View Full Version : Merch... Is it worth it?

03-11-2010, 08:04 AM
Hello All,

This will be our first year open, what is your experience with merchandise? Is it worth it? What pricing ranges? 1-15bucks?

Are Shirts and hoodies a good investment? Buttons? Stickers?


Peter T

03-11-2010, 08:23 AM
We've designed and supplied shirts to numerous haunts over the years and they tend to be a good investment and seller. The big issue we always stress is if you are unsure of how many garments you will sell, do not put the year on them (because then any leftovers are worthless).

I'm not sure of your attendance, but typically a few dozen are great for the first year to see your buyer response. $10-$15 is a good base range for a shirt, and you can get closer to $20 if the shirt has fancy colorful graphics on both sides. Hoodies seem to sell best at haunts that get some chilly weather (when suddenly you need that hoodie to stay warm).

Dr Spooktakular
03-11-2010, 08:47 AM
We did shirts our first year, we ordered like 60, swe sold like 40-45, whatever was left, we used as nightly give away drawings for our actors. If you do shirts, one of the promos we did to sell the shirts was that the shirt was sold for $15 and everytime they wear it back to our haunt, it counts as a $5 coupon. Just a thought. If your going to TW in 2 weeks, stop by the Netherworld tshirt booth, they have some kick ass t-shirts and they can add your haunt info. and they can get you started with sizes and how many with a beginning order, etc...

03-11-2010, 08:54 AM
Thats the company that sparked the idea. I was in a band and merch helped pay for gas and food. But it was a band... didnt know how well shirts sold for haunts.
Thanks for the help!

Peter T

03-11-2010, 08:55 AM
Hi Peter,

We asked ourselves the same question last year being it was our first year as well and we stuck with smaller items that weren't really related to our haunt but we new people would like such as glow sticks & necklaces, glow in the dark and light up vampire teeth and we had a few window clings with our haunts name on them.

We sold out of all of it and made a nice side profit. It was our general thinking that because we were only a first year haunt that no one knew about yet we figured it would be a long shot that we would sell many T-shirts or apparel items with our logos on them. We wanted to establish ourselves first before we made that kind of investment.

So it really comes down to your budget and what you know of your market but having something affordable to your consumers isn't a bad idea and it gives them something to play with while waiting in line as well.

For some wholesale items try Oriental Trading. They sell a lot of fun small items for halloween that you can re-sell individually.

Best of luck!


03-11-2010, 09:01 AM
The glow sticks I have. Great for scared people. Its like a little safety blanket in the dark...
Whats funny is it helps the actors see where everyone is…
O well… :rolleyes:

Is .25 - .50 to cheap for these??

Thanks for the help!

Peter T

03-11-2010, 10:47 AM
We sell a LOT of glow necklaces. You make more off of these than anything else and they take up hardly any space. We sell thousands each weekend!! So if your budget doesn't allow you to get t-shirts and hoodies this year go for the smaller items and you will make a better profit anyway and maybe that can help with the cost of shirts and hoodies for next year LOL. We sell buttons, key chains and magnets they were a big seller as well and not a huge investment to start out. Also as far as price .50 is way to low. Usually you have to pay someone to sell them and you want to be able to pay them and make a profit. Try a buck and see how that goes, we sell ours for $2 and we always have to reorder during the season.

This is just my 2 pennies


03-11-2010, 10:51 AM
From a print end of things I know you will generally see more percentage wise profit on the smaller easier things like stickers, buttons, etc... People are more likely to spend the smaller money, especially with our economy the way it is. However a lot of that really depends on what you get and what you charge.

Unless you are a recognized name or have really cool catchy imagery I would recommend sticking more with something like a "I survived blank blank Haunted Attraction/House/Hayride", or throw your name/logo on some kind of parody style shirts with recognizable images. Even something like a zombie or wicked jack o lantern on the front and your name or logo on the back. These are cool as a novelty especially if you keep them affordable. Also could be cool souvenirs for actors, friends, staff, or for promotional giveaways. The cooler they look and keeping them affordable I think is the key.

Feel free to check out our website for all your printing needs, we can do just about anything you can think of including lots of affordable neat specialty items like fluorescents , glow in the dark inks, foils, embroidery, die cut stickers etc... etc... We even do services like hangtags, bagging, folding, etc... to make your items retail ready. We have a $50 off coupon in this month's Hauntworld magazine too. Let me know if you have any questions on your needs or what you are looking for.

Mike "Pogo" Hach

03-14-2010, 08:15 PM
It's always been my impression that people like to walk away with something from an event. It's your job to have something to put in their hands. If your haunt is well known a shirt can act like a badge of honor that someone made it through (or merely entered your property to buy one...but who cares, you're still making money). People like to associate a good time with a souvenier, even if it's something minor that they may have no practical use for.

If money is tight it might be better to go with stickers, as they're usually cheap to produce and cheap to buy. But don't skimp on the quality. People may want a souvenier from your event, but if they feel they got ripped off they may associate that negativity with your event. It'd be unfortunate to lose out on a paid admission because you tried to save a few cents on cheap stickers.

But half the battle is getting them to stick around long enough to buy something. If your entire event is just a single haunt and nothing else, it might be hard to get people to hit up the gift shop unless you direct them there. Which itself is not such a bad idea. Ever notice all the big theme park attractions dump you right into the gift shop after a ride? Ever notice that in all the major casinos you need to walk through the casino floor to get to everything. You can't even get to your room without passing the slot machines. It becomes a lot harder to say no to something when you have to intentionally avoid it.

PM me if you want to know a good screen printer I've worked with before.

03-16-2010, 10:42 PM
gift shop sales are , on average, 10-15 % of my gross for the year. and logo'd items are by far the best.

and I DO NOT charge concert crazy prices for stuff
make it so a family can actually afford to buy every one a shirt

you'll have many little billboards running around for the next year

03-17-2010, 05:57 AM
Shirts and hoodies can be a great extra money maker, the key is to have a really cool catchy design with your logo worked into it. My company is working on a line of shirts to sell to the gen public and a line for our haunt. I found the key is finding really young, dare I say hip guys who understand what the 15 to 30 year olds are looking for in a great shirt. You really need to WOW them and they will sell like crazy.