View Full Version : Internet Buying
09-10-2007, 11:02 AM
There appears to be litterally 100's of businesses selling Halloween/Haunt Supplies over the internet these days. How do you verify that the businesses are legit? What recourse is there in instances of purchase price paid, product not sent? And how do we get the word out to other haunters that these people are dead beats and RIP off artists? The problem seems to be growing, as I have read a number of posts about various entities that were thought to be legit, and have failed to supply the merchandise. It's a true nightmare if something purchased was to play a major role in your haunt. How do we combat this?
09-13-2007, 03:42 AM
You know there has been a lot of companies I've seen come and go over my 15 years of going to Transworld's Halloween Show. I've been screwed myself more than once. We personally run a supply store, mostly selling videos, books and stuff... and we from time to time get an irate customer who says we didn't do this or we didn't do that.
But let me tell you that we get hundreds and hundreds of orders on that thing, and its hard to make everyone happy although we try our best. I will say that you have to be carefull and not order from these resell sites when you can go directly to the supplier. But it seems half the time some of these suppliers are not shipping on time or at all...
Most companies in this industry are small and probably almost always not very good business people. Sometimes you get in over your head and think you're doing the right thing when really you're cutting your own throat and dont even know it...
09-14-2007, 10:01 AM
Larry: I have purchased from you in the past. I did not have a problem getting my order, nor did I have a problem getting someone on the phone to check on the status of my order. When you look at a company like Scarefactory, and you see their dvd, catalog and web site, you expect to be dealing with professional people. I can understand that things go wrong. I own a construction company, trust me, things do go wrong, but ignoring people who are counting on you is not a very smart business move, especially if you are holding their money.
Deb aka Dracshouse
11-16-2007, 09:30 AM
Speaking of vendors, anybody ever bought anything from LAFOND FX?
They have some great looking stuff on their site but I did not get a
response from them when I asked about ordering?
anyone know of them?
11-20-2007, 12:00 PM
I've purchased from internet sites and not received any product for my money. They are still in business, but won't do anything about the order. For me I always do small orders first and after trust is established then move on to larger orders. So ya I lost about $40, but I'll never do business with them again.
I also run a super small site for Halloween/gift items. No large props, just free hand engrave glass or metal. I have limited amounts of on hand stock, everything else is custom. I am very clear that I am the ONLY person in the company which makes phone calls difficult. Not all small biz will do that because they don't want to look small.
It pretty much comes down to unless you are paying for it with product in hand it's really hard to know why type of company you are dealing with.
11-24-2007, 03:59 PM
i think that people forget what business is about it is about three things for me and i may be retrded but i have ran other good business untill i decided to sell them after several years or the family decided that we no longer whanted to be i that line of business.
#1 for me is a good quality product that the customer wants and needs or just must have even if they dont need it.
#2 and this is just as important as number one CUSTOMER service Larrry is correct you can not please every one but if you provide the highest level of customer service posible then well some customers look for the free be or play the game which they have refined over time. but the majority of you customers will be more apt to use you is they can contact you and not a machine which says press number this and that and then her and leave a mesage pay a service to take phone calls at a minimume and make sure you return that phone call and let the know that you do care about there 10.00 dollar order. let them know if you are having truble meeting the promised time just be honest and give them some options and be understanding and sincer in your apology. i always have to remind my subordinats not to take the verbal abuse personay let the customer vent then be honest and give them the option and let them feel they have a choice in the future of there order and if you must refund them the money dont hesitate they will be back and they will be understnding they may be upset but it is understandable.
#3 can i make a desent pofit wether through numbers or pricing. IS IT WORTH my time. lets be real if you think it is not worth your time your not going to provide a quality product your customers are not going to matter and you will have more stress than you need.
i say if you have to even give a customer a free product or a discount evn though the item may already be discounted then do so if it makes you a returning customer. and to be honest if you are going to go borke from one compromised sale or free bee then you are already looking at being out of business any way.
one example i can give is a recently bought a video set from a vendor and it was very costly close to 300.00 for the 5 video set and five manual set i ordered one set and other things to date under the dif names i have probably spent close to 600.00 now i wrote the owner asking if he could give me a more heavily discounted sale on a full video and manual set and that i would be donating it to a group convergance. i also said that i would be willing to put his name on the donation and to put his flyers and addvertisment stuff out on the distru area.
i was responded by my items are already discounted and i can not go lower than that but if you purchase them at the cost you can use my name for what ever and do what ever you want witht he items you purchase. so i am thinking please come on ok i am going to buy your items because i already said i would add them tot he list of donation but i will not be using his name and i will not say one nice or bad thing about his business name just that i could not ge the vendor to support us with this request so i purchased them as i had promissed.
this could have been a good advertising exposure and could have been good money i his pocket but since the doors were closed hey it is what it is.
this is just one lost opertunity for free exposure and advertising.
so again my two cents and again they aint worth but maybe one.
just give the customer a good product and good customer service and be willing to compromise and work with a dificult customer some time problems arise from a simple miss understanding. and thorugh active listening that missunderstanding can turn into the best bsuiness relation ship you can find and i will tell you you get so much more out of a good business relationship than a bad one.
The Care Taker
11-25-2007, 08:28 AM
I agree with a lot of what you are saying caretaker but when you run a website your items already are discounted. We have to discount our items much lower than retail to make them attractive to online buyers. Because everyone going online is looking for one of two things; A discount, or convenience. If they go to your site to shop chances are they will visit 10 more to compare prices. We have run our own site and ebay sites for a couple of years now and get bombarded with requests for discounts or freebies. Some say its for events or others just want below invoice. And you never really know what they are going to do with the stuff you send. So yes it can easily make it impossible to stay in business if you are giving discounts to everybody who visits the site. We offer excellent customer service and the occasional coupon to help out buyers.
11-26-2007, 09:44 PM
Usually people who have never ran or had a business of their own have the most advice to give the rest of us who own or work in a field.
As I was doing work on a furnace located right next to busy afternoon barstools, everybody "Once worked in the furnace business"!
(For how many days?)
Jeff Foxworthy:"You know you're a Redneck, if you bring a beer to a job interveiw!"
I was removing the furnace, reinstalling it in the basement (heat rises).
I assumed that some of the advice-givers might have originally installed this furnace since the hot air plenum was a composite design, one side was tin, two sides were plasterboard (with the paper covering of course!) and one side was styrofoam insultion board.
The flue pipe went into the chimney but the chimney liner had slipped down, effectively blocking most of the flue gasses from going up the chimney.
The return air consisted of merely opening the blower compartment door alowing the blower to suck air down from the chimney, reversing the flue, redistributing the fumes throughout the bar. (If any fumes ever found themselves in the chimney at all.)
Working in a bar or working in a church? I'm not sure which is worse since a whole council of church members each are telling you how to do a job after you got the bid and have it half-way done of course!
12-13-2007, 04:04 AM
I can tell you this much, I've had over 1,000 orders on my supply store since March, and its very hard to keep everything in stock, or get every order right.
I get a couple people a week ask me where their order is, then you have to figure it out, get back to them and whatever.
Its a lot of work I can tell you. We try our best, and I respond to every email sent to me from anyone who has a complaint.
99% of the time you make people happy! VERY FEW people are hard to please if you just respond to them and make them feel better.
Several companies I guess don't get back to you and leave you feeling like you just got screwed. I've been screwed a couple times on ebay.
12-13-2007, 10:39 AM
that is the best advise when we had our resturaunts we made it a point to talk with on a personal basis every customer which was not fully satisfied and jsut spending the time to listen and give basicaly the same answer back was a good thing.
i viewed a book once titled how to say no with out sayin it and there are many like it. but each can give you just one idea to use to address a customer and usually they will sufice. but not always then you call the dogs LOl
01-28-2008, 11:35 PM
One way to help yourself is education. Look up message boards and BBB (not always reliable, some types try and game the system there attempting to slam competitors or delete bad reports on them by filing false resolutions).
The truest gauge would be message boards where fellow haunters hang out. You will hear t6he good and bad things about individual vendors. Always works.
02-02-2008, 08:26 PM
I have been in contact with The Monster Makers http://www.monstermakers.com/
Are they still around? Because they havent replied to me for two weeks. And they seem like they offer great products.
02-02-2008, 09:48 PM
yes i recieved an order from them about two weeks ago and they even donated a few items to a good cause. they provided great customer support and i would recomend them to any one who was going to use them.
i will say they have a new site up under the same url so maybee give them a call even though you are prety far out of town and state.
03-24-2008, 11:34 PM
All I'm saying is Morris Costumes for a non-retailing distributor. They're legit.
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