Is Quirky a scam?

sarahgupta's Avatar

Hi everyone! I’ve been reading all the forum comments about EN members’ experiences with quirky, but haven’t really seen anyone address the troubling legal issues that seem to be cropping up. Something just doesn’t smell right.

I signed up for quirky a few weeks ago—thought it might be a good place to pitch a “quick” invention, one that I would never be interested in taking to market myself. But I don’t really understand what you get for your $100 entry fee. True, you do get community feedback on the R&D and marketing of your product… but that doesn’t seem to guarantee that you the product will ever go anywhere, and while you have to sign over your IP rights to quirky, they state that the legal protection of your invention is up to you, not them.

Even more troubling is that Quirky seems to have little interest in the legal viability of the products they are developing. I keep getting emails to participate in a “new” dual-chambered water bottle that seems verrrrrrrry similar to the “swigz” bottle (http://www.swigz.com/) already PATENTED and on the market. Yet Quirky is moving forward with this product.

Whats the deal? Why would they “develop” a product that could only end in a lawsuit the minute they try to sell it? I just don’t get it.

Is there anyone out there who has had a good/bad experience with quirky so far?

Thanks!
Sarah

http://buffcuff.wordpress.com/

posted April 06, 2010 08:25 (
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pegman's Avatar

One thing that I’d add, I took measures to protect myself prior to getting into this. I would recommend everyone that has IP at risk, please take whatever measures you have at your disposal prior to signing on the dotted line. I used the communities awareness to protect me.

posted August 04, 2010 17:29 (
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jeffreyrbrady's Avatargold

Well said Scott…Makes better sense in the perspective you just gave! I wish you a lot of luck on your product. Sometimes they catch and sometimes they don’t. You are correct! You never know until you have exhausted all the options!

posted August 04, 2010 15:46 (
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pegman's Avatar

Thanks Jeffrey, but I’m not trying to advertise my product, I’m trying to license.

Your comment a month ago is what inspired me to submit to Q, even though I really have more of an allegience to Edison Nation. EN was not able to license out my patented and patent pending products so I submitted to Quirky. I figure in my case, I was able to establish a selling price that Q would have to more or less honor, establish that there was no need for a high presale threshhold since it was in production, and they had the crowdsourcing to create product awareness, sales, and they also have the finacial resources to help this along better than I can do on my own.

The analytics that a submitter recieves from submitting, confirms whether or not you have a viable product, some people simply don’t know. The analyitcs will show it, but the inventor needs to look at it honestly. In my case, my product recieved a high enough score across the board to realize that it does have a wide range of appeal and that I don’t have to target any particular crowd.

For some reason the beer drinkers didn’t rally to support me, but the wine drinkers did… go figure.

Anyhow, it was a huge gamble licensing out to a company that has no minimums to meet. Plus it is a full assignment. Since Q didn’t take it, it is their loss. But if it was a scam, they could have stolen it for $99 (but did not).

If one has a rock solid patent and a good design, Quirky might be able to help. A weak design would get slaughtered on Quirky, but It will also get slaughtered by potential licensees anyway. I feal good after it was all said and done. Still broke, but I have honest reviews by people that had no vested interest.

I don’t know if having a “niche” market has anything to do with product selection. The more I think about it, not serving to the “niche” market means that you probably should patent the idea for its widespread appeal. “Niche” market says it a flash in the pan and short lived, or perhaps to small of target market… no need for a patent due to lack of interest or competition.

posted August 04, 2010 15:27 (
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jeffreyrbrady's Avatargold

As stated above:“If you don’t have a patent app filed and honestly don’t believe you will ever do anything with that great idea, or really don’t know how to make it happen, I would consider Quirky.”

I do see some patented ideas on Quirky that really just don’t have a niche’ in todays market. Some products just won’t take-off. Some because they are ahead of their time like the Apple Newton. Some because the idea was recycled from an old concept and outdated in design or appearance.

If your product fits one of the two categories, Quirky may be right for you…

If it is an up to date and good product concept, Try Edison Nation or the Everyday Edison program if you don’t have the means to market the product.

A provisional patent costs $110.00 and all you need is a legal format that meets the requirement of the US Patent Office…

See the link below on how advertising can be on Quirky. There aren’t any secrets with them, so once you let it go to them…the idea is out and you might want a patent before that time!

http://www.quirky.com/ideations/30889

http://www.quirky.com/projects/377-Twice-indust...

posted August 04, 2010 08:42 (
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pegman's Avatar

Quirky has it’s drawbacks, and I’ve submitted to them recently. They instead picked a product that could be easily marketed to the college crowd, an easy market to crowdsource. If you don’t have a patent app filed and honestly don’t believe you will ever do anything with that great idea, or really don’t know how to make it happen, I would consider Quirky. It will have a better chance of putting a little change in your pocket than it being left in your head. It does need to be a simple consumer product that has a wide range of appeal.

Also, by being vague about your submission, buy putting the idea of needing a solution to a common problem is a great way to submit an idea without jeapordizing your idea. At least you’ll find out if many people feel there is a need for a solution to the problem. Everything comes with risks, there are no sure things, but I don’t believe Quirky is scamming anyone.

posted August 03, 2010 20:31 (
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rmazel's Avatar

Getting back to the Quirky conversation. I personally had a problem with it’s predecessor “Kluster”.

I was excited about the site and submitted a few ideas for a design competition they were doing at TED. The goal was to build the winning idea in 24 hours to demonstrate the power of crowdsourcing at TED. My idea was in the lead for most of the competition until employees of Kluster dumped all their vote points (they had 100,000 vote points to the normal users that were given 2,000) into a religious board game. (which seemed very odd until I later found out that the theme of TED that year was coexisting)

I think the goal was to better fit with TED’s theme, but that was not conveyed to participants, and Kluster employees should have been exempt (or at least placed on even footing). I understand that they wanted to shoehorn the product into the theme, but people like me put a lot of time and effort into something that I believe was rigged from the start.

That being said, I do like his basic ideas and the site looks pretty good and has some good product. Ben the founder seems like a smart guy and great marketer. However, I personally would be careful as they may cut corners and fold the site and move on to a new rebranding.

Just thought I would share my experience. I wouldn’t totally write off the site, but I would be cautious.

posted August 03, 2010 09:59 (
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funfam4's Avatar

But maybe he is really another Mark…oh, nevermind!!

posted April 07, 2010 17:12 (
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funfam4's Avatar

Okay, Mark…fess up…are you Mark or are you me?? Or is Dev really Derek? Hmmm….? Au revoir, um…Dev??!

posted April 07, 2010 16:43 (
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dev's Avatar

Sherri: That’s what I did. I see you didn’t read far enough. That’s how I found out Mark IS Johnny G.You do not know if Mark helped inventors to the end without payment by reading forums. Why is this so touchy? Sherri are you Mark too? Maybe we should have a show of hands. who is NOT Mark?
This is a go nowhere conversation. I said what I wanted to say.
I hope I didn’t interupt your work on here Mark.

Ciao.

posted April 07, 2010 16:33 (
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funfam4's Avatar

Yeah, Dev…I know that Mark has helped quite a few on here…just from exploring the forums…maybe YOU should explore further!

posted April 07, 2010 16:10 (
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dev's Avatar

I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t recall saying I was from Quirky. You said that. Then you called me defensive and a duck.I read here and posted when I saw what Sarah wrote. You writing what you did and Sarah writing what she did set warning bells off in my head is all.Now look who’s defensive.
Are you angry about the Jonny G thing? Sorry man.

Not talking about Quirky putting an invention out in the public like that.Talking about people with companies who help inventors for free.

posted April 07, 2010 15:56 (
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dev's Avatar

Ron: nice story. You have reason to be proud.
Mark: I care because a family member was scammed by a company like yours with free help on the phone once they had public trust.The product IP was stolen and from what Sarah writes above this might be the new thing going around.

Sherri: After Sally’s post I went looking. do a search on jonny G before you praise the songs of Mark.

posted April 07, 2010 15:32 (
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rjlinnovations's AvatarRest In Peace

Thank you very much Sally. You understand me. I wish some of the new people did.

See…many helped me through the years or else I never would have been able to reach certain doors. That is the way of this field and the reason for inventor groups because inventors need to help each other to succeed. One person alone cannot do it…too much to do and know.

People came to my aid…and I learn PLENTY here myself too! Mark and I have surely taught each other many things. That is the “inventor’s cycle” you take help…and you give help back.

Keep doing that. keep learning, keep being a contributor to this inventor community and you WILL succeed. I’ve seen it…the least expected to come up with a good idea finally do if they stick with it and learn the right doors to kick in…if they don’t give up.

Look at this lady…everyone laughed at her, made her run out of our inventor’s meeting in tears once…but I helped her…only one. It took her 5 years but a wedding favor company saw her product, modified it’s purpose and she sold 10,000. Who’s laughing and who’s crying now! She isn’t rich…but she sold 10,000 and for that I give her all the credit in the world. Check her out: http://www.glo-golollipopholder.com/

Also….look at this lady…another reason you may have to manufacture yourself to get your product up off the ground. A licensing deal for this lady would have been IMPOSSIBLE and nearly no one took her seriously. She did talk some crazy stuff…but that don’t matter…she’s doing it while others are just drawing nice pictures of dreams and ideas. Congrats Gloria….your one of my inventor heroes for pulling off what all surely thought was impossible….and you show us all that ANYONE can win in this game!

posted April 07, 2010 12:06 (
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funfam4's Avatar

Hmmm??…I was trying to also compliment Mark and Roger because they…like Ron…have helped many, many folks here at EN as well! EN Rules!! I am very thankful for EN!!

posted April 07, 2010 12:04 (
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shopkins's Avatar

WOW, so it seems that my post has been interpreted far differently than intended.
I was really trying to pay a compliment to Ron:-) Nothing more.
I have been out of this inventing thing for a while and really try to not get involved in the politics.Some how things you write do not always come across as they are meant.
I am always thankful for every bit of help and guidance given to me in my life and it is never forgotten.
I will go back to silence.

posted April 07, 2010 11:53 (
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funfam4's Avatar

Mark, I know you have helped many here on EN…and Roger, too (where IS Roger, BTW??)…and I am very sorry that no one has even offered to buy you dinner!! Please, if you are ever in the DFW area…give me a little “heads-up” notice (we have school-aged children)…we will take you out to supper!!
I can’t even call myself a “novice inventor” yet…but if you have helped my comrades, then you should at least have a good meal in your tummy!! I bet others here on EN would love to have you over for dinner or take you out for “good eats” as well!!!( But if we are going out for BBQ…leave the suit and tie behind and wear something that can get REAL messy!!! LOL!!)

posted April 07, 2010 09:19 (
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shopkins's Avatar

Ron,

You are one of the handful of people on this forum that is truly here to help.
You do not bash EN on their own site and you offer sound advice.
I also believe you have far more experience then most that offer “free help” and you offer your help openly. I also believe you are very open on WHO you REALLY are. No fake pictures(doctored up from years ago), no fake identities, and really nothing to hide. You are yourself no matter what. As far as Quirky, I believe they put out openly what they offer and I do not see a problem paying a company for their services. No body works for free and they are a business just like EN.

posted April 07, 2010 08:53 (
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rjlinnovations's AvatarRest In Peace

D. Michaels….I have helped many different products and inventors in many different stages from incubation to after getting the product on the shelves to increase sales.

If you understand this field you will realize there are many many little steps to bringing an idea all the way to market and NOBODY is the best expert at every one of those steps so the smart ones leave different steps to different people or let others assist.

Important too, The many inventors over many years I have witnessed in person trying to develop their products.

I’m not talking about small inventors either, I’ve worked with Fortune 100 companies developing products a couple times…but D Michaels…I have no time or desire to prove anything to you….but I will tell you…I fight very hard for this forum to remain a place where you can get free advice and don’t have to be bombarded by solicitors trying to take over your invention and savings account.

posted April 07, 2010 07:33 (
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dev's Avatar

Ron: You don’t have a business that makes money off inventions. I have no problem with you.
Mark: Show me inventors that got their invention to shelves because of you and paid you nothing.Then you have my attention.

posted April 06, 2010 19:23 (
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dev's Avatar

I don’t think it’s a scam but I’d be careful of these experts calling companies scams then offering you FREE help away from Edison Nation. Nothing is for free. I don’t recall this site being titled Idiot Nation.

posted April 06, 2010 16:01 (
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sarahgupta's Avatar

Thanks for your thoughts Mark! I do agree that you need to be careful with your money as an inventor—I’ve already come across many “helpful” companies in my time as an inventor that seem a little too eager to get their paws on your property.

On a lighter note—for those of you (like me) who are interested in Quirky but not yet sure if they are legit, they are hosting a “quick and quirky” contest next week where you can submit an idea for FREE. I just posted about it on my blog:

http://buffcuff.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/quick-...

Best,
Sarah


http://buffcuff.wordpress.com/

posted April 06, 2010 09:23 (
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