View Full Version : Solving Vendor problems...

01-04-2009, 06:46 PM
Here is some steps we can take to solving all these problems vendors are having...

1) Vendors need to STEP UP THE PLATE...HIRE MORE PEOPLE! Vendors need to hire an office manager to keep track of the day to day stuff, answer phones, whatever so you can focus on making product and filling orders. HIRE MORE PEOPLE TO DO things like pour foam, easy stuff you can pay cheap labor for that won't take much training.

2) STOCK PILE PRODUCT... rent storage space and just keep making product for people who have money to spend on a dime. How many times do you get overwhelmed with product requests at the last minute but you have no product to sell. DO YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY... then make product now and keep making it even when you don't have orders and then all orders placed after a certain date like in August change 10% extra, orders in September 25% extra, this is how you will as Kevin said 'GET RICH'. It takes money to make money so invest in yourself and invest in your stock. THAT MEANS HIRING PEOPLE TO HELP!

Simply get a head of the tradeshows. If you don't believe in yourself or your product then don't do it...if you do invest in yourself.

3) Vendors need seminars, they need training, they need business classes, they need marketing information, they need to learn how to run a business, how to grow their business, how to keep their business, and more. Vendors need education and some of the more successful vendors can step up and offer this as well as your buyers who for the most part know more about the market then you do.

I'm sorry but most vendors are bad business people...yes they have the passion and the creativity and great products but they just lack the knowledge to roll that into running a successful business.

4) Vendors should pile together and figure out when a tradeshow should happen...if you could take orders 4 weeks sooner how much would that help? Is that too soon to make new product? Bottom line is if you move back tradeshow dates every vendor and buyer must adjust their business and their patterns. It is NOT as easy as it sounds it has an impact on everyone. It must be discussed in a professional forum by those who have the most to lose or gain.

5) Vendors need to either learn how to plan for their orders or stop trying to fill your plate with more food than you can eat. If you can't fill an order don't take the order. Period. If you want to take the order then have a plan on who you can bring on to help you fill it.

6) Vendors need to communicate more with the buyers. Look I'm sorry vendors as a whole do NOT KNOW more than haunt owners...sorry! You just don't... I've seen tons of you make stuff that maybe you thought was cool but I wouldn't buy in ten million years. Who are you selling to yourselves or haunt owners? So hmmm... who should you be talking to yourselves or haunt owners. If you simply called owners you could get a better idea of what most or the majority of owners want to buy.

Yes vendors come out with some exciting things, and have lots of great idea's but why risk it when you can simply talk to haunt owners and see what people want. MAKE WHAT WE WANT WHAT WE WILL BUY not always what you think we want.

7) STOP MAKING THE SAME THINGS... how many different zombies can someone make, how many bloody arms, legs or guts can vendors offer. How many different ways can you make a pop out or up animations different? Animations are coming to an end, unless you have something cool look in a different directions. Haunt owners want something new not something re-packaged.

Buyers should start paying with CREDIT CARDS or cash upon pick up or delivery so we can avoid all these problems and give buyers some recourse if a vendor doesn't deliver. They don't come through cancel the charge enough said. The vedor has the product ready to pick up then bring the cash... not having any of your money will motivate them to get it done, or knowing you can cancel or dispute a charge will put vendors on notice that they deliver or else.

9) MAKE THINGS SAFE... put warning labels on your products, what they shoudln't do like put this near customers, or how many feet away or when repairing this product disconect you need to do this to protect yourselves. FLAME RETARD YOUR PRODUCTS... buy some flame retarant and spray no drench everything that comes out of your shop. DONT CRY TO ME OR ANYONE ELSE WHEN YOU GET SUED... you'll derserve it because you've been warned. Just know the type of world you live in and remember the worst can happen and eventually WILL!

10) LASTLY ... VENDORS STOP MAKING STUFF THAT BREAKS! If you can't take the time to put your product through the rigors of a brutal testing phase then DO NOT SELL IT! STOP SELLING IT BECAUSE I WONT BUY IT and neither will anyone else.

Stop the metal on metal crap that doesn't work. Bolts widdle away and then everything comes crashing down. CHARGE MORE it doesn't have to be much more but enough to cover making the product safer and stronger. CHARGE MORE ... this isn't a war of price, if you make the best looking product, with the coolest effect along with the best duribility then buyers should MAN UP AND BUY and leave the JUNK to the wanna be vendors.

Why do fingers for example break off every single vendors props especially on animations... BECAUSE YOU PUT THIN LATEX OVER WEAK FOAM. How is it you tell me that you couldn't see that coming from a mile away...seriously when will YOU GUYS LEARN FROM YOUR OWN MISTAKES?

You can use thin metal in an arm of an animation it will wiggle back and forth and break off... YOU CAN NOT USE DOOR HINGES for a movement inside an animation...who taught you design? Seriously.

Who can teach you about your mistakes??????? THE PEOPLE WHO FIX THESE PROPS NIGHT AFTER NIGHT AFTER NIGHT! DUH... so COMMUNICATE with your buyers.

BONUS: VISIT HAUNTS! PERIOD! Take the time and visit haunts you will get more idea's, you will see how your competitions products stacks up to yours, the owners will graciously take you on tours and show you problems and this will make your business and our whole entire industry better.

SECOND BONUS: LEARN HOW TO MARKET YOUR PRODUCT, WHERE, WHEN, and HOW! Don't be suckered into sales pitches from sales people who want your money, learn how to reach your target audience you coudl in fact again ASK YOUR CUSTOMERS and FIND PLACES WHERE HAUNTERS GO... and if you want to grow your business find out where to find those buyers and JUMP IN WITH TWO FEET! MAKE better websites, show video, tell buyers who you will do when product breaks, tell us everything on your website. Learn the ins and outs to driving traffic to your website. If money is a problem for you then STAY FOCUSED ON the most successful, what works and skip the rest.

Figure out what tradeshows you can most the most impact and go to those shows FULL BLAST not half baked across 5 shows. MAKE THE RIGHT SPLASH and BEST FIRST IMPRESSION and go from there...

And take one day at a time, and always have a plan to fill all orders, turning down orders will haunt you in those long winter months when you have nothing coming in. YOU MUST GROW YOUR BUSINESS FAST... you just never know what is around the corner either the next big order or the GRIM REAPER!

Take this comments however you want but if you follow what I've written you will be stronger for it,better for it and going back to the 'RICH' comment you just may become RICH ONE DAY SOON!


01-04-2009, 06:58 PM
I can continue to offer advice more specific in nature like marketing or ways to increaes productivity, blah, blah but lets start with this one.

Lets hear some feedback!

One quick tip on PRICE... yes price is important but remember haunts have been raising their prices like crazy over the past 3 years. Time is right for you to make your PRODUCT BETTER AND STRONGER and charge a little more to cover it.

Haunts are making more money now than ever... so STOP MAKING CRAP THAT DOESN"T LAST AND START MAKING STUFF THAT DOES! Make your latex thicker, use better valves, whatever just make it last longer.

I pay two to four guys a night at the Darkness alone just running around fixing this stuff... I'm done with that.

The best advice I can give you is some advice given to me...

A haunt owner raised his price from 15 dollars to 20 dollars in one year. I said you know you might lose a BUNCH OF CUSTOMERS...

He said what would you rather have 40,000 paying customers at $15.00 or 30,000 customers at $20.00? CAN SOMEONE DO THE MATH HERE? The gross dollars the same the exact same... and his comment was I make the same money but have 10,000 less headaches.

Get the point?

Selling to fewer people, making the same amount of money but having less headaces sounds better to me but could also increase your businss in the long run because of your rock solid rep for long lasting products.

Think about it! This goes to haunt owners as well. Its the best advice I've ever heard from anyone in all my years! Another piece of advice that goes right along with that is this...

Its not about the quanity of people you put through your haunt, or how many zombies you sell, its about the profit margin you make. You can do 40,000 people and make no money, you can sell 200 zombies and lose money, its not about how many you sell its about how much profit you make each time you sell one. Think about it.


01-04-2009, 10:28 PM
Is the Larry K I know that started this thread? I have said the same thing in many different post through this past year. Wow all I can say is...... I AGREE!!! I TOTALLY 100% AGREE!!!!!!! Shane and its I agree 100% Shane this time.

01-05-2009, 06:11 AM
Great posts!!!!

I like the idea of vendors stocking the more popular items. If or when you NEED to clear some product sitting around in the shop contact some of your better customers with deals in the off season, at less profit but still a profit nonetheless.
Also, I like the idea of vendors being in contact with haunters about what they need or want.

This is all good info I hope everyone will read it!


01-05-2009, 01:24 PM
Remember this is a two way street... if vendors make the product and haunt owners wait until August to order it they should chargee more money. I would and I've told several haunters these idea's like Unit 70 and Ghost Ride and they have done it and people pay it.

When you order at the shows people want discounts, but when they order in August and September they are desperate so take advantage its only fair!

I'm not beating up on vendors I want them to make money... and they should take the money and run when they can but they must do the before mentioned so we can stop all of this drama, problems. and anything else we've seen happening.


01-11-2009, 03:41 PM
I want to write an article about finding ways for vendors and buyers to get more on the same page... I mean from how vendors can find out what buyers want to buy, to what are the common problems be it lack of communication or common problems with products.

Without saying specific products, or specific companies, what are some of your suggestions to make the products better, or your relations with vendors better.

This will be a positive article a positive attempt to make things better...so save the trash talk. Lets talk in GENERAL terms!


01-12-2009, 09:22 AM
If you have a good product, there is a market for it, and you can deliver, your business will thrive. If you have a product that isn't right for the market, your business will go the way of the Edsel or Bill Knapps, (I loved that coleslaw). I don't understand why you would buy from a place that you don't like or that doesn't come through on their commitments. If I ordered a pizza and it consistently late or lacked enough toppings, I would call another pizza place. Am I missing something here?

I understand that we are new (and have a lot to learn), but shouldn't the haunt owners, if they feel they are not getting a fair shake, look elsewhere?

The strong will survive...?? Am I missing something?

(I expect the pat on the head and the heartfelt "Go in the other room son" speech..)