35 Products That Are So Bad, It’s Hard To Believe Someone Came Up With Them Interview With Author
If you hate wasting time walking around the mall, online shopping might be right up your alley. It’s fast, it’s efficient, and it has become almost like a lifeline during quarantine. When you have something specific in mind, you often turn to the retail giant Amazon, a go-to site for virtually everything. Yet, once you scroll past the items you need, things take a bizarre turn.
The Worst Things For Sale (TWTFS) is a Twitter account dedicated to the most horrible objects on the web. After all, there’s plenty to choose from. The creator, Drew Fairweather, combs the site and handpicks "one terrible item every day" to make his followers a little baffled and a lot amused.
So if you’re looking for a terrible gift guide, you’ve come to the right place because we have selected some of the weirdest things the account had to offer. Continue scrolling, upvote the ones you enjoyed most, and tell us what you think about them in the comments!
When people say that all things should have a function and a purpose, they've probably never stumbled upon an enormous USB-compatible Enter Key or a fried chicken phone case. The internet is chock full of items so extreme that they seem unreal. Yet, all it takes is one look at Amazon to recognize that it’s a true treasure trove of weird, strange, and peculiar objects.
We reached out to Drew Fairweather, the founder of the account, to learn more about his project and the inspiration behind it. The artist not only writes The Worst Things For Sale blog but is also the author of the daily comics Toothpaste For Dinner and Married To The Sea.
Fairweather started TWTFS about ten years ago when he was simply looking through Amazon. He noticed that there were many weird and hilarious items "always peeking out from under what I was actually trying to find," he told Bored Panda. Ever since then, the author has faithfully documented the oddest and most pointless objects found online. "Once you realize the breadth of bizarre things available there, you can't un-see them!"
When it comes to the Twitter account, it now has more than 11.6K followers. This shows just how many people are drawn in by a desire to discuss and figure out why on earth such things exist in the first place. Also, why some people actually buy them. Well, as they say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
"Since buying items is the main creative outlet of most people—most Americans, at least—people enjoy seeing unusual items for sale," he said. Statista reports that Amazon was responsible for 50 percent of US e-commerce spending in 2021. One of the company’s key tools to increase that spending is Amazon Prime, a membership that gives you free and fast shipping, plus extra privileges like streaming music and video.
In 2018, as many as 62 percent of their customers in the US were Prime members. According to Statista, they are highly engaged shoppers who spend a lot of money—more than double the amount of non-Prime members per year—and are relevant to Amazon’s success.
Fairweather also writes about items "that seem normal—branded waffle irons, pink screwdrivers—that have a strange or sinister subtext hidden beneath the sales pitch." When it comes to some of the most bizarre things he has ever come across, it has to be the "BabySaver, a box where you store your child's baby teeth after they fall out."
"The box has holes for each tooth, so you can reassemble your child's teeth into a jaw-shaped curio," he explained. "If that's not enough, it has a slot in the middle for your child's umbilical cord."
When it comes to finding such items floating around Amazon, he revealed that most of them he has dug up on his own, though his followers also help with suggestions. "I tend to stay away from novelty items, which are those intentionally created to be 'wacky,' since there's nothing unusual or sinister about these."
"I'd rather write about something like Extylus, which is a stylus for your smartphone that you strap to your finger, so you can use your finger to control your smartphone."
"As with any items manufactured and sold, these were all created with the purpose of making money! A lot of these companies, I'd imagine, start with someone having an idea they hope will be popular, a niche product that will become the next Beanie Baby or Scrub Daddy," he told us. "They're then put through the wringer of marketing to become one of the abominations I write about, like Bumper Dumper, the toilet you attach to the trailer hitch of your truck."
The artist revealed that his ultimate goal is to make people think about what they’re buying and why. "These products are mostly made of plastic, manufactured by underpaid factory workers, sold at a premium to people who don't need them," he explained.
"They're a colossal waste of energy and material resources, and it engenders suffering from the human cost of manual labor, the occupational health hazards experienced by the workers, and the ecological damage done by extracting these limited resources from the Earth."
Fairweather continued: "The very richest people accumulate wealth and use their power to strip the rest of us of health and happiness, then sell it back to us, one plastic piece at a time. We don't need any of these things! It's all a symptom of a society which has prioritized the accumulation of the wealthy over all other aspects."
So while these awful objects catch our attention and allow us to let out some genuine laughs, they also show a much deeper problem. Remember that each time we consume a product, we support certain businesses and their values. So next time you want to buy a funny-looking thing online, think long and hard whether it's actually worth it.