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S08.E15: The Kooler, Little Nomad, RinseKit, dbest Products


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A professional body builder from Henderson, Nevada, demonstrates his incredible strength as well as a unique cooler that keeps multiple drinks separated inside one cold container; a mom from West Hartford, Connecticut, changes Kevin O'Leary's nickname to "Uncle Wonderful" and asks him to hold her toddler while she pitches her stylish version of baby mats; a Shark turns into a "bottom feeding catfish" to two surfers from Carlsbad, California, while considering their portable pressurized shower kit; and an entrepreneur from Hermosa Beach, California, needs a smart Shark to invest their smart money into his specialty folding smart-cart business. Also, a follow-up with the Tom & Chee grilled cheese sandwich business, which Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban invested in during season 4.

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I was so excited when I saw the prettier foam mats.  Then I heard the price.  Yikes.  I think she said she made them for $16 but sells them for $150.  That's crazy (unless I misheard).  I would buy those, but not at that price.  And I think the cart guy got screwed.  I think they would have given him more money for the higher equity.  He said $700,000 for 15% equity and they said the equity is too low.  They didn't seem to have an issue with the $700k.  I wounder if he had offer 20% for that money, if they would have taken it.  And I do want the cart that goes up the stairs.  But I have no idea how expensive they are (and I'm too lazy to look them up, apparently).

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She was far from the most egregious mom entrepreneur this show has had, but I was really irritated by foam mat lady. Way too expensive, and having a lot of loud garish primary color stuff in your house is kinda par for the course with babies and toddlers anyway. Also, I don't know that I've really seen those mats outside of daycare centers...maybe I'm hanging out with the wrong kinds of parents? 

It really irritated me when she handed her daughter off to Kevin for a quick second to try and ingratiate herself to the Sharks/cameras. Kids aren't props, and they're not puppies. Don't hand your baby to a stranger just to score points, and maybe just don't do that at all! Also it was pretty great when she just immediately, wordlessly, retreated the moment they all dropped out. 

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The Little Nomad mats could definitely go down in price (they start at $109 for the 4x6 foot size), but I liked the concept and the entrepreneur and wish the sharks would have made her an offer.

I didn't get the pressurized shower kit concept and thought the pitch was boring.  Surprised they got a deal.

The cart guy was way too smarmy and over-the-top for me; his presentation was way too over-the-top infomercial for me.  Also surprised they were practically throwing money at him.

  • Love 3
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21 minutes ago, annewithaneee said:

She was far from the most egregious mom entrepreneur this show has had, but I was really irritated by foam mat lady. Way too expensive, and having a lot of loud garish primary color stuff in your house is kinda par for the course with babies and toddlers anyway. Also, I don't know that I've really seen those mats outside of daycare centers...maybe I'm hanging out with the wrong kinds of parents? 

No kids in my house but I have them in the basement.  Cheap way to add flooring to the basement, don't have to worry if the basement floods, and good cushioning if/when I exercise down there (sad to say, that happens very seldom).

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22 minutes ago, annewithaneee said:

She was far from the most egregious mom entrepreneur this show has had, but I was really irritated by foam mat lady. Way too expensive, and having a lot of loud garish primary color stuff in your house is kinda par for the course with babies and toddlers anyway. Also, I don't know that I've really seen those mats outside of daycare centers...maybe I'm hanging out with the wrong kinds of parents? 

It really irritated me when she handed her daughter off to Kevin for a quick second to try and ingratiate herself to the Sharks/cameras. Kids aren't props, and they're not puppies. Don't hand your baby to a stranger just to score points, and maybe just don't do that at all! Also it was pretty great when she just immediately, wordlessly, retreated the moment they all dropped out. 

I think what pissed me off about her was her constant use of the term "stylish mom's" then she upper the ante by saying "stylish mom's who shop at Buy Buy Baby or Nordstrom's, because you know, us mom's who ship at Babies R Us are clearly trash...and not stylish at all!

Before I heard her price, I was somewhat interested, then she said the price and I shook my head, then she started overusing her "stylish mom's" and I noped myself right out of that!

  • Love 8
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Foam mats already come in more colors than just Preschool - you can get them in stone, wood plank, beiges, or even kiddy patterns in muted colors - and they all cost about the same. I looked at all the colors when I wanted to get some for blocking knitting; you have to get a color that doesn't bleed.

But aren't kids supposed to be exposed to bright colors for development? I remember when the first of my friends had a kid, it was about the time baby toys shifted from pastel to brights and IIRC that was why.

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Had to give the momtrepreneur more credit than the sharks did. Clearly they haven't looked at baby registers lately, but I am in the middle of it. Many of my friends' kids are having babies and people will buy anything you list on the registry, no matter how expensive or useless the items are.

The cart guy needs to switch to decaf. Too hyperactive and he'll probably end up being a pain in the ass to work with.

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5 hours ago, Auntie Anxiety said:

Had to give the momtrepreneur more credit than the sharks did. Clearly they haven't looked at baby registers lately, but I am in the middle of it. Many of my friends' kids are having babies and people will buy anything you list on the registry, no matter how expensive or useless the items are.

The cart guy needs to switch to decaf. Too hyperactive and he'll probably end up being a pain in the ass to work with.

Your friends are clearly nicer than mine...all my friends stayed away from the big ticket items and just got the little stuff. And trust me, an item that cost more than 130 dollars counts as a big ticket item. 

Here's the other problem with the registry argument - most people put the most pressing items you are going to need when baby is a newborn because the idea is, you aren't going to go out during that period and get it for yourself. Foam mats aren't generally going to be needed for 7 months or so...and I reject her "you can use it for tummy time" - they have things for tummy time with more bells and whistles that cost way less than her foam mats. However, even if you have people who put older infancy items on the registry, you have so many items that cost bucks that are more important to spend money on (swings, pack and plays, bouncers, rock and plays, baby wearing things, baby monitors, strollers, car seats, cribs, and changing tables. Anyone buying off a registry are going to be more likely to spend money on those big ticket items because they are important and essential items. Foam mats are neither important nor essential when compared to the other items. 

The thing that truly got me was that the item the "surfers" were pitching was 89.00, yet she was charging almost 150.00 for foam mats.  Foam mats that inevitably will end up in a kid's mouth by the end of its use (or maybe that's just my kid, lol). I can't imagine asking someone to pay 150 dollars for something that's going to get thrown up on or end up in my kids mouth, but that's just me. 

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8 hours ago, Jamoche said:

But aren't kids supposed to be exposed to bright colors for development?

This. Also, speaking from experience, the mats in our basement are pretty hale and hearty -- having been scribbled on with markers and crayons, and barfed on by the cat. How nice are the "stylish mom" mats going to look after any of that happens?

I also got irritated when she said they could be used as a substitute for kitchen mats. Not only because they don't have the ergonomic design of the nicest kitchen mats (mine at least are designed help you stand better in the kitchen, not just cover the floor), but I kept thinking of splashing sauces and gravies and that light gray mat.

One of the most out-of-touch mom-trepeneurs ever, at least for my money (literally).

Edited by Eolivet
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I thought Buy Buy Baby was going out of business... I know when I was shopping for kid stuff I heard lots of bad about them and stayed away. I also wouldn't think to go to nordstroms for baby stuff... but maybe i'm not that stylish. The mat idea is a good one, but it would be very easy for the company that makes the primary colored mats to do something similar (if they don't already) and for a much cheaper price. As others have pointed out, the bright colors are good for babies, and it's temporary... you not going to have that on your living room floor for that long. Although if you have carpet it's not really necessary, that's what blankets and stuff are for. We have a similar product with letters in it that also pop out that we use in our basement, but otherwise haven't needed to cover the floors, especially not for $150!

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12 hours ago, sadiegirl said:

I was so excited when I saw the prettier foam mats.  Then I heard the price.  Yikes.  I think she said she made them for $16 but sells them for $150.  That's crazy (unless I misheard).  I would buy those, but not at that price. 

I thought what I heard her say was that her competitors ranged from $35-150 and that hers was $139, so while she was on the higher end of it she was not the most expensive. However, I may have misunderstood that part. And she's still darn close to the  $150 mark. But I really thought I heard something in there that she was not the most expensive version of the product. And she did seem to have a solid point about registries.

 

I think this is one of those things where if it's going to make it, it's somehow going to be because her brand (or not, but one brand) will someone become "the one", which is really a combination of marketing and luck. It might be tricky to do since the product already exists and as far as I know nobody associates it with a particular brand. But if she's trying to model her company as "the hip one of that" and gets people who care about such things to sort of...get her company's name in their heads...she could make it profitable, even being niche. The goal isn't just to sell a lot. It's convince a substantial enough portion that hers is the thing, and basically...make any other (cheaper) ones seem like knock-offs. Not easy to do, but that sort of needs to be her goal. Either that or her goal is get in fast, sell a ton fast, and get out fast before people stop giving a shit. That might work too. I don't really see it as a long term business unless she wants to go into other baby products too, which seems like hell given the competition, but again, if she manages to make her brand a thing people associate with good stuff, could work.

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13 hours ago, Sarahsmile416 said:

I think what pissed me off about her was her constant use of the term "stylish mom's" then she upper the ante by saying "stylish mom's who shop at Buy Buy Baby or Nordstrom's, because you know, us mom's who ship at Babies R Us are clearly trash...and not stylish at all!

Before I heard her price, I was somewhat interested, then she said the price and I shook my head, then she started overusing her "stylish mom's" and I noped myself right out of that!

Buy Buy Baby is owned by Bed Bath & Beyond, so that woman needs to calm down about being "stylish".

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12 hours ago, Jamoche said:

But aren't kids supposed to be exposed to bright colors for development? I remember when the first of my friends had a kid, it was about the time baby toys shifted from pastel to brights and IIRC that was why.

Yes, I think that's why they're purposefully bright and colorful. It's to stimulate the child's brain development.

That said, I do see some value in her product, and as she said, it's something that can graduate from children's mats to something else without looking out of place in the home. But not at that price point. I wonder if the sharks ever discussed cutting the prices down, to a more reasonable $80-$90. It gives that perception that it's cheap because it's under $100, but not utterly cheap as the typical bright ones, so the value resides in the stylish look.

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Lori was sure ogling that one shower guy.  I thought they were going to have to turn that hose on her.

Mat Mommy was a spoiled brat.  Didn't even say thank you or goodbye to the sharks.  You can tell she's used to having no obstacles in life because she was astonished that they didn't fall all over themselves for her.  Cute kid, though.

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17 hours ago, sadiegirl said:

And I think the cart guy got screwed.  I think they would have given him more money for the higher equity.  He said $700,000 for 15% equity and they said the equity is too low.  They didn't seem to have an issue with the $700k.  I wounder if he had offer 20% for that money, if they would have taken it.

I thought the exact same thing.  His high energy "infomercial" presentation style, for better or worse, came from a lot of practice and planning. I think that left him short-handed when it came to reading the moment. I would have said "I appreciate you need the 20%, but let's keep the valuation fair. 20% for $1 million cash and $1 million line of credit." That brings his valuation down from $7m to $5m and really 15% interest is it's own reward.

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I see those rolly grocery carts in catalogs all the time -- and I have even owned a couple.  With an item like that, you go for the cheapest because it will break down from wear and tear.  Also it is not "stylish" so no need to spend bucks.  I was surprised he got so much attention -- the idea is not at all proprietary.

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I have three children and realized last night that I must be doing something wrong. I've never owned foam playmats for my children to play on. Like hell they would sit there and play on it in the first place! My youngest is 10 months old-good luck getting her to sit still for one minute let alone play in a designated play spot. I did however like the idea of using them as an excercise pad but for that price it would serve me well to buy the gaudy cheap foam pads and put them away when I'm not using them which I do with my yoga mat anyway. But the foam would definitely offer more cushion than my current mat and that's not something I had ever thought of as an alternative before. 

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@Mountainair - get the double-thickness ones, especially if you're putting it on carpet. That's what I have. The thin ones tend to come apart at the seams if you're energetic at all and then you'll trip on them. Mine are a nice stylish black :)

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I had foam playmats for tummy time when my kid was REALLY small (we had leftover mat pieces from when we put mats under our cardio equipment downstairs), but if I didn't want it to be yellow/red and such, I could, GASP, flip it over and it was plain black. I am not paying four times more for a "prettier" piece of foam that my child will constantly spit up on. I noticed immediately that the colors/patterns she picked would disguise spit up so that you wouldn't even notice it and therefore it might congeal and harden and be really nasty before you could clean it up. Hard pass. 

Now, if she had $140 playmats that you could customize, or print with your own design, THEN she might have something original there. I still wouldn't buy it, but...it'd be different.

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2 hours ago, Jamoche said:

@Mountainair - get the double-thickness ones, especially if you're putting it on carpet. That's what I have. The thin ones tend to come apart at the seams if you're energetic at all and then you'll trip on them. Mine are a nice stylish black :)

I could definitely use a new mat. The one I have is over 10 years old however I only use it for my cool downs or strength training. When I'm doing cardio or HIIT I stick to the floor. Which, makes me feel like a terrible mother (according to Mat lady) because we only have hardwoods throughout the house. No rugs (we have two elderly pets who can't always make it out in time and we're destroying our rugs). 

Again, I could see a use for the play mats. We are doing a major renovation of our house and I could see the kids new playroom (which will remain hardwood) utilizing a few foam play mats for the boys to sit on while playing video games or something but at that price point I could get something much more suitable. 

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How much do those carts run? I live in an apartment and have to lug my groceries from my car, across the parking lot to the building, then have to unlock the outside door, go down the hall to the elevator, etc. A cart like that would be helpful. Someone should tell the cart guy that parting his hair down the middle looks goofy.

I wonder why the sharks didn't ask mat mom if she could get the mats made more cheaply and lower the retail price.

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25 minutes ago, rhys said:

Was there any mention of the water temperature while using that shower?

Presumably whatever temp it was when it came out of the hose, so in theory if it's in summer, the water might've actually been fairly warm initially. Since the thing doesn't hold that much it might stay relatively sun-warm sitting in the container on a hot day. In not summer...probably unpleasantly cold. But I guess if it were originally designed with surfers in mind, if you're wearing a wetsuit might not care.

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8 hours ago, ClareWalks said:

I had foam playmats for tummy time when my kid was REALLY small (we had leftover mat pieces from when we put mats under our cardio equipment downstairs), but if I didn't want it to be yellow/red and such, I could, GASP, flip it over and it was plain black. I am not paying four times more for a "prettier" piece of foam that my child will constantly spit up on. I noticed immediately that the colors/patterns she picked would disguise spit up so that you wouldn't even notice it and therefore it might congeal and harden and be really nasty before you could clean it up. Hard pass. 

Now, if she had $140 playmats that you could customize, or print with your own design, THEN she might have something original there. I still wouldn't buy it, but...it'd be different.

Exactly- my daughter had horrible reflux so it was pretty much spit up on a daiky basis, even when she was much older...but at least I could see it, the idea of having spit up remain that I couldn't see is more than gross

Not to mention, if you have a kid like mine, they consider it their life's work to take apart all those foam mats and throw them random places. Not so "ergonomically designed" then, is it, lady?

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I think...it looked like it was supposed to look like a common style of rug that is currently popular. It did not look like a rug in the sense of ever remotely being able to be mistaken for one; but it did look like a rug in the sense of hey that foam has that rug-ey pattern printed on it.

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I liked the floor mat product and was surprised she didn't get a deal.  My first thought, which I was convinced would be echoed by Robert and Daymond, was the possibility of branding on those mats.  Robert has connections with Disney and Daymond works with Disney's Marvel division.  Why not have a Disney Princess mat or a Captain America mat that you put together?  I think that would work well (then again, I'm no billionaire entreprenuer, so what do I know).!

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3 minutes ago, Gregg247 said:

I liked the floor mat product and was surprised she didn't get a deal.  My first thought, which I was convinced would be echoed by Robert and Daymond, was the possibility of branding on those mats.  Robert has connections with Disney and Daymond works with Disney's Marvel division.  Why not have a Disney Princess mat or a Captain America mat that you put together?  I think that would work well (then again, I'm no billionaire entreprenuer, so what do I know).!

I think that would be a great idea for someone else, but I'm not sure it would fit in with how she was trying to brand herself - that her mats could be mistaken for a real rug, that fits in with your decor.  I think a Disney princess 'rug' would stand out as much as those primary colored ones. '

I have now decided I want one that could be customized with quotes that I would choose.  Inspirational quotes for when I'm working out.  They can do it for walls, why not mats.

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I really didn't understand the shower thing either.  Let's say you are going camping, way way out away from facilities.  You fill this up at home and take it with you?  I guess I sort of get it regarding taking it to the beach or to kids' sporting events.

I have one of those Smart Carts.  Bought it at Staples maybe 3 years ago.  Comes in handy at my workplace.  I like the ones with the seat ... that would be great for kids's sporting events.  That guy was born to sell.  I don't know if I could work with him, but he was amusing.

My husband did a quick search of how much you need to start a Tom + Chee franchise ... $400,000.  Is that in line with other similar food franchises?

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I didn't think 31 franchise attendees at their meeting was very many for a franchise. Don't growing franchises do that easily in a year or less? I'll have to see where they are. Never saw one before (I'm in the Mountain West).

We had the (inexpensive) multi-color play mats. One of our kids drew all over some of the panels. And we didn't care. In fact, we joined her and drew a few things ourselves. Would hate to have cared $130 worth.

The carts would be all about durability. Are they durable? Did anyone say?

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On 2/4/2017 at 8:03 AM, slowpoked said:

Yes, I think that's why they're purposefully bright and colorful. It's to stimulate the child's brain development.

That said, I do see some value in her product, and as she said, it's something that can graduate from children's mats to something else without looking out of place in the home. But not at that price point. I wonder if the sharks ever discussed cutting the prices down, to a more reasonable $80-$90. It gives that perception that it's cheap because it's under $100, but not utterly cheap as the typical bright ones, so the value resides in the stylish look.

Barbara seems to be the one that brings up price a lot in her reasoning/discussions and IIRC she has made cutting the price down a condition of her investment before.  Maybe if she was on the panel this time around she might have done something like that.  IMO, one thing the playmat person missed out on, especially if she was doing online sales primarily, why not allow for customization for a little extra?  Right now it looks like she says she only has two patterns, why not have more patterns, or even allow customers to upload their own designs?  That would make it more attractive to more customers I would think.

Can anyone explain to me why having "2 million LOC at 15% interest plus future funding" is better than "unlimited financing on future orders"?  I guess you get two sharks with Mark and Lori, but you give up more equity and have debt.  I guess it is possible that Daymond's financing would be debt too, that wasn't made very clear.

 

I see those rolly grocery carts in catalogs all the time -- and I have even owned a couple.  With an item like that, you go for the cheapest because it will break down from wear and tear.  Also it is not "stylish" so no need to spend bucks.  I was surprised he got so much attention -- the idea is not at all proprietary.

My understanding is he actually started out selling the cheap-o versions (and I am assuming that is still part of his inventory).  I think he was marketing his new line as being superior quality to the point of carrying 100+ pounds and being able to double as a carry on.

Edited by HawaiiTVGuy
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3 hours ago, Ottis said:

I didn't think 31 franchise attendees at their meeting was very many for a franchise. Don't growing franchises do that easily in a year or less? I'll have to see where they are. Never saw one before (I'm in the Mountain West).

It depends. Some business choose a very intentional, limited growth, so they might not allow for more than X new franchises per year, or per area or some cobination thereof (while others are more like "you got the cash, go to it"). 31 is still a lot of restaurants. So depending on if they were intentionally trying to control the speed of growth, what is or isn't done in a year can widely vary.

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3 hours ago, MoreCoffeePlease said:

My husband did a quick search of how much you need to start a Tom + Chee franchise ... $400,000.  Is that in line with other similar food franchises?

Pretty much, assuming that's the total cost and not just the fee. When you open a franchise restaurant there's a fee to the parent that's generally less than $50,000. However you also have to renovate in the given style, get their specific equipment, uniforms and supplies, and perform other tasks to be uniform. But most importantly you have to prove a certain net worth and put a certain amount of cash into the business to prove you can cover expenses.

So I'm assuming to open that Tom + Chee you'd spend about half and the other half would sit on your books as cash for a couple years until you were established.

1 hour ago, HawaiiTVGuy said:

Can anyone explain to me why having "2 million LOC at 15% interest plus future funding" is better than "unlimited financing on future orders"?  I guess you get two sharks with Mark and Lori, but you give up more equity and have debt.  I guess it is possible that Daymond's financing would be debt too, that wasn't made very clear.

Probably, although there's always the possibility they mean "I'll just take more equity later." Locking that down up front isn't a bad idea.

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1 hour ago, Amarsir said:

 

Probably, although there's always the possibility they mean "I'll just take more equity later." Locking that down up front isn't a bad idea.

Yeah...I always wondered about those "LOC" deals.  Although the LOC always seemed to be based on ready-to-go POs, so the risk would be really low for a stakeholder that they wouldn't get their money back along with profiting from the newly fulfilled orders.  Oh well, I am not a business guy so if any more people have input, I would love to learn more!

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5 hours ago, sadiegirl said:

Maybe I should know this, but I don't.  What is LOC? TIA.

To further define what chocolatine said just in case anyone didn't know: a Line of Credit is a loan that works like a credit card. You can take out any portion of the amount when you want, pay it back and then borrow again later without more approval needed. You only pay interest on the portion that's owed.

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5 hours ago, Amarsir said:

To further define what chocolatine said just in case anyone didn't know: a Line of Credit is a loan that works like a credit card. You can take out any portion of the amount when you want, pay it back and then borrow again later without more approval needed. You only pay interest on the portion that's owed.

Kind of like a home equity loan.  Thank you both for the explanations.  Good info to have when watching.

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I am still wondering what the guy's ability to lift weights had to do with his Kooler being any good.  

His big flaw was thinking that everyone is like him.  When the sharks mentioned "average" people he talked about seeing "average" people at the gym.  If he wants a wider spectrum of customers, hw needs to make one that will hold lunch along with your water, not just drinks.

When the Smart Cart guy was on, my husband said, "I don't know why, but I like this guy."  And I said, "Same here."  Glad he got a deal.

On 2/3/2017 at 9:24 PM, Jamoche said:

Foam mats already come in more colors than just Preschool - you can get them in stone, wood plank, beiges, or even kiddy patterns in muted colors - and they all cost about the same. 

I was surprised that none of the sharks uttered "proprietary" - there is nothing stopping the colorful mat people from making mats in other colors.  

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On 2/6/2017 at 9:28 AM, MoreCoffeePlease said:

I really didn't understand the shower thing either.  Let's say you are going camping, way way out away from facilities.  You fill this up at home and take it with you?  I guess I sort of get it regarding taking it to the beach or to kids' sporting events.

 

I live in LA and I can't stand sand, like almost phobia, so the shower thing really interested me son wants to go to the beach all the time.  I'd definitely use it on myself.  Lol. My kid can just sit in sandy swim trunks.

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