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Dr Spooktakular
07-05-2012, 01:12 PM
Anyone notice that Edge Designs website is shut down? I've sent emails and left phone messages about an issue since a couple weeks after Transworld and NO response, I'm very frustrated, any suggestions how to get in touch with them?

drfrightner
07-06-2012, 12:15 AM
He has an account on this website and has posted many times so I'm sure he'll see this thread and get back to you! Larry

BigT
07-07-2012, 05:22 PM
We had the same issues and tried many times to reach them. I finally left a voicemail that got returned a few days ago, and they are shipping my stuff out. According to Ann at Edge Designs, they were working on an international job that took everyone out of the shop.

I understand how this happens but it would be better for business to notify customers and return emails/voicemails. Keep trying an dhopefully they will get back to you as they did to me, but it took me close to a month.

pickle
07-07-2012, 06:22 PM
What else is new? Why is customer service such a damn big problem to this industry? It takes next to nothing to have a service or whatever answer calls, forward calls & emails, freaking answering machine, an $8. hour receptionist answering calls...whatever! :mad:Heeelllloooo, anybody in the industry listening?


P.

MovieRelics
07-08-2012, 10:05 PM
Be sure to post your vendor review and let everyone know about your experiences with Edge Designs. Good and bad.

http://www.hauntersdigest.com/2010/09/edge-design-theme-decor/

BigT
07-11-2012, 02:50 PM
Good question Pickle. I have been in the entertainment business many years, dealing with rental houses, effect shops, and theatre vendors of all types and I ahve never seen the problems I experience in the Haunt Business. I dont know why the companies in our industry have so many issues with their customer service, but I can tell you that when I have a postive experience with a vendor, I deal with that vendor year after year.

I have had some great success in picking out vendors lately, but once in a while a bad apple pops up and spoils my track record. Maybe we need to add a new workshop at Transworld.

Hey Larry ..... how about a workshop for vendors on customer service??

pickle
07-11-2012, 03:35 PM
BigT,

That's the best suggestion I've heard in a long time! C'me on Larry, what do say? You may need two workshops because all the vendors that NEED to attend will over run the first workshop! I know for sure in my biz that if I ran it the way these vendors do my doors would have been shut after the first month!


P.

Darksidestew
07-11-2012, 04:21 PM
Amen to that...

DarksideStew

Gore Galore
07-11-2012, 05:15 PM
I have a suggestion.
why don't you just buy from Gore Galore?
That will solve the problem.

There is an easy answer. ANSWER the phone. Hmmm, You would think it was that simple wouldn't you?
Sadly, It isn't. Many haunt vendors also have day jobs. They can't answer the phone if they want to keep that day job.
Or maybe they are actually working on your order. They might be out of state or out of the country. They might be welding, or mold making, sculpting. There are a whole slew of things they could be doing that keep them from answering the phone. Maybe they know they can't fill your order so they don't answer the phone then they don't have to say NO.

However, As a vendor, I know if I don't answer the phone, the buyer will call someone else. SO, why would you not answer the phone. Or atleast call the customer right back.

We solved the problem of the phone answering by hiring an office manager who is also customer service. Honestly, she wears alot of hats. She is also one of the main reasons our product innovation has risen over the last couple years. She frees me from running the office. Now, I dedicate myself to design, sculpting, molding, tech, and customer service. BUT it is a big expense, and one you may not have had yesterday or last year. However this step can really help a company grow.

But it still isn't that simple.
However, I do know how to make it that simple. Stop buying from companies who do NOT take care of business.
Then those companies either adapt or go out of business. We work really hard to do a good job at customer service.
So, If doing that earns your business, then call us. We will tell you when we can put your order into our schedule and an estimated date of when your order will be shipped.

we are waiting by the phone;)

Remember companies can only do 2 out of these 3 things or else they will put themselves out of business.
Which would you choose?
1. customer service
2. product quality/innovation
3. cheap price

We ALWAYS opt for 1 and 2.
What are you always looking at when you are buying something. How cool it is catches your eye first. Then you immediately check out the price, don't you? Or what do you do?

pickle
07-11-2012, 07:58 PM
I'm with Kevin here. As a businessman for more than 22 yrs. I realize it is not easy...trust me. I know it is not easy to answer the phone and stop welding, fabing, whatever because you simply cannot get anything accomplished! BUT, and this is a BIG BUT...if you are not willing to hire a office manager, receptionist or service of some sort, it is than YOUR job to do this when your done in the shop for the day. Sorry, but there are NO excuses for not returning calls or emails, whatever in a TIMELY manner (like within 24 hours). Just don't get it...LMAO my 13 year old boy is standing here in front of me telling me that I'm "beatin' a dead horse"! LMAO A 13 year old gets it...but some of these vendors????????????????????????????? :confused:


PS: Kevin, you don't have to wait by the phone for my call...I already called you last week and placed my order!:D





P.

Greg Chrise
07-11-2012, 10:28 PM
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.

Gore Galore
07-12-2012, 07:46 AM
You know,
It really is that complicated.
Have you really considered how easy this industry is to get into.
For example,
-All you need is a head form. Dip some burlap in latex and wrap the head form. You just made a scarecrow mask.
-buy some clothes at a thrift store. Distress them. Now you have zombie suits.
-buy some junk dolls, repaint them like zombies.
-buy a corpse kit and make some corpses. DO you have ANY clue how many businesses were started with our corpse kit?

There you go. Now all you have to do is get a booth at a convention. You are officially a haunt vendor.
Now, that is not a bad thing. That is actually what makes it great. But with that you also get the fly by nights, the copy cats, and the thieves.

But there is something you can do about it.

Set a standard to go by. What do you look for, or what to avoid.
Why not create
A HAUNT INDUSTRY BUYERS GUIDE

1. You know if a company has been around for a long time then they should be doing something right.
2. Do they answer the phone, or call you right back. Do they email you right back.
3. DO they have a reputation for taking care of business. Or do they have no reputation at all. Or a reputation for screwing customers.
4. Do they have a reputation for cheap products or high end products.
5. Do they have a reputation for QUALITY workmanship.
6. Have a reputation for either delivering when they say it will be delivered or atleast letting you know when there is a problem with your order.
7. Are their products always inventive or do they just TAKE what others are doing. Do they copy what is already in the market or just copy from films, or tv. Do they reinvent it, rethink it or just knock it off.

I am sure you can come up with more.
But what makes this so interesting is several of these answers you can get just from asking other haunters.
That is why I used the word "Reputation". You just have to dig around and ask.

So here is a test for you.
SO, if you are walking down an aisle at a Tradeshow, and you see a company who you know has been around for years. You know they have a good reputation for quality workmanship, good customer service, delivering on time, and their prices are reasonable but not cheap. Do you note this company?
Then you see another company a few rows down that is pretty new, their products are similar or knock offs of the first company, and their prices are cheaper, but they have no reputation or no good reputation in the industry.

What do you think is the smart decision?
Buying from the second company is just asking for trouble.
And the interesting thing about it. You not buying from the knock off fly by night company just teaches people or vendors that being a knock off will prevent you from being successful. It teaches the market what your demands or expectations are.
If you teach vendors that it is ok to sell crap, you just get what you pay for. remember, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!! YOU are hurting the companies who bust their asses for your success. And you are supporting the upstarts, fly by night, thieves, and cheap skates.

Demand drives supply
If there is no demand for crap, people won't make it.

Remember companies can only do 2 out of these 3 things or else they will put themselves out of business.
Which would you choose?
1. customer service
2. product quality/innovation
3. cheap price

The buyer is the decision maker here. Vendors can make cool products but you determine if they are successful by whether you buy it of not. The ball is always in your hands.

drfrightner
07-14-2012, 10:47 AM
I hope that everything is okay with Edge and he can get back to everyone. I might try and give him a call. You know in this business there are ups and downs all the time but I will say communication is our industries #1 problem. Run your buisiness like a business... hire someone to answer the phone. No one should be too busy to answer a phone or return a phone call.

As for why he's not answering his phone he could be a zillion reasons. So hopefully everything will resolve itself.

Larry

BigT
07-16-2012, 11:53 AM
So I made another phone call to Edge Designs as well as an email, and finally got a response. I was originally told that my prop was shipping two weeks ago but nothing happened. I am now told that it shipped last Monday and they provided the tracking number so all should be well now. We will see. I haven't got the prop yet so lets hope it looks like it should look.

I would have bought from Gore Galore but did not see the transformer in your inventory. I did stop by and chat, so if you do have these type of props maybe we can do some business next year. I will be looking at some of your other stuff next year as we build up our new haunt Camp Nightmare.

Gore Galore
07-16-2012, 01:15 PM
Travis,

Sorry,
Transformers is not something we do.
We really try to be innovative with our product lines. ALL I mean by that is doing things that do not exist.
I do not like reinventing the wheel or in other words stealing other vendors niche. I hope that by having respect for what others do, that respect is returned.

And I hope my post never came across as saying anything bad about Edge Designs. They have been known as a standup vendor for a long time. Matt and I have been friends/coworkers for quite some time. My post was just about timing, and alot of ideas came to me about deadbeat vendors, and what buyers can do to affect the market etc...
I was not attacking Edge.

I just wanted to make sure that was clear.

BigT
07-16-2012, 08:02 PM
No problem Kevin,

I agree with you in regards to innovation. As a writer, artist, etc etc I don't like it when my stuff gets copied. I am always on the lookout for vendors with unique and different stuff of quality, and your stuff is something we have been looking at, but just haven't had the budget yet. Next year that should change as The Plague and Camp Nightmare really take off. Hope to see you in Transworld!

Jim Warfield
07-16-2012, 10:10 PM
Didn't usually answer his phone, he was too busy building, but would call back those who needed it. He allowed his web site to explain things and sell for him. His transactions were all via credit card... on His schedule.
Maybe his reluctance to be on the phone was because of the time of his some wacky customers took.. for nothing?
Or the time he discovered the customer on the phone was a 15 yr. old rip-off artist pretending to be an adult. (Mommy's credit card.)
I used to joke that someday I wanted the phone answering job at the Gas Co. , turn the phone "on" at 9am, answer the phone.. "Hello, no, no ,no, I don't know, I'll transfer your call to the shop, which then transfered the call to another place and round and round this went ending back with the person who knew nothing and answered the call in the first place!
This all came to a screeching Halt when a MacDonald's had a gas pipe catch fire that ran up the side of their building , and the old run-around phone game got played!
The head of the Gas Co, publically said:"WE Have to do better than that!"
And then things changed. Nobody had to die this time to make it change....... Lucky.

drfrightner
07-19-2012, 11:09 PM
A couple things here... this is on the subject but off. Many know but don't know our company was the very first company to offer scary animations driven by air pistons and we sold a lot of them. We also sold complete haunted houses, the total package. We also sold all kinds of little things like we basically invented the air cannon as you know it today then a couple people who go nameless copied and ripped us off...

Either way the point is we were dealing with hundreds of customers and it really created a lot of problems... there are companies out there like Edge who wanted to start selling whole entire attractions and still sell the single item animations. HUGE MISTAKE! You can't really do both... you get wrapped up into one customer so tight that you have to do everything for them that all your one and two things here customers get left in the dust.

You can't do both its just NOT possible unless you are willing to hire like 15 to 20 people, then you can ruin your company with payroll... its just can't be done without a massive amount of overhead. I know I did it... finally we gave up selling the single piece animations and focused strictly on complete attractions which are a lot of work and effort. We find ourselves dealing with fire marshals, building inspectors, running through all sorts of problems that consume a lot of time... which leaves little to know time to build you say a blah, blah blah prop. Because honestly it just becomes not very important... when one guy who's paying you tens of thousands won't open at all if you don't solve his problems first.

My suggestion to the companies trying to do both, pick one or the other because it totally dooms your company. This might be the case here... you get to wrapped up with one customer and then you lose your focus on all your other smaller customers.

Larry

BigT
07-20-2012, 07:24 PM
Well said! I think you hit the nail on the head. I was told by Edge they had a big job come up in Europe that consumed their staff. In the meantime, this of us who placed orders at TW in good faith they would arrive were left in the dark (and our orders were prepaid!). I am curious what will become of Edge now. Their Website is down, they don't answer the phones, and only one person is answering any emails and I think thats because I threatened to call my attorney.

My stuff finally got here. And it looks great. I can breath easy now because the transformer I ordered is the main piece for s specific set I am building. But I can't say I will call Edge back for anything else. Its not worth the experience.