I'm sorry for your confusion but there are quite a range of people that are indeed capable of making things that actually are at Transworld that this year will be about 5 booths 3 isles over from Gore Galore and all of these people do infact make products that sell, are traded locally and they do marketing and running their business successfully quite nicely. They do act and can do it all because of passion. It is indeed possible to do every aspect of haunting and owning a haunted house. You are on the same token that being successful means you somehow lack in some of these skills and have to buy things. I sure hope and so does Gore Galore there are a lot of unskilled clients out there.
Part of the attraction of this business is the fact that you can do all of theses things. It still simply comes down to paying someone $2500 plus shipping or more for a certain product or building yourself one of similar quality yourself. Even big names like Larry K. announced he is going to be reentering making animatronics. Of course not all of the things made are as professional or as pretty as Gore Galore makes. I also don't think Gore Galores products give off that store bought look that a customer might say these guys are making lots of money and we should too. Or they are making too much money and I'm not going to give them anymore. Now if you have room after room of things the customers can only imagine as being tremendously expensive it can be a turn off. There should be a balance. There are also lots of used props out there that need repaired and reskinned. There are other brilliant ways of doing things without $500,000 to open up.
Pretty much the topics being discussed are about starting up from scatch and trying to go full time in the very first years. Your impression of mom and pop looks just because you made it yourself is not what many of these places looks like. Not what many people here are capable of. Actually it is getting harder and harder to find anything in a dumpster worth anything. You have to think outside the dumpster and get seconds in mass quantity before they hit the dumpsters. Just being very specific on what raw materials you can fashion something out of.
Still, you can be doing things like making everything Allen Hopps shows you how to do on Utoob and then there are so many things he makes that he isn't going to show you because they are pro products that do end up at Transworld and other booths and Utoob videos about that would possibly be creating the competition a little too easy.
If you want to twist things around, the ones that do not make it are not the makers, it is the people that want to own a business for the sake of owning a business. It is like that in any field. People compete because they can get $10,000 worth of equipment and supplies all the time and then discover it is lots of actual work they hadn't planned on. Sure you just hire managers for all of that. And there in lies a clue that people reveal about themselves. People decided to start a haunt and to me it feels like they have only been to one haunt instead of went to 100 to see what it is about.
None of the conversations on these forums get beyond borrowing money it seems. No one gets into what it takes to buy raw materials and products at wholesale and rather all you do get is what sounds and acts like fitting out a haunt with items another 100 haunts have in their videos. Or on the upper scale everyone mentions being inspired with the things Disney has added to their parks and attractions for years but, once you have seen a trillion dollars worth of stuff, do you go evey year or do you just say you have seen that, even though you might not have internalized very much at all. Haunts that used the Disney levels of detail declined in numbers too.
I'm suggesting elaborate props in moderation, great actors that do not break character, building a suspension of belief and as much detail as the near the dumpster finds you can manage to locate. All in the name of low over head. Low overhead doesn't mean it is crap or the quality of some old guy's bird houses being sold out of the back of a pickup at the gas station. You can make your own things and if it looks retarded, maybe you SHOULD go to transworld. A lot of people go into this because they saw something they could do. Not because they imagined being a money manager and a book keeper. Ultimately you have to do that too and be good at it. It takes time. Perhap a life time of trying and improving and complementing your haunt with things others have made. It is also like how many bands first record sucks because all 12 songs sound the same. A haunt can be drab because it isn't a mix of many elements.
It can be over the top retarded or just plain retarded and needs to be somewhere in the middle. And many need to be given credit for being able to hands on do these things. The only business oriented that pop up have no idea what people can do, do regularly and actually pay too much to lots of middle men for some props.
You have to get out there and see what people are actually making. It may involve that odd furniture piece found in a dumpster but, one way or another it comes down to either time or money invested even if you have all the skill sets. Which way is most productive for different kinds of people isn't how they think, it is whether they can find the market for their products or haunted event. And even then, yes you can make high quality things and do your own marketing and do your own book keeping. That is what being a successful business owner kind of entails.
If you are making lots of retarded things you won't make it. If you spend $500,000 your first year it might not work.
Another thing that might be confusing is that there are many that are constant start up people and get things going with little money and they do evolve as customer money comes in. You have done your job and got them started and moved on. They find more local talent that is actually talented, I'm not set on bad mouthing an major products but, it is a financial concern to do so. Especially with the internet and vidoes and even the media sugesting you just buy this stuff and have yourself a haunted house, the more original and diversified the better. Quite frankly there are a lot of successful haunts that haven't come up out of crap mode and still manage to spend all their money trying to make things. Or buying high dollar production equipment and making only 50 things that is just as equally inefficient. Things that drag out being a success.
Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.