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Shopper baffled by pricey gadget sold at big box store: ‘I just went to a thrift store and saw six of these’

“Apparently some people do buy these, they just don’t keep them.”

"Apparently some people do buy these, they just don't keep them."

Photo Credit: iStock

A pricey s’mores maker is baffling Reddit users on the r/Anticonsumption subreddit.

With a price tag of $45, users are puzzled by the Sharper Image S’mores Maker, which appears to just be a tiny heating contraption with small skewers and a plate for marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. “Who buys this crap?” the original post’s caption reads.

Smores maker
Photo Credit: u/MassiveBureaacy / Reddit

Commenters universally agreed that they couldn’t imagine purchasing an item like this, with such limited applications and functionality, for themselves, which led to a likely hypothesis as to who is keeping items like this afloat: well-meaning gift-givers.

One commenter tidily summed up the life cycle of an item like a s’mores maker, which begins with a clueless parent buying it as a gift. “My mom… ‘It’ll be fun for the grandkids’…. Uses it once, then it sits in a cabinet until she needs to clear things out. Then it ends up in the trash because, ‘Who has time to organize a garage sale or take stuff to the thrift store for donation.’”

Users in the r/Anticonsumption subreddit attempt to resist unnecessary purchases for both monetary and environmental purposes. The message board’s description page says that its primary function is to provide a space for “criticizing and discussing consumer culture. This includes but is not limited to material consumption, the environment, media consumption, and corporate influence.” 

Other recent posts on the subreddit include fury over unnecessary extravagance on cruise ships, pointless wedding merchandise, and ridiculous consumption of makeup products.

Wasting money and resources on unnecessary, limited-use gifts like a s’mores maker is a classic example of consumer culture going too far, as companies attempt to sell arbitrary products to consumers who don’t need them. 

S’mores can easily be made with kitchen products that have a wider range of functions, like a toaster oven, a stove burner, or even a microwave, so there’s no need to drop almost $50 on a product that can only execute one task (and subsequently encourages companies to make more unnecessary, redundant products by displaying a demand for them). 

Users sounded off about the pointlessness of the s’mores maker in the comments. 

“I just went to a thrift store and saw like six of these all next to each other. So apparently some people do buy these, they just don’t keep them,” one commenter wrote.

“People who need to buy things all the time to feel good, is my guess,” another user said.

“I saw this in Costco, so apparently a lot of people. I considered it for a second and then thought of all the other things in my house I can use to make s’mores,” a third user commented.

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