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Mar 1, 2008
by Christopher Heine
And the Halloween niche, in particular, is absolutely burgeoning. According to statistics by the National Retail Federation (NRF), Halloween continues to be a skyrocketing business, with more than a billion dollars worth of costumes, candy and party supply sales in '07. The NRF also reported over 30 percent of party store sales are now generated by Halloween alone, further confirming how big the day has become.
Spooky Toys & Décor Items
"Underscoring how important the season has been to us, we have a dedicated link to Halloween products on our right hand side navigation bar," said Stuart McDonald, owner of Super Wholesaler Inc. in Dallas, TX. "Halloween is a season where retailers normally see fun products do either fairly or extremely well. And we are offering multiple items we are excited about."
Super Wholesaler offers around 20 Halloween products. McDonald explained that one of his most popular items last year, the Skeleton Tic Tac Toe Set, will also prove to be big this season at www.superwholesaler.com. Made of polystone, the sets take a classic game and mystically updates it with the skeleton board, which is festooned with relief skulls and jeweled embellishments. They wholesale at only $8.30 per set for a case of eight, and retail at as much as $24.95. In a nutshell, retailers get an excellent seasonal product with an unbelievable profit margin.
The seven year old wholesaler also offers Deadly Poison Incense sticks, which come in cases of 25 units. The 3 by 3 by 10 inch high sticks wholesale for $8.30 per case, while retailing for 99 cents per unit: a proven and fun Halloween product with an incredible profit margin.
McDonald and his marketing team have designed their website quite intelligently, including a three tier top navigation bar. The top tier involves options like, "Catalogs," "Categories," "Shopping Cart," "Order History," "My Account" and "New Registration." The second level entails three simple links for, "Home," "Products" and a seasonal link for occasions like Valentine's Day or Halloween.
The third level lets viewers search four ways: by keywords, by from one of their two warehouse locations (Texas or California), by availability and by price range. After refining the query, all the user needs to do is push the Search button. McDonald said that the website is emblematic of his firm's commitment to making life easy on the customer at hand.
"We typically get orders out of the warehouse on the same day, and to you in three or four days," he explained. "We offer the best service you can find, and unique products."
Scarecrows Attract Sales
What says Halloween more than the festive appearance of a frightfully fun looking scarecrow? Well, Veldsma & Sons offers an incredible plethora of scarecrow products that range from 18 inches tall, up to eight feet.
The company's line of items stands out because its scarecrows are akin to raggedy dolls dressed in a variety of colors and outfits. They are excellent items for Halloween stores to carry, especially merchandisers serving customers who like to decorate their lawns and houses for the holiday. But that's just where it starts at www.veldsma.com.
"We have three categories for Halloween items," said Stephanie Clifford, a customer service specialist for the Stockbridge, GA, based firm. "They include Yard Decorations, Carving Kits & Patterns, and Novelties. We have a lot of new items that are premiering that we are excited about. Yet the scarecrows were our best Halloween product last year. We moved a lot of them, and expect to do so again this year."
The scarecrows range in pricing from $48 for a case of 24 of the 18 inch selections, to a set of five foot tall boy and girl scarecrows that cost $72 for eight units. The latter product, like other scarecrows in the Veldsma & Co. catalog, comes with a bamboo pole to prop it up.
It is worth noting that, individually, the firm's other lines of items cost anywhere from $3 to more than $80 wholesale. Veldsma & Co. offers quantity discount rates on some lines, depending on the products.
"A lot of our customers are in the agri-tainment industry, which consists of places like pumpkin patches, and growers, Christmas tree growers and people who have hayrides as part of their entertainment allure," Clifford said. "We feel like gift shops and Halloween stores will become more prominent for us as a customer base as we go forward. Our scarecrows are unique, and you are not going to be able to go down to Michael's Arts & Crafts Store and Wal-Mart and see the same ones. That is one of the big draws of the product line. We make a real effort to not carry the same things the Big Boxes carry."
Clifford's comments touched on one of the strengths of her company, and underlines one of the great attributes that stitch the fabric of the WholesaleCentral.com community of sellers together: unique products.
Handcrafted Halloween Items
As one example, Whimsy Diddles LLC, has a great range of handcrafted Halloween items that cannot be found anywhere else. Most notably, visitors to www.whimsydiddles.com will find the Bippity Boppity Boo wooden sign made for outdoor décor. The signs wholesale for $5 per unit and retail anywhere from $10 to $15.
"Our hottest sign will be the Bippity Boppity Boo," said Liz Connet, Managing Partner, Whimsy Diddles LLC, Tabernacle, NJ. "It is a unique sign that attracts a wide range of retailers that start ordering in springtime. Mom and pop shops, eBayers and gift stores are our usual customers for them. We cater to people who do not want to buy case lots."
The company also does extremely well with Halloween Clay Creation Ornaments ($6 per set of 10 pieces wholesale), and Frogula, a four inch high resin figurine taking on the caricature of a ghoulish frog, that runs $2.50 apiece. All in all, they have several dozen product offerings available for a variety of prices at www.whimsydiddles.com.
"A lot of our items go fast," Connet said. "And when they are gone, they are gone. Also, we are a small family business. Our customers like that. When they call, they are dealing with the owner and get professional service that is on a personal level."
Phantom On Motorcycle
It does not take a rocket scientist to know that cool electronics affect the Christmastime marketplace more than perhaps any other products area. But they are also making their presence known in the Halloween sector.
For instance, R.E. Greenspan Co., which specializes in toys for all ages that talk, sing and dance, offers its proprietary Phantom On Motorcycle toy product. The motor on the toy revs as it rocks side to side, with the phantom rider moving realistically. The skeletonish caricature sings the song, "Disco Inferno," while the toy makes fun motor sounds and its headlight flashes. It costs $11.90 wholesale or $71.40 for a case of six, and comes complete with AA batteries in an attractive, "try me," box at www.regreenspan.com.
"The Phantom On Motorcycle has done extremely well," said Robert Greenspan, President, R.E. Greenspan Co. in Philadelphia, PA. "All kinds of retailers have picked them up in the past year. The display box it comes in is of superb quality."
But that is just the start of R.E. Greenspan's Halloween possibilities. Other electronic items include the Rockin' Warlock ($66 per dozen), Wendy the Witch ($105 per dozen), Jumpy Spider ($96 per dozen), a magic mirror with a talking animated witch ($81 per six), and the 13 inch fiber optic Black Cat In Pumpkin. Meanwhile, the wholesaler also offers singing and dancing toys for the traditional holiday season, birthdays and any other gift giving event.
"For Halloween, the wholesale price range goes anywhere from $8 to $18, while retailing for $20 to $30," Greenspan explained. "We have many great products, but for Halloween, the Phantom On Motorcycle is the best seller. We normally see our Halloween orders start coming in starting in March."
SpongeBob SquarePants Party Items
Meanwhile, more general party supply items are not only being ordered in March, but on a year round basis. While offering top quality unique items is a sure fire way to attract customers in party supplies, it is also true that sometimes a name brand licensed product can be all the rage, especially with children.
"Our SpongeBob SquarePants products do absolutely great," said Kevin Chau, Owner, K & A Party Supply in Los Angeles, CA. "It is our best seller. Whether it is metallic balloons or pencils, the kids love them for their birthdays or other party events. The brand, SpongeBob SquarePants, has become a big theme item for birthday parties."
One item, Chau's SpongeBob SquarePants Stationary Set, comes with a ruler, eraser, memo pad, pen, mechanical pencil and refills. It wholesales at $2.50 per unit at www.kdcsilkflowers.com/store.cfm.
But that is really where the selection only starts for K & A's party items. The firm also carries items for all highlights on the calendar, including New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"We focus intently to provide excellent customer service for each individual order," Chau explained. "We get orders out the door in a hurry, have competitive prices, only a minimum order of $50 for Internet orders, and according to our feedback, do a very good job making our customers happy."
For more information, contact:
Super Wholesaler Inc.
906 W McDermott Dr., Suite 116-112
Allen, TX 75013-0014
Veldsma & Sons, Inc.
160 Andrew Drive Suite 100
Stockbridge, GA 30281
Toll Free: 800-458-7919
Whimsy Diddles, LLC
Tabernacle, NJ 08088
R.E. Greenspan Co.
2100 Byberry Road
Philadelphia, PA 19116-3026
Toll Free: 800-333-0180
K & A Party Supply & Flowers
209 Boyd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Toll Free: 888-900-7395
Topic: Product Trends
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