Critter Pricker Before Shark Tank
The raccoon did not earn the nickname ‘trash panda,’ for nothing. Raccoons are known for jumping into trash cans and rummaging through them to find something that they can eat. The raccoon is a menace because of the way it can knock over garbage cans and leave garbage strewn all over the compound where it was. The constant knocking over does not just spread trash, it also damages trash cans so you’ll be spending more money buying new trash cans when they come.
Raccoons can also damage power lines and get into swimming pools where they can defecate making the water unusable and also spreading disease. Joe Balistreri was done with Raccoons invading his trash cans and swimming pools. He worked to develop a way to prevent raccoons from entering trash cans for good.
Joe invented the Critter Pricker which is a plate with spikes that can be laid on the ground and raccoons cannot cross. A raccoon would be pricked by its spikes. The critter pricker also has hinges so it can be laid around a trash can.
Joe started a business with the same name that made and sold the product. He was having some problems growing but he was doing well having even sold out on one occasion. He just needed a little boost to get to the next level. He turned to the Shark Tank to see if any of the sharks would want to sink their teeth into his business. Joe was invited to be on the 17th episode of season 11.
Critter Pricker on Shark Tank
Joe Balistreri went onto Shark Tank looking for a $115,000 investment and he was ready to give 15% of his company for this. This gave the company a valuation of $766,666.66. He started his presentation by showing the sharks the problems that people have with unwanted animals straying into their yards. He then showed them his product and how it solved the problem. He then gave them some samples to review.
Lori and Mark Cuban both had to state that the prickers were extremely sharp. Lori then asked if it would make raccoons bleed. Joe said that raccoons have very sensitive hands and they can see far but not up close. They taste and feel with their hands so if they came to a pool with the Critter Pricker as a barrier, they would not walk past it because it was so uncomfortable.
Daymond then asked him to break down his business numbers for the Sharks. Joe said that he sold his product for between $27.99 to $32.99. It also cost him $8 to make. He had sold goods worth $80,000 that year. Joe then said that he had been to a trade show a few weeks before the show and so many pool technicians loved his product that it got sold out at the show.
Joe was standing on a rug. Barbara then asked him how much it would cost him to surround that edge of the rug with the Critter Pricker. Joe said that raccoon protection would not need the entire area surrounded only the front area. Barbara asked him what would happen in case she had children and they wanted to play in the pool.
Joe said that the Critter Pricker could easily be removed. Barbara thought that the process of setting it up every night was very strenuous. Lori then added that it would have to be put somewhere where no one would step on it. Barbara then asked how it was put on top of a garbage can. Joe said that it would not be put on top of a garbage can it would be put around.
Barbara pointed out that the Critter Pricker could not bend so she asked him how she would put it. Joe then demonstrated how he would put it. Kevin then asked him how wide the Critter Pricker was. Joe said that it was about 18 inches wide. Kevin then asked him if it would stop a big mama raccoon because he thought that raccoons could jump. Joe said that it would.
A big raccoon is about 24 inches in length and so if it is standing on its hind legs it is hard for it to stretch when there is an 18-inch barrier with spikes in front of it. Joe had a stuffed raccoon with him and the sharks then compared its size to that of the Critter Pricker. Lori said that raccoons could not really jump they crawled and she had never seen a raccoon that would jump 18 inches.
Joe agreed with her and he said that he hadn’t seen a raccoon that could jump 18 inches either. He then said that he had even filmed them. Joe then added that he had seen a lot of gimmicky products and he did not want to be one of them. Mark Cuban praised Joe for his competence but he then said that he was worried about the fact that someone could set it up and a neighbor could walk on it.
Joe said that he was the one installing it. Mark then said that Joe’s product relied too much on their customer being smart and they were not going to sue Joe. They would sue Mark Cuban instead. For that reason, Mark Cuban left.
Barbara said that she liked the product but her concern was legal liabilities because it was possible that a neighbor could jump into her yard and cut themselves and follow up with a lawsuit. She said that the idea scared her. Joe said that Raccoons carried Raccoon roundworm which was in their droppings and it would spread if a raccoon defecated in a pool to the point that the pool could no longer be used.
Barbara then left because she just couldn’t see how the business could work. Daymond thought that it was too easy for a homeowner to have their pets injured. The possibility of it being forgotten outside and the pet dog being in the yard injuring itself was very high. He then left saying that it was too dangerous for him.
Lori then left. She said that she thought that it was a good idea. She just wasn’t into it completely. Kevin then offered Joe the $115,000 for 15% of the business as Joe had asked for but Kevin had also asked for $2.50 for every unit sold. Joe accepted the offer.
Joe said that he had worked very hard to get his deal and although he had doubters he had proved them wrong.
Critter Pricker Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Critter Pricker has been having a great run of business since its time on Shark Tank. However, it is not yet listed as a Kevin O’Leary company on his website. The business is now providing free shipping for its product. However, when we checked their website we did find that they were out of stock. How long they have been out of stock is hard to say. Its blog was also last updated in 2021 and so it could be concluded that no new content will be added for 2022.
On Facebook, Critter Pricker has 697 likes. On Instagram, Critter Pricker has 222 followers. The small following would indicate that social media has not been its biggest revenue stream but that does not mean that the business should be written off.
There are products in the market that are very similar to Critter Pricker and they promise to do the same thing, and this would be a major source of competition if there is no brand differentiation. Many of them are retailing for between $15 and $25.
Its annual revenue has not been disclosed but it is now located in Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, and New York indicating that it is experiencing nothing but growth.