You haven’t lived until you have spent an entire afternoon watching Price-Drop TV, your eyes glued to the set just in case you miss a particular jewel. An Anthony Worral Thompson saucepan set for a mere £9.99! A jewel-encrusted globe of the world for £17.50! A giant furry slipper you can fit both of your feet into for £7.99! Truly such treasures are almost too much to behold.

During your maternity leave, once you have exhausted the numerous thrills of daytime TV and the afternoon stretches before you like a dreary prison sentence, you may find yourself turning to this and other auction shopping channels. Price-Drop TV and similar channels operate much like QVC but with an exciting added twist. As the seconds tick away, the price drops until enough viewers have rung in to purchase all the stock and everyone gets it for the minimum price. The presenter’s job is to sell each item as enthusiastically as they can, until eventually enough mugs – sorry happy shoppers – part with their hard-earned cash.

This is how I found myself bidding, on one such channel, for a tomato red leather handbag I didn’t need, want or even particularly like a few weeks after my son was born. OK, it was only a fiver, though admittedly after a hefty £7.99 postage and packing fee it was looking less of a bargain. A few days afterward, fraud was committed on my credit card. I am not suggesting for a moment the two incidents were linked, but fortunately this event brought my short-lived addiction to daytime TV shopping channels to a shuddering halt. But there are some great bargains on there honestly. It just helps if you mostly have astonishingly bad taste.

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