Do you know the feeling you get when you try to sweep the breadcrumbs on your floor? Well, that’s the feeling we got when we saw Broombi. Some Kickstarter campaigns scam you without you realising. Others raise the alert straightaway.
We were glad Broombi didn’t manage sweep away their breadcrumbs, so we were able to follow the trail and head down the rabbit hole. It wasn’t hard to follow all the red flags that were waving in our face.
Read on for the long story.
What is it
Broombi claims to be the “world’s most versatile broom”. It uses a patented 4-blade design to improve the broom’s cleaning power. And you can pair it with the patented dustpan to help you deal with the mess. Note that we have yet to see any proof of the patents.
A quick search failed to show any patents for the product. Our patent expert is already on the issue and we’ll report back when we uncover more information.
There are several red flags on the campaigns. They might be truly innocuous mistakes by an inexperience branding team, or are they breadcrumbs left behind in a scam that has raised $118,000 as of writing selling a broom that retails at half the price on Amazon?
The brand on the Kickstarter campaign is called Curelife Co, Ltd, and is from Roseville, CA. However, the campaign’s location is New York, NY. If you go to Broombi’s website, you’ll see that the brand on the page is called 3Jalbi. The website footer shows that the brand is created by 3Jalbi and Cogent Global, Inc. But Curelife’s website shows that it is located in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
Confused? We sure are. Regardless, the bottom line is that we have yet to find a company registered in the US called Curelife Co, Ltd.
There’s a company called Cogent Global, Inc in Fort Lee, NJ with Brian Chang as the president. Brian Chang also happens to be the name of the creator who started the Broombi Kickstarter campaign. So maybe they are legit? But according to the business directory, Cogent Global is registered as a wholesale trade. So they seem more like a distributor or reseller rather than a brand owner.
There is a company called Curelife Co, Ltd in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea and the president is Hye Jeong Yang. If Broombi is indeed created and run by the South Korean company, then they are misrepresenting the company on Kickstarter, which is against Kickstarter’s policy.
Who is it for
Usually we study the target audience and the potential market of a product. But for Broombi… well, it’s a broom. Everyone has a broom at home or vacuum cleaner. I can’t imagine anyone not having a broom at least.
But given the clout surrounding the brand and product, let us talk about who has been buying this product. There are over 1,300 backers on Kickstarter so far. These are people who have aren’t aware that there has been something similar in the market for a while.
Yes, this product is available on Amazon and Aliexpress for less than half the Kickstarter price. I can only see. The only notable difference between Broombi and what’s already being sold in the market is its extendable handle and dustpan.
We also see in the comments that people are complaining about the shipping costs of Broombi. The shipping to certain regions costs more than the product itself. So wouldn’t it be better off for them to buy off Amazon or Aliexpress with free or cheaper shipping costs and get the product sooner? The Kickstarter campaign has a delivery date of January 2022.
Is it innovative
Let’s talk about this 4-blade technology that Broombi claims is revolutionary.
The first blade generates static electricity when the blade rubs against the floor to attract dust particles that might fly around instead of being swept into the dustpan. Innovative? Well, maybe if you haven’t heard of electrostatic brooms. They have been around for years.
The second blade collects hair by scraping hair and dust particles deeply planted in rugs, carpets, and fabric. If you are a pet owner, you probably own a broom for removing fur or at least considered getting one before.
The third blade sweeps and attracts the dust and hair that has been scraped out. The fourth blade makes sure no dust is left behind. Nothing revolutionary there.
The only thing innovative about this product is its design. The industrial design gives it a signature look that is aggressive. It makes you think that the product will be the solution to your problems, that you probably never knew you had until you read their page.
The appearance of the product is what makes it stand out, but other than that, the features are not revolutionary.
Is it worth it
Broombi retails at $34. For less than half of that, you can get the same broom design on Amazon and Aliexpress without the dustpan. You probably already have a dustpan at home so would you want to pay more for a dustpan?
Oh, wait. Broombi’s dustpan is supposedly smart because it can retract to prevent the contents from spilling. A quick search on Amazon didn’t return many results for retractable dustpan. Does this mean Broombi is actually doing something that is not really available in the market yet?
I do recalling seeing such dustpans around, so I searched for foldable dustpan instead. You can get a foldable dustpan on Amazon for around $14. Points to Broombi for using a keyword that is less crowded and competitive on Amazon.
But, wait! Broombi is not exactly the same as the one you see on Amazon or Aliexpress. It has a telescopic handle that lets you extend it. Great. But do you really need an extendable broom? Read on below.
What are the alternatives
We’ve talked about the alternatives throughout this article. The smart broom that is available in the market works just like Broombi. The only difference is that Broombi claims to have improved blade edges to make it more durable, an additional sub-blade for better cleaning, and an extendable handle.
Durability is subjective without tests comparing the two brooms. I would love to see a test, but come on, it’s a broom. How much more durable should it be? If your brooms get damaged really often, then I’d worry more about what’s destroying the brooms. Are you bring too rough with your floor or do you need to reconsider how dirty your floor gets?
The additional blade is a very common
trick way to create a second generation product. It is slightly different from the original product to be marketed as a new product. But is that enough to make it eligible for Kickstarter? Or to even bypass the original patent if it is indeed a copy? Whatever the case, we need test to prove that the additional blade provides significant improvement over it predecessor.
As for the extendable handle, it is your prerogative whether you need such a reach. My mindset is, if it is out of reach of my broom, then it’s not worth the trouble. If I really need to clean something that far out, I would turn to my vacuum cleaner.
How is it misleading
What I dislike is how Broombi tries to play with your mind. It shows a traditional broom and tries to make it look har dto use. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a broom and dustpan with such short handles. Anyone with such a broom and dustpan set at home?
This stinks of intentionally misleading consumer for marketing purposes.
Another thing that irks me is how Broombi claims that its dustpan has an innovative ergonomic design. How is the dustpan ergonomic? If you talk about ergonomics of a dustpan, I would want to see a study of how its handle improves ergonomics. Not the shape of the dustpan that we don’t hold!
The third attempt at misleading consumers is one that is too blatant and Broombi should be ashamed of themselves. Look at the image below to see how they compare a standard dustpan to Broombi’s dustpan. They are claiming that Broombi produces less spillage.
First, there’s already stuff spilt on the floor for the standard dustpan, even before they start to pour the rubbish in the bin. Secondly, notice how the dustpan is positioned off-centre and higher so that the rubbish will fall out of the bin for the standard dustpan. In contrast, they hold the Broombi dustpan lower and in the center to ensure nothing falls out.
Fool me thrice…
There are many question marks over Broombi. However, we don’t have answers to many of them and Broombi seems to be close to finishing its Kickstarter campaign with over $120,000 raised. Great campaign by the team and we hope the backers end up getting the products.
We definitely won’t be getting one because there are too many red flags and uncertainties. We are pretty happy with the ones sold on Amazon.
That said, we’re not here to slug mud on a campaign. This is written from the perspective of a curious consumer. We would love to hear from the campaign creators to answer our questions so we can present their side of the story in a fair and unbiased manner to the public.
Send us your patent so we can support your claim. For all we know, you could have been victim of intellectual property infringement because you are not familiar with coping with IP protection in China. If that’s the case, we urge you to reach out so our experts can help you out.
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