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drfrightner
12-30-2008, 04:03 PM
Post your thoughts on what vendors should focus on in 2009...

What do you want to see them build, what policy should they change or work to make better?

I'll go...

1) Vendors should start thinking safety. For one they should start putting warning stickets on their animations so no one gets hurt. For example what you should do if you want to work on the animations so you don't lose a finger... like disconect the air, unplug the animation, the foam could catch on fire if you weld on it blah, blah. How far you can put this product from a customer.

2) Vendors should start to fire retard their products, especially the cloth they use to decorate the zombies, the animations and what not. They should be buying their own fire retardent and start spraying them down. They could be blamed for a fire if something they sold caught fire.

3) Long Lasting... no more metal on metal stuff use somethng to take the stress down, and put regulators on all animations so users can't put to much air pressure to the props which ruins them faster.


Those are two things I'm suggesting!

Larry

drfrightner
12-30-2008, 04:29 PM
Let me add one more... it takes money to make money learn that, live by it, and don't handicap yourself. HIRE SOMEONE TO ANSWER YOUR PHONES, and manage your orders, someone who can take orders, give people the status of orders.

Can you imagine HOW MANY ORDERS YOU MISS because you don't reply to an email, or return a phone call or for that matter do not answer your phone, or get a requested catalog in the mail??? IMAGINE THAT!!!!

Yes it takes money to make money, cost vs. return. This has to the be worst industry or understanding the business side of business. If you spend some money you need to make some money, if you hire someone to do all of this will it pay for itself? Can you spend more time getting product done? YES!

Can you spend more time on making product right? YES

Will you get more orders and make customers happier? YES

Will it make your life less stressfull? YES!!!!

It takes money to make money folks... its all the little things that make you successful not the monsters you sculpt in your shop but the marketing, the customer service, the confident image you layout for all potential clients.

Understand if you have a good product you must know how to market the product which includes knowing which tradeshows can bring you sales, which magazines can bring you customers, knowing how important it is to follow up with phone calls and emails, and how awesome your website should look! All of those things add up to make you successful!

I wish much success for all vendors but understand the business side and invest in the business side and the profits and accolade will follow!

Larry

Motograter
12-30-2008, 05:05 PM
I would like to see some animations and static props come down in price. I think some vendors charge way to much money for there products. With this worlds economy the way it is. People can't afford things like they used to be able to. Now I understand that it takes a lot of labor in building and it costs money to make the props. But in all I think it would be great to see prices drop on curtain props and costumes. That way more haunters will start buying instead of just dreaming

SomeThingInTheIce
12-30-2008, 06:19 PM
Have some stock on hand so you are not behind right from the start. You know that you are going to sell some so start making them now not when the order is placed. Yes, you will have some money tied up for a little while but it will pay off in the long run.

Also, I hope you all do well this year.

N2SPOOKINU
12-30-2008, 09:20 PM
I would like to see the vendors work more on the movements of the animatronics and make them more realistic. The bouncing when it comes to full action is easily noticed even for the novice haunt lover. Smoother operation would be a great advancement in animatronics.

Boni
12-30-2008, 09:37 PM
Being a small haunt, I would love to see prices come down, but I realize that is not realistic. What I would like to see is some focus on lower end stuff, not lower in quality, just smaller stuff. Offer me something in my price range like a realistic fake torso with guts spilling out for under a hundred dollars. Or for 300 dollars, that same torso with something popping out of it, could be hand, a alien, a zombie, an animal, give me options. But I can't spend 1000 dollars for the piece. Possibly "some assembly required" on a piece like that.

After a few years of adding one or two of these and liking it, I will have built a relationship with your company and I might just decide to plop down 5 grand to buy something more advanced, but I'm not going to do that in year one. Your offering of inexpensive props is just building me up for that larger purchase in a few years.

Grimley
12-30-2008, 11:42 PM
I agree with having someone to answer your phone. And if you run a haunt and are selling on the side don't use it as an excuse. You went to the show took the order and the money. Don't tell me in August you are just too busy working on your haunt. If you can't do both then DON'T!

Darkangel
12-31-2008, 08:05 AM
This may not be exactly what you are looking for as far as advice for vendors, but as mentioned in an earlier thread it would GREAT if someone could make durable, free standing life size body forms that cost under $100 and the vendor has the ability to crank them out. Who wouldn't want a dozen or more of those? Pro haunts, home haunts, everyone can affordably customize full size characters and this will go along way towards raising prodection value in all haunts!

Darkangel

Gore Galore
12-31-2008, 10:03 AM
This is a very good thread.
But right off the bat we have a catch 22.

Larry is completely right about almost every point. And yes, Every vendor should be better at returning calls and emails, or answering the phone on the spot. You earn business that way. It easily pays for itself, and earns you a level of respect and more business.
Excellent suggestions. Most of those ideas are the driving forces behind the HHVA.

You can go to
www.hauntvendors.com or www.halloweenhauntvendors.com and see our mission statement and goals. And here is the message board.

http://www.halloweenhauntvendors.com/forum/ucp.php?mode=register

We also have a thread here that concerns the development of new ideas.

But if you want to see cheaper products then you are in trouble.
I promise every haunter in this industry there is not one vendor getting rich here.
Every single vendor is working their tales off just to make ends meet. Just like most of you. We just do it by providing you with the products that help you scare people.
I know a couple vendors back in the day that had the idea they were going to become millionaires. well guess what, they dropped out of this business years ago. It is not a get rich quick scheme industry. Everybody in this industry does it because they love it.
What that means is prices are set to make a living. Not get rich quick.

But all vendors are open to ideas that help their buyers do what they want to do. But we have to charge what is necessary to make it happen. If you want it cheap, you are going to get it cheap and then you are going to be unhappy that it breaks.

Boni,
I am sure some vendor will see your suggestion and see what they can do. I will also forward this thread to our group and maybe one of the vendors can fill some of these needs. But I will respectively tell you that $100 for a fake torso is not viable. $300 for a fake torso with guts spilling out is possible. But $300 for a torso with animation built in is also not viable.
$450 maybe for the same set up as a hand puppet.

Dark Angel
I also cannot see $100 for a free standing life size figure that was durable. Maybe as technology gets better then possibly. But urethane foam used to make such a body form costs more than what you are interested in paying.
Maybe Vacuform, but it would have to be 4 separate casts upper, lower front, and upper and lower back. And then the labor to cut them out and then assemble them. Plus a base to mount them on for free standing. It has possibilities but still doesn't sound viable for $100. Gore Galore offers a Body form very durable for $250 that come with lazer cut steel bases. Ghost ride offers a nice selection of body forms and I think there are 2 or three other companies too. It is a thought and I am sure you asking can help make something happen.

Good thoughts so keep it up

Darkangel
12-31-2008, 10:22 AM
Thanks Kevin for explaining things. There must be some way or material that can achieve this goal, or in the ballpark for pricing for such body forms...At the current pricing by the time the forms are costumed it will cost as much as a fully detailed figure, which therefore prices many people out of many, and in many cases even just one...

Also, is it safe to assume that every vendor that is a part of the HHVA agrees to the principal of having someone answer their phone everytime, answer emails quickly, and have better customer service? Because that seems to be a true rarity in this industry. It almost seems sometimes that you don't want the business and our money. If I were a vendor I'd plant someone at a computer and next to a phone ready and waiting to answer questions and take orders THAT instant!

Darkangel

Ken Spriggs
12-31-2008, 11:15 AM
Ok....no I am not picking on Larry BUT....there are a few things that I would like to comment on.

2) Vendors should start to fire retard their products, especially the cloth they use to decorate the zombies, the animations and what not. They should be buying their own fire retardent and start spraying them down. They could be blamed for a fire if something they sold caught fire.

---Larry, good suggestion but.....do you want someone to charge you more for doing this? Isn't it the owners and producers of a haunt the ones that have to make sure that stuff is done?

3) Long Lasting... no more metal on metal stuff use somethng to take the stress down, and put regulators on all animations so users can't put to much air pressure to the props which ruins them faster.

Oh this is a good one.......you see I own this werewolf thing....made by a company called Halloween Productions...you know them?...LOL
Glad you see the errors of your ways LARRY!


Look how about a list of products people need for their haunt?
All we keep doing is fishing when we do the shows...
This year we will spend 5-6grand making prototypes for the show
How am I or any other vendor going to put stuff in stock if it may not sell right away, or you don't even know if people want the product?
I am not talking about a $10 item....I am talking about $1500-3000 costumes by the way.
No one...well maybe Larry....can afford to sit on $10,000 to $20,000 in products and hope they sell.

Gore Galore
12-31-2008, 11:52 AM
Darkangel,

It is not that we can make anyone do anything. It is what we recommend as part of our mission and goal of the group. We advise and help them understand that this is something that will not only help them be more professional but help them make money.
You loose an order every time you don't answer the phone or don't give a prompt response to an email.

Gore Galore doesn't have any office personnel yet. But that is a goal for this year. But I carry the customer service cell phone with me at all time. I know several companies do this including ghost ride and others.
But we do need someone to field the calls other than myself.

Many vendors are too small to have someone take the calls. Many or most also have day jobs. So, they do the best they can. Another office person would cost 20,000 to 30,000 a year. That is a major cut into the profits. But again, it is worth it by the business it could generate by doing so if it can be justified when the companies become large enough.
But just carrying a cell phone can remedy some of this problem.

You also brought up another point. There are times the phones are not answered because some vendors cannot accept the business. Unit 70 has this problem. We also have this problem, but I still like to take the calls since we use the call list. IF we can't take the order we put customers on a call list. As soon as I think we can fill an order I call that customer and solidify that order. It allows customers the option of going with another company if necessary but also allows us the abilty to complete the order if the order is still viable. It works for us and our customers do appreciate the honesty.


We fire retard all our pieces. I consider it a must. With loose weave fabrics like broad cloth and clothing you really should. We mostly do it to cover our own bottoms. And it is a quick and easy process.

Darkangel
12-31-2008, 12:04 PM
Kevin,

I have heard great things regarding your customer service...

But you wrote that Unit 70 and you guys have to refuse business, how is this acceptable? If you are getting that much business, wouldn't it behoove both businesses by hiring more helpers, employing people, and not refusing business? Unless people place orders in late summer. If that's the case why do tradeshows and tease potential customers eager to order then only to be told no, we're too busy...


Someone may have some money to spend, wants to spend it now. If he goes to Gore Galore or Unit 70 ready to buy and gets refused, you may lose that customer for years because who knows if he will have money to spend with you again? If he ordered from you, received great product, then they can see it's worth buying from you and will be back time and again. Refusing orders is unacceptable I think, hire more folks, train them up, and allow yourselves the opportunity to really grow!

Darkangel

xxxdirk
12-31-2008, 12:11 PM
Yeah, I have to concur. There is nothing more frustrating as a buyer than to see a product at the convention, order it at the convention and then not get it at all, or get it two days before we open or have it break the 1st few hours in operation!! Then you try to call the vendor and get no answer even though you call them 7-8 times a day!! I understand that many of these people that are selling are not professionals, that they have day jobs and their profit margins are low, but ACT like a professional. If you are promising a product, make sure the product works and that you can provide said product on or near the date you promisd it. Sometimes a haunt designs a scene around a new prop and if you do not get us the prop, we are screwed......

Gore Galore
12-31-2008, 12:30 PM
It is all about knowing your limits.
We will always fill orders placed at tradeshows etc first..
This always come first.

Growing tooo fast is a real problem. The whole point of having a good business is knowing your limits. taking on too much will put you out of business. You can have all the business in the world and that is no good if you can't deliver or put out low quality product.

I know Unit 70 bases their orders on a schedule. They know their limits. As do we.
And that is why we use the call list. We cannot afford to hire in 50 seasonal employees and then fire them as soon as the season is over. We can't afford to spend 2 months to train employees and then fire them all. It would put us out of business.
We do this business because we love to create. I love to create. If I have to have a company with 500 employees I am not going to be able to create. I will only be paying others to do that. I am not in this business to pay others to do what I want to do. Design, Sculpt, etc...
If I lose that then I lose what I love about this business and I would rather quit than do that. I will go work somewhere where I can make a whole lot more money than do that.

There is a see saw type of effect here. If you don't maintain balance you fall over.
We have found a way to maintain balance. And I am sorry but that is how we have to operate or else we go out of business.

It is a pretty simple thing. Don't wait till Aug or Sept to order.
Our call list doesn't usually go into effect until August, and this past year we filled 90% of the orders on the call list anyway.
The point is we didn't fail to deliver on any orders.

What else could anyone ask for?


XXXdirk,

You are correct in your post. That is the kind of problem we are trying to address with the HHVA.
Please register on the message board. And you can help us address this problem.

xxxdirk
12-31-2008, 12:34 PM
And that is exactly why, Kevin, your company is so highly thought of! :)

drfrightner
12-31-2008, 12:37 PM
Kevin,

I don't agree that it will raise the costs of products to hire an office manager, in fact it will increase the companies bottom line, productivity, and bring the company MORE sales. While you are off making something NO ONE is doing office work, responding to emails, answering phones, nothing. Again it costs money to make money... if you hire more workers its because you have more work, yes your payroll goes up but so does revenue. You can't grow unless you are willing to spend.

As for no vendor is getting rich, I would beg to differ on that point. There are several vendors doing very very very well... and yes others are barely making it, but can you get "RICH" yes 110%, but again depends on how you defind 'RICH'. I know some vendors have bought cars, houses, bigger shops, and all sorts of other fun things. But they earned it, they deserve it, they made products people wanted, they marketed the company, and grew the business.

Kevin I think it was the first time you've ever gone to IAAPA, and as you stated the show paid for itself, but you didn't make a killing...well yet is the key word. You have to build your business within that community and as you do you'll find new markets for your product and your business will grow and you will need more people to manage your company.

Anyone who forgets that without spending money on marketing, or for this arguement sake, an office manager will NEVER as you put it 'GET RICH' because you don't grow your business.

I really hate to say it but many of the people in this industry and especially vedors do not understanding marketing, or how to grow a business, they think its all about the product and its NOT! Vendors many times waste any marketing money they do have on things that do not work, and when you look at their brochures, or websites, or whatever you have to ask yourself what these guys are doing.

I think Transworld needs a seminar just for vendors on how to grow your business into a bigger one... I'd be happy to do that seminar for vendors because I understand how its done because I've done it and then some.

Vendors need seminars, they need to learn the inside ropes on how to market a business, how to grow their business, how to keep their business safe from lawsuits, how to manage inventory and product and or increase productivity!

KEN... as for your comments. Let me say this for the record our company was the FIRST COMPANY EVER to sell air driven animations. We barely knew what we were doing when you look back at the whole thing. But we did it we made violent air driven animations and sold tons of them including the wolf. Many of the wolves broke, and we fixed every single one when we got contacted. I even had people fly to peoples locations to fix them. Its really all about LEARNING from your mistakes and the following year we didn't have those problems anymore, I hired a metal fabrication company to build the frames, frames I might add are still operating to this day NEVER BROKEN! We inovated animations, made them so you could take them apart, used all sorts of HIGH END pistons, accuators, and other things and actually made them SO GOOD that no one could afford them.

All of those animations we made after our first year are still workng today, I get people commenting even today. The cost of the wolf for example went up by $1000.00 but guess what he never broke again...our company builds animations even today and we use berrings, pillow blocks, we use high end valves and everything between to keep the breaking situations LOW! We don't sell animations to the haunt industry anymore because we don't figure haunters will pay for them built in this fashion.

Going back to what Kevin said, if you build things stronger or better yes it will cost more...

Will people pay for it... I WOULD!

I'm tired of things that break the first day... I will be looking at these issues in the future. I will look over how is made, how strong it is and will look less and less at price or I should say how cheap!

I WANT THINGS THAT ARE SAFE and build to LAST!

CHARGE MORE I think people are finally ready to pay for it... either way (TO KEVIN) if vendors deliver an animation that will catch on fire you are on the HOOK for any lawsuits that might happen when people get hurt. If some haunter loses a finger while fixing your animation you will get sued! Count on it!

It doesn't cost but a couple dollars more to print WARNING LABELS, and fire retard the stuff you make. One day, one day this will happen and I'll be sadden by it but will be here to say 'I told you so'.

WARNING STICKERS!

FIRE RETARD YOUR PRODUCTS!

Larry

Darkangel
12-31-2008, 12:43 PM
There are vendors who dont answer the phones noweven in the off season! You said you would not want to manage because that would take the fun out and the reason why you started your company but that's exactly what haunters are forced to deal with as well. Haunters started out of love for scaring people, Halloween, creating, all that fun stuff but it turns into a business and you have to be a manager. We lose our Halloween by giving everyone else their Halloween fun, but that's part of the game. If you run a business, you have to be ready to grow if you have a good plan in practice.

There are only a select group of haunters already that even buy from you or Unit 70, most haunters still won't spend big bucks for their haunts. I'm not saying you have to grow to be a huge corporation, just take the orders for people during the off season, answer your phones and emails and create and deliver great products!!

Darkangel

Nightgore
12-31-2008, 01:13 PM
I'm going to agree with Kevin on this one... now, I'm in NO WAY a haunt vendor but business principles flow over from EVERY industry... and any good business knows how to keep a profit MARGIN! This just means that a fixed percent of profit must be met through the year and kept at that percent, the higher the percent, the better!

Now, if a company like Gore Galore highers more people... that percent drops while the they continue to bring in the same percent of business and the trickle in of new buyers they'd experience every year... Hmmm.... that doesn't justify risking the profit margin.

As Kevin described the "teeter totter" effect of managing a business... then you'd have to agree that if you balance both sides at the same time, you'll still balance out! Oh, is a "teeter totter" a metaphore for check book? :)... hahahahaha

So, if a company is to stay in the green and keep a good profit margin... and IF it means turning away clients... so be it. Business is in fact, business! None of us knows what best for ANY vendor except for the owner of said business. -Tyler

drfrightner
12-31-2008, 01:17 PM
Tyler,

I don't agree. It makes no business sense what so ever. One person can't do everything, and if vendors hired someone to manage the office they would get more work done in the shop, make more customers happy, we'd see less bitching on these message boards, everything all around the board would be better.

They would not have to raise costs because they could get more work done while at the same time take more orders. It pays for itself 100 times over.

Again it costs money to make money, once vendors with all the problems understand this they will have less people ripping on them all the time and vendors will make product faster and make more money.

I think its HIGH TIME we start to turn this industry around and make everyone operate on a higher and more professional level. Sometimes cough medicine doesn't taste good but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take it.

Larry

Darkangel
12-31-2008, 01:19 PM
Nightgore do you run your own business and have business experience to back up what Kevin said?

The point was if they hired more people, he could take in more orders, hence they'd make more money even after paying for their employees. No matter how much $ you have you could still use more. Once you get used to the same profit amount annually, as you spend more on things it becomes less of a profit so you need to generate more business.

Once you get your haunt up and running and you see a product you want and get refused, you'll understand!


Darkangel

Nightgore
12-31-2008, 01:32 PM
DarkAngel,

I think what Tyler was trying to say is that no one except the owner of a company knows how to run their business and we should not be telling them how to do so. I have 26 years of retail experience on a national level and yes, I have been rejected from a vendor before! But what can I do? NOTHING! I can't bitch and moan about it because nothing will change... business is business.

Maybe Gore Galore (Kevin, right?) likes where his business is at right now. It is possible to become "too big"... even for small businesses.

Just a thought. -Eddie

PS: I realize that this is my FIRST post on the Hauntworld... I'm trying to get Tyler to help me create an account, but for now I'll use his from time-to-time.

Gore Galore
12-31-2008, 01:33 PM
Ok,
this seems to be getting in an arguing match.

Everyone is making valid points, but not all points are relating to the same issue.

Very simply:
All vendors should answer their phones and respond to emails in a quick fashion period. It doesn't matter if you have to hire someone to do it or not.
As I said before. Just simply NOT answering the phone losses business.
So, I push everyday this point with Vendors. It is part of our Corporate philosophy "Gore Galore" and the HHVA philosophy. There is no arguing against this point.

But concerning growing a business you have to do it slowly or else it gets out of control.

Products should be built better, safer and buyers should be happy to pay for that.
I think most are. If you are not then products will continue to be made low in quality and you will continue to be disappointed in those products.

And I still look forward to hearing what products you as Haunters need.
Please keep putting your 2 cents into this topic.

Darkangel
12-31-2008, 01:35 PM
Hey Eddie,

Trying to pull a fast one on me I see! :)

Does Tyler have the same experience as you? I ask that because he made the comment.

Darkangel
12-31-2008, 01:36 PM
Kevin,

Do you have a list of the vendorswho are mebers of the HHVA?

Thanks,
Darkangel

Nightgore
12-31-2008, 01:39 PM
Darkangel,

No he does not... but I'm helping it with that. Granted, even though he's just 21, he's a very intelligent person and an even faster learner. We'll talk about different business philosophies from time to time and I'll even ask what he'd do in a given situation. At the same time he's helping me with the "haunting" stuff... I'm new to this industry, so he's showing me stuff he has experience in like painting, construction, design, knowing the vendors, scare technique... etc. etc.

Even showing me how to use this message board! So far so good... I'm crossing my fingers! -Eddie

Tater
12-31-2008, 01:41 PM
Does Tyler have a split personality?

Darkangel
12-31-2008, 01:52 PM
Welcome Eddie.

Darkangel

drfrightner
12-31-2008, 02:21 PM
Kevin,

I dont' know of ONE vendor who fire retards anything or I do not know of ONE vendor who puts a warning label on any products... NOT ONE!

As you go forward with this vendor thing you should focus on what is important and not what isn't... seal of approval not important.

Safety imporant!

Warning labels important!

Educating vendors how to increase their revenue, productivity, learning more about the people who buy the products (and this includes you as well) is important.

You need people who understand these issues to head them up not a vendor who doesn't understand how to do these things. Things need to be approached from a business point of view not from a 'I LOVE DOING THIS' point of view because you will fail.

Additionally Kevin, a business should not be grown slow when you have an opportunity you must seize it... part of growing a business is yes taking it slow but at the same time having a plan in case what you create blows up and everyone wants it. What do you do? You need to know what to do not what not to do. I've been thru all of this and then some and well then back again.

There are all sorts of ways to improve your product, having the ability to sell more and even work less if you can learn how to do it... it can be done!

At what stage do you put the gear in first, second or fifth gear?

If someone has a product they should be prepared to sell more than their wildest dreams, and the should hammer the pedal and go for gold, but they need a plan to do it and part of the plan is to be hire an office manager and things of this nature.

Here is the bottom line ... vendors need to do more to help themselves and that takes education, good business knowledge, and they need to explore new markets and find ways to grow their business, all things that don't jive with turning down business. You say no one is getting 'RICH' I say because those people are either NOT making products people want to buy, they have clueless how to market their products, they do not understand business, or they simply don't listen to the people who actually would buy their products...HAUNT OWNERS!

Vendors should realize who has the information they seek, and do more to get it, and do more listening than talking so they know what to build, how to build it, what price they can sell it for and how to make stuff last.

When you accomplish all of this "RICH" you will become!

Larry

Gore Galore
12-31-2008, 04:10 PM
Dark Angel,
We don't have a list yet. We just recently started collecting for membership, and are waiting to have memberships paid before we publish the list. But many members have the HHVA logo on their websites if that helps any.


Larry,
All good points.

I have forwarded this thread to the group.
I will also think more about the topics discussed.


And Yes, Gore Galore fire retards its products that have fabric on them. But I really can't speak for other companies.
and I think this IS something all vendors should consider doing, and marketing that fact.
So, I will bring this to the attention of the group.
Yes, it increases expenses. But the safety factor far out weighs the expense. Fire retardant goes a long way.

And NO I don't think any vendor puts a safety label on anything.
You remember the animation "Nefarious". The subcontractor lost fingers. The contracting company wasn't insured. And now the company is defunct.
It just goes to show you can't be tooooo careful.



So, thank you very much for your input.

MDKing
12-31-2008, 04:21 PM
Good job Kevin so far answering questions and getting info out!

Allan

graystone
12-31-2008, 06:46 PM
Its simple if you cant produce it don't LIE!!!!! Don't say I had a bad year, or my wife ran off with a stripper, or I just over sold. KNOW YOUR LIMITS!!!!!! DON'T SELL IT IF YOU CANT PRODUCE IT LIKE YOU PROMISE TO OUR FACE!!! Follow the lead of....
Unit70
Distortions
Gore Galore
Goulish Gallaries
Screamline
Just to name a few!!! I would also like to see the vendor/buyer trust factor put into place. We pay 50% down and trust you to get our product! Now you ship it and show us the same trust we show you. I will not accept I cant afford to do that. We cant afford losses either but we do! It should be as much trust on the vendor side to trust us buyers as we buyers give the vendors. Its just plain not right for us to trust a vendor with half our money then the vendor not trust us with the remainder of the balance!!! I understand a new client but us guys that buy every year deserves more TRUST! Shane and its a two way street Shane this time.

poison
12-31-2008, 07:28 PM
Larry,
FYI i fire retard, include air regulators, And have warning paperwork. But i dont have warning stickers yet. I think the air regulator is the most important part. Sending out a prop that will damage itself or fly off and hit someone if it is running at 120 PSI and should be at 60 PSI is just plain dangerous.

drfrightner
12-31-2008, 09:39 PM
I am in a RICH there way go with that word again, position to help vendors because I understand the business side, I understand the safety aspects, I understand what is wrong with all of their products, I understand what people do or don't want, what works and what doesn't work because I've done it all, seen it all, and bought it all.

As someone with a MAJOR haunted house who buys many products from vendors I worked with them, know them and many times improve them. Our company can build animations, we know what we are doing, we have $4000.00 tig welders, to mass inventory of control system parts.

We still build animations and we build a lot of them believe it or not and we might still be one of Gildeflukes best customers, but we just don't sell them to haunted houses. We must build them to last a LONG TIME because we have to fix them if they don't work. So when we get animations in from a vendor what we do now is try to fix them before they break... we weld in supports, and change things sometimes before they get a chance to break. The problem is not everyone had the kind of experience and equipment we have.

Not everyone can fix things that break and well there lies the problem.

We know if we're working on some scizzor style animations you better disconect it because somebody might walk by and step on a pressure pad while your fingers are inside and OFF GOES YOUR FINGERS!

YOU CAN NOT ASSUME EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO OR HAS THE EQUIPMENT TO FIX SOMETHING...

VENDORS must take the personal responsibility to PROTECT THEMSELVES against product libility lawsuits. If you don't warn someone something like your fingers could get cut off then you my friend are in a world of SH*T when it does finally happen. YOU ARE GETTING SUED!

Every family member of those injured are suing you! That haunted house owner will sell you right down the RIVER if it means saving their own butt. Trust me!

If someone you make catches fire and burns down the haunted house you're getting sued by the haunt and anyone who was hurt... YOU ARE GETTING SUED!

EVERY VENDOR should focus on what is really important if you are going to make a vendor assocaition... stuff like seal of approval that is silly and un-needed. IF VENDORS FOCUSED ON HOW TO BE A BETTER BUSINESS we wouldn't need any seal of approval correct?

Vendors need to learn how to run a business, how to ensure the safety of the products, keep their products from breaking, and offering good customer service when something does go wrong. VENDORS NEED EDUCATION about business, finanaces, marketing and they need to reach out more to the end user to learn more about what buyers want.

IT IS HIGH TIME THAT VENDORS CONTACT BUYERS and find out WHAT WE WANT... this will save you from creating things that do not sell and maybe cause your business to go out of business.

Think about it!!!

Lastly, the problems for vendors have been created by themselves from not answering phones, taking money and not delivering, and not talking to customers about their products.

HERE IS ONE FOR YOU KEVIN... your products are NO different than ANY OTHER COMPANY... your fingers FALL OFF and or picked off so easy its not even funny. If you are going to be fingers on products it must be done FIVE times thicker or put wire in it or something. All of your fingers fell off or torn right off the costumes.

This goes for ALL VENDORS... and some vendors put small wire in the fingers some weak foam and thin latex and what happens... the wire wiggles back and forth from the animations going off and then they break off then you have a monster with NO FREAKING FINGERS!

This is just an example of how if you talked to your customers the end users they could give you this information and you could look into correcting it. As a person like myself who spends a lot of money on product and maybe I'm coming over to Shanes side here.. I'm just getting tired of seeing the same old dumb mistakes over and over and over again.

It makes you wonder if one day you'll go back to the days when you just made everything yourself. Then you can just blame yourself.

Vendors in this industry make some amazing things, as I've said many times the TREX we bought from Scarefactory really stands out, or the awesome masks from SPFX or CFX, or the awesome looking monsters Unit 70 makes or the list goes on and on... but STILL TALK TO YOUR BUYERS and find out WHAT WENT WRONG AND FIX THEM SO THESE MISTAKES ARE NOT REPEATED!

Lastly... if you are going to be vendor ANSWER YOUR DAMN PHONES, RETURN YOUR EMAILS, send out information when you promise it and then don't turn aound and complain you are working in your shop so you couldn't do those things... HIRE SOMEONE!

Then you will find most of your problems will solve themselves!

I often defend all vendors, but I get all these emails from haunt owners telling me the horror stories...its time to start acting like a professional business and put things in priority of what matters. Seal of approval I still laugh...that does NOTHING TO FIX THE PROBLEMS!

LETS FIX THE PROBLEMS TOGETHER so in the future we will not see anymore of these slams on vendors...

IT IS CALLED COMMUNICATION BETWEEN A SELLER AND A BUYER!

ITS NOT HARD!

Larry

drfrightner
12-31-2008, 09:46 PM
NOW NOTE TO BUYERS...

Put some blame on yourselves... stop buying the cheapest stuff, ask questions and know the problems you've had in the past and avoid buying things that you already know from looking at it will not last.

FORCE THESE GUYS TO IMPROVE THEIR PRODUCTS! DO NOT BUY JUNK JUST BECAUSE ITS CHEAP!

Demand quality and be prepared to pay for quality! Ask the vendors to show you how the product is made and why you won't experience he problems from the past, make them tell you what they will do if you do have a problem.

BUY FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST WHO ANSWER THEIR PHONES!

Further more STOP paying in cash or checks... pay by credit card, so when and if you do get screwed you can cancel the charge. I even got screwed last year when I sent checks to people in advance of getting the product. I will not do that anymore unless I KNOW THE VENDOR AND TRUST THEM!

PAY WITH CREDIT CARDS or PAY IN CASH when you pick up the product.

Then you can't complain later on because you gave someone cash and you never got anything. Additionally put things in writting, when you will get the product, terms of warrenty everything.

ONLY YOU can protect yourself!

Larry

Gore Galore
01-01-2009, 12:39 PM
Larry,

Sometimes you criticize something (HHVA SEAL) and don't even realize that you are supporting it in the very same breath.
Do you not realize that you keep saying all these things that vendors should do (AND I SUPPORT YOUR STATEMENTS) and the whole purpose of the HHVA SEAL of Approval is to recognize those companies that are doing exactly as you recommend like good customer service, and excellent product quality.
That is the whole purpose of the SEAL.

Regardless of your negativity I will still take your suggestions and give them much thought.

And thanks for the feedback on your costumes. We will fix them when we help out at the darkness.
And we will start casting the fingers heavier so they can withstand more abuse.
See there,
All we needed was a little constructive criticism to fix the problem.
So thank you for the feedback

drfrightner
01-01-2009, 03:49 PM
Kevin,

Two quick things...

Not trying to be negative not at all... I'm stating my opinion. My opinion is that the reason the industry is having so many problems with vendors is because they don't understand basic business, how to make money, how to market their products, many basic things they need to know to grow into a bigger business. I just don't think some seal is going to change the real problem. The real problem is vendors need some education about how to run their business better. Everyone can get 'RICH' and do well, support their families and make the majority of the customers happy but they need some education. Many people like myself, or say Creative Visions and you know the list goes on have been around the block many times. But times have changed this is the age of the net and not tradeshows and vendor need to know options to promote their business, the benefits for say subcontracting out business, sales and more.

This is the real problem and no seal will change the real problem.

Secondly as for the fingers on your props yes they all got totally torn off... the first time you set them on the ground they start to tear off and it really blows that not just you but everyone who makes products with big long fingers don't realize that that THIN latex over some foam isn't going to last even five minutes. Those fingers need to be so think you can pull on it with a truck and it won't come off.

If you are doing a big animations you CAN NOT put some thin wire in there because as it vibrates from movement they simply snap off, and you can't weld them back on because the steel is to thin...

Somewhere along the line VENDORS need to realize who has the BETTER information on THIER OWN products than they do... PEOPLE WHO BUY THEM and USE THEM! I can tell you how to fix every single thing that has ever broken.

Me personally I'm DONE with buying junk that won't last...it costs me more to fix it every night than it does to buy the prop. Make it to last, charge me for it and I will buy it, otherwise don't count on one order from me ever again. I'm tired of hiring 4 people just to run around fixing things.

VENDORS COME TO THIS YEARS SHOW AND SHOW BUYERS WHY IT WILL LAST... ASK US 'YEAH GO AHEAD PULL ON IT SEE IT WONT COME OFF'... blah, blah, blah.

The solutions to every problem a vendor has is right in front of their face... just ask! I personally am always available to call if you want anything you guys have made critiqued.

Larry