Air Beds on Shark Tank Show
TruckBedz make for Pickup Trucks are definitely Top of the Line. Have you ever had an air mattress that had an automatic built in pump? Just turn it on and it inflates all by itself, completely filling the back of your pickup truck and turning it into an instant bed. Jim Pittman, owner of Pittman Outdoors, came into the Shark Tank seeking a $250,000.00 investment in his air bed's made for pickup trucks business in exchange for 15% of the company. He started off by stating that the camping industry is a whopping $56 billion dollar business and the Air Bedz could take a big bite out of that. Sales last year were $110k and sales this year were predicted at $120k. Pittman has sold over 3300 AirBeds in the past 2 years and is sitting on $400k in inventory. He has invested $250k of his own money to bring the AirBedz to market.
Kevin O'Leary is the first Shark to attack the air bedz business. He wants to know if this is the best air bed that you can buy for the back of a pickup truck, then why only $120k in sales? It was then Mark Cubans turn to talk and he really liked the product but was also concerned with the number of Air Bedz being sold. All four male Sharks are obviously not the outdoor type, go out leaving our Lady Shark, Barbara Corcoran the last one still in. She asks about the patent on the Air Bedz with the built in pump and is pleasantly surprised that Pittman actually has secured 4 patent's on his invention. Corcoran realises that this is indeed a very well made product but sees a problem in Jim's sales ability to sell the Air Beds on a large scale.
Barbara Corcoran makes a rather unusual offer to Pittman for the $250k he was seeking but for 50% of the business. Remember Jim is sitting on $400k of inventory giving a very nice cushion right under Barbara's you know what. She sugar coats her offer real good saying she can't believe the Air Bedz are not selling 10,000 units a day and she can make it happen by getting the Air Bedz on QVC. Jim has no interest in that offer but does counter for 25% of the business. Barbara knowing how much time this will take to sell the numbers she is talking about, declines Jim's counter offer and she is the last in the Shark Tank to go out.
AirBedz After The Shark Tank Update
As Barbara Corcoran once said, (I think it was even during this episode with Villy Customs) "I am your sweet spot customer for this product". I have actually slept in the back of a pickup truck several nights, and to my knowledge, may of been one of the first persons that took a tent with bendable poles and redesigned it to fit on over the pickup bed, and yes, with a blow up air mattress on the bottom. We sure got a lot of funny looks back then, but look at this market now.
Niche market? Not if your camping in Bear Country! The first time you have a bear come strolling into camp when you are sleeping helplessly on the ground in a tent, with two little kids, is the time you realise that's not the best place to be sleeping in certain areas. Oddly enough, as much as I looked, I could not find anything where the AirBedz are being promoted as a safety measure and why in certain areas, it is in your best interest to be sleeping in the back of your pick-up truck and not in a conventional tent.
Giving camper's a very realistic safety reason to turn the pick-up truck into a sleeping area using the Air Bedz, sure seems like a great marketing strategy that will sell thousands of additional units. Who Knows? If Jim had given the Sharks a reason WHY people should sleep in the back of their pickups, he just may of made a deal on Shark Tank.
The good news is Pittman Outdoors has made huge strides in getting the AirBedz into Sporting Good's Store's all over the country. Looking at the "Store locator's" on his website I was pleasantly surprised to find that a Sportsman's Warehouse just 2 miles from my home now carry the AirBeds made for trucks. It's hard to believe that the Sharks passed on this invention mainly because they thought Jim was not a good salesman. Isn't that the Sharks ultimate job for any product they invest in? Had Jeff Foxworthy still been a Shark for that episode, most likely he would of "Got It" and invested in the AirBedz Business.
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