View Full Version : customer and Industry trust...i hope youll read.
02-09-2011, 11:46 AM
I tried many ways to write this without being to formal. I sat here thinking a post like this on a forum meant to be fun and relaxed, but i owe it to you all to be honest and open. I have been quiet in my posting for the last few days, not because i have nothing to say, rather i needed to be informed to write the following:
I took the majority of the last few nights going over posts concering vendor-buyer relationships, customer service problems, broken promises and by estimating some of the posts, thousands and thousands of lost dollars. Reading all of these greivences almost gave me a panic attack because of the virtualy non existant margin for error Haunt tactics or any new company for that matter has in this industry. I am in no way condeming myself or anyone else, nor am i saying haunt owners have no compassion for human error, but i am saying steps need to be taken to avoid this. After Talking with the crew and reading what i have, We as a company decided we are going to limit the amout of FULL ZOMBIE COSTUME orders to 100. That does not mean 100 orders in total. we will still have masks,gloves and other items with no set limit as of now. This number was set based on the orders we already recieved and the time it takes to produce these costumes the right way without skimping in any area. We need to find OUR out-put capabilities so we do not run into problems with not filling orders and refunds and such. There is a huge difference between risk and suicide. for us just starting out unlimited orders is suicide. i am also not willing to risk the reputation of my partners, haunt tactics or myself just because of the cash flow. i will look at each and everyone of my customers needs and order as an individual, not as a dollar sign. i hope reading this has built some sort of trust in Haunt Tactics and myself. this is not meant to scare anyone away or make you think we doubt ourselves. i would like to think our products will speak for themselves. customer service and business repor is what needs to be constantly worked on to say above average. Anything you have to say is appreciated. this was done to benifit our customers and stop the growing trend in this industry. i look forward to meeting you all at the show
02-09-2011, 06:25 PM
a good business owner is alot like trying to be a good parent. It means stressing night and day about how good of a parent you are.
Just simply have it be something you are concerned about, and will pay attention to, helps you be a good business owner.
You are off to a great start it seems.
02-09-2011, 06:53 PM
Tim, Kevin is so right!!! All I know is NEVER TREAT PEOPLE LIKE SPOOKYWOODSFX did and you will be fine!!!! I am still so angry over that. They stole our money and left town!!!!!
02-09-2011, 07:56 PM
Yes, it's a kick in the butt!
What if they had stole your town and left too little money?
It took me along time(too long) to get over some of the bad dealings I have been the victim of in my life.
It does pay to know ahead of time what sort of person you are having dealings with, honest-not-so-honest or almost prosecutably dishonest.
One time I played "dumb" when a crooked car dealer was about to set me up for a big jabbing.
I traded in my yr. old car which was a factory hot rod for a new Pinto (not a factory hot rod)
About four days later the dealer called me and asked me to come back , even though the whole deal had been completed, "Bring your copy of the contract with you." I smelled a rat.
Acting stupid I handed them the contract only to see them rip it up right infront of my eyes!
They were going to write up a new deal , I said, "Yes you are and I will now tell you what my new lower payments will be!"
"We can't do that."
"Then I want my old car back." It was nowhere to be seen, they had probably already sold it!
I walked out with lower payments and the insurance that paid off the car if I couldn't work or got killed.
I had previously heard how crooked and aggressive they were and how shabbily they treated their employees but nobody else even wanted to trade in my factory hot rod, I knew I had to deal with a big dealership and that was why I even darkened their door. The first deal was OK with me but I wasn't about to let them "do me".
02-10-2011, 06:15 AM
Having a managable limit seems to be the proper path. Although there are a dozen people that say they are qualified to jump in and craft things, they really might take 2 seasons to really become an asset. So, over promising with the expectation of just adding people is tough. Having things that are expensive as art can not be done with migant farm workers. This lowering of quality, not like the one I saw at the show is a common complaint.
I have heard tale of good vendors just plain saying they had filled their orders for the year, sorry. There is no adding, no extra, no expansion temporarily and thus no lack of control.
As a result, things get delivered, look good and the orders keep coming to that same limit in cycles. Far too many believe the American dream of borrowing money and then running big time until they go broke when the fact of the matter is, having a core quality line is what the business really is and should have been. This is an industry that embrasses the little business. There are large ones but it took many years and many products for them to attain that backing and be able to maintain such output.
02-10-2011, 07:51 AM
Ever since Fidel took over Cuba it has been illegal to employ another person. If you had a small business that needed more workers, tough luck. So way too many Cubans had to work for the Cuban government which Really messed up everything after all of this time.
"Ma&Pa" small businesses don't always work out for anyone's benefit. Now things are changing there.
There is (seemingly") great difficulty hiring employees that have the specific talent & experience to do the level of artistic work needed for good-looking final painted & formed Halloween type products....maybe the possible size of the paychecks involved is the major problem?
Most of us would like the profit from a whole "factory" of worker-bees but those other costs to own and run such a thing will bring you back down to earth .
02-10-2011, 09:43 PM
Here is some feedback for you, make of it what you will- it's just my little 2 cents anyway.
I've been trying to get my own head around the industry for some time now. I've pretty much convinced myself that due to general factors the Halloween events market is a lot like what it portays itself to be: Freakish. Like the biggest, oldest infant you've ever seen. Reasonably mature, yet pretty damn inexperienced. Having substance yet lacking definition- all fat, no muscle. Well... I take that back- there are a few muscles out there- on both sides- I'll let you decide which muscle is which :).
Regardless, it's here to stay and it will continue to grow- for the strong and strong-willed. The foolish and infatuated (thats me) on both the seller and buyer sides will be along for the ride, just long enough to make everyone insane... Me? I plan on making people scream then laugh- for as long as I can.
As for your situation- I have to say I'm an industry outsider- I don't know many other haunters. Mostly because I'm geographically isolated and I haven't done a haunt since the mid 90's. So maybe there are other clickish, competitive factors going on I'm not aware of- no matter, SALLY FORTH! But I CAN say my crew has been discussing your product- A LOT. Not because your better than sliced bread- even though I can't find a better product for the price, or even for more. But rather because you're in the 'vein' in our opinion. Animations are a MUST, No question. The size, scope, and purpose- BIG QUESTION. But character (actor) development is where it's all heading- and that's you my man.
Our situation is typical for a bunch of relative newbs- we have a lot to purchase on a limited budget, and I'll be blunt because it's real- we're comparing the potential impact of your product vs another at less than 1/3 the price. Not because we're cheap, heartless bastards (mostly) , but because our goal is to be realistic in gauging our customers reactions.
Yeah, most people want to hear their guests saying "Wow, did you see that forty foot tall, fire breathing, 10,000 motion yard gnome they have?!! Freakin sweet!". But I want to hear them whisper "Dude, I think I just shit myself! <giggle giggle>", and that takes an actor, and it mostly happens in the dark where little detail can be seen. So buying multiples of these would only happen over a period of years for us. I do intend to provide "line actors" and this is where your product would outshine the others 100 times over!
What would swing the opinion? Price of course. It's not for me say, but it's my post and I can dream all I want! I hate to say cheapen the product because it's beautiful but there's always a way (easy for me to say, right?). Those damn chineese suck at making stuff but are MASTERS at getting our money and I hate them for it! Drop the clothing and sell a basic suit complete for 6 bills and I'd flip in a minute. Again, it's my fantasy- please don't be offended. I guess it really comes down to who you think your market is- movie studios or main street morgues?
This will be my third Haunt Show- forth if you count the coustume show in Chicago last year. I look forward to meeting you and losing control of my wallet at your booth :)
02-12-2011, 07:55 PM
All I can say is that if your only making 100.....theres going to be 100 very, very, very happy haunt owners out there. Tim, I love the Zombie King that I got and can't wait to see the arm guards you all made for me. I hope you all are a rouind for a long time.
02-13-2011, 09:40 AM
Thanks for putting your ethic for customer service out there. A history of quality, service, and testimony from customers are what is going to drive your Legend [we've all got them by they way, it's just what is actually said about our companies or deeds when the mics are off], and putting your own position out there for the record is a great way to start!
Godspeed in getting all the success you can handle, see you at Transworld.
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