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View Full Version : FINALLY... I AGREE and WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT



drfrightner
08-01-2011, 02:12 PM
As many of you know we have the best vendor directory on the web

see here: http://www.hauntworld.com/haunted_house_suppliers/

Anyway I'm going to revamp this page after the season start trust me on this one. I will make it so vendors can place ads for used equipment, I will make it easier to navigate and I will make it so YOU THE HAUNT OWNERS can share feedback on every single vendor in the industry. I will update and create a page on this site for reporting bad vendors who rip you off, have bad customer service or for vendors who copy other vendors or threaten to rip your legs off.

Is this what you want? If this is what you want I will make it happen... post your ideas now. This will get done.

However I'm saying now that every comment left will need to be verified as a real person no negative comments will be allowed on my site unless its from a real buyer where by the vendor has an opportunity to contact you to fix the problem.

We'll do our part to help current and future haunt owners weed out the crooks. We already know who some of them are now... they will be the first ones to hit the do not buy list.

Larry

terrormasue
08-01-2011, 04:10 PM
Larry,

I think we have completed this task already. Almost 2 years ago Keegan and I started a vendor review website dedicated to us the consumer. Please check out the website and let us know your thoughts. http://Hauntcompanyreviews.com Maybe we can work together. It is a site where consumers can make reviews and rate the vendors they have dealt with either good or bad. It’s a wonderful site really. Keegan put many many hours into developing it. Please give a good look when you have time.

Thanks,
Sue

graystone
08-01-2011, 05:35 PM
Larry we been needing this for years and how long have I screamed it! I think we also need a section where the vendors can post on dead beat buyers who don't pay either! Lets keep it fair on both sides and make everyone prove their claim! Shane and it's this is way past time! Shane

FrightProps
08-01-2011, 08:43 PM
terrormasue:

What I never did understand was this: Upon reading the threads; what I understood was the sole reason you setup the site was to "out" a couple of vendors. Once the site was up and running those two vendors were never listed or even mentioned on your site... ?! It also never gained momentum and has become stale. Why is that? i don't know. Will yet another vendor review site be successful? I personally think not.

brad
08-01-2011, 08:57 PM
Larry, Im all for this idea. If you get it up and running, I hope that it doesnt become stale as FrightProps mentioned. I will do my best to get on there and post info on some companies. I have probly 8 companies right now, I can post positive feedback for, and 2 companies for negative feedback.

Im looking forward to seeing this happen.

drfrightner
08-01-2011, 08:59 PM
I'm NOT doing a vendor review site... I have the best place on the web already to find haunted house vendors and we send vendors hundreds of visits. I'm going to REDO the page to make it better for vendors to market their business and more specific those who support the magazine while at the same time allow the buyers to review, rate and leave comments about vendors.

I'm going to IMPROVE what we already offer... not create from scratch.

Lastly, there are more than three vendors who have lied and cheated customers there are several. I can think of a few myself.

Larry

brad
08-02-2011, 01:06 AM
Gotcha now. And again, all for it.

RJ Productions
08-02-2011, 03:01 AM
As long as the site gives equal time to both parties!!

I know the recent thread is bashing a vendor, but to be fair there are
more than a few "customers" out there that have screwed vendors!!!

NAW REALLY?? Yes really!!! And some are really dumb!!
Reverse credit card charges claiming product not received....
then post pictures of it on the web site!!!!! Come on!!!

Maybe we also need a "Bad Haunter" section!!!
Equal time the fair option!

drfrightner
08-02-2011, 10:35 AM
The problem with this industry is its so easy to become a vendor... buy a booth at Transworld bring a product and boom you are a vendor.

I'm all for those who risk their money to try and sell us all something, but those who come unprepared, have no clue how to take orders then fill them or worse no intentions at all of doing anything but taking your money. We have to put an end to it while at the same time HELPING the new vendor with information so they do NOT screw up.

Larry

Mike Goff
08-02-2011, 01:27 PM
Taking risks is a necessary evil in doing business. It’s what separates the entrepreneur from everyone else. Wise entrepreneurs take calculated risks. They confide in trusted sources for references. They also rely on past experiences to guide them. Is an Angie’s listing for haunters a good idea? Maybe, if I had no other resource to turn to, I might look up a vendor. It seems more likely that I would confide in a friend who has done business with this vendor before. We all have friends in the industry that we confide in, and it makes more sense to take their word than to take the word of a post on a forum.

I think that for the most part, when doing business with a vendor, they have much more to lose than the buyer does. You’ve probably heard the old saying, “One screw up cancels out 10 that a boys” I personally admire what the vendors do, they take crazy risks, deal with people who have a loaded keyboard and a hair trigger, and when they get screwed, who comes to their defense? If they try to publicly shame a buyer, they find themselves in a PR mess that will hurt them more than the jack ass who didn’t pay his bill.

Let’s put this into perspective for a moment, it is probably a good bet to say that dealing with vendors is probably the smallest risk that we, as haunters take. Is there a chance that we could get screwed out of a few thousand dollars when we fork out the money for a prop? Of course there is. What kind of risks are we taking when we open our doors to the general public? How much do we stand to lose if someone trips and breaks a bone? What can it cost us if someone has a seizure and tries to sue us? What is at stake if our building official suddenly decides that he doesn’t want a haunted house in his district? What do we spend on intangible objects like advertising? I’m sure that we all have some stories to tell on this topic. Are we concerned about eliminating risk or are we just venting?

If we make it more difficult to become a vendor, who stands to benefit most? Would that be the buyers, or the established vendors? I have always complained about how the local, state, and federal governments have made it so difficult for a business to start up, and I could never understand why. Then I asked the simple question, who does it benefit? That question clarifies a lot of things.
Finally, I think that the whole conversation scares the hell out of anyone who is considering becoming a vendor. We might be running off some serious talent that can revolutionize the industry. Let’s see, they can work year round developing new ideas that might or might not sell. They take on liability for anything that might hurt someone. They front all of the money to develop these products and if they piss off the wrong person, they are done.

Sign me up!

Joe P
08-03-2011, 10:32 AM
just to be fair, make sure that the vendors have a place where they can tell there side, provide proof blah blah blah, one bad deal doesnt make a bad vendor. Sometimes people expect too much.

Grimley
08-03-2011, 10:44 AM
Finally is correct

Mistress DeSade
08-03-2011, 07:45 PM
*Applause*

xtremecreator
08-03-2011, 08:27 PM
Yeeee haw!

jakprintsHAUNT
08-03-2011, 11:46 PM
This is a great idea, but could easily go bad for some smaller companies that legitimately run into some growing pains, or a vindictive customer that just simply wasnt happy with a perfectly acceptable product. Bad business practice can obviously take place on both sides of the fence, and hopefully there would be a safeguard for the vendors against that kind of stuff, because false messages even up for a few hours or even minutes can be devastating for a smaller company, especially in a review style setting, even more so in an industry like this where a bad review could cost a sale of one product in upwards of $10k or more. Proving you are a real person is not that hard, as it was somewhat touched on you should have to prove that any problems were trying to be resolved before you can leave a negative review or feedback. Those are my thoughts...as I have been on both sides of the fence as both buyer and vendor.

Mike "Pogo" Hach

NightmareAftershockLLC
08-10-2011, 12:41 PM
terrormasue:

What I never did understand was this: Upon reading the threads; what I understood was the sole reason you setup the site was to "out" a couple of vendors. Once the site was up and running those two vendors were never listed or even mentioned on your site... ?! It also never gained momentum and has become stale. Why is that? i don't know. Will yet another vendor review site be successful? I personally think not.

It isn't stale. It has every vendor that has a business that is at least recognizable, and I get emails frequently from companies that want their name added to the list.

Originally it was our intent to email vendors, get honest feedback on issues, and keep the website up-to-date, however no one gave a shit. No one here, no one anywhere. Its difficult to get a site up so that they can be rated by anyone who has bought their product, and then have no one write a review, because it is too difficult to create an account, or they would rather RANT on a forum rather than take the time to write a well-constructed criticism helping others to be informed of business' poor practices, etc.

Thanks for your time.

Keegan

Darkangel
08-10-2011, 02:45 PM
I think people would give a shit if everyone knew the people behind the site, so Larry stands a better chance than most so for that reason alone it'll be more popular...

DA

NightmareAftershockLLC
08-10-2011, 02:51 PM
Meh, whatever. My website has logged crazy hits on the vendor list page. so, at least I'm good for something.

HauntChick
08-12-2011, 08:47 AM
Keegan's site it a great way to have a quick look at vendors before you buy from them. Unfortunately, most of the people who are patrons of hauntworld refuse to give anything new a chance. Larry isn't the only person who can be successful in the online industry. (although he has done a very good job of providing us with this online forum) . I think Larry's page will be great for vendors to advertise themselves easily and buys to respond accordingly, but if you want to find a vendor and their past record of reviews, Keegan's site is going to be the place to go.

DA: If you want to know Keegan to trust his site, he's a great american soldier who's been shipped away from home for almost a year now. He's been working on his haunt for several years and i hope his hard work pays off in the near future. He's becoming a talented web designer and is probably the most generous haunter I've met to date.

As for Sue, she has also been working on her home haunt for years now (opening 2011!!). She helps with Insane Shane every year on top of everything else she does. And she too is a very kind, generous person.

Feel better about your fellow haunters? Give their site a try.

MovieRelics
08-12-2011, 12:50 PM
If your going to do business in the haunt industry, it's unfortunate that you have to check out vendors first, but it's no different than any other industry. You've got good vendors and bad vendors. That's why Keegan built his review website and I created mine inside my site at HauntersDigest (http://www.hauntersdigest.com/category/vendorreview/) and built it into our mobile app, to help protect buyers in the haunt industry. I know that during HAuNTcon and Midwest Haunters, our review section get's a ton of traffic thru our mobile app checking out vendors and I would imagine the same if for Keegan's website around that time too.

Personally, I think that if everyone checks out these vendors first and leaves reviews, then it will either force vendors with bad service and products out of the industry or to fix their performance by improving their services and products. Either way, that's a good thing. And if Larry is wanting to get involved also with offering reviews, then I say all the better. The more places that everyone can get info on vendors and leave reviews, the more chance others will have to see them and avoid getting screwed over by shaddy vendors. Everyone should uses Keegans HauntCompanyReviews.com (http://www.hauntcompanyreviews.com), My HauntersDigest.com Vendor Reviews (http://www.hauntersdigest.com/category/vendorreview/), and hopefully soon Larry's vendor reviews.

Darkangel
08-12-2011, 07:51 PM
Catie,

I respect and appreciate our soldiers but they sign up for that gig. So a guy serving in the military says nothing to me about the person he is, his business prowess or in this case his ability to maintain a viable site to the industry. I'm sure he's a cool guy but let's face it and I speak from experience myself if you want respect and attention in this or any industry you need to be a major player which neither of us are right now.

Larry has the means to beat a message into your head with this forum and his magazine and he spends tons with vendors. All this adds up. It's not that a new face or personality couldn't make an impact but it's much more likely to take off and get more than scant attention than from an industry leader. Everyone reading this agrees whether they want to say it or not.


DA

drfrightner
08-14-2011, 12:27 AM
It is NOT about anything but improving what we already have available now. We have improved everything about our site and now we will go another step and make our vendor directory better than it is now. First and foremost we want to support our advertisers FIRST! Hauntworld is a VERY EXPENSIVE website to operate probably costs us about $100,000 a year to do everything we do. That is a lot of money. So those vendors who support us will get our support first and foremost. So doing an overhaul on that program to HELP THOSE who support us first and foremost is a priority.

We want to send BUSINESS to THOSE business that support us. I think our haunt vendor directory can do better and we'll do that.

Secondly we want to give all vendors a better opportunity to promote their business with some of the features we've included on our haunted directory. So now that we have already created these features like embed facebook, or tweets, or other improvements we will make sure we incorporate those into the vendor directory.

So its not all about just bashing on vendors who screw you... however I also want to make it so buyers can leave reviews of vendors products, and their customer service.

So its NOT at ALL about bashing on a bad vendor, its more about improving what we do first, supporting our supporters second, and lastly offer a way for the buyers to communicate better with not only the vendor but also leave feedback, reviews and more.

Its not about anyone having power over anyone its about giving you a better way to communicate with the vendor and the industry in general.

Once Halloween rolls around and things slow down I will make sure this is improved.

You will really like it a lot I promise you!

Larry

Greg Chrise
08-14-2011, 01:14 PM
No matter who compiles these lists, no matter how many lists there are, no one is seeing them. You need to do a little search engine work with tags so when you look up a vendor, no matter how you heard about them or where you saw them, your review or listing without a review comes up somewhere. You might as well have just bought 1000 business card and they are still at your home in a box.

This is the first time I have read through the list of vendors on hauntcompany reviews and I have to say I already know of a dozen just in the local 200 miles that does not participate in the grand industry of trade shows and getting listings in buyers guides. There is secret business that none of these lists can capture ever. Handing off haunted house crap in Home Depot parking lots and such.

So all you have done is cut out a slice of the vendors that are high profile enough to have trade show status and the real haunt underground goes on untouched, uncommented on and dealt with in privacy. So someone in the underground ecomomy rips someone off and all the trade show people need to provide all their documentation at random check points? So the good people get promoted, yes but only in a lackluster way unless more effort and diligence is really put forth by anyone.

And sure putting a list together and making it really be effective is a lot of work and costs money so if you haven't figured out how to monitize your efforts it will suck for you. Right now you can pick out any vendor name and search it and none of these listings shows up as any content out there at all, nothing recent, nothing at all so you aren't protecting or promoting anyone.

I'm just saying there are win win opportunities here way beyond handing out a buyers guide that was printed up or an internet listing that no one knows is there.

Now there are some very good hard working people in the underground that have never stiffed anyone and given great deals and they have jobs and limited ability to turn out great quantities of products to feed the world wide demand. Still these lists only show off probably 20% of what the market really is. The underground can totally function without the internet. It's like driving out to the farms and seeing if they are planting potatoes this year.

Can you boost people at artist level or are you only focusing on the tradeshow elite and major scammers. Who is that really serving.

In the bigger picture, each method of media is focusing on only promoting THEIR site, THEIR podcast, THEIR printed buyers guide and it only goes as far as they would like it to, to their particular audience and that might be pretty small. A very small number of people are informed. Not that intentionally little cliques have been established but, the lack of wider exposure sure makes everything look that way.

Still there needs to be information available that somehow monitizes your efforts with out hitting a pay wall or forced registration/sign up page, or there is no organic public service being done. You should also put out the call for smaller independent people to want to be listed for free. Then the list should also include suppliers of raw materials. It should go further to include groups that provide certain services all the way to people that are available to crew up and go to work. Or equally somehow make notice that they are booked up and not available or they have sold so many orders at the show they have reached production capacity.

Start thinking who the real consumers are. Are you reaching them? Are you really in that other 80% of what is happening out there? Are you getting a review out there in the real world that seems like it is worth anything? Right now I have to say it is not considered worth the bother to a lot of people. That could change if effort was put out there. If the technologies were really used properly. If the one on one relationships really existed.

Greg Chrise
08-14-2011, 01:47 PM
A few weeks ago, a relatively successful haunt guy gossiped to me, hey so and so seems to be really somebody in the haunt industry, I had no idea they were doing that. Lets put this into perspective. What they are doing is hop nobbing around and proclaiming to be someone in only a small fraction of stuff going on, so they can figure out what to do and what works, that has nothing what so ever to do with our local market. In no way does it really help that persons haunt because all the people in the industry bottom line are not buying tickets at their event. In no way whatever is decided and pontificated on, even written and notarized by any committee or new web site mean anything because they don't know how to tell anyone what they have accomplished even exists. And they are spending money and time just to be somebody instead of putting all that effort into their event.

And none of this has anything has to do with how customers buy tickets or if they are somewhat successful one day pull a dark cloud over what we ARE doing out here. So no, so and so is nobody. Who gives a crap. Don't waste any time offering them hours and hour of information. I really don't wish everone stays unsuccessful but, sometimes you have to let crap seek it's own level.

A similar drag on vendors doing things that only get seen by a small percentage of customers is also existing. Lots of time and money output instead of having the freedom to put all their efforts into their product or service. How can you not impact them greatly. Not everyone is your customer. You have to target who is your customer. Or in some cases everyone should be your customer. Maybe the existing market with all its flaws already has these vendors doing and making all they can. Does publicizing it further help or hurt? Does it stetch them out further?

The underground only makes what they can and eats the rest. No problem.

Thats my review for the week.

Mike Goff
08-14-2011, 08:21 PM
Others think it... you said it.
For those at the top of the food chain, it pays off, to some degree to engage the industry. For the vast majority of haunts, money spent on saying, to their peers, "Hey, look at me!" could be used in a much more effective and direct way. With any business, it is all about getting into the mind of your customers, and grasping their thought process. For some, that is tough, because you can't read the label when your inside the bottle. In other words, they are out of touch.
If it makes everyone feel better to have a vendor review, then I say do it, and good luck, but whoever said "build it and they will come" was an "Idiot". It takes quite a bit more.

HauntChick
08-14-2011, 08:54 PM
Sure, none of these sites have EVERY vendor listed. That's almost impossible. Vendors come and go ever year. Every month. You can't expect all vendors from all cities to be listed. These vendor sites are mainly to list and rate the vendors who reach those of us at "the top of the food chain" . If you go to Transworld, MHC, HauntCon, or any of the other conventions, you will see at least one vendor. These are the vendors on the sites, the ones that people need to know about. If you think a vendor near you needs to be added to the list so other locals can benefit from your experience, add them to the list. Keegan's site (and I'm sure Larry's) has a "add vendor" option. so why don't you stop complaining that you're left out and get in on the industry. we don't forget who else is out there, we're just trying to get everyone together so we can ALL benefit from it. I applaud those who are doing more to improve the business.

And DA, you really are a piece of work. Anyone who is willing to be shipped off overseas (and sometimes even put their lives in danger) for the sake of maintaining world order as best our gavernment is capable of is of highest marks in my book. At least he's doing something worth while. and there is no amount of marketing that can persuade me one way or the other. I'm not a lesser mind that is subject to such manipulation.

Greg Chrise
08-14-2011, 10:06 PM
I'm pretty sure if I just "added a vendor" they would all be pretty pissed. Nothing gives anyone the right to list someone else.

As far as being outside the industry, not being part of the industry? That's exactly my point, smaller venues never make the money to go bopping around the country side to visit all of these conventions and yet there could be open calls to smaller vendors and services to add themselves.

It isn't a fact that vendors are coming and going at any high frequency at all, it is that they have enough referals to do as much business as they would like without being promoted further or paying more to be noticed. Can you imagine people actually getting calls and contacts without having to do anything? It actually happens.

Another basic in business is to get people to bring you money rather than go everywhere and spend money. I'm pointing out that like many other services everyone does everyday, the flow of information needs to be automatic, part of the landscape and not something to argue about certainly.

Greg Chrise
08-14-2011, 10:31 PM
I have put those points out to be thought about by about 3 different people. Really thought about. Even Larry's site would have to ping every listing regularly in order to get individual vendor sites noticed directly. It is more than entering data for hours and proof reading. It is a machine someone needs to decide to investigate and turn on. A level of importance to set to any cause and not just cater to the top of the food chain.

I'm seeing all kinds of opportunities here that people are plain unaware of an unable to see. It isn't a complaint. It's when you get real old you will be pretty bitchy too. Ya kinda have to be hip with the interwebs. If I was a real prick, I could harvest your list right now and add Google adsense on it, even give credit for where the list came from and make money. But I'm not a prick or a theif. I just suggested your friend could make some money and would thus be vested in a manner that actually making the list seen by someone, anyone at all would actually happen. The more vendors you can hunt out the more money you make. Your list is not the whole story and you CAN list a lot more.

If you are focusing totally on last years floor plan from Transworld and a few other conventions, game over. Your site will sit there and rot and fade away not getting any further traffic. Someone with knowledge will do a better job and poof it is irrellivant.

Everyone uses the model that it has to be done for free as some kind of I'm helping the industry thing or the vendors need to pony up or sponsor to be on the list. It doesn't have to be that way. I totally agree with what was said above, who ever said build it and they will come was an idiot.

So lets try to understand the words coming out of my keyboards.

Greg Chrise
08-14-2011, 10:49 PM
In fact, any of these vendors has already figured this out and that is why each of them already had the first 15 places on any search network already staked out, so then what. You join a secret society to have a list of things that the internet already provides in a way that drowns out any relative information? Or there is power in numbers and the vendors ALSO pump you along with mentions and back links and such. It doesn't matter how pretty the words are.

The fact that they can dump your list to page 20 if it shows up at all makes your list already gone. When the only mention is how hard someone worked on something and everyone who doesn't appreciate it sucks. Really.

A long time ago when I was about your age, I went to this office and for $40 bought a list of apartments available in the area. So I started driving around to find they were all never for rent or had been rented out 2 months ago. I was lucky to capture the asshole selling this list still in his office and get my money back. How is your list any different. I'm not joining any secret societies. I have enough decoder rings.

Greg Chrise
08-14-2011, 11:25 PM
Plus I'm so glad for you that you are part of the top of the food chain now. You have no idea how happy I am for you.

MovieRelics
08-15-2011, 12:54 AM
While I can't say for the others, we do go thru our database of vendors for our Vendor Reviews at HauntersDigest.com (http://www.hauntersdigest.com/category/vendorreview/) to verify they are in business and still active periodically. If you do see a vendor that is not in business anymore and we've missed it, then drop us a note and we verify it. If it's true, then we will update or remove the profile to keep the database as accurate as possible. When we add vendors, we do what we can to verify the business first. When we are at the Tradeshows, we directly meet the owners at the show to introduce them to their profiles if they didn't already know about them in order for them to be able to submit product news and service updates. It also provides them with a chance to see how the buyers in the industry view their company, Good or Bad. When we post news about the vendor to HauntersDigest.com, it's also listed directly on their vendor profile so you can quickly and easily see what they have been doing recently in the industry. You can see an example of this with TicketLeap (http://www.hauntersdigest.com/2010/09/ticketleap/)'s Vendor Profile. We even take the photos those vendors booths we find at tradeshows so you can see them or to match the products to the vendor. You can see an example of this with Graftobian Make-Up Co. (http://www.hauntersdigest.com/2011/03/graftobian-make-up-co/).

If you know of a vendor that isn't listed, then we welcome you to submit them. We will verify the company and post them to the site if it's a valid company. We found that those vendors that are known for their great service and products have enjoyed the free advertising of their past performance. It helps encourage new sales with new haunters to the industry. This is why we integrate our Vendor Reviews with our Haunt Resource Database. We've even made our reviews easy to find inside our Mobile App, so if your on a tradeshow floor and in front of a vendor's booth, you can look them up before purchasing with them. This was a feature that several of our readers that were tradeshow attendees walked up to our booth and commented on how helpful it has been for them when making purchase decisions at the shows.

The only way to help new and veteran haunters in the industry, is by providing them with the experience and knowledge of the other haunters and know who's a great haunt vendor and who's not based on their past experiences dealing with a vendor. That's the point of the vendors reviews. To help others from getting burned by vendors that fail to deliver on time (or at all), build subpar products, and/or have terrible customer service if you do have problems with their products or services. If everyone starts posting their experiences (good or bad) and rate the vendors they've done business with, it can help to push those subpar vendors either out of business when they can't take advantage of those that didn't know or it will force them to address their problems and fix them forcing them to become a better vendor. Everyone loves great vendors and we do what we can to reward those vendors that offer great products and services that are recommended by their customers to our readers!

If there is Keegans HauntCompanyReviews.com (http://www.HauntCompanyReviews.com), our HauntersDigest.com Vendor Reviews (http://www.hauntersdigest.com/category/vendorreview/), and soon Larry's review profiles, then each one of them helps to cut down the chance of a haunter being burned down more if they check them out first before purchasing. While I agree it's up to the review sites to make sure their content is as fresh and reliable as possible, as we try to do at HauntersDigest.com, it's going to also be up to the people who use them to help Keegan, Larry, and myself with as accurate data as possible by sharing their experience and ratings on those vendors listed.