View Full Version : Gift Shop I need a bit of help in deciding what to sell.

01-03-2013, 02:53 PM
I am in the process of building my gift shop. I will take any and all suggestions on items to stock. I am going to the Party Halloween Expo here in a few weeks. I would like to go with a bit more knowledge as to what to buy. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!


damon carson
01-03-2013, 04:04 PM
Sue I would like to discuss this with you and help you with some great ideas. I sent you a p.m.

damon carson
01-05-2013, 01:33 PM
We have been talking about doing a new line of items that would be strictly sold for Haunted House giftshops. Why I sent you a p.m. Send me an email or contact me so we can talk more about it!

01-06-2013, 08:53 AM
Logo items sold very well for us this year

01-06-2013, 11:19 AM
Someone on this forum might like to make these custom hats for selling in your haunt store. The hats have holes in it with hair strands popping out. The hair stands up as if the wearer was scared stiff. Your haunt logo can be on the front.

Also, if you can, make custom hats like these:

The cap (baseball caps) resembles the back of a cracked and aged skull.
Or, the cap can have tentacles hanging out that look like they burst out of the wearers head.
Or, the cap can have hair going around the edge and an exposed brain as the cap.

Just posting ideas for you. I hope they help.14642

01-07-2013, 09:04 AM
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I'm excited !!!


01-07-2013, 11:30 AM
We were in a 55,000 sq ft building for two years. We used about 30,000 for our haunt which dumped everyone into a 10,000 sq ft costume store. So customers were forced to walk through the costume store on their way out of the haunt. The costume store opened at noon daily during October and stayed open until the haunt closed on weekends.

We observed the majority of our customers didnít even look at the thousands of merchandise items we had on display. Some teens would try on wigs and hats, pose for pictures, then drop the items on the floor on their way out. We did sell some merchandise, but we had to have 3 Ė 5 employees working the floor with such large crowds of people exiting the haunt at the same time. We actually sold more merchandise to people who stopped in during day hours to purchase costumes. We handed out bounce-back coupons as people were exiting the costume store and some people would stop back during the day to purchase items.

Weíve since moved to a smaller space and tried just selling some of our most popular items, but even still we didnít make enough to cover the labor needed to staff the small store. This past season we just sold a few left over costumes, hats and makeup. Our biggest sellers were our haunt t-shirts, glow necklaces and soft drinks.

Weíre located within a mile of two costume stores; so it just wasnít worth the effort for us to have a costume store. It was very surprising to us to watch people walk out of the haunt and walk directly past Halloween costumes, props and accessories without even looking at them. It seemed our customers were either running out of the exit of the haunt and out the door, laughing as they exited the haunt and talking with their friends or in a daze as they exited the building. We estimated only about 5% of our haunt customers even noticed we had merchandise for sale. Canít explain it. Our prices were lower than what the local costume stores were selling items.

Best of luck with your decision, but I would suggest starting small and adding to it if it works in your location. It might be helpful if you donít already have costume stores in your area. Also Wal-Mart and Party City both have very large Halloween costume displays too.


01-07-2013, 12:15 PM
Anything that is really CHEAP! That sells best!


01-17-2013, 03:13 PM
I do custom stuff in small or large lots for the Haunt community. www.hauntedkeepsakes.com

Let me know if you have any questions.

Scaren Karen

01-17-2013, 10:12 PM
Larry hit the nail on the head! anything cheap! Glow items do really well, stickers, and logo items. Our candy store also does well. You could combine the two, cheap things and bad candy! Lol just throwing things out there. Best of luck

01-18-2013, 11:27 AM
Hi Sue,

Consider a custom comic book based on your haunt's theme, story/legend, and characters. It's a great memento of a super season. Staff will get a huge rush seeing their character rendered into print. Customers who love your show will dig being able to relive the experience by flipping through the book. You can also turn the cover, certain page artwork (or comic frames) into t-shirt art, posters, or any other type of promotional material you wish.

1031 Comics presently has a Kickstarter campaign going. We have a special $200 pledge level that will give a haunted attraction owner a custom drawn full color cover for their show. The Pledge Partner will get the original artwork PLUS the art will be digitized into a comic cover, complete with titling and tag lines...and you'll get a quality print copy of the finished cover.

To check out the artwork quality and samples for our current project, go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/67138683/halls-of-bedlam-comic-series-1

Eric @ Haunted Overload has pledged and loves the concept. You might contact him to get direct feedback.

Mistress G

12-14-2015, 11:44 PM
I saw an earlier, off-the-cuff estimate of 5% of customers even noticing that there was merchandise for sale in conjunction with the haunt.

Do any of you have hard data regarding the percentage of your patrons that purchase additional merchandise? (ticket sales vs. gift shop transactions).

How about scare photos, like a lot of amusement parks do? You photograph each patron/group of patrons at a reliably shocking scare and post photos near the exit for sale to the patrons in the photograph. Have any of you implemented this and what type of patron participation do you experience?

I plan to sell logo T-shirts, mugs, hats, and do the scare-photo thing and am looking for some SWAG numbers with which to populate my business plan.

I'm sure the logo merchandise sells better at established, big-name haunts (hey, Larry).

Thanks, all.

12-20-2015, 04:27 AM
Let me help you...

1) CHEAP t-shirts that is the #1 seller from probably 99% of every haunt in this industry.

Everything else is RISKY!


Haunted Mansion
12-31-2015, 12:56 PM
We feel slightly burned on our gift shop we went beyond buying the typical black and white t-shirts and loaded up on other items like key chains, stickers, cups, etc and well we didn't sell anything. Our number one buyer for everything we did sell was our own actors. lol

We'll give it another try this year and see what happens. If I was to rank our merchandise the biggest seller was black and white t-shirts, hoodies, jackets (mostly because the actors bought them) and from there it was maybe a few cups. Here is what I can tell you and that is our goal for next year is to have an online store in addition to the gift shop on site. We are also going to sell other items like drinks and candy. I think we took a bit of a hit the first year but we are going to take what we learned and carry it over to 2016 and make it better.

01-04-2016, 01:39 AM
We have done a gift shop and food and neither do incredible. We gave up the food and allowed a food truck to visit but the issue with them is they hardly ever show up. Tough to decide what to do there. As for the gift shop very few people buy anything some buy t-shirts or hoodies and most sales are to our actors. Not a big focus for us.

01-04-2016, 11:16 PM
Let me tell you this... we have a wonderful looking retail shop and every guest has to walk right by it and we lost money on it. This I know and we had several different types of merch and it didn't matter. People just don't care.

Our #1 customer was our actors buying t-shirts and stuff. I have heard of SOME people tell me they did okay with it and I know Netherworld does great and so does Headless Horseman but outside those who else is doing well with it?

I don't think its a real effective source of income for haunted houses, but rather adding another attraction, something you can upcharge be it a 3D haunt, escape room, or adding other events on like zombie laser tag whatever.

I am NOT saying don't do merchandise I'm merely saying there are better ways to increase revenue at your haunted house.


01-11-2016, 07:43 PM
Seems to be the consensus; not a reliable money maker.

I did buy one of your coffee mugs in 2013, though, Larry. ;)

01-12-2016, 02:08 PM
I find we sell to about 15% of people - t-shirts are our best seller, with hoodies being a close second. We end up giving stickers away at the end of the season.

01-13-2016, 05:25 AM
Just a quick post here... we have totally redone our Darkness gift shop and I think everyone will really like it. We have added all kinds of stuff including a 3D photo set up ... if you come to The Darkness haunt tour you can get a FREE 3D Photo! Tickets will go on sale for our tour later tonight. www.TheDarkness.com


Haunted Mansion
01-22-2016, 10:50 AM
Did you ever decide what to sell? I'd like to hear the final choices.

01-25-2016, 06:34 AM
A link to gift shop pictures....