Be warned: Shopping on the QVC home shopping channel can be addictive.
That's what friends and co-workers Susie Garrison and Sandi Karam say. Both from Newport News, the ladies chucked traditional shopping once they discovered the joy of spending money with a TV remote.
On Thursday, the women took some time off from their jobs as nurses to watch the live show in action.
It was the first time the QVC crew taped its live show from Colonial Williamsburg. Host Carolyn Gracie introduced audiences to the historic site's WILLIAMSBURG collection, a home decor line that benefits the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Items like the gentleman Christmas caroler sold out during the live show, with many of the other holiday items coming close to selling out.
Several dozen QVC die hards made up the live audience that chilly Thursday morning. Garrison and Karam took a spot in the front row under the pavilion in the back of Shields Tavern. Williamsburg resident Barbie Spievert took the seat next to them, and the trio became fast friends, nodding their heads in agreement when Gracie would describe an item with particular fervor and craning their necks to see around the large camera equipment.
"I never mall shop anymore," Spievert says. "I just like getting everything new and clean. The clothes come wrapped in tissue, and no one has ever tried them on before."
All three of the ladies cite quality and customer service as the reasons they prefer to shop through QVC. Surprise offers, clearance sales and a unique jewelry selection keep them coming back nearly every evening.
Ginger Chiesa, of Yorktown, also trekked to Shields Tavern with her husband, Fred, and daughter, Ginny, for the live show. She's religiously shopped through QVC for years, but an illness that requires her to use an oxygen tank makes home shopping even more convenient.
This year, she's planning to do all of her Christmas shopping through the home shopping channel.
She got a head start when her husband, Fred, won the live audience raffle which included many of the holiday decorating items being sold during the show. That meant she got a duplicate of the holiday quilt, since she already had purchased one before the live show started.
"I don't shop on QVC as much as my mom does, but I do think it's in the genes," Ginny says.
But shopping QVC isn't all about the TV. Many QVC fans visit the qvc.com Web site just as often.
"You still call in?" Spievert asked her new friend Karam. "I do everything through the Web site."
Occasionally there are special offers only available online, and shoppers can read user reviews of products. They can also chat live with show executives, and, of course, buy merchandise.
"You really need to look at the program guide the day before to see what you're interested in," Ginger says. "And you need to DVR it if you can't be home."
News to Use The WILLIAMSBURG home decor line will appear on the QVC shopping channel again in 2010. In the meantime, the products can be purchased at many shops in Colonial Williamsburg, including the WILLIAMSBURG Home Store in Merchants Square. You also can shop for the products online at williamsburg marketplace.com.
Want to watch? QVC sells products 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Locally, you can watch QVC channel on Channel 50 if you have Cox cable. Look for it on Channel 150 on Verizon Fios, on Channel 275 on DIRECTV and on Channel 137 on DISH Network. You also can shop at QVC.com.HSN, the home shopping network, can be seen on Channel 53 if you have Cox cable. Look for it on Channel 651, if you have Verizon Fios, on Channel 240 on DIRECTV and Channel 84 on DISH Network. You can also shop at hsn.com.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun