- Bibbitec is a company that specializes in the basics.
- Susie and Steve Taylor are the proprietors.
- Price: $40,000 for a 14 percent ownership stake.
- None in the end.
- None of the sharks took the bait.
Before Shark Tank, Bibbitec
Susie and Steve Taylor are the parents of two rambunctious children. The kids tumbled about in the row and got everything filthy on an airline journey, but Steve was miraculously spared. He was wearing a performance fabric shirt that cleaned clean with ease. The couple had previously fought about the expense of bibs, which were discolored and retained smells long after being cleaned. Susie was motivated by her airline experience to create a higher quality bib that you wouldn’t have to throw away since the Taylors were wary of wasting money on cheap bibs.
The cloth of their Bibbitec bib is toxin-free and manufactured in the United States. They’ve come to Shark Tank to beg for $40,000 in return for a 14% share in their business.
On Shark Tank, Bibbitec
Season/Episode: Episode 14 of Season 4
The Taylors walked up to the platform, introduced themselves, and requested that the sharks invest in their product. They recounted the tale of how the bib was inspired by their flying experience, and then Steve showed how simple it was to put the bib on a kid with the help of a doll. The bib was American-made, non-toxic, and wouldn’t stain or hold smells, according to the pair.
Susie then smeared mustard on the bib and demonstrated how easily it could be cleaned. Barbara said that she wanted to examine the filthy one when they started passing samples to the sharks. Susie informed Daymond it was a poly-nylon mix, and he inquired whether it was made of neoprene. It was also non-toxic and patented.
Barbara inquired about the cost of their sale. Susie said that the bibs were $24.95 on their website. Kevin was curious as to how much it cost to manufacture. Kevin was shocked when Steve told him that each bib would cost $15. Susie replied to Kevin’s remark by saying that although customers were ready to pay $48 for the bib, Kevin was still hung up on the high production costs. Why were they so expensive?
Susie informed him the cloth was pricey, but Kevin yelled that selling bibs at that high price range in America was impossible. Buying a lot of ordinary bibs and then throwing them away when they become soiled would be less expensive.
Susie noted that mothers were spending $400 per year on cheap, disposable bibs, which Steve assured Kevin would last four years or longer. Robert was not convinced. He was curious as to how many units they had sold.
Kevin simply shook his head when Steve informed the sharks that they had sold 2,000 bibs in four years. Robert inquired as to how much money they had earned in the previous year, and the answer was just $17,000. “Is that it?” Robert asked.
Kevin went on to explain that most bibs aren’t purchased online. There were just a few big-box stores that offered infant clothes. Why had the Taylors been unable to enter retail establishments? Susie said that selling their goods without first educating the client was difficult. Retailers also agreed that bibs are a bait and switch item, with shops using low-cost bibs to lure mothers in.
When Kevin heard it, he verified what he had stated earlier: people don’t want to spend money on bibs. Susie, on the other hand, refuted him, claiming that customers purchased the $48 bibs without hesitation.
Why hadn’t they attempted to license the invention to a business that already made bibs, Robert wondered? Susie said she looked for manufacturers that could offer the bibs for a cheaper price, but they were all Chinese companies, and she wasn’t comfortable using hazardous materials that might be harmful to children. She wanted to manufacture her bibs in the United States and ensure that they were safe. Kevin, on the other hand, said that her product’s exorbitant price keeps many Americans away from it, and he made the absurd claim that she was harming children since most people couldn’t afford her bibs.
Kevin inquired as to whether they had earned any money. The response was a resounding “no.” Steve confessed that they had put $75,000 into the company but had yet to make a profit. Kevin inquired as to how long they were prepared to lose money, but Steve said that if he couldn’t find an outside investor, he had some cash on hand. Susie was adamantly opposed. She said that they could no longer afford to finance the company.
Kevin said that he believed it was time to film the bib beyond the barn. “Absolutely not,” Susie said.
Susie stated she believed they could bring the price down if they could obtain a big order, and Daymond agreed. Daymond inquired about the key price point they required to sell the bibs at retail, with Kevin screaming that they needed to cost $2 to make money. The smaller bib, according to Steve, might be sold for $19.99. Daymond then suggested that if they wanted to make a profit on a $19.99 bib, they needed to lower the price to $5. Steve said that he was willing to look for a new material that would be less expensive to manufacture.
Robert, on the other hand, was worried that they wouldn’t be able to sell the bibs in big enough numbers. They weren’t doing a good job of describing how that would happen, he said. Was it because the bib was so costly that they didn’t sell enough? Susie said that they weren’t selling enough since her work as a mother came first, prompting Robert to ask, “Are you not selling more because you’re a mother?”
Susie seemed upset as a result of Robert’s remark, and Steve advised her to take a deep breath. Daymond then inquired as to why Susie was crying. She said that as a stay-at-home mom, she is under a lot of pressure to do what is best for her children, and she believes that mothers are wasting money on poor goods. She also claimed that she and Steve had previously fought about how much money she had wasted on poor goods.
Although her tale was sad, Kevin and the other Sharks were looking at it from a business standpoint. Why would any investor want to join them if they were losing money? Steve believed they were approaching the breaking point, but Kevin needed to know when it would happen. “Right now!” Susie said.
Mark compared debating with Kevin like arguing with a brick wall. He, for one, felt the product was excellent, the price was reasonable, and it shouldn’t be offered at retail. However, he did not believe Susie should be in charge of the business. She should locate a college student who is familiar with internet marketing and have them take over. He acknowledged he wasn’t the best person to assist her, therefore he was kicked out.
Barbara believed that a mother-led sales force could sell their bibs and that Mark was correct in saying that they shouldn’t be offered at retail. Her intuition, though, warned her she shouldn’t be working on this project. She was no longer among us.
Kevin said that Mark and Barbara were deceiving the Taylors by offering support when none was available. He also dropped out.
Daymond then said that he couldn’t assist them in educating consumers about the goods and that he would be leaving as well.
It was down to Robert, but he claimed he couldn’t come up with a solid plan for selling the bib. He was fired because the Taylors lacked a strategy for making the product successful. The Taylors were out of sharks at that point, and no trade was made.
After Shark Tank, there was no deal with Bibbitec.
Bibbitec’s sales skyrocketed after the show aired. The business generated $75,000 in sales the night the program aired, and another $150,000 the following weekend. Unit sales increased from 2-3 per day to about 1,500 per day before plateauing at 50 per day.
Soon after, there was a change in leadership, and Steve assumed command. They began selling the bibs for $22 apiece on Amazon and eventually sold 3,000 of them.
The Taylors decided to shut the business in 2018. Susie is a trained actor, and she seems to have returned to that career path. She maintains a blog where she recounts her time on Shark Tank, including one article in which she informs her readers that she is “letting go” of the company.
Given its high price point, Bibbitec had a successful run. Barbara, in retrospect, had the greatest sales approach when she proposed that a sales team of mothers might have made this product a huge success. If the business had waited a few more years, it may have been able to reap the benefits of social media marketing. When niche goods become popular on Facebook, they tend to take off.
The material in this article is given only for educational purposes; Royal Pitch is not connected with Bibbitec, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.
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