Article on Get-Rich-Quick Seminar Infomercials

Ridiculous Infomercial Review reader John sent a link to an article titled Money for nothing – get-rich-quick schemes. This article originally appeared in the Washington Monthy in April 1993—toward the tail end of the late 80s/early 90s “golden age” of infomercials, when any con-artist with a camcorder could make money by airing his own.

The reporter, Art Levine, tells of his first-hand experiences attending seminars advertised on TV infomercials and then attempting to put the money-making systems into practice.

The first seminar he attended was the one run by the couple Mike and Irene Milin, who are still airing their infomercials today. The Milin’s peddled a system for making money at government auctions, and here Levine gives an entertaining account of earnestly trying to make a profit off of a “spectroscope” and outdated software abandoned by the government.

The author also included this description of the Milin’s 1993-era infomercial: “As the screen flashed images of the Milins leaving their mansion, soaking in a hot tub, and flying in a private plane, I leaned forward, eager to learn their secrets of wealth.” I’ve seen Mike and Irene Milin and am therefore glad I managed to miss the sight of the husband and wife soaking in a hot tub.

The other seminar Levine attended is that of Vietnamese real estate guru Tom Vu. There is a lot of talk in the article about the legal storm then-looming over the Tom Vu real estate infomercial empire.

…Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a time machine and a VCR. I miss the early 90s!


  • 2 Responses to “Article on Get-Rich-Quick Seminar Infomercials”

  • I’m pretty sure I read this article. I vividly remember this spectroscope episode. I hope, I will be able to google it.

    Comment by Znkp on December 28, 2008 at 12:49 am

  • Got it. My Google search led to the exact same findarticles page, as did your link. It is a really funny piece.

    Comment by Znkp on December 28, 2008 at 1:03 am