Developed by Franklin Mint founder Joe Segel in 1986 as an different to the residence Shopping Network, QVC (which stands for Quality, Value, and Convenience) has actually taken the concept of “theatrical retailing” and turned it into a company that deserve $14.1 billion in revenue in 2018 alone. (Cementing your dominance, castle purchased HSN in 2017 for $2.1 billion.) Hosts occupational 24 hours a day come beam live product demonstrations to consumers, chirp greetings to callers, and also find brand-new ways to extol the services of sheet blowers.

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But behind the porcelain-veneer smiles churns a relentless maker that works an extremely hard to make everything seem an extremely casual. Take a watch at few of the channel’s top selling points.

1. QVC re-invented residence shopping. 

The principle of home shopping to be popularized by Bud Paxson, an to be radio station owner who resolved a debt v an advertiser by agree 118 have the right to openers the he offered over the dial come listeners. Paxson brought the idea to television in the type of HSN; Segel assumed the presentations were tacky. In starting rival QVC, Segal hired more polished hosts—and an ext importantly, provided cable providers a percentage of sales. In return, QVC would get a higher channel assignment and more eyeballs.

2. QVC released with a shower head radio. 

QVC walk live ~ above November 24, 1986, with hold John Eastman presenting a Windsor shower head Companion because that $11.49. Sensing Eastman would probably hit a ceiling on how he might demonstrate such an object without rolling out a tub, the production additionally offered a live drawing that resembled a Power sphere segment: customers that had actually a credit transaction card equivalent the four-digit number were gone into into a $25,000 sweepstakes. The channel take it $7,400 precious of orders the day. Fifteen years later, top top December 2, 2001, the number was $80 million.

3. Top top QVC, every gesture counts. 

If friend think a host is acquisition a bite of a brownie or twirling a ring in a spontaneous way, think again. Since QVC’s control room sees sales statistics in real time, they deserve to correlate host and also guest actions with spikes in sales and advise them (via earpiece) come repeat the action, phrase, or wardrobe. When Joe Sugarman to be on air pushing BluBlocker sunglasses, that learned attract a according to tie aided him move an ext product; Ron Popeil would certainly jump in the air learning it led to boost in profits. Currently, QVC breakout host David Venable have the right to bump his number up once he walk his “happy dance.”

4. Mike Rowe obtained hired top top QVC for offering a pencil. 

Rowe, that has developed a cult adhering to for his Ford commercials, Dirty Jobs, and overall rough manliness, had an infamous run together a late-night host for the channel in the at an early stage 1990s. To obtain the gig, he was asked to describe the virtues of a number-two pencil to a QVC exec. Because that eight minutes. Rowe talked around the “vibrant yellow” the the instrument, its “real wood” feel, and how Einstein and also Picasso had actually made history with such a utensil. Once his time was up, the interviewer created “You’re Hired” on a item of paper. (He was later on fired, climate re-hired, through the channel supposedly unable to comprise its cumulative mind on whether Rowe"s droll shipment was a an excellent fit for the operation.)

5. QVC hosts have actually it rough.

There might be no more vastly under-appreciated project than the of home-shopping host: in addition to finding fresh methods to peddle jewelry, salespeople have actually to connect with callers, involved the broadcast armed with product knowledge (some even take tourism of manufacturing facilities), and also monitor manufacturing directions via an earpiece, all without cue cards or teleprompters. If all this sounds difficult, that is: hosts are nominally offered six months of training. But the really hard component is gaining hired. Of the 3,000 people who pertained to an open audition in 2007—including actors, journalists, and former guests—only 3 made the on air.

6. However QVC master can additionally find it an extremely rewarding.


Hosts who can efficiently juggle the requirements of home-shopping website traffic control and also endear themselves to viewers space rewarded. When QVC maintains hosts receive no commissions, well-known personalities can earn upwards the $500,000 a year because that being well-versed in cookware.

7. Marlon Brando want a job on QVC.

According come Brando’s secretary, Alice Marchak, the actor remained in dire jae won straits in 2001 and also was spring for any opportunity to become solvent again. He began arguing that he show up on QVC, despite his ideas—like an earthquake-proof house—weren’t helpful for the channel. Instead, Marchak told the to think about selling a DVD instructional ~ above acting. Brando took to the idea and also invested $50,000 in filming his (increasingly bizarre) seminars on the craft. The footage to be so unwieldy the Brando never wound increase on QVC. He passed away in 2004.

8. The QVC sales key is yes, really a "backyard fence" chat. 


Unlike HSN’s wild personalities, Segel want QVC to take a much more tempered strategy to sales. Hosts and also guests are provided educations in “backyard fence” conversation, making the viewer feel favor they’re simply listening to two friends talk fairly than obtaining drilled by a sales pitch. (When callers stray too much off-message, they"re corralled ago into stating the product.)

9. QVC has outlet stores. 

Ever wonder what wake up to unsold merchandise? It’s every gotta go! The company maintains a small number of retail outlet stores, including two external the Philadelphia area, wherein customers have the right to browse in person. Fans can also take a studio tour of the company"s infrastructure in West Chester, Penn.

10. QVC once got scammed. 

According to NBC, QVC’s web presence gained taken for over 1,800 item in 2005 many thanks to a glitch in your programming. A Greensboro, north Carolina woman named Quantina Moore-Perry found she could order items native the site, request a refund, and also still get her shipment. She pled guilty to cable fraud and forfeited the revenues from she deed, which totaled end $400,000.

11. This QVC organize is the same male from angry Dead II.


Rick Domeier acquired his QVC hosting gig by pretending to it is in his own agent, telling executives that “this Domeier guy” was talented. He is still with the channel, 21 years later. While QVC’s audience has gained used to him, horror fans probably do double-takes: an skilled actor, Domeier depicted Ed Gotley, a hapless victim the the Deadite curse in 1987’s Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn. Groovy. 

12. QVC guests have to take a class. 

While master do lot of the hefty lifting, QVC’s guests—the inventors, owners, or specialists that show up alongside them—don’t necessarily have actually broadcast experience. Come make sure they don’t come off together overly stiff, the channel sends them to a sort of broadcast boots camp: guests are asked to discuss a product, conversation conversationally into the camera, and also not melt into a sweaty mess on live television. If a merchant can’t accomplish that, some services offer on-air talent because that hire.

13. QVC master released a Christmas album.

Further proving that QVC hosts have arisen a familial relationship with viewers, the company released a vacation album through recordings from numerous on-air personalities. Holiday Favorites from the QVC Family featured popular hosts prefer David Venable and also Lisa Robertson spanning hits choose “Silent Night.” It can be the channel’s concession come skipping just one work of programming a year: Christmas is the just day nothing airs live.

14. Fainting won"t protect against QVC master from selling. 

Host Cassie Slane was pushing the FunTab Pro tablet computer in October 2012 when she started feeling light-headed. Together she keeled over, co-host Dan Hughes continued to comment on the product, seemingly oblivious come Slane’s sudden absence of vertical ability. (Slane, stated to it is in victimized by low blood sugar, insisted she to be fine the following day.)

15. QVC has actually their own talk show.

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After decades on the air, the network can be looking come offer much more conventional cable programming. In respectable 2019, they launched an unscripted talk show, Kim Gravel Now, with former Miss Georgia beauty beauty pageant winner Kim Gravel together host. The Saturday-night collection offers Gravel"s take on social and also style issues and also features sales plugs, though no for Gravel"s very own line of beauty, beauty products.