“I found what appears to be a duplicate or knock-off of your product on Amazon.com, apparently from an offshore seller. How do you plan to protect your company from low-priced knockoffs? What is your competitive advantage?”
I get these questions a lot and I absolutely love answering them. First, the products on Amazon.com are indeed offshore knock-offs, but let’s dig deeper into how we protect ourselves from these copycats, and how we ultimately plan to “win” in the whole space.
A Look At Our Patents
We are the actual inventors of this concept – retrofit shade automation devices. Our patents are extremely strong – enough for us to successfully remove all copycats off of Amazon. We conduct monthly reviews of potential knock-offs on Amazon.com and file an “IP Violation” complaint with Amazon directly through our Brand Registry.
We had received an Amazon Court Order number in the past, which allows us to rapidly file and remove these knock-offs. Since then, we have successfully removed 100% of all knockoff products from Amazon as we file, and continue to do so.
Here are screenshots with Amazon confirming our court order reference, and successful past removals:
Amazon Court Order/Docket Email:
Amazon Email Confirming Removal:
Our Patent Portfolio
Our patent portfolio is vast and continues to grow – we have 4 granted patents, and 3 pending. These protect various aspects of our technology, from its design, mechanics, and software. Our patents are filed in the US, Canada, EU, and China.
Below is a list of our US patents:
All of the large consumer electronic companies in the world (e.g. Apple, Google, Dyson), make their products in China, so an offshore seller does not command a price advantage just because they are also making it in China. In fact, a smaller competitor in China will likely not be able to produce their products at a lower cost, since they won’t typically have the same economies of scale as larger competitors. To be able to manufacture and price their products at a lower and competitive price point, there are trade-offs made: typically in the quality of the overall product, including components and materials, as well as not offering any customer support.
This is the difference in strategy of great brands vs. offshore knock-off sellers – its a trade-off in quality vs. price. Quality extends beyond product robustness, to services provided beyond the initial sale, including customer support, installation, warranties, and exchanges. In addition to this, smart home products like ours are further differentiated by the quality of its accompanying smartphone app.
As a North American company, we pride ourselves on quality and focus on building a brand, which requires investment into customer support, marketing, and distribution. We set pricing that allows our resale partners to earn a margin and be motivated to push and market our products to end consumers. This margin is important as it allows us to eventually put our products on store shelves – doing so gives us greater distribution and volume sales.
The offshore knock-offs are engaging in a low-cost, low-price strategy, with no guarantees of product performance, warranties, or assurance of quality. We could price our devices at similar price points, but the tradeoff in lower margins wouldn’t allow us to invest in marketing and building a brand and would prevent us from selling into high volume sales channels like retail, through dealers, and B2B channel partners – who all need to earn their margin in the sale as well.
To summarize: you could sell a lower-cost product on Amazon only, and give up customer support, quality, and the ability to sell through high-volume resellers. Or you could focus on building a higher quality product, earn a larger margin per sale, invest in building a brand and customer support, while also baking in the margins necessary for your resale partners to be motivated in selling your products.
|Technology||After-market device that controls beaded chain to automate||Lower quality copy-cats with similar approach as RYSE|
|Customer Support||Email, Phone, Chat||✘|
|Distribution||Online, Retail, Dealers, Distributors||Online Only|
|Patents||4 Issued, 3 Pending||✘|
Every consumer electronic product you see in the marketplace will have lower-cost competitors. There is always a more affordable vacuum cleaner, but Dyson dominates this market; there are lower-cost smart thermostats and doorbells, but Nest and Ring dominate these markets respectively. Consumers that are buying Dyson, Nest, or Ring devices are not only buying a vacuum cleaner, thermostat, or doorbell – they are investing in a high-quality, high-performance product that won’t break down a month from now.
These customers know that they have someone they can contact in case they have questions, or need troubleshooting with their device. There are warranty guarantees and overall trust in knowing that they can return or exchange their product if the devices break down within a year. This differs from traditional knock-offs seen on Amazon.com – you don’t know what you’re going to get, and you don’t know if it’ll break down in a year, month, or day.
Because of this, our vision is to deliver not only a high-quality product but also great service. We focus on partnerships with resellers and know that distribution itself can help build a strong defensible competitive advantage.
Become An Investor in RYSE, Inc.
Our vision is to put an RYSE product on every window shade. We want people to think of RYSE when they think of smart shades.
RYSE SmartShade, being an automated solution, just makes life easier – everything is done for you, so you can maintain a comfortable lifestyle. For example, you can have your shades open every morning at 8 AM to help you wake up and allow that morning light to brighten up your morning. Or, if you’re sitting on the sofa for an afternoon movie, you can easily tell Google or Alexa to lower the shades to prevent glare. It just makes life more comfortable and easy.
Investors, join our movement and get involved by investing in RYSE today: