Show Discussion: Buy It Now

By | April 16, 2018

Weekdays, 5:30pm,
Channel 4

Inventors attempt to sell ideas to an audience armed with buttons and lights, and if at least one person reckons they’d buy the product it’s thrown open to a panel of buyers who may or may not make an order. Perhaps they should have called it Sell Me Out.

Given how well Dragon’s Den continues to perform it’s surprising more shows haven’t jumped on the pitching for business bandwagon – although perhaps Dragon’s Den pretty much has the market cornered – off the top of my head I can only think of The Money Pit. This one offers Brian Conley (my liking of Conley is not steeped in hipster irony) and neon. Will it be enough?

17 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Buy It Now

  1. Chris B

    The only Den-a-likey I remember was “Fortune – Million Pound Giveaway” which even featured Duncan Bannatyne as one of the non Dragons. Was similar to the den, but more people trying to raise money for personal causes rather than business ideas.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes! Well remembered, with Richard Madeley IIRC. Didn’t last very long.

      There was also The E-Millionaire Show on Channel 4, where people with big web ideas (it was made in 2000) competed for a million pounds in investor money. It predated The Apprentice in having a surprise second winner. It looks like both winners are out of business now though.

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    This is pretty good as it turns out, and half an hour is the correct length for it. It’s literally Take Me Out meets Dragons Den – people get 90 seconds to pitch, audience who want to buy push their button, “if you’re keen make it green” “no likey no lighty etc”, Brian chats to some of the audience and people can still turn on during this time. Then the price is revealed and people can turn their lights off. If at least one light stays on it’s thrown over to three retailers who may or may not buy it for sale.

    It has an All Together Now style graphic to show how many people are in.

    It’s a bit heavy on ‘tense’ reveals but it’s an emminently watchable 30 minutes.

  3. John R

    It was a light enough watch, looks like the set designers made a Buy It Now offer on the Fifteen To One set and props mind, the audience bit seemed a bit pointless with them only needing 1 punter to remain in might as well have had a slightly more extended pitch/chat with Brian/retailers.

    Didn’t quite understand the panel set up though, presumably JML will want to brand the dog brush as a JML product before Ideal World can flog it

  4. CeleTheRef

    Big Brother 15 begins tonight in Italy on Canale5, and the network just got a new logo too! (maybe to match Telecinco a bit)
    Now it’s going to be called CanaleHookThing

  5. John R

    Hiring Brian Conley was a stroke of genius for this show, I just can’t help myself watching an episode each morning on the way to work!

    It’s like watching a shopping channel!

    1. John R

      Turns out the shoppers (audience) were reeled in with the promise of a £20 John Lewis gift voucher each on the way out!

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Yes indeed.

        I wonder if they do actually have to part with money (or at least the voucher) if they opt to buy?

        I kind of wish it was live and with the possibility of people at home ringing up and making an order.

  6. Oliver

    I like this – it’s an incredibly watchable half-hour. The premise is obviously similar to Dragon’s Den but it’s different enough to feel distinct and has a much more positive and less critical tone, a bit like The Voice compared to X Factor/Idol.

  7. Daniel H

    Like this – works nicely – well done for keeping it at a succinct half hour too – might have seemed a bit repetitive at an hour.

    One thing I did spot is that the money total Brian declares is based on the retail price. It keeps the maths easy, but could be a fair bit higher than the money the sellers will actually receive as the retailers surely won’t be buying at retail price!

  8. Brig Bother Post author

    Seeing as it’s effectively Focus Group: The Gameshow, thought I’d show it to my Mum. She absolutely loves it! The sort of products shown are absolutely in her wheelhouse, she was texting family and friends after many of the items to persuade them to have a look.

    So there we are.

  9. John R

    I was keen and green on the rotating stage product, sadly in Epidode 9 I finally realised it doesnt actually rotate its just a clever effect with a moving wall!

    I did also like the woman in one of the episodes from last week that added a bit of drama to proceedings by turning her light back on with about a millisecond left when no other shoppers were interested. Hopefully they had an independent adjudicator around to verify she went green in time!

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I thought that was quite an interesting format point that I hadn’t considered, the idea that anyone would turn their light back on after the price reveal. Not sure how much I like it, watching everyone switch off is a good moment of drama, although I suppose someone switching on was also quite dramatic.

      I wonder if there’s anything in the contract that if none of the audience go for it the buyers are forbidden to contact them after the show? I could totally understand why Firebox might want to go for the Man Mower, for example.

      1. Daniel H

        The light on/off system is certainly flexible – just been watching an episode on catch-up where someone lost three lights during the “chat round” – ie before she’d revealed the price.

        1. Crimsonshade

          There was also an episode a few days back where somebody, who hadn’t shown an interest in the product the whole time, suddenly turned ON their light after the price reveal after the customers who previously pressed dropped out – and became their only sale. This was still counted and they were allowed to face the retailers – so it seems the result isn’t definitive until after the price reveal time limit has expired; and until then, lights can be changed any time.


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