With spring already here, we'll all be clamoring to get in shape. Do we really need to buy all those As Seen on TV fitness gadgets? I should hope not! I almost wrote em all off. Anyways, on the Today Show they had a pretty good show with Certified Fitness Trainer Andrea Metcalf. She took an honest look at four, As Seen on TV exercise products. They include Tony Little’s Rock and Roll Stepper, Perfect Pushup, Rock and Go Exerciser and the Iron Gym.


Summary and Review of the four products.

Rock and Roll Stepper $80

It's a cardio workout similar to working out on a treadmill.
Good for beginners if you have reasonable balance.
The intensity of the lower body workout depends how high and low you bend.
Good instruction booklet.

Others who have tried this product claim....


  • It really does target the areas that it claims.
  • If you have weak back or knees there are modifications you can do.
  • You really feel it in your buttocks, thighs and hips.
  • You start to sweat after only a few minutes. It's a good cardio workout.


  • Two annoying things are that the machine tends to move around. They even include a mat to put underneath it but it still slides around.
  • It also squeaks when you work out on it. Some are really annoyed others are mildy irritated with that.

Perfect Pushup $40
Perfect Push Up Review

  • It's no different from doing pushups on the floor.
  • Good for pushup variations.
  • Allows you to do deeper pushups.
  • Good product to protect your shoulder joints.
  • It puts less stress on shoulders, arms or wrists.
  • Please see my perfect pushup vs push up pro review. These are two very similar products so there's a side by side comparison there.

Rock N Go Exerciser $200
Rock and Go Review

  • Resembles a bucking bronco.
  • It's much more effective to get on a floor mat to work on your abs.
  • Fun alternative for those who sit in the house all day.
  • Only good to get someone who is sedentary, moving again.
  • It does move your core muscles if you attempt to maintain your posture while riding it.
  • Honestly, I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to buy this[tags]exercise equipment[/tags] for $200 unless you wanted to entertain the kids!

Iron Gym $30
Iron Gym

  • A gym for the upper body.
  • You can do pull ups with three different hand positions.
  • Biggest problem is that it does NOT fit on all doors.
  • There are also reports of the Iron Gym falling on people.
  • Please see a previous Iron Gym review, more info, comments and various other exercises you can do with Iron Gym right here.

When ordering online or over the phone, please remember to...
Read the fine print and check shipping and handling charges. Sometimes the shipping is more than the product itself. Also check the return policy. It's really expensive to return the product if you're not happy with it. Please check my list of six online ordering issues right here. To make it easier, you can get all these products in stores that sell As Seen on TV products and avoid all these problems.

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Make your own Topsy Turvy Planter with these simple suggestions. I know many of you are looking for info on how to make your own Topsy Turvy Planter. I just came across some more how-to videos on eHow.com. Yolanda Vanveen has some suggestions on which tomato plants to choose for your Topsy Turvy, how to grow them in a plastic bucket and also how to prune your plants once they start growing.  You might  also be interested in a review of the Topsy Turvy Planter which includes how to make a Topsy Turvy fiber basket.

Video 1 - How to Get Started With Your Home Made Topsy Turvy Planter

Tomatoes as well as other vegetables such as bell peppers, hot peppers, egg plants, zucchini and herbs can be grown in upside down in hanging baskets. If you're growing tomatoes, Yolanda suggests using a small variety of tomatoes for your planter, to prevent the mature tomatoes from falling off with all the weight.

Video 2 - How to Grow Tomatoes Upside-Down in a Plastic Bucket

Many gardeners seem to be using a plastic bucket for their upside down tomato planter. I personally don't see why plastic buckets are better than the fiber ones. They look extremely heavy! Yolanda suggests starting the plants in a seed tray until there is a good root mass. Only then should you transplant them to a bucket. You can also grow tomatoes either out of the bottom or side of a bucket.

Here's also a link to a step by step process along with some pictures.

Video 3 - How to Prune Your Upside Down Tomato Plants

Yolanda mentions that is a good idea to prune your plants to help the main stems grow sturdier and thicker. This prevent stems from snapping off especially after the tomatoes start growing and adding more weight.

Make your own Topsy Turvy planter with either a fiber basket or plastic container. It sure looks like you'd need a lot of dirt with the plastic container, which is why I'd prefer the [tags]make-your-own-topsy-turvy[/tags]fiber basket. Also you wouldn't have to water as often. I guess it's you're own preference.
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Remember the eighties and those crazy aerobic outfits? Yeah we try not to,  but now it's time to poke fun at them! Back then, fitness products and infomercials were popping up everywhere. It seems like you couldn't get away from the big hair, spandex outfits, leggings and headbands. Host Drew Barrymore takes us back to the good ole days in this 2007 SNL video skit.

Aerobic Fitness

Funny Fitness Sketch - Fitness the Drew Barrymore Way!

The [tags]funny fitness[/tags] skit star is a very sexy Drew Barrymore and three other very funny ladies from SNL including Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, and Maya Rudolph.

Most aerobic workouts like Body Fusion ALWAYS show different levels of difficulty to accommodate everyone. Also, back then, they always had to subtly “sex up” the look and moves of their instructors on cam. This is what makes this spoof workout so hysterical! It perfectly mocks these qualities.

This video isn't the most reliable. If it doesn't work you can watch it on another site right here.

The skit starts out with Desiree (Drew Barrymore) in a big blonde, curly wig. She shows us a Level 1 low (very low) impact body workout starting with "The Step". Of course you can take it up a notch with the larger "swivel your hips step" of Donna #1. Or take it down a notch with the “I’m not even doing a workout step" as shown by Donna #2. Desiree points out "It aligns the chakras and oxygenates the blood."

Now you have a choice for working your arms. Do some arm curls with your choice of one pound dumb bells, pencils, or air! Donna #2 is one wimpy aerobics instructor!

Wow Desiree...What flexibility!

Wow Desiree...What flexibility!

For flexibility, Desiree shows off her most awesome leg lift. A perfect 90 degree angle... Amazing!!

Take it down by working out your fingers

Take it down a notch by working out your fingers

But don't worry, if it's too difficult you can simply just work your fingers. Haha! They have little workout pants and leg warmers for the fingers!

Those close up camera shots are so typical of 80s fitness. Almost borderline soft porn back in those days! I did my fair share of living room aerobics Saturday mornings...so this vid was a total eighties flash back. Be sure to catch the Buddy Rose Blow Away Diet spoof infomercial right here and blow your weight away!

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Pitchmen is the newest reality show on Discovery Channel. I had a chance to sit down and watch the first episode last Wednesday and it sure was a treat! Wasn't sure how long I could stand seeing Billy and Anthony, but the show was really well done. It's almost like a remake of “American Inventor." Except this is something Billy and Anthony do in their everyday life. It follows the adventures of pitchmen Billy Mays and Anthony "Sully" Sullivan.  They search worldwide for inventions that they believe can make it big.
Just like on "American Inventor", we hear heartbreaking stories of inventors who have remortgaged their houses, spend their child’s education savings. Literally staking everything they own and then some, on their inventions.  Billy and Sully are introduced to the product and they can tell within the first 30 seconds if the invention will be a success or not. For a few lucky individuals, having Billy and Sully falling in love with their products and deciding to pitch it to the masses could be the turning point that changes their lives forever.  Will their fall short? Or with Billy and Sully's backing, run their gadgets all the way to glory?

Pitchmen - First Episode

The first episode gave us a glimpse of how new products are uncovered. There were two potential goldmines...The one you see in the video is called "Impact Gel". It's not just any shoe insert! It has an amazing ability to cushion and protect the soles of your feet. Mays and Sullivan are introduced to the product in a pitch meeting.  I couldn't stand watching this part... The inventor co-inventor places his hand between two sheets of the gel and smashes it with a hammer. It's a great demonstration with lots of shock value. But that's the point. It immediately captures Billy and Sully’s interest.

The second product is "GPS Pal". It's a cup-like device that you can use to move your GPS device off the dashboard and onto one of the cup holders of your vehicle. It stores the extra wires in the back and it’s designed to allow drivers to easily store and move their GPS.

Pitchmen Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan

Pitchmen Show with Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan

In the end both Mays and Sullivan are thrilled with "Impact Gel".  Mays seems to be a little luke-warm about the "GPS Pal." His concern is that it's a product with no visual excitement and that it doesn't have mass appeal since GPS isn't used by everyone.

In the end they produce and test commercials for both inventions. It's really fascinating to see just how these [tags]pitchmen[/tags]ads are put together. It was quite funny with the "Impact Gel" spot. They wanted Billy to put his gel-wrapped hand under a car wheel and he refused! The viewers get an update on the long term potential and sales figures of both products.

Pitchmen is a real treat and I'm really looking forward to next week's show. Now I wonder if someone could explain why Billy Mays is selling now selling health insurance like it was a type of new mop!  You can catch Pitchmen on Discovery Channel on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.  I found this interesting little quiz on the Discovery site. What infomercial product are you? It's an Infomercial personality quiz and lots of fun! Take the quiz here. If you want to check on what's coming up in each show have a look Discovery Channels Pitchmen site. Lots of shows on infomercials these days. As if you haven't had enough,  CNBC had a show last week about the  As Seen on TV Industry throughout the years.


CNBC takes you inside the world of the infomercials starting tonight at 9pm ET and 6pm PT. You can catch it again at 1am ET and 10pm PT. Hosted by Darren Rovell, he goes inside the $150 Billion [tags]infomercial scam[/tags] industry of direct response infomercials. He shows us how Ginsu Knife, ShamWow and Snuggie have become household names throughout the years. You can take a peak in the CNBC video below.

Rovell sits down with the industry heavyweights. He talks to inventor Ron Popeil, annoying pitch man Billy Mays and Telebrands CEO, AJ Khubani. The show tests which products are busts or buys, and uncovers the psychology behind why some sales pitches hit out of the park while others strikeout.

The whole science and skill of how they create the ads are kind of interesting. How they push your buttons like that...those bastards. I just wish ALL the products worked exactly as advertised. The formula sounds simple: Product + Pitch + Pizazz = Infomercial. But it's really a combination of skill and science as well as the right amount of silliness that goes into creating an ad that will make you get up and buy.

It should be interesting. I love that Ron Popeil. In the video, he's sitting there tinkering with his Pocket Fisherman in his outdoor pool...what a character. I just hope they don't gloat about all the money they are making even during times of recession. Here are some more videos that give you a quick peek of the [tags]CNBC-As-Seen-on-TV[/tags] show from the CNBC site.


Problems ordering online seem to be an issue for the Smooth Away Company.  Both WINK News and Fox 8 News recently talked to two ladies. They both had identical stories of phantom charges showing up on their bank statements. Not all infomercial sites are bad but there seems to be a few out there that have issues with billing. Here are a few things to consider when ordering online or over the phone from these companies.

Above, Don Patterson had mysterious charges showing up after ordering from the Smooth Away site. It looks like she was automatically enrolled in two discount membership sites. The names are Savings2Go and Leisure Plus. They phoned the Smooth Away office and they agreed that they do offer third party membership services to Smooth Away customers.


Connie brought her [tags]problems ordering online[/tags] debit card issue to the attention of FOX8 News. She used a debit card for her trial purchase and a few weeks later noticed some extra mysterious charges.

Things to consider when ordering over the phone or online

  1. Always review your bank and credit card statements every month. I find it helpful to write down theThings to consider when ordering onlineamounts and dates of everything I buy online. Many times the company name displayed on the credit card statement is under a different name than the product you ordered. So it's nice to have a check list of what was bought so you can double check your purchases at the end of the month.
  2. When you make purchases online or over the phone, always use your credit card instead of your debit card. Credit card companies offer more protection against fraud.
  3. Check what the shipping costs are for the original item and also for any additional free or discounted product they want to send you. This is especially true for Canadians ordering from companies located in the U.S. There’s such a huge delivery charge, many times it’s not worth buying the product.
  4. Look for pre-checked boxes that automatically sign you up for other goods or services. Uncheck them so you don't get charged.
  5. Watch for implied consent automatic renewal subscriptions. You get something free for a while then after a short time get billed automatically and repeatedly.
  6. Some internet sales firms don't have enough customer service representatives to service all of their customer inquiries. Connie had to wait 2 hours to get someone on the phone that could help her!

Have you had problems ordering online?  Not all As Seen on TV product sites are as bad as Smooth Away.  Some make the order process confusing. For some companies, it just doesn’t seem to be a priority to show or explain the order clearly as your going through the check out process.


Chia Obama is the newest Special Edition Chia that commemorates Barack Obama. "Hail to the new Ch-Ch-Ch Chief" is the new Chia site slogan. Just apply chia seeds, soak the presidents scalp and watch his afro, I mean Chia-fro grow. That sure beats my chia herb garden. You can choose between the Happy Pose or Determined Pose Chia Obama. On the side of the Chia planters are inscribed with his famous words...... "Yes We Can". You get three packets of chia seeds to renew his chia afro.

Determined, very serious Chia Obama

Determined, very serious Chia Obama

Chia Obama was recenty flying off store shelves...then only after a week the Walgreens drug store chain in both Tampa and Chicago pulled it. In a company statement, Walgreens said that they've received complaints that the [tags]chia obama[/tags]product was offensive. The reason being is because “People could interpret it through a political viewpoint or other viewpoints and we want to avoid that situation."

Happy Chia Obama...Yesss we can!!!

Happy Chia Obama...Yesss we can!!!

The maker of Chia Obama, Joe Pedott of Joseph Enterprises, told the Chicago Tribune "I'm really hurt by the racist comments". The clay creation is "totally patriotic." "It's hope, courage and pro-American," he said. “If the hair gets long just cut it to any length you want! How is that racist?"
YouTube Preview Image

Chia Obama move on over. You're just one of many in a long line of famous Chia products. Let’s see there's Garfield, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, Shrek, The Simpsons and Oh yeah...both Hillary Chia and Statue of Liberty Chia are on the way.  Think this will ever be a collectible? Maybe or maybe not... but Americans are in love with Barack Obama and anything with Barack's face is sure to sell. And now for some innovative but rather weird inventions from Japan, the Baby Mops and Kitty Duster Slippers.


Huggable Hangers are created Joy Mangano. I've never heard of her before today...guess she's a hoity toity entrepreneur and inventor. She's also been on 20/20 and CBS, People Magazine and Good Housekeeping! Joy designs and patents most of her products exclusively for HSN.  Huggable Hangers are supposed to be designed especially to keep your clothing from slipping off hangers. Also because they're super thin, they save you precious closet space. Since over 200 million of these "special" hangers have been sold, I wondered what all the fuss was about....

Huggable Hangers save closet space

The closet from hell! Do you have one of these?

Huggable Hanger Features

  • Velvet flocked material - prevents clothes from slipping.
  • Long chrome hooks - allow large turtlenecks or scoop necks to be hung.
  • Gentle curves - preserves the shape of your clothing. No more shoulder bumps.
  • Color fast flocking - allows you to hang wet garments with no concern of colors running.
  • Cascading hooks - easily slide garments over the hook to hang multiple items using minimal space.
  • Finger clips - exclusively designed to be used with your huggable hangers. Adjustable and durable.
  • Comes with a manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty.
Huggable Hangers review

Huggable Hangers review

Joy Mangano has an assortment of products that come in a variety of package deals on HSN. They include....

Shirt hangers
Suit/pant hangers
4-bar pant hangers
Dust covers
Over-the-door hooks
Regular clips and cascade clips
Garment bags
Shoe bag that hangs on the back of your closet door

Good points
  • Biggest plus is the flocked surface which prevents garments, even the ones with tiny straps or silk blouses from slipping off the hanger.
  • They actually do use less space than traditional hangers because they are much thinner. They are only 1/4" thick which does make a difference when you have so many hangers in one closet.
  • Some report that they're able to hang twice as many clothes in their closets.
  • The varieties of colors are helpful if you want to sort and organize clothes as you take it out of the dryer. They can now be easily transfered to individual closets.
  • They keep your clothes free of shoulder indentations.
  • You can hang things you normally fold away into dressers. The clothes easily stay on the hangers just folded over rather than clipped.
  • Target now sells these hangers in groups of 5 for $4.99. Bed Bath and Beyond also now sell something very similar.

Bad Points

  • The [tags]huggable hangers[/tags]textured surface does make it a little more difficult to hang clingy type shirts and tops properly.Huggable Hangers can now be found at Target
  • The clips that you can buy separately are a big nuisance. They break, are hard to open and are expensive.
  • Minor lint problems from the flocked surface.
  • Expensive if bought at HSN.
  • I noticed a few complaints about hangers breaking and also some of the color coming off on their clothes. This doesn't seem to be the norm for most people.
  • If ordering from HSN there are some issues with people receiving broken or dirty hangers.

Also available at huggablehangers.com or eBay.

Time Remaining: 29d 12h 18m
Buy It Now for only: $29.99

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 50 ct 25 suit 25 shirt PINK
Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 50 ct 25 suit 25 shirt PINK
$13.49 (9 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 8h 30m

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 100 Piece All Hangers Pack Brass White Diamond
Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 100 Piece All Hangers Pack Brass White Diamond
Time Remaining: 10h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $45.99

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 72 Piece All Hangers Pack Brass Hot Pink
Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 72 Piece All Hangers Pack Brass Hot Pink
Time Remaining: 2d 5h 8m
Buy It Now for only: $39.95

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 35 Piece All Hangers Pack BLACK VELVET BRASS NEW
Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 35 Piece All Hangers Pack BLACK VELVET BRASS NEW
Time Remaining: 16d 10h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 50 ct 25 suit 25 shirt PINK
Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 50 ct 25 suit 25 shirt PINK
$10.49 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 13h 22m

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 103 pc Hanger Set NEW
Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 103 pc Hanger Set NEW
Time Remaining: 2d 10h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99

Joy Mangano 34 pc Huggable Hangers Combo Pack Black
Joy Mangano 34 pc Huggable Hangers Combo Pack Black
Time Remaining: 18d 15h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 100 Piece All Hangers Pack Espresso Chrome
Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 100 Piece All Hangers Pack Espresso Chrome
Time Remaining: 11d 9h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $45.99

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 72 Piece All Hangers Pack Brass Pink Ribbon
Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers 72 Piece All Hangers Pack Brass Pink Ribbon
Time Remaining: 2d 5h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $39.95

Joy Mangano kid child size Huggable Hangers sage green 50 hangers plus
Joy Mangano kid child size Huggable Hangers sage green 50 hangers plus
Time Remaining: 3d 15h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $29.00

NEW JOY MANGANO Huggable Hangers 90 Piece Mega Set Turquoise Brass
NEW JOY MANGANO Huggable Hangers 90 Piece Mega Set Turquoise Brass
Time Remaining: 4d 10h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $32.19

Huggable hangers are supposedly the most popular selling item on HSN. It seems that most people want the hangers only and not the clips. I would avoid HSN and actually head over to Target or Bed Bath and Beyond to pick these hangers up. By the way, if you're interested in organizing footwear here are a few solutions.


Shoes Under claims to be the easy solution to protect and organize shoes. Oh they can't possibly under deliver on this infomercial product...is what I thought. Lo and behold Shoes Under is not as the infomercial claims! It's a simple shoe organizer! How can they mess that up? What the heck is going on here?? No wonder we are all losing faith in As Seen on TV products. Arghhhh!!

This lady MUST have a shoe fetish... she has 75 pairs of shoes!!

Shoes Under Claims

Stores up to 12 pairs each
Easily fits in the unused space under most beds
Handles make it easy to pull out from under your bed
Shoe organizers - fully open measures approx. 29"L x 22"W x 5"H each
Versatile - store keep your belts, wallets, scarves, gloves, socks etc organized and accessible
Clear see-through cover designed to keep your shoes dust and dirt-free
Easy to see your shoes at-a-glance
Zipper closure helps keep elements out
Made of polyester and PVC
Wipe clean with damp cloth

Shoes Under isn't the best quality

Shoes Under isn't the best quality

Issues With Shoes Under

  • The [tags]shoes under[/tags]pockets are too small for shoes with heels.
  • The infomercial shoes the product being hard and durable but it's nothing like that. There are no hard sides, dividers or bottom to keep its shape. So your shoes slip under the cloth dividers.
  • Heels won't fit unless you remove the cloth dividers. So now you only have 6 holders instead of 12.
  • The deluxe version offered when you buy the product online is not sturdy.
  • They are basically flimsy cloth bags with thin cloth separators.
  • The separators don't stay in place and you're shoes don't lay nicely.

I love this one ladies munchkin comment. Haha!

If you are a munchkin, with munchkin shoes this is great!!! If not, your shoes WILL NOT fit in the spots together!!!! I mean really, did they NOT test this first! DUH DUH DUH!!! I bought 2 sets & have our shoes squished inside the holding areas. DUH! DUH! DUH!!!! SHHHHEEEEEEESH!!! Come on!

Shoes under might be ok for other small accessories like belts, wallets, scarves, gloves, socks…anything other than shoes. The only thing is you can't stack it or put it on it's side in the closet without it flopping over.  You can pick Shoes Under up at Walgreens for $10. I’m really surprised at how they blatantly misrepresent infomercial products! Here's another organizing idea, the Space Bags. They seem to have a new and improved version of it. The original Space Bags weren't so great.

Simple Shoe Organizing Ideas

I don't know if you'll find these helpful or not...I thought I'd add them anyway. They're just simple organizing ideas for your everyday footwear.

In the first video I liked the idea of being able to look at your shoes right beside your outfits to match up styles and colors of shoes to outfits. This is probably the biggest time waster every morning.

In this second video, I liked the idea of taking picture of your shoes and putting them on the outside of the box. The biggest problem I find is that shoes with higher heels are almost impossible to store in any shoe organizer. This way you can just keep them in their original box yet keep still keep track of everything without opening every single box.

I came across this blog post from Jeri, a professional organizer. Fifteen ways to store shoes. Lots of good information with pictures to show you how to do it!

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Space Bags are those giant Ziploc bags that you can vacuum seal to triple your storage space. After one brutal winter, it's finally time to pack up those ol winter clothes and comforters.  I bought some of these Space Bags a few years back.  Storing all this stuff is always a challenge especially if your closet space is limited.

Space Bag Claims

  • Triple your storage space.
  • Superior protection against bugs, moths, dust, mildew, and odors.
  • Airtight, waterproof and reusable.
  • Each set has a different configuration of Space Bags to meet your varied household needs.

Good Points

  • The Space Bag manufacturer claims that they've made the bags 50% stronger and also has an improved slider.
  • The product has a one year guarantee so be sure to save your receipts.
  • You can also buy them at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Bad Points

  • Close up of the Space Bag sealThis happened to me and many others. My [tags]space bags[/tags]zipper ripped right off of my bags as I was stuffing it full of clothes. I hadn't even got to the vacuum part.
  • The plastic is thin and the seams tear easily and you can't reseal the bags. Not what you’d expect for a bag that costs $5 each.
  • The air tends to leak out of the vacuum sealed bags even if the Space Bag is in perfect condition. For some it lasts only few days, other a few weeks or even months. Even if you follow the instructions the air will find it's way back in.
  • You need a vacuum with a nozzle to get the air out...after I got my new vacuum cleaner I wasn't able to seal them up again.
  • The space saving feature doesn't work for items that don't have air to compress such as towels, pants, rugs...all those harder,  heavier items.
Space Bag good and bad points

Space Bag good and bad points

A Few Hints

  1. Be careful not to overfill the bags or apply pressure before vacuuming the air out.
  2. If you're having problems with the bags re-inflating, it's been suggested that after you use the blue zipper to zip it shut - run your fingers across the top once or twice each way to make sure it is sealed well.
  3. The extra large sized Space Bags are too big to be practical for storage purposes. Stick to the small, medium, large and cubed Space Bags.
  4. The giant Ziploc bags work fine and they are only $2 a bag as opposed to $5. Although you can't vacuum seal them.
  5. You have to leave five inches from the edge of the zipper to allow for a better seal.

Space Bags claims that they have a stronger design and new and improved zipper. To tell you the truth I don't know when they came out with this new design if this is making a difference with the seal leakage and zipper problems. I'll give the Space Bags site a call. Also if you want to try them they’re at Bed Bath and Beyond and I believe I picked mine up at Walmart. Was so long ago...but at least this way you can easily return the product if something does go wrong with them.