I have decided to sell my patented product ...but how?

TelecruiserTelecruiser subscriber Posts: 2
This is my first post so here goes -
 
I have designed a unique work positioning product (www.pivotlok.com) that I have had some success. My biggest problem is that I have always been woefully underfunded and have battled month to month for four years now trying to make ends meet. I have never been able to afford any type of advertising in the trades and have only done a couple of trade shows with some success. Every company that has purchased my product has always purchased more units. I have companies with 5-10-20-30-40 and in one case; 80 units. They love the product but I can`t even come close to telling the world about it.
 
I have come to the conclusion that I am not a sales/marketing person. I am a concept/designer builder type. I am happiest in front of a computer doing CAD designs and then building the unit in my shop. It is where I am happiest.
 
OK, that said -
 
I want to sell my product. I want to get out from under it and move on. I have struggled too long and it has taken its toll. I need to generate capital to move on to other product design ideas that I want to bring to fruition.
 

How is the best way to proceed? Brokers, agents? How? I`m at a loss on how to get this out to the best prospects.
 
Any suggestions will be appreciated.
 
Thank You

Comments

  • Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    Good product, but you need to do the other three P`s of marketing: Price, Place, and Promotion.
    How much is the basic Pivotlok?
    One thing you have to work against is companies already have plenty of bench vise and won`t get rid of them to use yours.  Yours offers relative small improvements that may not be enough to move potential buyers to dump their existing vises.
  • TelecruiserTelecruiser subscriber Posts: 2
    Innovator7
    How much is the basic Pivotlok?


     
    $489
    One thing you have to work against is companies already have plenty of bench vise and won`t get rid of them to use yours.  Yours offers relative small improvements that may not be enough to move potential buyers to dump their existing vises.
     
     
     
    I am not sure why people think this is a "vise" but you are not the first one to say it.
     
    It is a self-locking, ball swivel positioner. Yes, you can mount a vise on it but it is NOT a VISE. The PivotLok does not, in anyway, compete with vise manufacturers. It is a positioning system that is specifically designed for commercial/industrial use such as assembly, welding, polishing, refurbishing etc..  It is designed to bring the workpiece to the users hands to perform the task in a more optimal position. It allows the user to postion their workpiece anywhere within a hemisphere with unlimited rotation. The beauty of the PivotLok is that all you have to do is let the lever go and it immediately locks in place. No screws to tighten, no pneumatics or hydraulics or electrical requirements.
     
    Because it is a commercial/industrial product is was designed from the start to be easily adaptable to custom tooling and fixturing. Customers just about universally build their own custom, dedicated tooling and fixturing. I use it to assemble it with, kind of a parent/child relationship.
     
    I have sold multiple units to; Boeing, Praxair, Pratt & Whitney, Harley-Davidson, Polaris, Decostar (40 units), Idexx (80 units) as well as others. Nobody yet has bought just one unit. Once they get their first one they call back and order more.
    Telecruiser11/27/2008 12:33 PM
  • EricEric subscriber Posts: 8
    Telecruiser,
    Don`t let frustration set in and do not rush to the nearest buyer of your I.P.
    I`ve looked at your product. I like it. It definitely needs targeted exposure among other things. You already know that people who use it are pleased and appreciate it.
    That is the most important step..a solid, respected product. The next step really is to sell it and products do NOT sell themselves.
    I see this as perfect as one of those tiny advertisements in the back of Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, etc. You need regular exposure to sell this.....
    BUT you have a much bigger problem.
    It costs 500 + dollars! Now that might not be a problem for Boeing, Pratt and Whitney, Praxair, etc. but  I guarantee you have lost  most of the small time mechanics and the very large hobbyist market. Independent mechanics and hobbyists are smart and resourceful people who know how to stretch a buck. Many of them will look at your positioner, think it`s a really great product, see the price tag, and then say goodbye.
    I believe I`ve told this story on S.U.N. before.
    I was at a tradeshow several years ago where I saw this amazing, beautifully engineered and machined articulating leveraged screwdriver that could allow you to reach those pesky hard to reach
    locations in equipment, behind walls, around corners, etc. It was really fun to see what it could do. it was obvious to anyone that it could really come in handy. To top it off, he combined the product with a beautiful case and a  wide array of accessories.
    The entire package had a low retail price of something like $1,200.00   Goodbye!
    The fact is that a resourceful mechanic could easily source the components to build a souped up screwdriver that can do roughly the same thing and for a whole lot less. The price killed that product cold. It`s now a museum piece. Incidentally, made in Germany, the land of complex engineering-- both mechanical AND social.
    To be fair, I have no idea how much it costs to make your product. I have no idea how much control you have over price margins. I have no idea how much inventory you are sitting on, and I have no idea how much debt you hold.
    But I have met many inventors who have failed soley on their principaled desire to manufacture inside the U.S.A. stating boldly that they would rather fail than manufacture overseas. Most often, they do just that; They go broke;  few people get to benefit from actually owning and using the product; people that were hired to make the product get laid off or struggle with slow work weeks as the volume isn`t there to maintain the workload. Eventually the patent expires, and the product hits the shelves for 1/4-1/3 of the orginal price with competition from 5 other makers.
    But hey, at least they didn`t employ any Chinese people. This happens all the time.
    This is the experience with the product I helped invent-- we determined that it could not sell well for over 80 bucks or so because at above that price you approach a point where the product expense  exceeds the convenice that the product provides for MOST potential buyers. While there are always going to be those with deep pockets that equate US made and big price with value, most people have a limit to how much they will pay for any gadget.
    We also knew that it couldn`t be manufactured in the US and sell for less than $100- the cost would simply be too great and we would just be going through the motions only to find that people wouldn`t buy the product for that price. It was simply a matter of do we want to make a product that sells well or not?
    I`m certain that your product would widely sell if properly marketed and at a price that customers don`t cringe or grit their teeth.
    Incidentally, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to prove our theory right. Our manufacturer sub licensed to another company who sold under our patent a competing product for $180. Our $80 product outsells it now 10-1. Why? They outpriced the convenience.
    This is what I see happening if you sell your patent. The lucky company that buys it will immediately relocate manufacturing and lower the price.
    This doesn`t mean China necessarily, but they will find a way to maximize profit and sell more units. Then they will introduce the product through their usual sales avenues which they have already established. Then they will carefully build on the optional accessory market which alone could make far more over time than the main unit itself. They will make a fortune and you will have whatever it is you agreed to walk away with.
    As a side note, I know you say that you aren`t trying to compete with the vise market but I cannot imagine why you wouldn`t have a simple vise option available yet. For me, it`s the first thing I would want. Seriously. I know I`m not the first person to say it and I won`t be the last.  
    My bottom line summary: great product, terrible price. Don`t give up!
    Good luck and all the best! Let us know how it goes.
    Eric
  • TelecruiserTelecruiser subscriber Posts: 2

    "BUT you have a much bigger problem.
    It costs 500 + dollars! Now that might not be a problem for Boeing, Pratt and Whitney, Praxair, etc. but  I guarantee you have lost  most of the small time mechanics and the very large hobbyist market. Independent mechanics and hobbyists are smart and resourceful people who know how to stretch a buck. Many of them will look at your positioner, think it`s a really great product, see the price tag, and then say goodbye." From the start it was never intended to be a consumer grade product. I designed and built this unit for commercial/industrial use. The customers who have purchased it have never once complained about the price. I even had one customer asked how I could sell it so cheap. Until you have held this product in your hand you don`t get the "feel" of it. It is a high quality, commercial grade product. I do have plans to have an overseas built model that would sell at Home Depot etc..
     

    "To be fair, I have no idea how much it costs to make your product. I have no idea how much control you have over price margins. I have no idea how much inventory you are sitting on, and I have no idea how much debt you hold. "

     
    I build this unit complete myself in my shop. My intent was to expand production (I have and extensive background in CNC machining and manufacturing) to be able to hire people and be able to build many units as demanded.
     
     
     


     
  • EricEric subscriber Posts: 8
    It appears you`ve made up your mind.  It`s too bad that you were entirely capable of satisfying the commecial market but unable to make the moves necessary to reach the consumer market, but I understand. You`ve had it. 
    You insist that you aren`t a sales/marketing guy. Unfortunately that`s exactly the skill you need to sell your I.P. and if you can`t do it yourself, you have to find somebody that can.This may be the answer you are looking for. If you really truly serious....www.oceantomo.comThey are capable of doing everything you need....valuation, strategy, auction, and transfer. I have not used them but someday I may. From what I`ve learned, this is a top-notch company that bears top-notch results. I have no idea what the expense is, but an inquiry is just a phone call away. Best of luck to you on this! 
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