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'Shark Tank' Season 14: Fans call arrogant Collars & Co founder Justin Baer 'absolutely intolerable'

'I see him being bankrupt before he’d ever be successful,' a fan wrote about Collars & Co founder
Mark Cuban, Justin, and Peter Jones in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 Episode 6 (ABC)
Mark Cuban, Justin, and Peter Jones in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 Episode 6 (ABC)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Justin Baer entered 'Shark Tank,' offering a way to be comfortable while yet looking professional, and asking for $300,000 for 4% of his innovative apparel company. While Justin did walk away with a deal, his demeanor gave viewers the idea that he was there for the commercials rather than the deal.

Justin introduced his brand at a "Business Casual: 101" session, in which he discussed the dress shirt underneath sweater appearance that practically everyone in the office wears. He stated the style is known as 'midtown uniform' in New York. He mentioned how hot and unpleasant the appearance could be, as well as the floppy collar, which could spoil the entire look. Justin's solution is the Formal Collar Polo, which has the appearance of a dress shirt but is actually simply a comfy polo.


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Lori Greiner appreciated the shirt's stretchy material. Peter Jones confirmed the equity Justin was willing to provide before questioning him about his sales. Justin told the Sharks that he started the company a year ago and has already sold 92,000 shirts for $5.4 million. With a 20% profit margin, all sales were direct-to-consumer and done online. The Sharks all find it fascinating, while Daymond John expressed his disdain for the 'midtown look' as well as the 4% asking for $300,000. Kevin O'Leary, on the other side, congratulated Justin for clearing the hurdle of the fastest $5 million sales and lauded his execution abilities. According to Justin, the secret to his success is marketing, namely the funnel. He's been doing it for almost 20 years.

Lori came in openly and stated that she did not believe this was the correct investment for her and hence opted not to invest in it. Peter expresses his surprise to Justin, stating that he has witnessed growth in the industry, but not in the manner in which Justin has taken off his firm. Justin tells Peter that it costs roughly $15 to produce one shirt, which he sells for between $65 and $75. Kevin had never bid on a shirt deal before Justin had numbers to back it up, so for the first time in 14 years, he chose to make an offer on a shirt deal giving $300,000 in exchange for 10% equity. Justin was eager to decline the offer since he believed he had one of the fastest-growing TVC brands in the country, increasing at a rate of 28% per month. Peter was upset that Justin simply ignored Kevin's offer, which he thought was rather good. Justin claims that his company is worth $20 million. He claims to have a 20% EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). He says that he requires assistance with inventory, marketing, and team building. Furthermore, he intends to finance the inventory with a line of credit. Moreover, he also mentions that he is searching for a mentor to assist him in growing his business.

Peter finds the negotiation brutal, reminding Justin that fashion changes and moves at a breakneck pace. He also mentions how Justin's fashion vision can fade in 6-12 months, which Justin disputes. While Justin continues to argue with the Sharks, Peter makes an offer. He believes Justin should reduce costs, for which he has the infrastructure, and he claims that he can distribute the goods all over the world. Peter repeats Kevin's offer. Justin backs down on his company's worth and continues to debate with the Sharks. Mark Cuban inquires as to where he intends to get further investment, as $300,000 is insufficient. Justin states that he is looking for a $700,000 line of credit. Mark agrees to engage in a line of credit with Peter, but wants a larger share of the stock. Justin claims he can only provide 5% since 10% is too high. Peter believes Justin has done well enough to warrant a 10% offer. He also believes Justin does not listen to what the Sharks have to say, which is a negative entrepreneur trait. He believes the Sharks have the right to express themselves, which Justin dismisses. Mark tells Justin that if he declines their offer, it will have no effect on them, and that Justin wants the Sharks to work for him, something Mark believes Justin cannot afford.

Mark and Peter withdraw their offers, but Justin agrees to accept 7%. Peter and Mark make a last offer of $300,000 for a 10% ownership and $700,000 as a line of credit. Justin eventually agrees.

Looking at Justin refuse the only offer he was getting, a fan wrote: "No other investors and he rejects 10%, that's nuts!" Calling out Justin for his attitude, another fan wrote: "The cockiness is infuriating. Collar guy reminds me why I left finance." Another fan added: "This shirt guy is weird. I see him being bankrupt before he’d ever be successful." One fan also felt Justin didn't deserve to be on the show in the first place: "This guy shouldn’t be on the #SharkTank. He has no humility or gratitude. Why did he come? He looks like he shouldn’t be there."





One user tweeted: "Hope this guys business fails. Absolutely intolerable and love when people walk in like they know everything even more so than the sharks." On the other hand, one person came to Justin's defense stating: "Justin may seem arrogant but he came in with a fair valuation so he doesn’t have as much room to move, and Sharks should acknowledge it. He is a tough negotiator. But you need that in an entrepreneur, within reason." Another viewer added: "Wow. TheSharkDaymond's buttons got pushed. I always find it interesting when massive egos get challenged. Wealth & success doesn't mean that you have cornered the market on wisdom or business for that matter. I have 3 Collars & Company shirts. I like them." On the other hand, some fans advice: "Pro tip: always have a little humility and gratitude when in."





Calling him a 'victim', a fan wrote: "That first entrepreneur was almost a victim of his own success." Another fan found him lucky for getting a second shot at the deal: "He got lucky that @mcuban gave him another chance."



'Shark Tank' Season 14 airs every Friday at 8/7c on ABC. Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

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