You may recall a post I made recently about DeadOn Rangefinder. Rob Efinger was kind enough to answer some questions about this nifty product!
1. How long has the Deadon Rangefinder been on the market? How have sales been?
Not being the founder (my buddy Jason Nordberg was the brains behind the idea), I think it has actually been on the market since 1999 – about the time we started Ghost Camo. Shawn Hoagland and I bought the company from Jason this Spring and it has been a great year. We bought the company with enough product to fill all the orders he shipped in 2008 and we ran out of product in August, and had to build more. The cool thing about this business is that we can be back in business with new product in less than 30 days. It is much different than the clothing business where you need at least 90 days lead time to get anything done. We are looking for sales to be up at least DOUBLE over last year and probably more (it depends on how strong 4th quarter stays). Our goal is to NEVER be out of stock and ALWAYS ship orders withing 24 hours. It is working so far…..
2. Tell us a little about the rangefinder, and how it developed from concept to market
I would really like to take credit for inventing the Dead-On Range Finder, but I have to give that credit to my buddy Jason Nordberg and his wife Jen. You see…. Jen had an interest in her husbands passion – elk hunting with archery equipment, but she was really concerned about making a bad shot because of “mis-guessing’ the distance. So, Jason started goofing around with some different ideas around bracketing and figuring out the math. I think first, they tried just gapping her pins so they would be the correct spacing for the size of an elk, but that it kind of tough because it limits the ranges that you can have sighted in. For instance, your spacing may be correct, but your pins are sighted in for 25 yards, 38, yards, 44 yards………. There needed to be another device on the bow just for range which would allow you to leave your bow sighted in for 20, 30, 40, 50…… I own a printing company called Trinity Graphics and I helped Jason print the labels and create the packaging and the Dead-On Range Finder was born. You had to buy the label for your draw length and for the animal that you wanted to hunt, but it was pretty effective. Then he took it to the next level when he incorporated in the fiber optics and the movable pins (giving it the ability to adjust for any animal and draw length and match the color of the ranging pin with the sighting pin). Now you just have to bracket the animal, read the color of the back pin and shoot that color of sight pin. I will need to check with Jason, when Jen killed her first elk, but I think it was that first year. Then she started having babies and her hunting days were pretty limited……… as were Jason’s.
3. How has public reaction been?
It is really interesting to me that we haven’t had ANY negative comments about the product and people that are using it are really excited about what it does. That is the toughest job for us – selling hunters on what the Dead-On Range Finder DOES and not what it IS. I was in talking with a sporting goods dealer this spring and he took one look a the product in the package and said “what a rip off…. you guys get 20 bucks for that?????” What Lowell didn’t “get” was what the precious little device DOES. It solves the biggest problem in archery hunting – accurately ranging animals in the field so you don’t have to “guess” the yardage. I am very pleased to say that absolutely all of the comments that I get back are from happy hunters who absolutely love the product. The challenge we have is getting the word out and educating archery hunters about the product. For 20 bucks, it is literally something that EVERY archery hunter should have on their bow. I don’t have a single accessory on my $1000 X-Force bow that cost less than the Dead-On Range Finder and there is nothing on there that I value more. Heck…… I could even do without the sight as long as I know what the yardage is.
4. Your site says “200% Moneyback Guarantee” – tell us about that
Ok….. this may be the 10,000 elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, right?? Actually, though, I am really glad you asked about it. To be completely honest, the device works (it is just math), and if you set it up correctly, it will accurately range animals at full draw (just like we promise). If you read the 200% money back policy and what you need to do in order to make a claim…… it would be very difficult to make a case because math never lies, right? In all the years that Jason was running the company, he never had one person even inquire about the opportunity or even ask for their money back. To be honest, we had one guy this fall that sent his range finder back with a very nice note saying that he was very sorry that he couldn’t make the product work for him (he had a hard time focusing on the rangefinder while keeping the target in view of it). At the end of the day, I was glad to refund his money and take his product back. He is the only guy…. and even though his claim wasn’t that the product didn’t work, he was unhappy with it so we refunded his money. I actually think that is a better value than the 200% Money Back Guarantee – we offer a 100% money back offer if you don’t like it……… what other company can say that?
5. Are you sticking with the rangefinder, or can we expect other products in the future?
Dead-On Archery will be expanding the product line very soon. However, what I did learn from my days at Ghost Camo (growing as quickly as we did) is that you need to manage your growth and allow the company to fund the companie’s expansion. That is why we won’t release any new products until it is time. Probably not in 2010, but for sure in 2011, we will be introducing a Dead-On Bow Sight which will be the industry’s first and only self -ranging bow sight which will be legal in every state. We currently have an arrangement with Terzo Products to sell their Zoptic Bow sight and we are including the Dead-On Range Finder for free with each one of those that are purchased – we may launch off of that platform which is really good (the really cool thing about the Zoptix is that it is the only sight that you don’t have to use a peep – it has an aiming reticle which acts just like a no peep and also shows you if you are torquing your bow or not), or come up with something completely new… Whatever we do, it will be centered around accuracey in archery hunting. Stay tuned…….
6. I know you’re a hunter – what do you have lined up this fall? What’s your dream hunt?
This fall, I am doing it…….. chasing elk around the woods of Montana (as long as God gives me the ability to do that, I am a happy camper). Any time I can get in the woods with my Dad, it is a good day 🙂
For my dream hunt, I would like to do a fly in archery hunt for an inland Griz. I just think that the rush of hunting an animal that could just as easily hunt you would be really awesome. Talk about keeping you on your toes, right? First, we will probably do a Hall Road, Caribou hunt next fall/summer. This Spring, Dad and I bit the bullet and paid for our first guided hunt ever – Dome Creek Outfitters, in British Columbia, does spot and stalk archery hunts for black bears and it ended up being really fun (you see LOTS and LOTS of bears). I am not sure if I am much of a “hunt with a guide” kind of hunter, but Kiff and Caleb were great and we did shoot some bears. Not my “dream hunt” but really fun.
Thanks Rob! Be sure and check out their site at DeadOnRangefinder.com.