We figured out how to not have someone answering the phones, here at Los Cheapos Rent to Own Haunt Props, if you miss a $5 per week payment, we call YOU! Miss two weeks and we are in your house seeing if there is anything good to eat in your refrigerator!
Smaller vendors might sell 50 to 250 items per year. Having an otherwise unemployable grandma play office is after employee matching of taxes going to cost $20,000. So you better be at successful full time levels or that something that really should sell for $20 now sells for $70 because of the trade show experience costing $50 per item and then add another $100 an item for grandma to answer the phone and not really know anything. Glad you talked to her long distance aren't you. Your prop really valued at $20 now costs $170 for that special show price! Everyone wants to call 5 times for 20 minutes and share gossip. That's worth $50 in time.
So what should have been a $5,000 a year hobby just became a $42,500 company and the money comes from the customers, not the national endowment of the arts. Start adding in how everyone at the booth has to have matching T-shirts and so much more.
I'm not trying to make any real excuses but most vendors also have haunted houses, do not take year round orders and right now have 3 months to totally revamp their haunts. They wasted/spent the first part of the year being vendors and going to costume events and seminars.
Some people just aren't right but not everyone is like Pepboys with a full inventory, lots of forms to fill out and neon signs right out of the box and many do not make it past year 2 because the money inefficiencies usually come down to how brilliant their products are to begin with. Some people you cut some slack, others just thought it would all work out taking other people's money and buying in Tiawan or China and bringing it back, sort of a working vacation but you know they aren't all sleeves rolled up pouring things along side an outdoor Chinese factory work force.
It is a different life style and the ones that make things with their own hands are the ones you want to deal with like Kevin and a few others. The big clue is they answer the phone or return a call usually in 24 hours yet still may be hard to hunt down because they are in another town for a few days buying materials. If they are in China or just took a summer vacation with your deposit money or are in the hospital right after the last convention, you might want to call someone esle. And generally it is over for those kinds of vendors even without special internet bitch sites.
I don't know what to say, but it isn't the hustle and bustle of building 2,000 homes a year. It is a limited market and the good ones have what it takes to service you and it took years for them to develop that. It isn't we were otherwise unemployable and really like Halloween and started in 2010. And they can build anything! They are pros! Whoops, maybe they can't? It's not so easy is it. It seems also having a haunted house and being a vendor rarely work out.
You have to get to know everyone and they will gladly show off their shop and "I made this" pictures on facebook. You can't expect the convention to weed out who should be your real freinds and who not. Anyone can go to Kinkos and get a banner and some business cards. Even become an LLC. That doesn't mean anything unless they are properly vested in their products and the products are genuinely cool to begin with. It is America and according to Obama, everyone has the right to fail. That means uninformed customers are guinea pigs for not getting to know everyone. People fail and frail all the time. Even talking to some of these people verbally there should be a few clues. The ones that you should support aren't all lets do a sales close, their products are what really captured your attention, not the guy selling something.
The really good guys have eaten these costs for years and years. Not just transfered them to the customer in the end price of the item and they will tell you staight out they don't have something right now and it takes maybe a year to come up with something in addition to what the have already committed to. Not, will that $10,000 be in the form of a check?
Any time someone as a customer has been taken for a loop it is always they just popped up and are building a haunt and buying things from anyone with just enough resources to show up at a Booth. Get to really know people. It is a lower unit per volume, limited market. In some cases there is no room for growth and expansion with certain products and never will have someone answering the phones and will do fine because they are selling to freinds ultimately that don't need it until next month and will drive hundreds of miles to your house and give you money in your hand. They aren't international haunt celebrities. Most hit only a few shows, it isn't like the Home Shopping network where 2 hours on TV makes 5 million is sales. It isn't like these dudes are selling $10,000 worth of products at 50 trade shows a year. It's more like one trade show for most. It might not even be the big tradeshow.
There is some kind of reality in all of this. Some kind of pace. Even the ones that have been able to grow are SO GOOD that they are selling to friends, lots of friends and everyone is happy.
Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.