Companies are constantly on the lookout for the next big idea that will revitalize or completely transform the current consumer market. Often, these ideas come from independent inventors or creators. If you have an idea that you feel has the potential to be successful, you might have considered selling this idea to a developer or manufacturer.
Listed here are a number of companies that are willing to pay for new, innovative product ideas, as well as important factors you’ll need to consider when embarking on the sale of your idea and some frequently asked questions to help you enter into any agreement with the most knowledge and awareness possible.
Companies That Pay for Invention Ideas
The companies mentioned here represent a wide range of industries and sell a variety of different products. Click on any of the links to see more about the process of submitting your ideas.
1. Idea Buyer
Idea Buyer is a product development company that will help you bring your idea to the market. Idea Buyer accepts product ideas in any category and if they feel the idea has potential, they will assist you in developing the idea and presenting it to producers and potential partner stores.
Sharper Image produces and sells various items such as toys and electronics. They have a team dedicated to sourcing new ideas and will pay for those they feel fit their brand.
Dewalt is a leading hardware tool producer and the company’s online submissions system is always open for new product ideas to be put forward.
Cal-Van Tools regularly works with independent inventors when developing new automotive product ideas. The submission form can be found on the company website and they offer competitive royalty rates to inventors.
Avery has recently teamed up with Evergreen Innovation Partners to make it easier for inventors to present their product ideas to the company. Avery specializes in the production of office supplies, so if you have an idea in this area this could be a good place to submit it for consideration.
If you have an idea that you feel would fit in with the famous Mattel brand, you can submit this through the company website. Ideas for new toys, games, and baby gear are all accepted.
Unilever is a huge corporation and one of the biggest product developers in the world. This company specializes mostly in food and hygiene products and they are always looking to partner with new inventors. Ideas can be submitted through the company website.
High-quality fitness equipment is the focus of Nautilus. They operate worldwide so if your idea is picked up, there is potential for it to be sold to a global market. Submit your ideas through the Nautilus website.
Wilson produces sporting goods and equipment and accepts new product ideas through their website. The submissions are regularly reviewed and they will be in touch if they feel that yours fits in with their brand.
Fila receive a huge number of new product ideas and designs every day. However, many of these go unchecked or unused as Fila specifically states on their website that the only ideas they will consider must be patented. They do this to prevent any confusion around compensation and it also serves to further protect the creator. If you have a patented idea, you can send this to Fila via mail.
11. New Balance
New Balance has adopted a very similar ethos, also due to the high volume of unsolicited ideas they receive on a daily basis. Patented ideas for new products can be sent to New Balance using their online submissions form.
12. Knight & Hale
Knight & Hale are hunting equipment manufacturers and are always on the lookout for new, inventive product ideas. To submit your ideas to Knight & Hale, fill out their online form and wait to hear back.
13. New Soda
Sending your product ideas in to New Soda couldn’t be easier. Simply send the product details off to them through their website’s submission form. They look for products in a range of different categories, although currently, they specialize predominantly in kitchenware.
If you have a great idea for a new health or hygiene-related product, sending this into RB might result in your product being manufactured and sold in various countries across the world. Submissions should be made through the RB website.
Escalade is another sporting goods producer and welcomes new ideas from independent inventors. You can send your idea to them through their website or, alternatively, you could give them a call.
16. Spectrum Brands
Spectrum Brands is a consumer products company that owns a number of high-profile global brands. They accept new product ideas in a huge range of categories such as home and garden, hardware tools and pet care.
WillowWood works alongside clinicians and amputees to develop high-quality equipment and medical products. Ideas for new products or developments on their current products are accepted by the company and can be submitted via an online form.
Products designed to aid post-surgical rehabilitation and orthopedic care are the focus of DJO Global. If you have an idea that you think could revolutionize this industry or make a difference to someone’s life, these can be sent into DJO using their submissions form.
Medtronic also develops products within the medical field. If you have a product idea that falls within this category, you can send this to Medtronic via email or mail.
20. Applied Medical
Applied Medical is also committed to developing new, innovative products that can positively impact the work of healthcare professionals and in turn, the lives and wellbeing of their patients. They welcome new product ideas or enhancement ideas for their current product range, and these can be submitted on the company website.
Hershey’s accepts new ideas for food products, although it is unclear from their website how their payment process works, and their terms and conditions state that not all ideas will be paid for. Bear this in mind and perhaps consider contacting Hershey’s directly to request an NDA agreement before sending over your ideas.
As one of the world’s largest multinational companies, the Coca-Cola brand is recognized globally. If you have a great idea for a new food or drink product, or ideas on how they could reduce plastic waste or revolutionize their products, get in touch with them through the company website.
Lear specializes in automotive technologies and develops new, innovative initiatives in this field. If you have an idea for Lear, they ask that inventors send these in through their website.
Fastcap is a successful product developer and retailer, providing woodwork and cabinetry as well as equipment and tools. They receive a high volume of idea submissions and estimate that one in a hundred proves successful. To submit your idea, you’ll need to record a video outlining your invention and upload this through their website.
Play with a Purpose produces children’s toys that are designed specifically to help with developmental learning and the refinement of motor skills, balance and physical ability. If you have an idea that you think could be valuable, send it over through the Play with a Purpose website.
BD accepts product ideas for new medical devices or equipment. Submissions must be sent to BD by mail, so you’ll need to print out their suggestions form and send this off to them. If they’re interested in your idea, they will get back to you within four to six weeks.
Philip Morris International is dedicated to creating more sustainable and safer alternatives to cigarettes. They accept new product or initiative ideas through their online submissions form.
28. C.R. Bard
Another provider of healthcare and medical equipment; C.R. Bard welcomes ideas for new products from independent inventors. Simply submit your idea through their online portal.
Plaid is an arts and crafts company that supplies products to stores across the globe. They often work with external developers and inventors, so if you have a new product idea, send it over to them through their website.
Henkel offers a number of options when it comes to developing your product ideas. If your idea is in its early stages and you don’t yet hold a patent, they can provide mentorship and investment in exchange for a percentage ownership of the idea (usually 20%). Alternatively, if you do hold a patent, you can submit your idea via the company website and they will be in touch.
Coghlan’s can only accept new ideas that are patent protected or patent-pending. They look for ideas in the outdoor recreation and camping categories. If you have a new product idea in this field, these can be submitted using their online form.
32. ShurTech Brands
ShurTech Brands is the owner of Shurtape and a number of specialist tape brands such as duck tape and frog tape. They welcome outside ideas for new products or innovative uses for existing products. Any relevant submissions can be made through the company’s website.
33. Mustang Survival
Mustang Survival specializes in water rescue and survival equipment. They welcome new product ideas and these can be submitted via the company website.
If you have a product idea that falls within the pet-care or animal-care categories, you might consider submitting this for consideration to Miller Manufacturing. This is a large-scale company that provides high-quality products within these fields. Ideas can be submitted via email.
35. Eco Products
As is suggested in the company name, Eco Products specializes in environmentally friendly products, generally related to food and drink items. If you have a product idea that you feel might change the way consumers view single-use or environmentally damaging materials, send it over to Eco Products.
Ideas for new and innovative pet products are always accepted by Coastal Pet Products. You can submit your idea through their website and if they feel it has good potential, they will be in touch.
Jokari is always on the lookout for the next big idea, and with such a wide range of products developed by the company, yours could be exactly what they’re looking for. To submit your idea, give them a call or head to their website.
38. Dorman Products
If you have an invention idea that falls within the automotive category, Dorman Products might be interested in hearing from you. Simply fill out the idea form on the Dorman Products website and a member of their team will review your submission.
39. Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation is an organization committed to tackling global inequality and facilitating new initiatives that will serve to reduce poverty. They accept ideas for new initiatives or programs that will fit in with their mission. These can be submitted through their website.
Turn Your Ideas Into an App
Maybe your idea involves an app rather than a physical product. Here are some companies that might make it possible for you to turn your app idea into money.
IdeaPros specializes in helping inventors to develop their ideas into fully functioning apps that can then be sold. From idea building and app development to the launch and distribution of your app, IdeaPros will provide assistance throughout the entire process.
41. Mobile App Fund
Like IdeaPros, Mobile App Fund helps creators to develop their apps. They will pay for your innovative idea and then work on the development, distribution and marketing of the app. If the app is successful, you’ll also get a percentage of the profits.
42. Google Play
The Google Play Store allows app developers to sell their apps to consumers on the platform. While Google will not buy your app idea from you, this is a great platform to use, with a huge number of consumers making use of the service every day. If you have an especially groundbreaking or innovative app idea, you can also approach Google to see if they’re willing to invest in its development.
Similarly, the Apple App Store allows you to use the platform to sell your own app. You’ll have a huge potential audience reach but the app will need to be pre-developed. However, like Google Play, Apple might consider investing in the development of some apps, but these will need to be especially promising. For the most part, you would be developing your own app and selling through their marketplace.
King has made some of the most popular gaming apps on the market, most notably the Candy Crush saga. They’re consistently looking for new app ideas and might pay for yours if they feel it has good potential. You’ll need to contact the company directly to enquire about submitting your idea.
Clash of Clans is one of the most popular gaming apps to be produced in recent years, with millions of worldwide users. The app, amongst other popular games, was developed by Supercell. Supercell welcomes new app ideas; to enquire about sending yours over contact them through their website or via email.
Gungho has also produced a number of popular apps, such as Teppen. They’re always on the lookout for new app ideas and will pay for those they feel are good enough. They don’t have an official submissions channel, so you will need to contact the company directly to enquire.
Sell Your App
If you’ve already developed your idea into an app, there are also some platforms that make it possible for you to sell your existing app.
Flippa is the largest global company that facilitates the sale of apps, websites and companies. If you have a fully-developed app that you wish to sell, Flippa has a huge range of potential buyers on their platform. Apps sell on the site for anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to upwards of $100,000, so this could be a great place to sell your app.
Fliptopia operates in a similar way. The sale prices tend to be pretty similar to those on Flippa.
Frequently Asked Questions
The consumer market is highly competitive and companies are constantly looking for ways to outsmart their competitors and produce products that will draw in new audiences.
They recognize that often the best ideas can come from outside of their internal teams, and for this reason, they often encourage independent inventors to share their ideas with them, The competitive philosophy is that if you don’t take it to them, you might take it elsewhere and end up making a competing company a huge amount of profits.
Your ideas are valuable and could prove to be extremely profitable, so it makes sense that so many companies are more than willing to receive new ideas from external sources.
In most cases, royalties are the most lucrative aspect of idea selling and can earn inventors a substantial amount of money.
The amount you will make on royalties is dependent on a few things: the company that buys your idea; how many units are sold; and the percentage that is agreed on as part of your contract. To give you a basic example, if you have 2% royalties on your invention, and the product costs $20, you will earn $0.40 for every unit sold.
Many inventors choose to sell their ideas for royalties rather than a one-off payment, especially if the idea is particularly promising, as royalties can often end up allowing them to earn much more money over a longer time period. Many companies offer this as an option to inventors.
It’s a common misconception that in order to make money, you need to have money. Some of the most popular products have been developed with no initial investment from the inventor. More often than not, all you need is a great idea and a solid pitch.
None of the companies listed above will ask for any money upfront from the inventor, meaning anyone with a great idea can submit their invention for consideration and possibly have it developed with no cost incurred to them.
This is where things can become a little more complicated. Unfortunately, there are companies that might accept ideas for great new products, and then pass them off as their own and provide no compensation or payment to the original creator. For this reason, it is absolutely vital that you protect yourself fully before handing over your ideas to developers or investors.
You have a few options here, each of which we will go into more detail about below. Essentially, you can ask that the company signs a Non-Disclosure Agreement (but this isn’t always an option), alternatively, you can have your idea Patent-protected. You can learn more about these options in the following section.
Protecting Your Ideas
Patent vs. No Patent?
Having your idea patent-protected means that the invention cannot be made, used, distributed, imported, or sold commercially by any parties without your formal consent. Essentially, once your idea is patent-protected, you are its sole owner and have exclusive rights to any developments.
Whether or not you need a patent will depend on the specific agreement you are entering into. The company you’re looking to sell your idea to might already have measures in place to protect you and your rights, or alternatively, they might only accept patent-protected ideas as a way of preventing any confusion in the future.
If the company you are approaching with your idea does not give any details as to their specific protection measures, it’s always best to patent your idea just to protect yourself and reduce the risk of having your idea stolen.
The Patent Application Process and Cost
With that being said, patent protection can be expensive, which could be off-putting to a lot of inventors. To have a lawyer process your patent application, you might be looking at tens of thousands of dollars. This simply isn’t doable for a lot of people, but there are other options. It can be much cheaper to process the patent yourself.
To do this, you’ll need to carry out some research to ensure that this is in fact an original idea and has not already been created; then you will need to prepare your application and send it off to a patent provider and have them carry out all of the necessary searches and examinations before finding out whether your application is successful. You will still need to pay to have your idea patented, but it’s likely to be significantly cheaper to do it this way than with a lawyer or solicitor.
Alternatively, if you don’t wish to have your idea patent-protected, you could ask that the company you are hoping to work with sign a non-disclosure agreement. This essentially ties them into a contract that restricts them from sharing or using your idea without your consent.
Not all companies will be willing to do this, but it is definitely worth asking if you feel that your rights are not being adequately protected.
Other Factors to Consider
Not All Ideas Are Successful – And You’re Going to Need a Lot of Them!
Of all the ideas in the world, an incredibly tiny proportion actually end up being developed into real products and an even smaller proportion will prove successful and actually sell to consumers. This shouldn’t put you off, but it should encourage you to maintain a realistic outlook when it comes to your ideas and their potential.
Not all of your ideas are likely to be successful, and it might take fifty failed attempts or pitches before you finally stumble across the one that works out. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a little longer than you had hoped to have your first real breakthrough and gain interest from potential investors and developers.
Research is Vital
With such an over-saturated consumer market, it’s really important that you carry out adequate market research before approaching companies with your ideas. This just means there will be less time wasted for both you and them on ideas that have potentially already been developed and used.
It’s also important to research the company that you’re looking to work with on the development of your idea. Ensure that they’re reputable and can meet your needs or goals.
Finally, Always Read the Fine Print!
Arguably the most important point for any inventor: always read the fine print!
Before agreeing to anything or signing any contract, make sure you know exactly what it is that you’re agreeing to and ensure that you are happy and comfortable with every aspect of the contract.
Your ideas are extremely valuable, and producers know this, so they might try to take advantage and include clauses that diminish your rights to compensation or ownership. The only way to prevent this is by reading the small print and flagging any issues straight away.
Once you have considered each of these points, you should be well-prepared to approach companies or developers with your innovative ideas while maintaining a realistic outlook and protecting yourself and your ideas adequately.