Jim Debetta

Jim DeBetta’s product development and sales experience has amassed millions of dollars within the retail selling world. Known nationally as a trusted coach and mentor to thousands of inventors and entrepreneurs, he knows how to take new ideas from a sketch on a napkin to selling the final product to major retailers worldwide.

Jim’s career in retail began at an early age with the family business – a fireplace and home hardware company. After graduating from college, Jim went home to help expand the business from a small successful operation into a multi-million dollar business and became one of the most recognized and respected store of its kind on Long Island. Jim stimulated new business, purchased products from all over the world, and ran the overall daily operations.

Jim decided it was time to grow and joined a start up firm that imported binoculars, telescopes, and optical products for children. His retail customers included a “who’s who” in retail such as Target, Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, Sears, Michael’s, Cabelas, Home Shopping Network, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Discovery Channel Stores, Costco, and many others. Jim employed nearly 20 people inside and had dozens of sales reps all over the US, Canada, and Europe. Ultimately, Jim helped expand the company from virtually no significant revenue to a leading brand in the industry that has sold more than 50 million dollars of product since the mid 1990′s. When Jim was ready for a new adventure, he left the company as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Jim decided he was ready for yet a bigger challenge and joined a leading premium incentive company as their National Key Accounts Manager. Jim represented major national brands for this $100 million a year premium incentive firm such as Toshiba, Sony, Nikon, Nautilus, Movado and others. The products were used to create various incentive programs for fortune 1,000 companies around the world.

Jim’s experience has reached far and wide working with various products, retailers, manufactures, and factories. He knew it was time to help those that had a product in mind or ready for production. His goal was to teach others the process without unnecessary expense, time and red tape. That is how DeCavi Corp was born.

As the founder of DeCavi Corp, Jim has helped thousands of inventors and start-ups learn how to get their products developed and sold to major retailers. Jim then merged his firm with the renowned Slingshot Product Development Group which employs a team of 35 engineers, designers, and marketing experts who help individual inventors and Fortune 500 firms alike. Both are recognized as leaders in the inventor product development and commercialization arena. Today, Jim continues to broaden his reach into the world of consumer products and has formed DeBetta Enterprises which is a private consultancy that coaches and advises inventors and entrepreneurs on everything from manufacturing to sales and marketing of consumer products. Jim also heads up the Retail Distribution arm of Kevin Harrington’s TV Goods corporation which today is fueled by the hit ABC reality show Shark Tank.

""Jim teaches inventors how to create sales and marketing strategies, understand the world of licensing, develop a product using CAD design, raising money to fund a business, and locating factories overseas to produce products. Jim is now reaching out to individuals who want to learn how to do it for themselves. Learn how he does that by clicking here.

Jim is a Professional Member of the United Inventors Association, a member of the Georgia Inventor’s Association, Rocky Mountain Inventors Association, and was the former co-host of the Launch Hour – a popular radio program for inventors and entrepreneurs. He is also the author of The Business of Inventing and has written hundreds of articles for industry publications, newspapers, and websites such as Inventor’s Digest, Georgia Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Jim also appears as a guest speaker for leading trade and consumer organizations, speaks at international conferences, and hosts forum and blog discussions on prominent invention and entrepreneurial websites.

The year 2011 is showing great signs of retail growth due to solid Black Friday sales. Shoppers with pent up demand are now looking to open their checkbooks this holiday season and make up for the past few years of shying away from making discretionary purchases. However, 2012 will be a challenging year for inventors and retailers alike. When times are tough, people tend to stay close to home and gravitate towards things that are familiar and comforting to them.

Earlier in the year, I spoke to numerous buyers from major retail chains and almost all of them echoed the same sentiments – that while they are growing their sales with trusted brands that consumers feel good about, they are no longer scaling back or avoiding bringing in new products from new companies. With sluggish retail sales at major retail chains and even bankruptcy filings from well known chains such as Linens 'n Things and Circuit City, retail buyers are being squeezed with limited opportunities to bring in more inventory and are simply buying what they need to survive and get through these challenging times.

That being said, there are still many opportunities for inventors to get on the shelves at retail. The key will be to “give the people what they want” and based on my extensive research and conversations with industry experts and retail executives alike, I have listed some product categories that are thought to be important growth categories in 2012. In order for leading retailers to differentiate themselves going forward, they must offer unique products along with the innovative everyday items we always purchase. This is great news for inventors! In fact, a number of brands such as Proctor & Gamble are actively seeking innovative product submissions as they are looking to inventors and small business for creative and exciting new products that can give them an edge at retail.   

For inventors and entrepreneurs, the time to bring that product idea in your mind to life is now! By creating products that match well with current consumer demand, you may be well positioned to offer consumers innovative items that they are seeking and reap the rewards of your hard work. Popular websites who regularly monitor retail trends and consumer buying habits such as Trendwatching.com, euromonitor.com, retailingtoday.com, reuters.com, and cesweb.org have conducted various studies with consumers as well as manufacturers to learn what types of products people may wish to purchase in the coming year. Combined with conversations with leading retail chain buyers and our own perceptions of social trends, here is what we predict will be HOT.


Toys and Games

Always a popular category! I have read numerous articles from manufacturers who plan to expand their product line to include outdoor play items like backyard toys such as inflatables, playhouses, sand and play boxes, and even board games continue to sell well despite a digital world.

Pet Products

According to Packaged Facts, a leading market research firm, the pet products industry is still growing and could surpass the 12 billion dollar mark in 2012. Convenience items such as travel accessories for pets will make up a large portion of the growth and all natural products will be in demand.

Juvenile Products

All natural and organic are hot buzz words when it comes to baby products! Items such as strollers, eco-friendly teddy bears, and convenience items for moms that care for babies all day will be in high demand as parents are craving lifestyle items that make their days easier and less stressful.

Baby Boomer Products

This is and will continue to be a fast growing category as the first wave of baby boomers that turn sixty will be in the tens of millions. This group continues to demand more relevant products that keep them looking and feeling young. From technology products such as gadgets, brain games, and fitness items, there are abundant opportunities for inventors to create products that will be needed for years to come. I have spoken with a few buyers that mentioned they are seeking magnification products, items that amplify sound, and technology items such as sleep assistive devices that help people to fall asleep easier.

Video Game Accessories

Here is a category that just gets getting bigger and better. According to Fox News, this ever growing market may surpass the 20 billion dollar mark in 2012 for the consoles and software alone! The accessory market for items such as game pads is already in excess of 1 billion dollars leaving inventors with a lot of opportunity to cash in on this fast growing segment. There are millions of kids and adults who regularly play video games. With in demand video consoles such as Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3, there is a great opportunity to create accessory items and devices that make the personal gaming experience more enjoyable.

Organic Products

Organic products are in demand and will be desired at by retail buyers. Organic does not only mean food items. Clothing, handbags, and bath and body products are just a few examples of products that are made of organic materials.

Consumer Electronics

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, slim multimedia cell phones (MP3, web access), cameras, functional watches, tablet PC’s, and flat screen TV’s will continue to be popular while decreasing in price. Creating accessories for these items will be in demand according to retail buyers such as computer accessories and organizational products such as unique furniture to keep files and media in one place.