Many Inventors trying to bring their product ideas to market are totally crushed by rejection. So, I thought I would provide a list of some of the reasons you could have gotten rejected. It does not cover every reason you could get rejected, but hopefully it will give you something to think about.
You need to realize that inventing is fundamentally a numbers game! Yes, you still need to have a good idea, but you will find that no matter how good an idea you may think it is you can still get rejected. Many marketable ideas are rejected all the time. Even if it does not make sense to you that they would reject an idea that they agree would be profitable. Here are some common reasons why even marketable ideas are rejected.
1. The company may already have a full line of products and not wanting to add more.
2. The product is outside their target market.
3. You sent your submission to the wrong person in the company – don’t assume they’ll automatically send it to the right one.
4. You sent the idea unsolicited without contacting the company first to find out their submission policy, and they rejected it solely on that basis.
5. You did not have proper contact information on your submission. (That is one of the highest mistakes Inventors make. The company will not bother to track you down.)
6. They have too many similar products and that market is flooded enough.
7. Your idea appeals to a very small niche market and they want mass market items.
8. The cost to manufacture versus the return on investment is too high.
9. Your sales sheet did not WOW them and lacked consumer benefits information or was overloaded with too much information to sort through.
10. Your product has already been patented by someone else and they don’t want to see if they can go around it or risk infringement issues.
11. Your product or idea isn’t better than what is already on the market. This tells them you did not research your idea very well and don’t have a clue who your competition is in the market.
12. You sent a product that is exactly like their current product and that current product is a marginal seller. So yours will not fare any better.
13. Your idea is outdated or is on the downswing compared to what is coming out the following year.
14. They already have a better solution than yours in the works for release that coming year. (This is also where Inventors may scream the company stole their idea even when the company has already invested in molds, engineering, samples, etc prior to the Inventor contacting the company about their idea. This happens a lot. Inventors forget that they are not the only ones inventing.)
15. They have already received a similar idea from another Inventor and are in negotiations with that Inventor.
16. You have posted your idea unprotected online in one of those invention posting sites where others vote on your product to see if there is interest. Your public disclosure makes the company concerned whether any patent protection would be allowed and turns it down based on that issue.
17. You posted your unprotected idea and video of the working prototype on YouTube and have a significant number of hits. This again raises the concern whether any patent would be possible due to your public disclosure.
18. You stated that you have an issued patent, but when they do a quick search on your patent they see that it has lapsed due to non-payment of fees and it has been lapsed significantly past the due date. Making the chances of it being reinstated unlikely.
19. You have a patent, but it was poorly written and does not cover the actual product. (This happens a lot)
20. You have a design patent and designing around your patent is a simple task, which means they can expect very little protection in the marketplace.
21. Sometimes the company you have approached just doesn’t look at outside ideas and does not publicize that fact. So you get a rejection letter, but it doesn’t explain they just don’t look outside the company.
22. You sent them your product but they have already decided on their line for that year or the following year and are not open to taking on anything else at that time.
23. They only consider items with a sales history they can review and your item has never been in production or sold stores or online. So they do not want to take the risk of being the first company to market it.
24. You decided you had nothing to lose and cussed out the Reviewer for being to dumb to understand a million dollar idea when it is right in front of them. (This happened recently. Not a good move)
25. You sent your idea to a company who came back showing interest. In order to try and get a better deal you lied to the company saying you had multiple offers on the table and you wanted them to make a better offer or you would go to one of the other companies. They said they could not go higher so you would be better off going with one of the other companies. Unfortunately since there were no other companies you lost the deal.
26. You tell the company their current product is stupid, yours is better and they should pull theirs off the market and replace it with yours if they are smart. (Had an inventor do that and was surprised when they turned him down)
27. You send your ideas to a toy company the week before ToyFair in New York, don’t hear anything for a week and decide they are ignoring you and you leave several unprofessional comments on their answering machine, not realizing they have been out of town for a week at the convention and busy.
28. The company feels they can not generate enough sales to warrant the expense of getting the item to market.
29. The factory being used in China does not pass quality control inspection by the retail chain representative. Happens more than you think as they sometimes try and use substandard materials or cut corners to lower their cost and the product suffers for it.
30. If the company considering licensing the idea puts it in front of Buyers and gets weak feedback indicating orders would be small or nonexistent they will most likely pass on it.
31. If your product/idea is seasonal and they are in the middle of that season’s run they may not want to see it until later that year. Example, you don’t send them a Halloween idea two weeks before Halloween. In most cases they are busy dealing with that season and have already picked what they plan on selling that season.
As I stated above these are just a few of the reasons you can have your idea/product rejected by a company. Really take the time to do your research and understand your market, your place in that market and do your part to make yourself as marketable as possible.