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Business selectors, pages, etc.
Hummy Wand has made it to The Show!!!
By Ponderer
April 13, 2024 6:13 pm
Category: Business

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Eat your heart out, Eddie Gaedel!

A Facebook friend sent me a PM a little while ago with a link and the words "WTF is THIS???". I clicked the link that I linked to below.



Besides being utterly in horrified shock, I am trying to look at this from a spiritual level...

...I am looking at this as the Universe honoring me with sincerest form of metaphysical flattery.

The problem with having any real good idea nowadays is that once you go to market with it, any market, unless you have hordes of attorneys and mountainous legal budgets to protect yourself with, it doesn't take long before it's stolen, knocked off by who knows how many fly-by-night foreign companies in any number of third world countries, and shipped back here from the other side of the planet for a tiny fraction of what you have to sell them for.

I always knew it was a good idea.

Somewhere, in some polluted section of some squalid town in some third world country like China, people in probably deplorable conditions are toiling away making counterfeit Hummy Wands for a few pennies. Like they do literally millions of other consumer goods shipped back here. I can only hope that what little money those poor folks are making at this is enough to be of help to them. Their bosses are simply crooks and should only get what they deserve.

And Walmart can suck several large donkeys' asses for facilitating such fraud on a large scale. I can't be the only one this is happening to. And Walmart can't be the only ones on the net facilitating this fraud either. Amazon and all the Big Catalogue companies. There could need to be an awful lot of Mega Corp donkey ass kissing before too long. I'm going to have to start a very wide spread search of 'em all now I guess.

But really, to what end...?

I don't have the wealth to chase any of this down overseas. Yeah, I'll check with Walmart's legal department (I'll set aside a whole week) about these being listed on their web site (where you can currently order one of these counterfeit Hummy Wands, but the companies may be using different names by now) and see if they have anything to say for themselves about it other than "Go fuck yourself! Sue us!".

I will of course see if there's anything that Etsy can do about it. But I really doubt that there's much of anything. My hopes realistically aren't very high right now. This discovery all came down in the last hour.




On a side note, I've kinda been wondering what's happened to sales for some time now. I've only sold one Hummy Wand in the last 30 days. Spring is in full swing and hummies are everywhere now. Getting lots of looks and likes, but no bites. Something of a mystery...........





Cited and related links:

  1. walmart.com

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Comments on "Hummy Wand has made it to The Show!!!":

  1. by Curt_Anderson on April 13, 2024 7:02 pm
    Before you used the term, does anybody else say "hummy" in reference to hummingbirds? If not, that might constitute copyright infringement. I am thinking "Hummy wand" might be protected. I believe there is a prior use of tradename in copyright protection provisions.

    I am loathe to recommend you consult an attorney, but you might be able to do some initial research online to see if you have a plausible case for copyright infringement, even though apparently you or anybody else hasn't (yet) copyrighted the name. See second link.

    I just did a search of the US Patent Office and found this. See link #1. It's looks like your product. It was patented 11 years ago. So I don't think you can make a credible patent claim for the idea.

    ppubs.uspto.gov
    tmsearch.uspto.gov


  2. by Indy! on April 13, 2024 8:01 pm

    Sorry you've been walmarted like the rest of America, Pondy. Back when you first brought this up and talked about the Shark Tank guy's similar product (I saw that episode, btw) - it occurred to me that you couldn't be the only person out there trying to come up with something better. You could be getting ripped off... otoh it might just be other people have been making them too. Don't kill yourself dealing with lawyers over this - come up with something else you can do. You have a new house with plenty of space to work.


  3. by Ponderer on April 14, 2024 1:15 am

    Yeah guys, lawyers aren't in the cards. I have $1,400 left in the bank from the 170 sales I've made and I'm not throwing away a dime of it on them. There's essentially nothing I or they can really do about this.

    I just got off Amazon where I don't sell Hummy Wands, but a search for Hummy Wand hat clip hummingbird feeder brought up dozens of knockoffs. Page after page of them. From prices ranging from two for $8.99 to $24.95 each. All supposedly different companies that will just have different names tomorrow. Who do I sue?

    I had always known that this was a possibility. Capitalism can be a fuckingpsycho bitch. So I'm not really surprised. I just didn't expect such an avalanche. I'm oddly kinda flattered in a way. I mean, it must be a really good idea for it to be so voluminously stolen like this.

    But I still consider the Hummy Wand a success that I am totally proud of. Maybe I went as far as I could with it. That is certainly the case now. It's maybe time to move on to other projects. I have plans all drawn up for a totally new kind of musical instrument that no one has ever thought of before. I think I'll be focusing on that for awhile after we're settled in.

    It's funny, just last night I packed up all the Hummy Wand tooling and supplies in a box for the move. I have 21 in stock and ready to ship. That seemed like it should hold me for any sales to ship out until we're moved and I could set up shop again I thought. I told Donna, "Ha, if I were to lose this box, I would have to start Hummy Wand all over from scratch!".

    Now it may be that I never even open that box again.


  4. by Ponderer on April 14, 2024 1:19 am

    Curt, "hummers" is more widely used. But hummies is common too.

    No one ever used the two words Hummy and Wand together though. That's mine.


    Or rather, it was.


  5. by HatetheSwamp on April 14, 2024 6:05 am

    po,

    My oldest friend, with whom I'm still in regular contact, is a 70 year old patent attorney who's mostly retired and still dabbles. If and when you have a new inspiration let me know. He's too retired to represent any new client but he may offer no cost/low cost recommendations to help you protect your intellectual property.

    Jussayin.


  6. by Curt_Anderson on April 14, 2024 8:22 am
    Ponderer,
    My selectsmart.com story is somewhat analogous to your hummy wand experience. I created selectsmart.com in 1998. It is the oldest site of its kind. Now there are at least a dozen knock-offs of my site. I “invented“ user created selectors of which there are some 20,000 on selectsmart.com. I also had the first dog breed selector, first presidential candidate selector, and the first religion selector among many others, of which we introduced to the world. I also was the first to use the term “selector” as I do. For a while there I was making a comfortable income from selectsmart.com. Now it’s only extra spending money every month. Which is still pretty sweet in my retirement years.

    You may never again have a flurry of activity, like you did initially, but there still might be some fun and even money in it for you. Maybe you can sell your hummy wands at farmers markets and craft fairs were the customers tend to be impulse shoppers and not price comparison shoppers. If you haven’t already, you should put up some YouTube videos demonstrating the product. Hummingbirds hovering are at least as interesting as watching cats.


  7. by Ponderer on April 14, 2024 8:42 am

    Thanks, Bill. I appreciate that.


  8. by Ponderer on April 14, 2024 9:15 am

    Yeah, Curt. I remember way back when some news channel highlighted your presidential selector in their report on the campaign. I forget which. SelectSmart.com is certainly a life's work to be very proud of.

    As I feel Hummy Wand was. It just had a rather short life's work span. To me, it was a shining, completed achievement of a creation I just had to get out. And those 170 orders and the 32 5-Star reviews mean the world to me. My mountain has been climbed. Even if I never sell another one.



    But the crafts fairs and arts fairs idea has already been explored to some extent and I feel it could be the best way to go with Hummy Wand. I've been trying to get connected to the right city department to get the right kind of vendor's permit. But everyone who I've talked to at the city never heard of such a thing as I want to do, but thinks it's a great idea that should be able to fly legally in public.

    So... I'm wearing a red custom t-shirt with the whole Hummy Wand graphics on the front. A red baseball cap with the Hummy Wand logo embroidered in it and two Hummy Wands clipped to the brim, a little fake hummingbird on each flower attached by a spring. A backpack with a dozen or two Hummy Wands in it, a folding 3-legged stool with a shoulder strap, and a credit card reader that plugs into my phone. I call it a "walking business".

    Even if the fairs don't want me inside, I could hang around on the sidewalks and let the foot traffic come to me. There is quite a bit of street vending in Tucson, but not really like this. But with a permit, I bet I could work something out with the fair organizers to pay a greatly reduced booth rate. I mean, since I won't even need a booth. And they'd still get a cut.

    This festival I'm linking to below is incredible. Like a half hour south of Tucson. This whole little town in the desert becomes a giant arts and crafts mall. A lot of the shops are already arts and crafts oriented, and then the streets are lined with booths with even more. I could make a killing at this thing just walking around. Thing was packed. We had a blast at the last one. There's no way I could ever afford a booth there though. I think it was like four grand for the weekend.

    tubacaz.com


  9. by Ponderer on April 14, 2024 9:33 am

    I suppose that my biggest fear with this walking business plan is getting all set up and going to a crafts festival, only to see a bunch of Chinese people walking around with Hummy Wands on their baseball caps...

    BTW, I'm thinking twenty bucks, sales tax included. Easy-peezy. I'd be making way more on each one than I did with Etsy.


  10. by Curt_Anderson on April 14, 2024 9:37 am
    My wife and I were in Las Vegas for a few days this past week. Their Fremont Street Experience (look it up, it’s the best part of Vegas) is about five pedestrian-friendly blocks of shops and activity. Every so often there are five foot circles painted on the concrete. Buskers, panhandlers and artisans are required to stay in their circles. Everybody seemed to obey the restrictions. I doubt the circle-inhabiters paid for a license, especially the homeless types.


  11. by Indy! on April 15, 2024 10:38 am

    That's it, Pondy - guerrilla marketing. They'll never have you arrested for selling (non-drugs) stuff illegally - they'll just kick you out.


  12. by Ponderer on April 15, 2024 2:19 pm

    "guerrilla marketing", Indy!? How's this idea I had a couple hours ago for "guerrilla marketing"?

    There's a perfect looking hip-and-with it artists gallery/crafts fair thing happening at this big club downtown for five hours a week from Sunday. I'm thinking of going to the thing with my entire stock, but instead of entering the event, I'd sit on the sidewalk against the building with a towel and the Hummy Wands laid out on it, a couple clipped to the cap I'm wearing. And a handwritten cardboard sign on my lap that says,


    PLEASE HELP.
    CHINA STOLE
    MY ONLINE
    PRESENCE.
    $20.00



    From a marketing perspective, it seems solid gold to me.


  13. by Ponderer on April 15, 2024 2:55 pm

    A young couple went on Shark Tank with this idea and they got an investor on the show to invest $80,000 for them to develop it. They've been selling them for $79.95 ever since.

    Their dream has been murdered too.

    This is the email I just sent to them...

    John and Joan,

    I've been selling a different kind of hummingbird feeder that I developed and have been making and selling on Etsy called the Hummy Wand. A couple days ago, I learned that China has flooded the online market with knockoff versions for a fraction of the price I can sell them for. I had been wondering why my sales dropped off to nothing for the last 30 days. They stole my design, the name, my images, my ad copy, even the video of me demonstrating it. As it appears they have done with you also. While going through the scores of counterfeit versions that Amazon is offering of my design, I noticed that they got you too.

    No good idea ever goes un-usurped in this greedy, immoral, cutthroat world anymore. My heart goes out to you because I know that you've got investors and bills that I never had, and this must be extremely devastating for you. I just wanted you to know that there are others out there like you who have had their dream stolen also. If there's any advice that you can give me of who to complain to, for all the good it will do, I'd be very appreciative. But I know that the damage has already been done.

    Hummy Wand is dead. China has killed it. I may still try to sell them at local arts and crafts festivals and the like, and I'll keep my Etsy ad going for a little while longer because the knockoffs haven't infiltrated Etsy yet. But China has destroyed my online presence. There is no way for me now to differentiate my design and product name from the dozens of crappy knockoffs China is flogging all over Amazon and Walmart and wherever else I haven't looked yet. I even had a vendor lined up who was going to buy my product in bulk just a couple weeks before this happened. They aren't even returning my calls now.

    I hope that you can restore your market and that your product can be profitable for you for a long time to come. But this is just me. And I am the wrong David to try to fight this Goliath. And a legal battle with Amazon or China is not how I plan to spend my retirement. I hope that you or your investors have the resources to go after these bastards somehow. Such craven greediness is just so rampant in this world anymore.

    Wishing the best of luck to you both,

    Sheri Evans
    Hummy Wand LLC


  14. by HatetheSwamp on April 15, 2024 3:47 pm

    Here's a baha. I had clicked your link. Today, Wal-Mart sent me an email noting that I appeared interested.


  15. by Ponderer on April 15, 2024 4:09 pm

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    That is a knee-slapper! Did they also try to interest you in one of my foreign imposternators? I think it's those sort of links that did me in.




  16. by Indy! on April 15, 2024 8:46 pm

    Not a good idea, Pondy. You want to be on the move in case they come after you. No setting stuff up or signs that aren't attached to your body for quick getaways. 🤨


  17. by Ponderer on April 15, 2024 11:04 pm

    Oh getting arrested is part of the marketing plan, Indy!. If it comes to that. But it's at least going to be good for a photo shoot. Maybe get some local news coverage...


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