Finding a product scout, meaning someone who will represent your product to companies and aggressively try to get you a licensing deal, is like trying to catch the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Bringing your idea to market through the licensing model is straightforward – and something that you can do for yourself. I’ve done it you can too. There are so many resources available to teach you the steps to get your product to market – you might start with my book One Simple Idea which shares the ten steps I have used to successfully license several products.
There are “how to” videos on YouTube. Check out our inventRight channel – we have over 300 free videos on every step of the game.
I know that these methods work because we receive testimonials weekly from people who have licensed an idea just by reading the book or watching the videos and following the simple steps!
But sometimes I run into folks who believe that someone else could do a better job than they can. They need a product scout! Or a licensing agent!
Folks, I’ve been in the licensing business for over 30 years and I am here to tell you that I have never met a product scout or a licensing agent who has successfully licensed products for inventors.
It’s a pipe dream.
Now let me give you the small exceptions.
In the toy industry there are toy “brokers” who help companies look for and screen new product ideas. Industry giants such as Hasbro and Mattel use the services of toy brokers frequently. Toy brokers perform a valuable function for these companies by saving them a lot of time. In the past, a toy broker would review your idea for a small fee – if they believed it had merit they might charge a fee to show it at a trade show – and of course, in return, they share in any revenue stream from a licensing deal.
But today, because of open innovation – and the recognition of many companies across all industries that inventors are valuable resources – I don’t think these services are needed. You can submit your idea directly to a toy company yourself. There are lots of companies looking for ideas!
Another industry that needs a lot of new products, just like the toy industry does, is the “As Seen on TV” or “Direct Response TV (DRTV)”. There are five major DRTV companies and they count on inventors to come up with new hot selling items all the time.
Some folks will tell you that you need to use a “feeder” company to get your product into a DRTV company. “Feeder” companies will review new ideas or ones that may have been rejected by a DRTV firm. Sometimes these “feeder” companies will do the testing to determine if your product has the right appeal for DRTV and then submit to those companies on your behalf if the testing is successful. Some of these “feeder” companies refer to themselves as “product scouts”.
Do you have to use a “feeder” company or a product scout to submit your idea to a DRTV company? No! Just do an Internet search and you will find that each of these companies has a process by which you can submit a product. But, and this is important, do your homework first. Not all DRTV companies are the same – and you want to choose one that’s the right fit for you. Type the name of the company into your search bar followed by the word “complaints” and see what comes up. Be choosey.
The bottom line is this. You can license your product. You can! You can do it yourself – all the information is out there. Stop looking for leprechauns or dreaming of making it big – and just make it happen!