• Models
  • Sports figures
  • Actors
  • Writers
  • Musicians

What do these professions have in common? They all employ agents. As an inventor (product developer) do you need an agent? It depends.

  • Do you get hives thinking about cold calls?
  • Would you rather make prototypes than talk to strangers?
  • Do you dislike researching companies?
  • Are you not a people person?
  • Are you OK letting go a little bit and don’t have the urge to be a control freak?

Then maybe an agent is what you need. Remember, there is no free lunch. You have to give in order to get. What will the agent expect from you?

  • A piece of the action, a percentage of the royalties. Often 50% of the royalties. Some are less so it pays to shop around.
  • The agent will expect you to have a sell sheet or expect you to pay for one, it won’t be their dime. They need to sell your idea. You need a stellar sell sheet or the agent won’t waste their time.
  • They will want your best ideas. Again, they can afford to be picky because it’s their time. They also can be selective, it’s rare that one agent deals will all types of product categories. The toy business is very competitive and some companies only deal with agents.
  • They will expect an exclusive. You can’t shop your invention to multiple agents and hope one will click. This is a monogamous relationship.
  • An agent will also expect you to chill out and not call or e-mail them every day.
  • Of course, they will want you to sign a contract or representation agreement.

How do I know all this? I represented an inventor once, ONCE. Hated it. I spent so much time writing the contract I kicked myself for agreeing to it. Then I felt like I was stalked by the inventor with phone calls and e-mails and e-mails asking if I got their e-mail.

Right now I have one of my ideas with an agent. Why?

  • It’s someone I trust and already have a working relationship with.
  • We have a NDA signed.
  • She has contacts in the product category that’s a fit with my invention.
  • She is passionate about the product category, I’m not.
  • I can spend my time inventing my own products or doing design consulting and prototyping for other folks.

So who are you gonna call?

If you need help with sell sheets, a 3-D rendering or a prototype please let me know. My rates are very competitive and I can provide references.

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