Star of 'As Seen on TV'

July 22, 2008 4:07:19 PM PDT
We've all been sucked in by them, infomercials that make you wonder how you've lived without a certain gadget or made you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?"Well one local guy DID think of that.

A.J. Khubani thought of it, and now, he's making millions. It's not just that he has an eye for what works, he also has a knack at making you think you need what he has to sell.

"The first gadget I fell in love with was a pocket fisherman in 1960," he said.

And Khubani has been hooked on gadgets ever since. Nowadays, he makes the fish pen, his own version of a pocket fisherman, because you never know when the urge to go fishing will strike.

That's kind of the idea behind his company, Telebrands. He makes items that you don't really need, but wouldn't mind having.

The Doggy Steps are his creation, as is the very popular Ped Egg, which helps removed calluses.

Nearly 90 percent of sales are made at retail stores, such as Linens 'N Things, in the As Seen on TV section. Those informercials first get people interested.

"We build rapid brand awareness using infomercials, and it translates into retail sales," he said.

There's the Go-Duster, a collapsible colander and the Moving Men discs that help you move furniture across carpet.

There is super putty that can hold just about anything. These are the hits, and there are the flops.

"Ninety percent of my gut feelings are wrong," he said. "So I'm wrong most of the time. And for every product that we launch, there's another nine that fail."

But he's a success. He started selling knives door to door. Now, he has 40 employees in Fairfield, and his brothers have their own gadget brands. They clearly understand what the business of gadget is all about.

"We make the product seem exciting, and fun and maybe will help your life in a small way," he said.

And Khubani doesn't come up with every idea himself. A lot of inventors come to him with their ideas and he'll buy or license the idea. He says if you have an idea for a gadget, don't spend a lot of money on the prototype, since most inventions aren't actually profitable.

For more information on TeleBrands, visit TeleBrands.com or call 973-227-8777.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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