In the ever-evolving world of entrepreneurship, the journey of a product from concept to reality is often fraught with challenges and victories. One such story that has captivated audiences is the tale of the Lifter Hamper – a unique laundry solution that captured the attention of investors on the popular business reality show, Shark Tank.
This innovative product, designed to alleviate physical strain while doing laundry, was pitched on the show’s platform and went on to experience an interesting trajectory post its television debut. This article aims to delve into the journey of the Lifter Hamper after its appearance on Shark Tank, exploring its subsequent developments, current status, and impact on its target users.
From securing financial backing to navigating product design modifications, marketing strategies, and distribution hurdles, we’ll examine how the Lifter Hamper has evolved since it first caught the public eye. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a Shark Tank enthusiast, or someone interested in ergonomic home solutions, this narrative promises intriguing insights into the post-Shark Tank odyssey of a product designed to make everyday chores less strenuous and more efficient.
What Is Lifter Hamper?
The Lifter Hamper is a rolling laundry basket that uses a bungee spring-loaded system to lift the contents of the hamper as you remove items. This means that even as your laundry pile diminishes, the remaining clothes rise to the top, eliminating the need to bend over and dig deep into the basket. This feature is particularly beneficial for those with back problems, pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone who has difficulty bending over.
From the moment you set up the Lifter Hamper, you might be impressed by its sturdy construction. The frame is made of solid metal and seems durable enough to withstand heavy loads. The bag itself is constructed from a thick, robust fabric that can easily hold a large amount of laundry without tearing or fraying. It also includes a lid, which is a nice touch as it keeps your dirty laundry out of sight.
The wheels on the Lifter Hamper are another highlight. They swivel 360 degrees, making it easy to maneuver the hamper around corners and through doorways. The wheels are also large enough to roll smoothly over carpets and uneven surfaces, a feature that many other laundry hampers lack.
However, while the Lifter Hamper’s design is generally well-thought-out, there are a few areas where improvements could be made. The bungee system, while innovative, is not perfect. Occasionally, the clothes get stuck at the bottom of the hamper, requiring some manual adjustment.
Additionally, the hamper’s height might be a bit too high for those with lower beds or for children trying to use it.
One of the main selling points of the Lifter Hamper is its potential health benefits.
By eliminating the need to bend over repeatedly while doing laundry, it could help prevent back strain and other related injuries. Although I do not have any pre-existing back conditions, I did notice that my back felt less tired after using the Lifter Hamper compared to a traditional laundry basket.
From a price point perspective, the Lifter Hamper is more expensive than your average laundry basket. However, considering its unique features and potential health benefits, I think it offers good value for money. It’s not just a laundry basket; it’s a tool designed to make a typically strenuous task easier and healthier.
- Ergonomic Design: The Lifter Hamper’s spring-loaded design means less bending and straining when doing laundry. This is particularly beneficial for people with back problems, the elderly, or anyone who struggles with heavy lifting;
- Mobility: The hamper is equipped with 360-degree swivel wheels, which makes it easy to maneuver around your home, even over carpets and uneven surfaces;
- Durability: The metal frame and thick fabric bag appear to be robust and capable of managing heavy loads of laundry;
- Privacy: The hamper comes with a lid, keeping your dirty laundry discreetly out of view ;
- Bungee System Flaws: Occasionally, clothes can become stuck at the bottom of the hamper, requiring manual adjustment;
- Height: The height of the hamper may be too tall for children or for those with lower beds;
- Cost: The Lifter Hamper is more expensive than traditional laundry baskets, which could be a deterrent for some potential buyers;
- Design: Some users might find the aesthetic of the Lifter Hamper less appealing than simpler, more traditional designs;
Who May Benefit From Using Lifter Hamper:
- People with Back Pain: The Lifter Hamper was designed by former NFL center Marvin Philip specifically to help people with low back pain, according to the Shark Tank Blog. Its spring-loaded design reduces the need for bending over, which can exacerbate back issues;
- The Elderly: The ergonomic design and mobility of the Lifter Hamper may be particularly useful for older individuals who may struggle with heavy lifting or moving traditional hampers around the home;
- Individuals with Limited Mobility: Thanks to its 360-degree swivel wheels, the hamper is easy to maneuver, making it a suitable choice for those with limited mobility;
- People Seeking Convenience: As the Home Depot listing highlights, the Lifter Hamper’s sturdy metal frame and protective plastic joints offer convenience and durability, making laundry tasks easier for any user ;
About Founders Of Lifter Hamper
During his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Buffalo Bills, Marvin suffered debilitating low back injuries that caused him considerable discomfort. These injuries ultimately inspired him to create the Lifter Hamper.
Marvin embarked on a quest to find a solution for handling soiled items in hampers without the need to bend over, given his discomfort and limited mobility. Fueled by the constant strain of hunching over, the Lifter Hamper concept was born. He invested approximately $ 75,000 of his personal funds into refining the design and securing a patent.
However, manufacturing and marketing the product demanded financial resources that exceeded his means. Despite these challenges, Marvin successfully negotiated contracts with e-commerce giants like Amazon.
In his pursuit of both a mentor and investor to enhance his invention, Marvin was resolute. He not only aimed to bring his product into production but also to refine and optimize it further.
Marvin Phillip introduced himself in an audition video from the sidelines of a football field. He proudly recounted his journey from being picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006, where he played until 2011.
Unfortunately, a few years later, a back injury forced him to retire from professional football. Still, he remained a football enthusiast, channeling his energy into watching the game on television.
Simple tasks, such as bending over to do laundry, became arduous for him due to persistent back discomfort. Frustrated by the lack of suitable solutions in the market, Marvin decided to take matters into his own hands.
Viewers could see Marvin diligently working on his computer, fulfilling customer orders . As a newcomer to the business world, he expressed a strong desire to learn from the Sharks and benefit from their guidance.
Marvin passionately shared how his invention had not only improved his quality of life but also lifted his spirits, demonstrating the Lifter Hamper’s profound impact on his daily life and overall well-being.
The Pitch Of Lifter Hamper At Shark Tank
Marvin confidently stepped onto the stage, eager to introduce himself and his brainchild, the Lifter Hamper. Reiterating his backstory, he revealed how his laundry skills had suffered alongside his football career due to a debilitating injury. Marvin, demonstrating his point, leaned over to retrieve a laundry basket from the stage, vividly illustrating the strain on his back.
With a smile, he explained that this struggle had sown the seeds of inspiration for the Lifter Hamper. He eloquently described his invention as a laundry hamper with a spring-loaded liner that drops as clothes are added and rises when they’re removed, maintaining a user-friendly constant height for easy access to items at the top.
Marvin was quick to emphasize that the Lifter Hamper was not exclusively designed for injured NFL athletes but for anyone facing difficulties bending over. He playfully mentioned that it could benefit the elderly, expectant mothers like Kevin, or anyone grappling with back issues. His remark elicited laughter from the other Sharks.
Encouraging the Sharks to “take a load off”, Marvin invited Lori to try out the Lifter Hamper . As Lori began removing clothing from the basket, Daymond interjected with a playful inquiry about the hamper’s capacity for holding an infinite amount of peanuts for bar use, prompting laughter once more.
With a grin, Marvin assured them that the Lifter Hamper’s innovative mechanism was indeed working. The Sharks probed further, inquiring about the materials used in its construction. Lori, curious yet impressed, admitted she didn’t know but found it intriguing.
Robert inquired about the package’s contents, to which Marvin clarified that it included the frame, cover, and liner. Mark scrutinized the box, and Lori contemplated whether she would purchase it for her home. She expressed interest but raised a practical concern about transporting the hamper from the bedroom or closet to the laundry room.
Kevin chimed in, pointing out that the wheels didn’t seem to function well on carpeted surfaces. Marvin demonstrated their improved mobility on a wooden floor. Lori acknowledged the need for some refinements in the design, emphasizing the importance of perfecting the product.
Marvin welcomed this constructive criticism, expressing his desire for guidance on the next steps. Daymond asked about his journey, and Marvin revealed that he had been working on the Lifter Hamper for six months, impressing Daymond with his rapid progress.
However, when Kevin challenged the company’s $ 700,000 valuation, humor filled the room. Marvin admitted they had not yet entered the market, leading to more laughter.
Undeterred, Marvin disclosed that he had secured contracts with representative firms, overstock.com, Amazon, and even Costco, though production capacity had forced him to scale back. Lori questioned whether these were concrete agreements, but Marvin clarified that they were based on potential.
Daymond probed about upfront fees from the representative firms, but Marvin clarified that they charged a fee after each sale. Mark delved into the economics of the product, inquiring about production costs and retail pricing. Marvin revealed that it cost $ 10 to manufacture and retailed for $ 99.99 .
Kevin inquired about a patent, and Marvin shared that he had applied for a utility patent. Mark questioned the extent of Marvin’s personal investment, and Marvin disclosed that he had put $ 75,000 into patenting and designing the product.
Robert, careful not to offend, sought to understand Marvin’s commitment level. Marvin assured him that Lifter Hamper was his full-time commitment, fueled by his personal experience with back pain and the relief his invention brought.
Marvin continued to express his desire to help people, resonating with Mark, who appreciated the concept but couldn’t provide the necessary connections to help the business flourish. Robert believed the product was ingenious but had a long way to go.
Marvin left the room, encouraged to take the reins of selling his product personally. Lori, with a heavy heart, felt the product needed further development but left the door open for future collaboration. Kevin, ever pragmatic, was waiting to hear what “Mrs. QVC” would say, suggesting that the product might find its place on that platform.
Daymond, while rooting for Marvin, couldn’t justify a 12% equity stake in a company with no sales and opted out, playfully quipping that nice guys might finish last . Marvin thanked the Sharks and exited the stage, determined to work harder to make the Lifter Hamper a household name.
In parting, Lori wished him luck, and Robert debunked Daymond’s assertion, reassuring Marvin that nice guys could indeed finish first. Marvin left the tank with a renewed determination to propel his product into the market and make it a household staple.
Lifter Hamper After The Shark Tank
While Marvin didn’t secure a deal on the show, his appearance proved to be far from in vain. The exposure gained from his Shark Tank appearance was instrumental in selling out his product on the very night the episode aired, marking a significant milestone for his business.
Yet, the need for capital persisted, leading Marvin to initiate a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. With the support of 222 backers, he managed to raise $ 10,000, though it fell short of their $ 25,000 goal . Undeterred, they commenced shipping products to their eager customers, albeit experiencing some production delays. Ultimately, they successfully dispatched the Lifter Hamper to customers by the spring of 2013.
Around the same period, they launched a second Indiegogo campaign in response to numerous inquiries from those who had missed the initial opportunity. Surpassing their original goal of $ 2,500, this campaign raised an impressive $ 4,990, enabling them to enhance production and expedite deliveries.
Reviews on Amazon indicate that many customers appreciate the innovative concept and find it user-friendly, particularly due to the inclusion of wheels. However, execution issues have surfaced over time, including concerns about the velcro at the basket’s base struggling to support the weight and the lower quality of the wheels, making carpet use challenging. Some customers have also criticized the material’s perceived cheapness. Despite these shortcomings, some users remain satisfied with its performance.
In 2015, Marvin took a significant step by licensing the Lifter Hamper to Household Essentials, an online retailer specializing in household products . While his level of involvement with the business remains uncertain, recent participation in The Inspired Home Show suggests ongoing engagement.
For those intrigued by the Lifter Hamper, it’s also available at Walmart and Home Depot, often at more budget-friendly prices compared to Amazon. It was previously accessible on QVC but appears to have been removed from their platform at some point.
The Net Worth Of Lifter Hamper
During their pitch on Shark Tank, Lifter Hamper was evaluated at a noteworthy $ 708,000 in terms of valuation. However, it is currently impossible to ascertain their net worth as the company has ceased its business operations.
Lifter Hamper experienced numerous setbacks on its journey, yet it persevered, and the end result proved to be highly rewarding, as the product gained significant favor with its customer base. Lifter Hamper could also be found on the Amazon platform, but regrettably, by the year 2021, their official website had ceased to operate, indicating a cessation of their business operations.
Despite not securing a deal on the television program, Lifter Hamper greatly benefited from the show’s extensive exposure. Following their appearance, they launched a successful IndieGoGo campaign, amassing over $ 16,000 in funding. Their innovative products were accessible both through their official website and the Amazon marketplace.
In 2015, the company entered into a licensing agreement with Household Essentials, an online retailer specializing in household items. However, as of December 2021, it appears that Lifter Hamper’s product line has been discontinued, casting doubt on the company’s ongoing operations.
Alternatives To Lifter Hamper:
- BirdRock Home Premium Double: This dual-compartment hamper is quick to set up and collapse. It has been highly rated by TechGearLab as their favorite laundry hamper;
- Household Essentials LH1002 Lifter Hamper with Black Bag: While this is a variant of the Lifter Hamper, it offers a slightly different design with 4 smooth rolling casters for easy maneuverability. Available on Amazon and Home Depot;
- Best Laundry Baskets and Hampers: The New York Times Wirecutter and Real Simple have reviewed and recommended several laundry baskets and hampers that could serve as alternatives to the Lifter Hamper;
- The Best Hampers and Laundry Bags: Buzzfeed has a list of 30 top-rated hampers and laundry bags that can be considered as alternatives;
- The Best Laundry Baskets According to Testing: Better Homes & Gardens also provides a list of the best laundry baskets based on their tests;
- When was the Lifter Hamper featured on Shark Tank?
Yes, the Lifter Hamper was featured on season 5 of Shark Tank. Inventor Marvin Phillip pitched the product to the Sharks.
- Did the Lifter Hamper get a deal on Shark Tank?
Yes, Marvin Phillip secured a deal with Shark Lori Greiner on the show. The deal was for $ 85,000 in exchange for 50% equity in the company.
- How does the Lifter Hamper work?
The Lifter Hamper has a spring-loaded platform at the bottom. As you add dirty clothes, the platform lowers. When you remove clothes, the platform rises, bringing the remaining clothes to the top and eliminating the need to bend over and dig through the hamper.
- What makes the Lifter Hamper different from other laundry hampers?
The unique selling point of the Lifter Hamper is its ergonomic design. It’s designed to reduce physical strain when doing laundry, making it a good choice for individuals with back problems, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone who wants to make laundry chores less physically demanding.
- Is Shark Tank still in business?
Yes, Shark Tank is still in business. The show premiered on August 9, 2009, and as per the latest information, it is currently in its 15th season source.
- Who is the richest shark?
As of my last update, Mark Cuban is the wealthiest shark on the show. He’s a billionaire entrepreneur, with a net worth estimated to be over $ 4 billion.
- Has Shark Tank made anyone rich?
Yes, many entrepreneurs who have appeared on Shark Tank have become wealthy as a result of the exposure and deals they received on the show. Examples include Scrub Daddy, Squatty Potty, and Bombas Socks.
- Does Shark Tank help entrepreneurs?
Yes, Shark Tank helps entrepreneurs by providing them with an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of successful businesspeople (the “sharks”). This can lead to investment deals and valuable mentorship. Furthermore, the exposure from being on national television can significantly boost sales and brand recognition.
- What is a laundry hamper used for?
A laundry hamper is used for storing dirty clothes until they are ready to be washed. It helps keep soiled clothes separate from clean ones and can make doing laundry more organized and efficient.
- Why is a clothes hamper called a hamper?
The term “hamper” originally referred to a large basket with a lid, used for transporting goods, especially food. Over time, it has come to be associated with laundry storage in many English-speaking countries.
- What is the difference between a laundry basket and a hamper?
While both are used for storing laundry, there are some differences between a laundry basket and a hamper. A laundry basket is typically open and shallow, often used for carrying clean, folded clothes. A hamper, on the other hand, is usually taller with a lid, designed for storing dirty laundry.
- How do I wrap a hamper?
To wrap a hamper, you’ll need clear cellophane (or similar material), ribbon, and tape. Place the hamper in the center of the cellophane, bring up the sides to meet at the top, then secure it with tape. Finish by tying a ribbon around the gathered cellophane at the top.
- What is a clothes hamper basket?
A clothes hamper basket is another term for a laundry hamper. It’s a container, often made of wicker or plastic, used for storing dirty clothes until they can be washed.
- Is a hamper a laundry?
Yes, a hamper is a type of laundry storage. It’s used for holding dirty clothes until they’re ready to be washed.
- What is the purpose of the lifter?
In the context of the Lifter Hamper, the “lifter” refers to the spring-loaded mechanism that raises the bottom of the hamper as clothes are removed. This design reduces the need for bending and lifting, making laundry tasks easier.
- Why do you need a hamper?
A hamper helps keep your living space tidy by providing a designated place for dirty clothes. It also makes doing laundry more efficient by allowing you to gather all your dirty clothes in one place when it’s time to wash them. Some hampers even have compartments for sorting clothes by color or fabric type.
Useful Video: Lifter Hamper Instructions