Warning Signs that the Art Gallery or Invention Company is Going to Take Your Money and Run

artist success tips Nov 11, 2015


Hi artists and inventors!

Congrats for being smart enough to read this before shelling out thousands of dollars to an invention promotion company or an art gallery that you have to pay to show your work. They are going to scam you.

Why do they do this, you may ask. Well, you are excited and enthusiastic about your creation and need help with exposure and selling. You could use the cash and your work is awesome. That makes you an easy target in their evil eyes.

These galleries and firms make exaggerated promises and charge you loads of money. They might give you an evaluation of the future success of your art or invention and some sort of written report but when it’s all said and done, they’ll be richer and you’ll be blowing dust off your creation. Those reports and evaluations are a marketing method used to get you to buy into their business.

Now, I want you to stay excited and keep on creating. I definitely don’t want you to get bogged down with trying to figure out how to spot a scammer. So, I’m providing you with this information so that you’ll stay out of trouble.

The top ten scam warning signs are:

1. They offer to send you an “invention kit”, which is just basic information that you can find online.

2. You’re advised to write your idea down or take a photo of your creation then mail it to yourself but don’t open the envelope. This is worthless info. The idea of a “poor man’s patent” has been around for a long time but it does not give you ANY legal protection whatsoever. Take it from me. I work at The US Patent and Trademark Office and hear about horror stories all the time about artists and inventors believing their work was protected by using mail to yourself technique.

3. The company will email you slick ads. You may also see the company on TV, radio and all media. But don’t be fooled!

4. They guarantee that they’ll get you a patent or a big art exhibition or will refund your money. They will never refund it, though.

5. The salesperson wants money right away and up front, even before seeing your art or invention. This is often done over email or the phone.

6. They tell you that your idea is “the next big thing.”

7. They won’t provide client references.

8. They won’t answer your questions in writing signed by a company official. Legit companies provide answers in writing.

9. They say that they’ll do a patent search to see if your invention was already developed and patented by someone else but will not provide a patentability opinion by a patent attorney/agent. Remember, the salesperson is not a lawyer.

10. Nobody will answer the phone when you call. This could be an indication that there is no real business.

So, how can you avoid being scammed ?

  • Always check the reputation of invention promoters and art galleries before making any commitments. Remember, not all of these promoters and galleries are legitimate.
  • Ask them how many inventions they’ve evaluated. Then ask how many of the inventors who used their services are making a profit. Same goes for artists.
  • Ask what the average cost of their services is.
  • Ask for names of clients.
  • Look for complaints against the firm: consult the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. The FTC also provides information about investment frauds on their site, www.ftc.gov. Check Yelp for reviews.

I hope this helps clear up some confusion. If an opportunity seems to good to be true then it probably is.

That’s all for now, awesome artists and inventors.

Remember: Stay hungry, dream big.

p.s. If you'd like to get emails full of art techniques and stay in the loop about my course offerings the be sure to opt-in at www.cynthiaunderwood.net

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