ever they can get their hands on be it half a phone, pc fan or bits of toys and half a magazine. I always felt sorry for them because unlike the beggars who you could never be sure of (on the blag) these people were doing what they could to survive and were too proud to beg, in the end you buy something just to donate some money to them.

Because of that i am the proud owner of a mickey mouse watch with no hands, a half chewed call to prayer tape and my finest peice of tat half a german jizz mag.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 16:55, Reply)
Apologies if someone has already used Occam's Razor
But after getting halfway through all these answers I'm sick and tired of...

"Why would anyone make something that simply doesn't work?"

Because idiots like you will hand over money for it!

The anonymous manufacturer of unbranded goods is not relying on repeat custom to survive and doesn't care in the slightest whether or not your chopstick sharper works as expected or accidentally castrates you.

If making something vaguely the right shape and putting it in a box with a badly blurred picture on the front is cheap and someone is prepared to pay tuppence ha'penny for it then it will happen.

*sigh* and breathe.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 16:53, 2 replies)
Bail Out!!!
My friend brought me the action packed "Bail Out" ,starring David Hasslehoff, on DVD for Christmas a few years ago.
He actually left the price on because he knew I'd appreciate it.
A massive 99 pence.
Which also appeared to be the budget the film was made on.

Has anyone else seen this piece of cinematic gold? Or am I alone on this one?
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 16:16, 3 replies)
Some of us here will remember the the good old days when you went to town on a Saturday afternoon with £2 spending money in your pocket and you could spend all day mooching around, buy your dinner and come back with all sorts of crap you'd bought. Plastic earings, notebooks with pop stars on them, badges and comics. Teenage detritus covered your bedroom floor as you inspected each purchase like it was a complete bargain and you couldn't live without it.

God, I miss those days. Teenagers nowadays won't even think about going shopping for the day unless they've got £50 in their pocket.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 16:05, 20 replies)
cheap (old) bat
As a teenager, I used to wash people's cars and clean up their gardens for money because my parents wouldn't give me any cash (poverty was 'character building'). One time, I spend the entire day weeding the garden of an 80 year-old woman who looked like Yoda. Then I swept her considerable grounds of dried leaves. Then I heaved all this crap into the compost.

She gave me 20p and a a piece of shortbread baked to celebrate the Battle of Trafalgar. I wished death upon her.

[And note to parents: I must have the biggest fucking character in the world by now.]
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 14:48, 3 replies)
Impostor DVDs
Over the Christmas period, drawn as i was into the shops, in a zombie-esque hunt for anything cheap that i could pass off as a gift, I suffered the great misfortune of finding myself in one of the many faceless corporate machines, known commonly as Woolworths.

Eventually, my fruitless systematic trudge about the store brought me to the films section, where i proceeded to peruse the many pretentious titles, ranging from the demonstrably boring, to the vaguely irksome. I searched in vain for anything fitting my budget of around 50 pence. This was admittedly an ambitious goal, but i continued none the less to search for the cheapest excuse for a DVD on the shelf.

Then, behold! My prayers had been answered - "28 weeks later" and "300", all mine for the price of only £3.50 each! This was more than i hoped to spend, but hey! It was Christmas!

So, Christmas Day arrived, and i received my prezzies, safe in the knowledge that my own gifts would not be utter disappointments. Then, behold! i was wrong. I watched as my brother and sister opened their carefully wrapped chunks of my earnings, expecting at the very least if not looks of excitement and glee, then perhaps mild appreciation.

Instead i was greeted with a puzzled expression from my brother [10], which i would later find out meant something along the lines of "Why did he give me a history documentary?", and a rather insulted look from sister [13], inquiring as to why she should have any need for a post-op film about breast enhancement.

*has egg on face*
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 14:47, Reply)
I didn't know that it woudl be cheap tat!
I specifically ordered a Taittinger '52, but the wine steward brought me a '59! I was highly upset, as you can imagine. Fortunately Q thought to supply me with some roofies hidden in my watch, so Ms. Fanny Openwide was willing to go with me anyway...

--Bond, James Bond
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 14:09, 4 replies)
another cheap lighter story
and yet another student mixed with Netto story.

My mate took a fond liking to buying cheap lighters and messing with the flame size controller on the front to get a really big flame. after a few weeks of practice he was the master - sometimes getting a 10 inch flame out of a small punny lighter.

This one time I'd been to Netto and seen a pack of lighters for 50p. BARGAIN. ill give it as a gift to my uni friend.
That night i gave the present to him - he was thrilled, he now had 5 lighters at his disposal to beat his personal best flame.

Whilst watching tv we sat in the kitchen, he sat in the corner messing wih his lighter. Now he had been 'working' this one particular lighter for about 20 minutes... he was now ready... he hushed the room to show off his amazing flame size, he struck the lighter - all of a sudden his whole arm and shoulder went up in flames... the whole time he had been messing with the lighter - it had been seeping fluid onto his arm, which had been soaked into his jumper - like a wick effect.

I didnt know whether to laugh or scream. believe me it was hilarious looking at this guy do some sort of indian fire dance around our kitchen... the whole room went from placid silence to pandemonium in a split second. It was put out eventually with only singes to his arm hair..

Length? he defo beat his personal flame best.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 14:05, 5 replies)
I bought some very cheap tat...
Not having a lot of money available, I sometimes have to deal with salvage to get the things I need. I had to have some basic farming help/equipment, so I made a deal with the local junk peddlers for a couple of robots. It turned out that one of them had some old data in it that my idiot nephew found, and the damn fool ran off with my robots! When he gets back from seeing that old bugger who lives out in the desert there'll be hell to pay.

...hang on, there's a knock at the door...
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 14:00, 12 replies)
Cheapo Lighters
The little warning sticker on the back said "do not burn in tire"
Not that long ago, I think they're still out there.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 13:11, Reply)
Ooh ooh, just thought of another - Aldi/Lidl motorcycle gear.
Now I know that a helmet is a helmet, etc, but I just do not fancy the idea of trusting my head to something that cost £14.99 from a discount foodstore.

I do, however, have a pair of the waterproof pants, and they work a treat.
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 10:58, 8 replies)

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