InventorEd has received reports of invention promoters contacting the parents of children who are involved in invention contests. These promoters tell the parents how great the invention is and that if they let the company market the invention that the family will make millions.
Next the promoter will offer to do an evaluation, either to get a patent, or if there is already a patent to evaluate marketability for anywhere from free to about $1500.
The promoter will always come back with a glowing report about how great the invention is, and then make a pitch for $4,000 to as much as $12,000 for either obtaining a patent, or in some cases just for marketing.
If the parent still has any money left the promoter will often offer additional services. In the worst case I have seen the promoter took almost $30,000.
One infamous promoter even offers to allow the children to exhibit their invention free, and then uses the opportunity to sell parents services.
There are legitimate invention promoters. Those who are successful promoters never charge more then a few hundred dollars to evaluate an invention, and if they chose to work with your invention they do so on a contingency basis where they typically get 40-50%. When you consider that marketing is usually 95% of the work this is a very good deal for the inventor.
In my personal experience none of the legitimate promoters advertise on TV. They don't need to advertise, and those who do need to advertise are doing so because their services do not lead to word of mouth referrals.
For more information about the invention promotion industry see InventorEd's caution section.
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