View Full Version : Online Stores
01-29-2008, 11:35 AM
I was wondering, if I wanted to create a new Halloween online store how would I go about doing one?
I know that there are many online Halloween stores, but I wanted to hear from owners and haunters to see what they have to say.
Where is a good place to sell from? I have been researching this subject, EBAY sounds like one of the top places to sell things.
Who sells Halloween products to be sold in Halloween stores such as Halloween Express. All of this Halloween stiff has to come from some place? I have located a few things.
I have also looked into some classes to take. I will have no BILL'S as of JUNE, YIPPY! So I am looking into some schooling anyone have any suggestions?
01-29-2008, 12:56 PM
All the crappy stuff sold in stores like halloween express comes from the vendors in the halloween section at Transworld. There are so many online stores already reselling this stuff, why don't you think about creating a new product for halloween and haunted attractions and selling that.
01-29-2008, 02:40 PM
I have been thinking up a way to be differant then the others. I want to sell things that you don't find at normal Halloween stores. I just had a thought, but I am not sure how I could pull it off with the space I have at this time. However I do see this idea for the future.
I was also looking into selling things that does not cost an arm and three legs. This might not be so easy to do for everything or not at all, I will have to see about that.
01-29-2008, 03:49 PM
There is nothing wrong with starting small and seeing what indeed will sell in your area or where you create a market. The problem with online and products is you are creating a job of packing crap in boxes and getting them out to the shipper. Usually about a $4 per hour job. Ebay doesn't care, they just want their 50 cents a sale or what ever.
If you really sit there and watch the products on ebay selling or rather NOT selling you get a handle on reality. However, this opens up the door of actually buyig something with the source being ebay bought low off season and sold for retail at Halloween time.
Another avenue it to just search the topic "Halloween Affiliate" and sign up for affiliate programs that will pay you like 4% every time some existing inventory sells something because they found out about it from you online.
Then you create some reason for people to come to your site like pictures of your project or product reviews or horror movie reviews and some small percentage of viewers might click on a costumes or masks affiliate and you get credit if they buy.
Yet, the actual amount of on line traffic is very low. It isn't going to be more than $6 a month even if you do well. Most programs won't cut a check unless you have at least $50 or $100 coming your way.
As far as buying crap at Transworld, many will be expecting a tax number and require a $350 minimum purchase.
When reviewing these affiliate programs, really look at the products and whether they are in stock or not. Crap they don't actually have isn't worth your time.
In the bigger picture, artisans who are selling at a convention certainly don't want to stock stuff and there is a given supply and demand opportunity there. You can send money to the vendor and get one in a year or you happen to have one in stock right now today for less because you got it at show prices.
The big failing I see in these "opportunities" is someone expects to sell last years big prop for $17,000 and won't go any lower or it is crap they want $40 that within days is at Walmart all of a sudden for $19.99.
The bottom line is, your rent will come due a whole lot faster than these products will sell or provide a commission. Don't quit your day job. It might not even make enough to buy a computer you will wear out and pay the internet service bill. In short you have been turned into a slave. It is generally fine if you are sitting on Mommy's couch, using Mommy's computer and not having to pay rent, the phone bill, buy something to eat etc. Only then it it free money.
Hence, on here we have events, buy and make crap and get the money from selling tickets. If you are going to work all year long to only make money once a year, it might as well be something you can somewhat control. Even if your event only puts $400 in your pocket it is probably as much or more than 100's of hours playing the rubber mask for lunch money market.
If you can't have your own event, go work with someone who can and pays. Sure the first event might give you $400 but 10 years down the line you have built the event to $40,000 in your pocket. Meanwhile the internet is still paying only $6 a month for 100's of hours. You have built nothing but everyone being tired of seeing spam here and there.
01-29-2008, 04:19 PM
Even making a new product that WILL sell is a similar journey. Usually the product that is par with what is out there has taken years of doing every day to reach the skill level of what would be in demand today. Hence a decade in paying for the studio, not just this month's rent. If you have skill, there are things to make that are small.
Yet. back to the event. An event displays your one of a kind offering and you need not sell it then make another to sell for income and repeat. You are leasing the seeing out over years.
01-29-2008, 04:32 PM
Of course, one CAN dream. A girlfriend with a job, a car, an apartment with and internet connection, some credit cards and a tub of latex.
01-29-2008, 09:50 PM
Thanks for your reply(s)! The best part of this forum that I like is all of the suport from everyone even if it's to help you lean the other way of what you had an idea for. Everyone here is to help you with your ideas no matter how big or small.
I guess you could say that I was testing the waters on this idea. No business is easy, and I know that.
I have a HUGE creative and artistic side and I would like to put my work into something to be proud of.
One thing that I like to work on for Halloween and I will say it is my same lay out for my home haunt is a cemetery. I could put my talents to work and specialise in building cemetery props and scene pieces.
I do still live at home with mom and dad. I am an only child and spoiled. I will admit to the spoiled thing. LOL!!!!! My dad has a workshop and tools to make things. Not only that but my dad was into drafting and knows a few things to help with my projects. He also does not work anymore and I still work part time so he and I have all the time in the world to build things.
It is sad that I have not put much of my artistic side to much of own Halloween stuff. I will admit to buying a lot from Waly World and Target. I have made my own head stones from wood just laying around the house, I just added some some things to what I have baught.
01-29-2008, 09:54 PM
Why you might ask? Because with a small budget at the time, that is the best I could do, but I plan on building better things for this Halloween.
I also know that know one will buy your stuff unless people can SEE what it is you have made.
But if anyone has a suggestion on what they might want made for a cemetery scene I would be open to hear from you.
01-29-2008, 10:55 PM
I once had an on-line web store, never more!
I shut off my computer one night, went to bed and accidently trapped three customers in my computer all night long!
By the next morning they had eaten several bits of my memory and gave me alot of static when I let them go.
Now there is a difficult virus living in there, sort of like when someone secretly teaches your parrot to swear!
01-29-2008, 11:12 PM
There is nothing wrong with buing things. Even being an artist I would go out and spend way too much just because I liked the way something looked or it had a texture or paint I thought was interesting. It was more like a mad shooping spree at 5 different stores until I did get to see how much things cost wholesale at Transworld. I still bought things but hey had to be "special". I found that the best things to inspire making my own things had a hand made feel to them.
I have often thought it would be easier to sell a well decorated and propped out room or scene such as the whole cemetery. It would have to be of good quality. If you want to do great tombstones, get a DVD of what Bad Boys does to Pink Styrofoam and go nuts. Find old wood that is aged and try to duplicate the look for old coffins sticking half out of the ground.
As for actually selling things you have? Imagine you need to make $10 per hour, it takes an hour to fill out the info on EBAY, several more hours seeing if something sold and responding to questions, yet more time getting something ready to ship and then trying to figure out how to cash a check, you better be making $60 per item rather than $5. In light of that, over the years I have given away some of the early cheesy stuff to local charities and enthusiasts sort of as door prizes. It is all gone now but, all of the good karma was certainly worth all the time it would take to try to sell something.
In comparison if you used $2 of foam and some used paint and a little time, you in a way educated yourself about the whole process. What looks good and so on. I was at one dinner that as a door prize gave away a moving tombstone reportedly worth $600. I doubt I would pay that for it but, I can certaily see all the excellent detail, they might have had 20 or more hours into fashioning it.
Lately I have come to realize that some home haunts get alot of friction and it is not because it is Halloween or anti Christian, it is flack because they put stuff in their yard with retarded craftmanship. Even for a home display, what it is going to work out to look like needs to be engineered and planned. Then when it is time to face the real world you had a hobby that developed not just a few skills but an eye for what looks good in a design. It isn't as easy as it sounds. Similarly sometimes the Chinese comes up with stuff you couldn't do in a reasonable time frame.
Later in life, this same stuff could be the decorations for a Halloween Party or if it is real quality, even a percentage of a haunted house scene. As an artist, even the sketches that never get seen about ideas that never got made into something become a hidden wealth. It just takes a long time to really get it where you can detail things that impress anyone.
And if there is something that will sell? The first indication will be somebody coming up handing you $100 bills expecting to take the stuff home for Their party or decorations. We sold most of our first party scene to a Veternarian. Someone with money and no time. It has to be nice stuff or they will just do shopping sprees at Walmart and 5 other places. It was better than storing it.
01-30-2008, 02:08 PM
Gregg, You start the rumor that I am dead, and I'll begin the rumor that you are dead, then we can each begin selling each other's art work to the greedy world who only puts big price tags on artwork after the artist is dead and gone!
Beat them at their own game, beat THEM to Death with it, then we will sell their stuff!
Think of all the poor French coal miners Van Gogh could have fed (the reason he began painting) with just a few millions of dollars from just one of his paintings.
He had been their preacher but got fired because he gave away ALL of his church paycheck to feed the miners, I guess it was too extreme of an example for the rest of the clergy to follow.
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