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  #11  
Old 06-03-2011, 06:54 PM
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I tried licensing it early on in the process before deciding to go into production, etc... to all the major sprinkler manufactures. One admitted it was a good idea but said, "It didn't really fit in their line of products". The rest ignored me. Not to sure if they want my product out there after thinking about his comment, if you know what I mean. That's when I decided to take it as far as I could myself.

My first Home and Garden show I attended after my first run of 10,000 indicators, got the attention of a store manager from a Big Box Store "L". Not sure if I can mention their name. Anyways, he got me in his store location as a SOS Item (Special Order Item). I pitched it in a few different store locations for 3 months, out sold similar products every day in every store many times over. Problem was getting it past corporate to make it a stock item. They would only let me sell it while I was there pitching it in one store one location at a time. Every store manager and district manager I met would ask "Why isn't this a Stock Item Yet". I always responded, "You Tell Me!". Not in God's plan for me yet is all I can guess.

After being in the BIG BOX STORE, I soon realized I definitely had something here. I still get orders from the areas I had pitched it in. Some have even called and asked "Where did you go?"

All I was doing was breaking even so I pulled out after making them a lot of $$$ in my eyes. Still waiting for Corporate to call. I didn't want to stay there and sell my entire inventory and only break even. Hotels and fuel was eating all my profits. That's why I decided to lower the price, now with the shipping the end user is paying the same as if they had gotton it from the box store. It retailed for $19.99 in the Box Store. I have tried to get on QVC and HSN, they claim seasonal products don't do well on T.V. I even tried Shark Tank lol, no response back from them either. I will not give up!

I just got my Patent granted last month May 24, 2011. So I have 20yrs left before it exspires. I'm leaving all option open, If anyone reading this is a decision maker or know someone who is, have them check me out and give me a call if they are interested. I know it's going to happen, just not sure when or how!

How do I know this? A few weeks before I thought of this I "Prayed" to invent something that could help me support my family. God has blessed me with this idea and has provided the means to get it to this point. The whole process has been "Unreal" and only "He" could have made this happen. When doors shut in my face, "He" opened another! The "Heck" with Politics!

"GOD IS AWESOME!"

I'M KEEPING THE FAITH!
IT"S ALL I HAVE!

Thanks Doctor for your kind words, I needed that!
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2011, 10:20 PM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Other than the big boys Lowes and Home Depot you might want to look into these.

These are wholesale suppliers that operate as a cooperative

Do It Best
True Value
Ace Hardware

A nationwide wholesaler is Orgil Brothers that does not operate as a cooperative.

Regional wholesalers include Blish-Mize, Emery-Waterhouse, Florida Hardware, Handy Hardware, House Hasson Hardware, HDW, Inc, Jensen Distribution, Monroe Hardware, and United Hardware

If you get into the distribution network, they do all the promoting for you. The one thing that you have to be sure of is that they all can make money and that you have an ample ability to meet the manufacturing demand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware_store

Thinking about it, the sprinkler people do not want it because they want to make sales not save sprinklers. That may be a problem with getting into the box stores as the sprinkler guys might fight it.

Try to find an importer for Canada. You could give a major chain or distributor there exclusive rights but be sure to put in performance clauses so if so many units are not bought you can go after more customers. As a matter of fact, if you give any exclusive rights put that clause in there or they could just sit and not sell any to keep it off the market.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2011, 10:29 PM
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I don't currently service any lawns with sprinklers. Though I must say that if I were to extend my routes 20 miles south that 70% would have and irrigation system in place. We have only installed a hand full of irrigation systems ourselves, and once I do another I will be promoting the Sprinkler Buddy. Once I pick up an account with sprinklers that I'll be flagging (or have the homeowner flag) before service I will suggest the product as well. I think this would be a much easier sale for the initial installation.


What I would like to know is..... Why is it a pack of 7? I liked Steve's Idea though I think I would price it individually at $3 or so on the counter. I know we've all paid what feels like was to much for something simple at some point because we needed it and it was all that would work. Regardless of price it's the eventual demand that will create the sales either on initial install or after market. But why a 7 pack, is there a contractor pack in progress? Go to a few stores and view packaging quantities and price variances on the same products, that's what I would do.

So, not how much will we pay for it, how much can I make for installing it? I would think at initial installation would be cheapest. If I come in later to install what do I charge on the labor end $10 per head? $60 per zone? Do I break up the cost to fit in their weekly/monthly billing making it more affordable to the customer up front?

If we set up a system with 5 zones and averaging 6+ heads per zone (I've only seen as many as 15 heads on one valve) I would be looking for some contractor pack quantity. Or is that where the 7 came from, you average 7 per zone?
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2011, 01:15 AM
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1:20 AM I can't sleep, I'm so excited. I received an e-mail from one of my distributors that sells them individually, he had sold 50 in one day since dropping his price from $2.99 to $1.99 a piece. He told me I better get ready, I'm so past ready! lol

Doctor, very sound advise. I have hit most of those guys you mentioned, they wouldn't give me the time of day either. Basically, you got to prove your a millionare before they will work with you. I barely have two pennies to rub together after all I have done. When I become one, I'm going to treat them the same when they call wanting to get a piece of this pie. As far as going out of the USA, I just can't. I know it may not be the best business decision but if I can't make it here in the USA, I just won't make it! I'm hard headed I guess. I was often told to get them made overseas to make more money. There are more important things to me than money.

Anyways, I put them in a pack of 7 incase I ended up doing what I am now, "Building an Internet Business" for the most part. It cost nearly as much to ship one as it does 7. I felt no one would buy a product that cost 3x more to ship than the product itself. Also, in my experience most smaller yards have around 4to5 heads that would need my product, larger yards would need even more. 7 seemed to me to be the happy medium. Sprinkler heads that are installed a tad to high, installed in soft ground, or just placed in a location that mower tires always seem to get them, would all be good candidates for my Buddy.

My other online distributor can sell them individually because he sells thousands of other products and he can also get a lot better shipping rate because of the volume he ships. Most all of his customers by all their irrigation supplies from him, it's not just one product like mine.

Guys, I appreciate your input and advise so much! Fisher, your the man! Thanks again for your comment on the other site. He had e-mailed me and apologized. I felt he was sincere about it too. "It's all Good"

Until next time, I need to hit the sack or TRY!
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2011, 12:20 PM
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I think $2 would be to low for a single unit and would ask the retailers to experiment with less price reductions. If one is 3 then why not try 4 for $10 and then 10 for $20. If you have them selling at $2 each then you're gonna have some wanting 10 for $15 and eventually kill the market price on it.



Have you considered going on the show Shark Tank?
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  #16  
Old 06-05-2011, 08:52 AM
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While I have been able to get my product in a few store-front locations thus far, that are listed on my website, I feel the internet can reach my target market a lot faster than I can find store owners willing to carry my product nation wide.

Selling retail off the internet, also means there are shipping charges as well to my customers. I'm trying to keep them affordable even with the shipping included. Most all of my store front retailers, retail my product @ $19.99 or more for the "7 Pack". Which they can do because they don't have to include shipping on top of it, being that the customer is coming to their store-front in person.

By lowering my price on my website, Now customers can "Buy" my product no matter where they live for about the same price as they would find it in their local harware store.

I think it will all work out in the "Wash". I'm Hoping it will Anyways!
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  #17  
Old 06-05-2011, 12:46 PM
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If that is the case, give them something instead. People love FREE stuff.

Charge the original price but give them "FREE SHIPPING"
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  #18  
Old 06-05-2011, 04:58 PM
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I thought about offering Free shipping and charging the full price of $19.99. I would definently make more $ that way per pack sold.

I decided on dropping my price to $13.93 instead of the free shipping because those that buy multiple packs 2-3 etc... can benefit on both the shipping and the price and I'll benefit by volume sold. Thought that was the better deal for both parties in the short and long run. Happy customers will bring me more customers , is my thinking anyways. I have always the option of changing things if they don't appear to work. Learning as I go!
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  #19  
Old 06-05-2011, 09:49 PM
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Have you been on ebay to do some direct sales from there. Talking about the free shipping got me to thinking about ways things often sale on there and especially in bid format. Those offering free shipping tend to get higher bids, whereas those charging shipping and handling above what seems reasonable receive lower bids yet make more money in their handling of which they don't have to pay a percentage to ebay for. Those with a fixed price may offer a lower price charging for shipping and even discounting larger orders. While some will go ahead and sale at a higher price offset by free shipping which tend to get more people to buy bulk as they know their shipping isn;t going to increase this works out great for a lot of sellers with their shipping built into the price as they collect the same for multiple units and of course save on the shipping.
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  #20  
Old 06-06-2011, 06:20 AM
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I did try e-bay some time ago, with this being such a new and different kind of product, folks seem to need to view my website to understand what exactly it is I'm offering. Which I can't provide there.

Once I become a little better known, I thought of trying them again. It could also have just been my computer skills, while they have improved since I have started this venture, they still are not that great. LOL
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