Are Your Wall Sockets Loose?
By Jessica Haynes
Jessica Haynes and Barry Connelly invented the Socket Saver ™ approximately 17 years ago. They knew they had a great idea because it solved a common and annoying household problem affecting multitudes of people every day…wall sockets loose and plugs don’t stay in.
Use a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner and the plug falls out? Your electronic devices do not recharge because of a loose outlet? The Socket Saver ™ proved to be an easy to use, dependable, and safe solution for loose wall sockets that works in seconds.
Inventing a successful product and getting it to market is often a long journey with many obstacles to overcome.
The journey started when Haynes had had it with her wall sockets loose, saying to her husband, “I’m tired of holding my hand next to the plug to keep it from falling out when I’m drying my hair. And the cord keeps falling out when I vacuum.” It was from this frustration that Barry woke up one morning and said, “I have an idea.” Barry Connelly, a commercial pilot, went into his garage with a small plastic child safety device used to prevent children from shocks from electrical outlets, and using a file, knife, and sandpaper, created the Socket Saver ™.
The invention was so simple. One-Step. Simply slide the Socket Saver ™ over an appliance plug and insert into the wall socket loose. No more plugs falling out! Need to call an electrician or handyman….No. Not even a need to touch the circuit breakers. No electrical or mechanical skills needed. Individuals could save money and time with the problem solved in seconds.
The Socket Saver ™ had the advantage of Simplicity, Durability, and Low Cost.
These are the key points that Henry Ford followed, stating, “You will win the hearts of your customers.”
Today the Socket Saver ™ is a popular product in ACE Hardware and TRUE VALUE stores. The Corporate Market continues to grow. Why? It is perfect for older homes and buildings, rental units, hotels/motels, Internet cafes, airports … or any location with loose wall sockets. It is versatile for both residential and commercial use. This invention is excellent for businesses such as Carpet Cleaning, House Cleaning, Property Management, Real Estate Agencies, and other businesses that use outlets to serve their customers.
You can take it with you!
Customers say they keep a few Socket Savers ™ in their travel bag or purse when they travel. Most hotels/motels have loose plugs making it difficult to recharge cell phones or electronic devices. The charging stations at airports are often worn out…you know wall sockets loose. Solution? The Socket Saver ™.
Getting to this point of success involved trial and error, and learning what to do and what not to do. Haynes and Connelly have these suggestions to share about coming up with an idea and turning it into a successful company.
When you have an idea, write it down … when you thought of it and date it.
Get a patent-pending document so your idea is registered and won’t go to someone else who is thinking of the same idea. We have heard so many stories from people that had a great idea but didn’t follow through immediately and lost their chance for ownership.
Go to a patent attorney to get your idea patented or to see if someone has already thought of your idea. When we did a patent search for the Socket Saver ™, no one had thought of the idea. Our patent went straight through, and we have two more patents that protect our idea; and our additional invention, the Socket Saver Wall Plate. ™ (Suggestion: Have as much protection on your idea as possible.)
Packaging is very important
We needed a package that stood out and got the message out to customers in seconds. We hired a professional package designer. He suggested a design for clip strips and pegs to get the attention of customers as they walk through the aisles and as a Front of Store / Impulse Buy Purchase. (The clip strip visual is very effective for new products.)
This is very important. Print media is often the best because a person can read the article and save it, putting it next to their computer, or telephone or hanging it on the refrigerator. We called the local newspapers and shared why our invention was media news. With this media coverage, readers went to stores and asked for the Socket Saver ™. A demand was created.
For the stores we wrote what you would call an “Elevator Speech” or “Sales Sheet” that explained the product in a few sentences along with customer base, demographics, and wholesale/retail costs so that we could create an ongoing program that was beneficial for the retailer and us. One Sales Sheet included satisfied customers comments from our website and Amazon.com, and another specifically about the Socket Saver ™ and the benefits for sales in the Corporate Market.
Go to a trade show to see how the professionals are selling their products and learn how to market your invention. You will learn so much as a new inventor. We often call this “University 101”. Collect business cards. Likely you are meeting people just like you that are manufacturing. Since we had knowledge of the trade shows we could talk intelligently to the buyers of the Corporate Market.
Keep Calling Your Contacts
Getting into ACE was a process. Through a friend who had ACE contacts we were given an email address to the Nor Cal ACE buyer. It took ten calls and follow-up to finally hear him say, “Let’s make this work!” and we were in the door. The General Manager has worked for ACE in the capacity of buyer for 35 years and sees 5,000 new inventions every year. By not giving up, and having a product that matched their market an alliance was created.
If we received a dollar for every person who suggested we get on the television show Shark Tank, we would be rolling in money. But we chose to do it ourselves, and it has proven to be a good move. Now when we talk with the Corporate leaders, the fact that we 100% privately own our company, they are more interested. Also, the Socket Saver ™ is made in the USA. This continues to be valuable to customers and retailers.
Making A Difference
Along our journey we have had many nay-sayers who said we would never succeed, and road blocks including attorneys who took advantage of us. Yet we always pulled through. The Internet was a major factor. With our website SocketSaver.com and sales on Amazon.com we built a solid record of sales that the Corporate Market liked.
I wish I’d known about these years ago! About half the outlets in our house are very loose. Plugs fall out of them. (We have even tried using some packaging tape to hold a few of them against the wall, but that never worked). Works great, Will order more.
These are awesome! House built in the 40’s and these make a huge difference for everything we plug in.
Works like a dream! I had a very heavy night light that was slipping out of my outlet. Put one of these in and it has been working perfectly for over a month! Super happy!
These little gadgets are amazing! My hair dryer plug no longer falls out of the socket every minute.
These things are awesome for anyone who has loose plugs and doesn’t want to replace them. (Renting) thanks, they work great!
I love my Socket Savers ™! Great for my home and I now travel with them… I wish I would have thought of the idea…
Great for my parents’ home. Many of the outlets are 65 years old dating from the time of construction and it’s hard to keep things plugged in. Not anymore. This adapter fits over the existing plug and stays very well when plugged in.
I was having issues with many of my sockets and was thinking of replacing many of them. I’m so glad I found the Socket Saver ™. I did not replace any of my sockets and now use the socket Savers ™ with many of my appliances. I am so glad I found this product. They are perfect.
First, I’m overjoyed that this actually works. You slide this plastic piece over your current device’s outlet prongs and that’s it. You’re done. It takes literally 1 second. And it works perfectly. It’s almost humorous how simple it is and how it actually works.
Contact: Jessica Haynes 831-455-2585 / 831-455-0717 www.socketsaver.com