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Lifter Hamper by Marvin Philip

Lifter Hamper

Lifter Hamper takes its dirty laundry into the Shark Tank this week. Invented by Marvin Philip, a former All Pac-10 Cal Golden Bears center and 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers 6th round draft pick, the Lifter Hamper is a bungee cord loaded hamper that lifts clothes to the top of the hamper to reduce back strain while removing dirty laundry.

Lifter Hamper eases back strain

Marvin Philip played for 4 years in the NFL with the Steelers, Browns, and Bills. His NFL career was cut short due to back injuries –  a big problem for a center who makes his living pushing around 300+ pound men. As a guy who suffers from chronic back pain, I can sympathize with Philip’s condition. After retiring from the NFL, he found bending over to lift even little items like dirty clothes to be painful. Philip looked around for a clothes hamper that would allow him to grab the dirty laundry without bending over; he couldn’t find one anywhere. In yet another Shark Tank example of a “find a need and fill it” business, the Lift Hamper was born.

Lifter Hamper is a product (the only one so far) in the Empee Solutions portfolio. According to Empee’s website, “Empee Solutions is a company that represents innovative, high-quality products that help simplify life.” The site says “more products are coming soon,” but for now, it’s just The Lifter Hamper, replacement liners, and an “Industrial” Lifter Hamper that are the only products listed.

Will Sharks clean up with Lifter Hamper?

Just about everyone has a clothes hamper or two (or three or four) in their home and they need to get replaced every few years, especially if you have kids who use them for hiding places, indoor soccer goals, and other non-hamper related uses. A typical clothes hamper costs anywhere from $12-$20 for a basic hamper and $20-$60 for more durable varieties; specialty “decorator” hampers can cost $60 to several hundred dollars. The Lifter Hamper, at $49.99, falls squarely into the middle of the hamper price spectrum. It is made out of very durable materials, so it looks like it would last longer than the “cheapy” hampers. The added benefit of its bungee cord activated lifting mechanism makes it a very good choice for those in the market for a new clothes hamper.

Whether a clothes hamper will float in the Shark Tank is another matter. The product is innovative, appears to be well made, and is priced appropriately. It is unique and has very real benefits for back pain sufferers too. The “Industrial sized” Lifter Hamper has potential for hospitals, hotels, nursing homes, and other businesses that do a lot of laundry: anything that makes a workplace safer will always find some market share.

I think the Sharks will like the idea – it’s a common sense innovation to a product everyone uses. Sales will be key. The business is less than a year old and the Lifter Hamper will have to show some solid numbers to whet the Sharks’ appetite, otherwise it’s just another good idea that needs to be proven in the marketplace. The Sharks will sometimes take a flyer on a product that is innovative and original, but more often than not, they want sales and proof of concept. As long as Marvin Philip’s pitch stays focused on the Lifter Hamper, and doesn’t stray into other potential products for Empee Solutions, he has a shot at funding.

This could be another product for Lori Greiner, the Queen of QVC’s, Shark Tank portfolio. I think the Lifter Hamper would appeal to the home shopping crowd, and if Lori thinks so, look for her to make an offer. I am “in.”

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob and more.


  1. Tammy Beebe says

    After watching Shark Tank and seeing the Lifter Hamper we would like to order several. How do we get these? My husband and mI would each like one and then 1 for a gift . What a great idea!!

  2. Tammy Beebe says

    So I just found it on Amazon!!

  3. tom hamilton says

    How can I contact Marvin Phillip about an idea to improve his lifer hamper? Or please ask him to contact me at 678-372-9516

  4. Gail Sawchuk says

    I think The Sharks made a big mistake not investing in this product. It’s perfect for the shopping channel. I have a rancher style home with hardware floors and have a double hamper on wheels. It is very deep and difficult to get to the bottom of it. Hope you’ll come out with a double left easy hamper so one can put dirty towels on one side and dirty clothes on the other side. Good luck to you. I know you have a great idea.

  5. jennifer martin says

    Marvin Phillips’ Lifter Hamper is a genius idea, i would love to share my ideas on how to perfect it… My enail address: [email protected] Thanks!

  6. I thought the comment that Lori made was way off base. My clothes hamper is already in the laundry room down in the basement, I drop the clothes thru a hamper door from the upper floor, (as is the case with a lot of older homes). So there is no moving the hamper from room to room. But once in the hamper then comes the bending which I detest because I have a back problem also. I would gladly invest in Marvin’s product if I wasn’t trying to launch my own business. Lori made a big mistake on this one. I mean last year she invested in two magnets to hold glasses, I think QVC shoppers would eat this one up.

  7. Chantal Auguste says

    you can reach us 813 344 6294 i beleive it is a fantastic tool for people around the world

  8. Amazon will send an email when the Lifter Hamper is in stock. The more interest they have, the sooner that will be. I’ll buy one and, if the price comes down a bit, I’ll buy several more as gifts. Great product – the Sharks were crazy not to buy in!

  9. I would love to get in touch with Marvin for orders. Please email me.

  10. Sharks got this one wrong. I am disabled and bending over makes me dizzy. I would buy one NOW. I think of dozens more uses, frrom children to commercial use. Marvin, the Sharks may have done you a favor. God will send you another REAL SOON! I can’t believe that bought into that plastic holder, I’ve seen this before!

  11. I think this is a great product and I have an idea on a design enhancement which may solve the issue Laurie had with being able to move the item up and down stairs. Please have Marvin contact me if he is interested in hearing my idea. [email protected]

  12. This product is TOTALLY AWESOME!! Suffered a herniated disk after childbirth which was only aggravated by the increased laundry load and the constant deep bending to reach the bottom of my laundry sorter. After suffering for almost 5 years I eventually had surgery. Much less pain now but the “pain” of laundry sorter still remains. Add fabric to cover the liner if you can to make it more eye appealing. Just a big tweak of improving on my current 3 bin tan fabric laundry sorter on metal frame with casters that I currently have. I WANT ONE!!!

  13. What a great product. I think the Sharks missed a great opportunity with this one.

    I’m going to go order two right now. One for my grandparents and one for my pregnant cousin.

  14. barbara burns says

    Lifting Hamper I want one! Come on Shark Tank when can I get one?

  15. Gloria Woods says

    I saw Shark Tank the night Marvin Philip was on. I was amazed about his hamper. I want one for my daughter who still SUFFERS with pain after having surgery from her neck down and have lots of – what I call – screws and bolts in her body. Goes to pain management to get extremely painful needles because her leg still locks sometimes where her body begins to bend over again, etc. Much more things happen to her but don’t want to take up a lot of space – Needed to give you an idea why I’m so interested in this hamper and how important it is for me to get it for her. I don’t know what it will cost me, but I will do all (that’s legal – smile) to get it. By the way, my daughter is only in early 50’s. Please email me!

  16. Diana Johnson says

    Marvin Phillips hamper. I want 2. I need a way to get them. Someone please respond.
    I can believe you guys let this one go.

  17. Would love one of these? What colors do they come in? Where can I buy one?

  18. I soooooo want three!!!!

  19. Sharks you all made a “BIG” mistake! Marvin’s going to be walking in like Pretty Woman… with his bag of money! Obviously, none of them is experiencing back pain at that moment! I know one of them said they had hurt their back before…. but he has forgotten what it’s like!!!! Marvin, you’ve got something good. You just need to make it more aesthetically pleasing to look at. It needs to be beige, not black. Don’t you dare give up o this! I live in back pain and have created my own company, SHEA CHIC because of it. There is a reason why this happened to you and I want four of them.. in beige. I’m not kidding! God bless you and your great idea!!!

  20. Just add hooks to one side of the hamper rail so you can hook it onto a railing and walk it down stairs.

  21. I think your Lifter Hamper is an amazing idea I noticed the shark tank team was really concerned about the wheel issue please contact me I have the perfect solution .

  22. Brittany Johnson says

    I just seen this on Shark Tank and I cannot believe none of them seen the potential of this in the long run. What were they thinking?? After viewing that episode I WAS SOLD and wanted one badly! He needs his own website and I could really help with that!!! I don’t even have back problems, but it is waaay more convenient to just unload from the top than bending over and grabbing from the floor. Only thing it really needs is wheels that move a bit better and a push handle. I just understand why they didn’t jump on that…

  23. I love the product – the idea and I would love to
    a. buy one for myself and my son
    b. help with getting these manufactured overseas – lori’s comments made sense – and they are easy fixes
    how do I reach the entrepreneur? can you please forward him my contact info.
    erik van stry
    [email protected]

  24. Afton Graham says

    LOVE THIS…..I Want one!!!!

  25. I like this idea a lot – I think it would be helpful for so many people. However, I agree with Laurie that it is not finished. It would be hard to move this up and down stairs or some people would have trouble lifting this. I think it should be made with a cradle that it sits on – so you remove the top and take it to the second cradle which assumably one would be in the bedroom and one in the laundry. This way you are only carrying the top like a normal laundry basket instead of a whole hamper shape.


  26. Paul Sweetman says

    I am an mechanical engineer, general contractor.
    I know how to make your hamper go up and down stairs easily.
    If you’d like to talk to me please email me.

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