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Shopping channel's bidding blunder

If you’ve ever been stuck for something to watch on a boring Wednesday night, your eye might have drifted over the frankly macabre shopping channels Price-drop and Bid-up, where door-to-door salesman in cheap suits are allowed into your homes via the telly and babble about some out-of-date product or other the channel bought in a job lot, while the value of the product rises or falls until the whole lot are bought.

Anyone with half a brain can see that these channels are a waste of time and money (and that you can buy almost everything they have for cheaper online), and that unless you are a bored housewife, unemployed, retired or under 40 you have no business watching them.

Anyway, it seems that like typical salespeople, they’ve been messing around with the auctions, which viewers assume are live. Yesterday one of their presenters was urging shoppers to buy tat on both channels at the same time, which would confuse some people into thinking the whole thing is one big con. But apparently that’s not the case, and they’re only using pre-recorded video while running live auctions. How does that work exactly? You’d have to watch to find out – but, you know, don’t do that.

‘We are experimenting by using recorded video of a sale but playing it out with a live auction,’ said Sit-Up Ltd’s chief executive Ian Percival. ‘The price and the quantity are live - as shown on the graphics - but the video is pre-recorded.

‘We've only done it a couple of times before. The saving is that the presenters don't have to be on air all the time.

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