Sell an Invention

Sell an Invention

Date: February 27, 2011

Sell an Invention

How to Sell an Invention – 10 Steps

This article discusses how to sell an invention in ten steps.
1. Conduct Market Research
– Substitute Products
– Retail Price Spectrums
– Market Growth
– Realistic Distribution Channels
– Average Time to Market for Similar Products/Inventions
– Recent Success Stories in the Market
– Analyze the Potential Market Demand (Be Realistic)

2. Know Your Product
– The invention should be engineered.
– You should have a functioning prototype or proof of concept.
– You need to know how much it will cost to be manufactured (Wait for formal quotes until you are protected).
– You need to know what your anticipated margins are.

3. Get Feedback from Those You Trust – Not Your Family and Friends.
– Check out SBDC or to find local mentors and coaches that the government pays for.
– Vet your idea out with mentors, fellow inventors, or trusted entrepreneurs.
– Do not get offended by critical comments or too flattered by positive comments. You can learn a lot more from critical comments than positive ones. These are often issues that customers may have and issues that friends and family might not tell you.
– It is very likely that the invention you end up selling will be much different than the one you originally conceived. This is OK.

4. Decide at this stage if it’s worth protecting. Some inventions will not be. If you find out it will be a dud, kill it early.
– Read our article on, “Kill Bad Ideas Quick”, here;

5. If you decide to continue, protect it with a patent attorney.
– We offer discount patent services to our members. If you would like to inquire, contact us via email at or by phone; 832-683-1527.

6. Put Together a Business Case
– How will your product idea benefit those who help you?
– How will it fit into their current product spread?
– How do you propose you will work together? What is your proposal for a working relationship?

7. Prepare Your Materials in a Professional Manner
– Color printed, bound.
– Professional Power Point
– Professional Website
– Deal Profile.
– Proposal Outline.

8. Know Your Audience
– Research the companies you feel would be interested.
– Identify specific contacts within those companies.
– Prepare for your calls.
– Be polite and considerate of others time.
– Keep your pitch short and ask if  you can send additional information.
– Accept feedback positively.

9. Be Prepared to Make or Accept an Offer
– Know what you are looking for in regards to a licensing %.
– Know what terms you would like in the agreement to protect yourself.
– Be prepared to accept or reject exclusivity.
– Don’t be greedy. Think about the BIG picture.

10. Repeat Steps 8 & 9 for Additional Companies.

Eric Corl is the founder and President of Idea Buyer LLC, an Ohio Limited Liability Company. Idea Buyer LLC runs and manages – The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. You can email Eric directly at If you have questions about bringing your product to market, feel free to ask us.