ThinkGeek Idea Factory: Open For Business

By Dane Carlson, Business Opportunities WeblogAugust 15, 2012 at 04:28PM

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ThinkGeek has a long tradition of inventing and manufacturing amazing products across a whole host of categories: the ThinkGeek Electronic Rock Guitar Shirt, the Annoy-a-tron, Bag of Holding, and the iCADE just to name a few. Now, they’re opening up their proven product launching process to inventors just like you with the ThinkGeek IdeaFactory!

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How the ThinkGeek IdeaFactory Works

The process for submitting an idea to ThinkGeek is easy.

  • You submit your idea: They’ll need a written description and an image of the idea. The image can be a rendering or a detailed drawing.
  • ThinkGeek will review your idea, make sure it passes the caveats, and respond within 60 days.
  • If they choose to make the product and you get paid.

How You Get Paid

They believe in keeping things simple. If ThinkGeek chooses to make your idea into a real product, they’ll pay you an advance of $1000 and then 10% of retail sales for the life of the product up to $1 million in Net Sales. When your product reaches $1 million (yay!), the rate drops to 5%. Royalties will be paid quarterly. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to purchase any quantity of the product at a reasonable price just above cost (excluding shipping). You’ll be free to sell that product on your own website or when you make public appearances at conventions, trade shows, or other public events. This way you can show off your genius work and point proudly to your wallet while chuckling manically to yourself.

Why Choose ThinkGeek?
Best chance for success. Zero upfront costs. 100% easy.

When you choose to go with ThinkGeek, you’re placing your idea in the hands of master retailers who not only have direct access to the market but also have deep wholesale relationships and the ear of the media. You’re also trusting a company with a long history and proven track record of inventing, manufacturing, and distributing unique products. Their products have appeared on the Today Show, Regis and Kelly, the New York Times, WIRED, Gizmodo, and hundreds of media outlets both online and off. they’ve also placed products with retailers of all sizes, from small specialty stores to the giants of traditional retail. This unique combination gives ThinkGeek a distinct advantage over other companies in today’s crowded custom manufacturing market.

In addition to significant market advantages, there are no up-front costs associated with developing an idea with ThinkGeek. You do not need to pay a submission fee and there are no development costs. They take care of all prototyping, mold changes, creative, packaging, and marketing expense. There is truly zero out of pocket cost to you. Remember when I said it was easy?

What Ideas Will ThinkGeek Consider?
ThinkGeek’s manufacturing capabilities span a wide range of products. If you can dream it up, they’ve probably made something like it at one time or another. That said, there are a few caveats about submitting ideas to ThinkGeek’s IdeaFactory:

  1. You must own the idea you’re submitting.
  2. You may not use licensed intellectual property you do not own. (Sadly this means no Star Wars, Star Trek, Mario, Batman, etc. ideas. However, things like Zombies are fair game. Your idea has to be 100% unique or generic enough to not require licensing.)
  3. You must use the official IdeaFactory submission process and agree to the terms of the contract.

Want to see the fine print?

Of course you do. Click here to read the full contract you would be required to sign if your idea is selected and you decide to move forward with ThinkGeek on the project. Please note that due to their deadly allergy to onerous legal mumbo-jumbo they cannot entertain ANY CHANGES to the contract. If you don’t like it, they are very sorry to have upset you, but they still can’t change it. Keep this in mind BEFORE YOU SUBMIT your idea.

And… One more thing. Directors, officers, employees, or agents of ThinkGeek or the parent company Geeknet, Inc., and/or its affiliate companies, as well as the immediate family of the employees (including spouse, and parents, children and siblings, and their respective spouses regardless of where they live) and individuals living in the same households as the employees, whether related or not, are not eligible. Mkay?