Air Beds on Shark Tank Show
Air Bed's made for Pick-up Trucks - Season 3, Episode 313 - Update
TruckBedz made 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, the owner of Pittman Outdoors, came into the Shark Tank seeking a $250,000.00 investment in his air bed's made for pickup trucks in exchange for 15% of the company. He started off by stating the camping industry is a huge $56 billion dollar business, and the Air Bedz could take a big bite out. Sales last year were $110k and sales this year were predicted at $120k. Pittman's sold over 3300 AirBeds in the past 2 years and sitting on $400k in inventory. He's invested $250k of his own money in bringing 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 you can buy for the back of a pickup truck, and why only $120k in sales? Mark Cubans really like's the product but also concerned with the number of Air Bedz sold. All four male Sharks are obviously not the outdoor type, go out leaving only our Lady Shark, Barbara Corcoran. She asks about the patent on the Air Bedz with the built in pump and is pleasantly surprised that Pittman has secured 4 patent's on his invention. Corcoran realizes 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 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's 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."
Niche market? Not if your camping in Bear Country! The first time you have a bear come strolling into camp when you're sleeping in a tent, with two little kids, is the time you realize that's not the best place to be sleeping in certain areas. Oddly enough, as much as I looked, I couldn't find anything where the AirBedz is being promoted as a safety measure and why in certain areas, it's in your best interest to be sleeping in the back of your pick-up truck and not in a traditional tent.
Giving camper's a very practical safety reason to turn the pick-up truck into a sleeping area using the Air Bedz, sure seems like a great marketing strategy that'll 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 might have made a deal on Shark Tank.
The good news is Pittman Outdoors has made huge strides in getting the AirBedz into Sporting Good's Stores 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 the Sharks passed on this invention mainly because they thought Jim was not a good salesman. Isn't that part of the Sharks job for any product they invest in? If Jeff Foxworthy were still on Shark Tank, he would have "Got It" and invested in the AirBedz Business.
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