View Full Version : Haunt Industry Buyers Guide

Gore Galore
07-12-2012, 11:51 AM
Have you really considered how easy this industry is to get into.

For example,

-All you need is a head form. Dip some burlap in latex and wrap the head form. You just made a scarecrow mask.

-buy some clothes at a thrift store. Distress them. Now you have zombie suits.

-buy some junk dolls, repaint them like zombies.

-buy a corpse kit and make some corpses. DO you have ANY clue how many businesses were started with our corpse kit?

There you go. Now all you have to do is get a booth at a convention. You are officially a haunt vendor.

Now, that is not a bad thing. That is actually what makes it great. But with that you also get the fly by nights, the copy cats, and the thieves.

But there is something you can do about it.

Set a standard to go by. What do you look for, or what to avoid.

Why not create


1. You know if a company has been around for a long time then they should be doing something right.

2. Do they answer the phone, or call you right back. Do they email you right back.

3. DO they have a reputation for taking care of business. Or do they have no reputation at all. Or a reputation for screwing customers.

4. Do they have a reputation for cheap products or high end products.

5. Do they have a reputation for QUALITY workmanship.

6. Have a reputation for either delivering when they say it will be delivered or atleast letting you know when there is a problem with your order.

7. Are their products always inventive or do they just TAKE what others are doing. Do they copy what is already in the market or just copy from films, or tv. Do they reinvent it, rethink it or just knock it off.

I am sure you can come up with more.

But what makes this so interesting is several of these answers you can get just from asking other haunters.

That is why I used the word "Reputation". You just have to dig around and ask.

So here is a test for you.

SO, if you are walking down an aisle at a Tradeshow, and you see a company who you know has been around for years. You know they have a good reputation for quality workmanship, good customer service, delivering on time, and their prices are reasonable but not cheap. Do you note this company?

Then you see another company a few rows down that is pretty new, their products are similar or knock offs of the first company, and their prices are cheaper, but they have no reputation or no good reputation in the industry.

What do you think is the smart decision?

Buying from the second company is just asking for trouble.

And the interesting thing about it. You not buying from the knock off fly by night company just teaches people or vendors that being a knock off will prevent you from being successful. It teaches the market what your demands or expectations are.

If you teach vendors that it is ok to sell crap, you just get what you pay for. remember, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!! YOU are hurting the companies who bust their asses for your success. And you are supporting the upstarts, fly by night, thieves, and cheap skates.

Demand drives supply

If there is no demand for crap, people won't make it.

Remember companies can only do 2 out of these 3 things or else they will put themselves out of business.

Which would you choose?

1. customer service

2. product quality/innovation

3. cheap price

The buyer is the decision maker here. Vendors can make cool products but you determine if they are successful by whether you buy it of not. The ball is always in your hands.

07-13-2012, 03:07 AM
What your talking about is why we created the Vendor Review system and made it available for everyone to write and read reviews about vendors! Our reviews are available via our website for those that are shopping at home over the web and wanting to checkout a vendor before ordering online or if you walking thru those tradeshow aisles as you said, anyone can lookup a vendor on their iphone using our mobile app available for free from the Apple App store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hdigest/id391216471?mt=8). We saw a ton of our readers that were stopping by our booth thanking us for the app and using it on the tradeshow floor to check out vendors at MHC and HauntCon!

As you said, with so many new vendors opening up in the industry, sometimes great sometimes not so great, it takes just a few seconds to find how other buyers rate them! If you have had a bad experience with a vendor, then be sure to post a review about them to help save others from having the same experience and losing their precious time and money! But don't forget to rate and post a review for those vendors that you have had a great experience with so everyone knows where they can feel safe spending their hard earned money for products or services that will be there when they say they are!

Visit the Reviews and start rating now at - http://www.hauntersdigest.com/category/vendorreview/

Get the HDigest Mobile App for iOS Free - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hdigest/id391216471?mt=8

Gore Galore
07-13-2012, 06:06 AM
It was a great idea for you to build that system. I know you put alot of work into it. However, I am sad to say but it just is NOT being utilized. If it would, it would be helpful.

I just wrote this Buyers Guide just as another assist to buyers. And hoping they get the point. That vendors are successful, good vendors or not, because of their support.
Demand drives supply.

If they demand cheap low end products then that is what the market will allow and produce. If they demand high end quality product then that type of vendor will flourish.

It is very simple in that way.
So, if people want to see certain things happen in the market, they can make it happen.

Vendors can't do that. But Buyers can. They can control a market. If you do not want cheap, low quality, bad customer service, non responsive, vendors in the market. Don't support them, and they will go away.

If you want vendors who honor their word, build high quality product, and take care of business. ALL you have to do is support those companies. Then that sets the example, other vendors see that and learn by example. They either change their business model or they go out of business.

07-13-2012, 06:17 AM
I agree. Thanks for the hardwork you put into it...but I do not even like navigating it the way its set up.



Gore Galore
07-13-2012, 06:41 AM
You don't have to apologize but please explain what you mean. Maybe I can fix it to make it easier for you to navigate.

Greg Chrise
07-13-2012, 09:14 AM
If there is any point of consolation, the business that puts the money into the materials, processes and products rather than fancy vehicles no one really sees, wins in the long term and watched countless cycles of new things come and go, customer loyalty or lack of loyalty being demonstrated.

In another thread new haunters are planning corporate strategy, accounting and what column they are going to put all the massive corporate earnings into. No one gets it that if you invest everything in what you do their might not be any profit what so ever, If you pay taxes on employees that seems to come first. And that is what a business is. The motions are very easy to do short term in little bursts of making a show but long term doing it every day is not quite so easy.

Everyone is getting bumped around like a pin ball game. Having a vendor report site is much too slow of a reaction as you have waited for an entire cycle to report some people have been used as a guinee pig. Ill prepared people can still operate for quite some time before they are reported. Then it also if people are somehow going to become of a mind to check everyone out.

There has always been a certain posturing to help people and it pays no money what so ever. I don't like these one sentence replys everyone thinks are so helpful, go see this site, buy this book. If everyone in the know actually took 5 minutes to steer information it would guide people better in the beginning.

Convey how many hours went into things or make people realize massive amounts of materials costs, demonstrate real skill that was developed from doing things over and over and not just a weekend in the garage and I made this. Why something is quality and why something esle is not. Why something is not next level thinking. What could be.

I gotta go.

Allen H
07-13-2012, 10:27 AM
It sounds like you have already made the buyers guide. Have you made one and where can we see it if you have?

Gore Galore
07-13-2012, 10:53 AM
The first post or the 7 points is the buyers guide.
I also posted it as a note on Gore Galore, and my personal facebook page.


But I thought of this as just the beginning and hoped it would generate some hits and some input from haunters to help formulate it better.

07-14-2012, 04:04 PM
It was a great idea for you to build that system. I know you put alot of work into it. However, I am sad to say but it just is NOT being utilized. If it would, it would be helpful.

Thanks, I'm trying to make it so that anyone that wants to be able to find a haunt vendor can do so quickly. It's actually being used by a lot of people as we have a ton of traffic going to those profiles via our mobile app and from our website. People post comments on those vendors they like and don't. And to help avoid any anonymous comments slamming vendors that may be from other less reputable vendors against their competition, we integrated the Facebook comments so you will see the real person behind the comment. We found this dropped a lot of mystery commenters and raised the level of quality of the comments on the profiles. So all I can say to vendors is, be sure to visit your profile and make sure it's up-to date. We provide that as a free service to vendors and to our readers. The more that we promote the vendor reviews, the more people will be able to find them and utilize them and hopefully prevent people from getting burned by subpar vendor services. That's why I'm always telling everyone, be sure to post your reviews, good or bad, on those vendors that you have done business with. It may just save someone money and their business.

I just wrote this Buyers Guide just as another assist to buyers. And hoping they get the point. That vendors are successful, good vendors or not, because of their support.
Demand drives supply.

If they demand cheap low end products then that is what the market will allow and produce. If they demand high end quality product then that type of vendor will flourish.

I agree. If the market demands a good quality product at competitive prices and there is a company to provide it, then that company will survive. But there will always be those that are just out there to make a quick buck and buyers need to sometimes remember not to sacrifice quality of a product just to save a few bucks. In the long run, the better quality product or service will save you more money.

Greg Chrise
07-14-2012, 05:29 PM
Okay, if you want to see your props, go to the Purple Pig BBQ restroom and taped to the back of the toilet is the directions to your next clue location. We are making sure you are not being followed and if you tell the Haunt Industry Buyers guide who we are or what bowling alley parking lot you left the suitcase full of cash, we know where you live and weird things could happen to you.

This post will be deleted in a few minutes.

Gore Galore
07-14-2012, 06:51 PM
You are such a goober.
But I like it;)

And don't sit on that toilet. It is a trick.

Greg Chrise
07-14-2012, 09:42 PM
Even behind my sillyness, there is a pont. I looked through the Haunters Digest vendor section And unfortunately I'm going to have to take away some of your pumpkins.

I can name 5 companies that have been to tradeshows that are not listed and I was brilliant enough to not type them into your search generator as they are not my companies to promote. So you are relying on either the search generator or the vendor themselves to put the step forward to get listed. Once listed, 2 bad reviews can take away their pumpkins and they are deemed to have problems. So how does that help anyone. There is no incentive to be listed and ridiculed and the ones that are listed are burdened with being half a pumpkin down and seeing the upstarts make money with no mention.

Also the surfing through the site seems that the server is actually an Atari 6000, maybe enhanced with connection to a toaster and maybe a potatoe. 50 clicks later and I discovered nothing that hasn't already been discussed on some forum. The slow click rate is going to make someone just go directly to facebook, the forums and so on.

In the real world, there are emails and such warning each other of some old guy is out there charging exuberant consulting fees and not being afraid to whip out proposals for your family fortune. There are all the home haunters building things in their garage with their own forums trading as they see fit. There is no way to say who is doing it wrong, who is doing it right or taking advantage of anyone else without being slanderous. Still the commnications continue behind the scenes and these communications are not privy to the new people out there. They are harsh opinions with a dash of speculation and sometimes it takes months and years to discover why someone is being avoided. You might even be somebody and not be privy to what might be classified as name calling or clashing egos.

So it is pretty easy to avoid being identified as a vendor in most of these situations. I personally have sold lots and lots of stuff and it never happened on a forum and a lot of time did become a meeting in a parking lot with each party traveling each way or going to where the customer was instead of them traveling to me, not buying off of a web site. Hence freinds selling to freinds and totally off of the radar.

So, how are you going to provide information on what is basically the haunted underground when vendors that do show up at tradeshows have apparently provided proper service and not been listed.

In any business, there is about 12% of things that are a loss, don't go well or have communications break down. There are 5,000 buyers out there and 2 can eat your pumpkins or defame how great your business and probably very little recourse to a bad rating. So, to avoid being thought of badly all you have to do is not take custom orders, sell only what you brought as cash and carry and you are good to go.

So how sucky a system of communication and all the lack of incentives, molds how things are effected. It seems to me it is a fail as it judges some and over looks a lot of vendors. In the real world, if you sold 300 items per year you could have 36 of those items be screwed up in shipping or not be the right color, yet two people bitch and you lose your pumpkins. I guess if 36 people per year get past the potatoe server you are supposed to close up shop? Or change your name or sell through someone that isn't listed yet? Or you can up and make some new upstart famous and the market has no idea what just happened.

It is too easy to be a poser in any character, the customers all want to spend $30,000 right out of the box, where are these bastards? The 13 year old millionaires need the information now for their business scams forms but, it is toss up whether mom is going to let us out of tuba lessons or not. Everyone is a marketing genius and a web consultant and can make you graphics. They have all been successful for decades in some other business and you aren't going to be able to correct them. The tradeshows and a banner is apparently all the credability you need.

If they all form a corporation and make a circus float with $2500 characters on it and charge money to see it, they are going to have the problems of what to do with all the wheel barrows full of corporate income. Meanwhile, the vendors that did step up lose some pumpkins.

It has been tried before and there is no one size fits all solution to making lists where people can be judged. And everyone is not like me, all crazy and just says stuff. And when I do say stuff it wasn't in someone's book they wrote the first year they tried to do any of this so, I must be wrong because it isn't in a book anywhere. And of course, no one is actually going to read 10 paragraphs of crap or really think of anything except the most positive, happy outcome.

...........Thankyou.....Goodnight......We love you!............

Gore Galore
07-15-2012, 07:11 AM

I have to back Greg on this. You have one of the slowest servers I have ever been on.
I am on at 8 am so you would think the load is low. But I am trying to load a vendor page and it has taken 6 minutes so far and it still has not loaded. You KNOW no one is going to stick around.
Sorry, I think I have even contacted you directly before to let you know this.
Again, I think you do alot of work to provide a service to this industry. But you do a dis-service to yourself, by having such a slow server.

07-15-2012, 09:46 AM
This has been an informative post! Much more than any of the other posts you ever see on this forum, but before this gets any more intense.... Charles, do you have an app for android yet? If so, you really need to. Sorry to turn the convo a bit! -Pierce