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{Don Debelak’s new book, Turning Your Invention into Cash is now available on Amazon for $3.49. Go to and enter inventions Don Debelak to purchase. From the author of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Bringing Your Product to Market.}

Anyone who loves basketball as much as Jason Parr does would understand his need to shoot hoops during the workday back when he worked at a Farmington Hills, Missouri, media management firm in 1995. Lunchtime, of course, was the perfect time to do this, but hauling around a cumbersome portable basketball hoop in the bed of his pickup truck didn’t sound too appealing. Hence, a brainstorm: “Why not install a basketball hoop in a pickup truck?” he thought. Parr then went to work with his uncle, an engineer, and created a hoop that folds up and down (similar to a convertible top). Presto! Instant basketball, any time there’s a paved parking lot.

Parr, now 35, has two patents on his invention, called Pickup Hoops, and has even sold two units to Nike, which uses the hoops to set up basketball demonstrations. But the product hasn’t gone any further yet, as Parr has focused on getting a licensing deal from a major sporting goods store or pickup truck manufacturer.

When potential buyers didn’t bite right away, Parr decided to create interest in his product by organizing events and displaying it everywhere

he went. He has provided the hoops for a wheelchair basketball league, run his own tournament, set up Pickup Hoops at the last three Final Fours and even set his product up at big rest areas whenever he travels. “I attract a big crowd [everywhere I go with it],” says Parr.

The Manufacturing And Protecting Challenges

Parr has considered making and selling the product himself, but the costs are prohibitive, with both liability insurance and major marketing efforts being paramount. The easiest thing Parr could do would be to get a manufacturer for his product, which he would then sell for a commission. But finding a manufacturer has proved difficult: Parr has talked to the big three hoop manufacturers-Huffy, Lifetime and Porter-and at this point, they don’t yet see the benefit of Parr’s Pickup Hoops. What can he do?

For starters, Parr should collect as many orders as possible before he even approaches manufacturers. Once he’s got at least 50 orders, he can improve his position even more if he gets a 10 to 25 percent down payment on each order. Manufacturers will be more likely to work with Parr if they see a need (and financial backing) for his product.

From there, things ought to fall into place: If a manufacturer makes Parr’s product, he will be covered under their product liability policy. And because the insurance company is already on the hook in case of an injury, it will give Parr a rider (usually costing less than $500), which also protects him in case of a potentially damaging claim.

Alternately, Parr could also set up a joint venture agreement, where part of the manufacturer’s responsibilities would include providing limited liability insurance.

The key here is choosing the right manufacturer. In Parr’s case, hitch manufacturers or manufacturers of other transportation-related items are the perfect fit, as they already pay a high liability rate for transportation-related products.

I’ve found time and again that the most remarkable characteristic of successful inventors is their ability to face long odds and numerous obstacles and still come out on top. Parr’s situation is a good example of the frustrations inventors inevitably face, but he also has the determination that won’t allow him to fail. He continues to promote his product in the Detroit metropolitan area, and he is still hopeful he’ll land a major deal with a pickup truck manufacturer. He’s going to keep knocking on doors until he finds the one that opens to the path to success. The secret, as always, is to cut down the number of doors you have to open. You can do that by getting all the expert advice you can. Don’t stop trying; just try smarter, and you may succeed a lot sooner than you expect.

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Selling your work on a digital marketplace is a really great way to make money and gives you much more freedom than just freelancing.

It can be tempting to rush in, submit your item to a digital marketplace and wait for the money to roll in. But this is where a lot of sellers go wrong. We are going to have a look at the vital steps you have to take before submitting your item to a digital marketplace. As well as the vital marketing strategies that will help you achieve your first 100 sales. 

In this article we use our own marketplace, Codester, as an example. Codester accepts PHP Scripts & Code, App Source Code, Themes, Plugins and Graphics. So feel free to upload your work, after you have read this guide ? .

We created this guide to help you make sure your products live up to their full potential. A lot of items submitted on Codester are fantastic, but don’t get any sales or get rejected purely because no time has been spent optimizing them for sale online. If you have a PHP script, app source code, theme, plugin or graphic asset you would like to sell, this guide will help you maximize your item’s selling potential.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the tools you need to confidently market your digital products, whether you’re selling scripts, themes, plugins, app templates or graphics, we’ve got you covered. 

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