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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Trick coin trickery » » How do you justify the price of gaff? (13 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jakeg
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Using gimmicks: I agree with Don Alan when he wrote that it is much easier to use a corner short than a pass. Since the audience has no idea of what is being used anyway, I feel that going the easiest and most efficient way makes the most sense. I’m not advocating that we should eliminate slights, but sometimes the only one that’s being challenged is the performer, and that should not be his purpose if he’s performing for an audience.

In my way of thinking, tho only ones who can consider a gimmick or prop as an investment, is either a dealer or a collector. All the rest of us have to do is look at all the stuff we gathered and never used to realize that we haven’t invested, we just satisfied some other desire within ourselves. In our quest to be different, we all wind up pretty much the same.
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Jan 10, 2018, jakeg wrote:
In our quest to be different, we all wind up pretty much the same.


Wonderfully insightful.
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warren
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Quote:
On Jan 10, 2018, jakeg wrote:
Using gimmicks: I agree with Don Alan when he wrote that it is much easier to use a corner short than a pass. Since the audience has no idea of what is being used anyway, I feel that going the easiest and most efficient way makes the most sense. I’m not advocating that we should eliminate slights, but sometimes the only one that’s being challenged is the performer, and that should not be his purpose if he’s performing for an audience.

In my way of thinking, tho only ones who can consider a gimmick or prop as an investment, is either a dealer or a collector. All the rest of us have to do is look at all the stuff we gathered and never used to realize that we haven’t invested, we just satisfied some other desire within ourselves. In our quest to be different, we all wind up pretty much the same.



One thing that I would add to that is that an audience recognise skill when they see it so don't underestimate SOH and when when you combine both the results can be amazing.
jakeg
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Warren: I agree 100% with what you said.
The audience should never know the difference between a gaff or SOH, nor when the dirty work is taking place.
I think that it was The Professor who said, the magic should just happen.
David Neighbors
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Yea The Combo Of s.o.h. And a gaff Can be killer!!! I know I been doing It for 40 years!!! You are trying for " If where really Magic how would it Look! " ( see my 1 st.Hardbound Book! Smile )
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Bill Hegbli
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How do you justify the price of gaff?

The answer is the same answer for, How do you justify the price of a $250,000.00 car.

You can afford or you can't. You actually have no say in the pricing of anything. So why ask, or complain.

You can make up the fantasy world of reasons, but none of them matter. It is your conscience that you have to live with.

In the end, you don't need it, there is always another solution, if you are willing to accept those solutions.

What you are really asking yourself, is can I afford to spend that kind of money. If you have to ask yourself that question, then you are to poor to buy it.
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kenedho
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Quote:
On Jan 10, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
How do you justify the price of gaff?

The answer is the same answer for, How do you justify the price of a $250,000.00 car.

You can afford or you can't. You actually have no say in the pricing of anything. So why ask, or complain.

You can make up the fantasy world of reasons, but none of them matter. It is your conscience that you have to live with.

In the end, you don't need it, there is always another solution, if you are willing to accept those solutions.

What you are really asking yourself, is can I afford to spend that kind of money. If you have to ask yourself that question, then you are to poor to buy it.


Although the question sparked when I was considering a purchase decision, the question runs broader and deeper than "should I get this gaff at this price". The broader question is, "regardless of whether I want that gaff (CFWM) or not, so let's assume I don't - how is it justified that different gaffs that present the same effect (3 Fly) have different token values?"

The cost-plus method, as mentioned by tonsofquestions is understandable - but it's only a supply-quoted price. The market price is where demand meets it - and people are buying CFWM. Which means buyers are attributing values to what they perceive as added values in the gaff. Now I think most people allocate some value on craftsmanship, and very few would think about the whole cost-plus calculations to arrive at a demand-quoted price. So I think people are attributing values to the effect that the gaff can bring. But I don't understand how people can justify the monetary value of an effect?
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The only way Is Does This gaff Make the Routine Look More Like MAGIC!!! If it does GET IT!!! If it does not Do NOT GET it!!! Less stuff To carry! Myself I don't Do routines That Just Use a gaff. It is always A combo of the two!
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funsway
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And the switching of gaffs in and out are sleights too. I love using a borrowed coin or one selected by a spectator from a pile.
After allowing the switched gaff to do its thing, I return the coin to the provider. Hence, I agree with Dave above - it takes a combo for maximum effectiveness.

The question, "Do you use sleights or a gaffed coin?" has never made sense to me.
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David Neighbors
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Yea You use WHAT Works!!! But you have to know WHEN to do it! Smile
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tonsofquestions
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Quote:
The cost-plus method, as mentioned by tonsofquestions is understandable - but it's only a supply-quoted price.

True, it wasn't meant to be 100% complete - you also have to add your own consideration of value, but it is a minimum-type cost to consider.


Quote:
What you are really asking yourself, is can I afford to spend that kind of money. If you have to ask yourself that question, then you are to poor to buy it.

I'm not sure I agree with this sentiment, Bill. While it's a nice idea, it's not a lens most people view the world through. Just consider a house (or car) and how many people get a loan in order to do that, because they can't afford it straight up. Or who buy a nice suit that they really can't afford now, in order to apply for a job that will pay back for the suit, if they get it.

Which, incidentally, brings me back to:
[quote]In my way of thinking, tho only ones who can consider a gimmick or prop as an investment, is either a dealer or a collector. All the rest of us have to do is look at all the stuff we gathered and never used to realize that we haven’t invested, we just satisfied some other desire within ourselves. In our quest to be different, we all wind up pretty much the same. [quote]As a perfectly reasonable alternative case for "investment" - you won't make the money back on the gimmick, but through it's use you're able to make more money than if you didn't have it. Just like with a college education (in theory, at least) - that's not something you can return, but it's still an investment (both conceptually and monetarily) in your future.

As to Funsway's question:
Quote:
The question, "Do you use sleights or a gaffed coin?" has never made sense to me.

I think the question (in the mind of the spectator) is slightly simplified. It's really "do you use only sleights, or also gaffs"? But they're not savvy enough to understand the subtleties. The former is alone certainly possible, the latter alone less so.

Finally, here's another perspective on the age old gaff vs no gaff issue:
I was just reading a review of of Luis Piedrahita's new book as posted in another thread, and he had some thoughts on it.

Quote:
Relying on a gaff to seemingly make the work easier is more often than not a case of self-deception that ignores the demands such tools present to the performer.


I think there's a time and place for them, and as David says, they can be killer is done in combination. But to blindly get them simply because it makes things better in one way (at what cost?) also seems foolhardy.

Anyway, that's just someone else's two cents.
funsway
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Worth more than two cents, tons. I know ways of doing various "coins across" using sleights only, or mixing in a gaff.
With my crippled hands I risk dropping coins at any time, having an extra coin tucked away in not wise.
A gaff can minimize the number of objects in play - even allowing for "one behind" approaches rather than the tradition "one ahead."
I prefer the TUC because I can drop it! Thus, my choice of gaff and sleights is based on a personal expediency. This may be true for others as well.

I am somewhat amused at discussions over "best gaff" when little concern is made over the other coins in the performance. For a C/S gaff, for example:
the best one is where the copper side looks exactly like the other copper coins in play, and the silver side looks exactly like the other silver ones.
The technical superiority of the one you own may be meaningless except to ego.

I am of the olde school where one imagines the end result and then works backwards to method. If a gaff or gimmick makes the effect seem more magical, use it.
If the objective is audience participation (in their hand) a gaff may not be best.

But, I am also amused by a focus on sleights that requires hand positions no mother would love, angels limiting an audience to three and no easy transition to another effect.

The silliest performance is where one set of gaffs is put away and other set taken from another pocket with patter that suggests "normal coins."

All this prattle is mant to suggest that "price" of a gaff must not me limited to money spent.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Chessmann
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The nice thing about Lassen gaffs is that, should one decided to sell one, it holds its value very, very well.
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countrymaven
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While many wise statements have been made in this thread,
the whole premise of the post is questionable. while the question addresses
determining cost/ value to a performer, then a single gaff is addressed.
that is like saying should I ask mommy if I can afford a trick I want?
c'mon, decide if you really want it, and save up if you do.
nobody else can tell you if one coin set is priced right for you.
tonsofquestions
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Countrymaven - you make a fair point, but it's a vast oversimplification.
Part of the "really want it" calculation includes the cost - thus a question of justification of cost.

Say I *really* want to have my own jet airplane. But it would take me a very long time to save up a million dollars for it, particularly since there are other things that I think are more important like food, rent, or even a new car. Is it worth it to me? That depends on a lot of other things, including how much I'd use it, where I'd travel, etc.

On the other hand, maybe I want it because I want to start my own piloting business. The the calculation becomes how long it would take to pay down the expenses (including maintenance/etc.) and whether I could make a profit. That would determine whether it would be a (wait for it) worthwhile investment. (Even though you're not planning on selling the airplane.)

It's completely reasonable to decide you really want something, but that the price is too high at retail, and you're either willing to wait for a sale, a used version, or skip it entirely ... because it's possible to exercise self restraint and not buy something, even if you want it.
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Jan 12, 2018, tonsofquestions wrote:
It's completely reasonable to decide you really want something, but that the price is too high at retail, and you're either willing to wait for a sale, a used version, or skip it entirely ... because it's possible to exercise self restraint and not buy something, even if you want it.


I think this is too and oversimplification. While your point may apply to life the tools a craftsman uses can always be justified by the result in his work. Even a hobbyist can justify buying an expensive trick by what he or she wants to do? If saving time on learn sleights or complicated handling of regular coins isn't an endeavor one wishes to invest then a monetary investment could be justified. It all depends on what you want? Btw some will go without food or eat poorly for what they want. Look at all the unhealthy people with iPhones.
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tonsofquestions
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No, I don't think that's an oversimplification - you didn't add any more nuance. It's certainly clear that someone can want something and get it (saving or not), but it leaves out the possibility that one might *not* get a thing, despite wanting it. I was pushing back on countrymaven's "if you want it, get it" comment.

The trade off of not having to learn sleights is a totally justifiable if that's one of your requirements. But it's easy to factor it in the decision and whether that tips the gaff into "worth it" for you.
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IMO, it boils down to a simple matter of a) do you want and/or need it and b) are you willing to pay the asking price.

Justification of the price doesn’t, to me, play any part because the fact that you want and/or need it and have the money to buy it is justification in and of itself.

I think a better question to ask is whether you really NEED a high end/expensive gaff, e.g., Lassen, Schoolcraft, Kueppers, etc., versus a “cheaper” gaff from a mass producer.

I would argue that unless you are professional and make a living doing magic you do not “need” an expensive, hand-crafted gaff. Do you really “need” an expanded [ set with custom fit matching coins to entertain your friends and family?
countrymaven
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Yes mrjingles,
great point. often if you are a little careful with the lighting conditions that you perform in, you can use a cheaper gaff.
or a substitute gaff that has been mentioned in the thread above. often some of the expensive coin sets are virtually the same as
a cheaper but still high quality set of particular coins.

i stand by my comment above. I am not trying to cause problems and no, it is not about buying a jet plane. it is about whether or not you should buy, basically, an overpriced coin set, or substitute it with a high quality set of similar coins, or go without. that is something someone else really cannot do for you. it is one thing to ask for people's opinions about gaffed coins. it is venturing into fantasy to assume that someone else can decide whether you should buy that set or not.
funsway
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Since a certain amount of audience engagement is the performer's presence and confidence, the use of an expensive (possibly higher quality) gaff or set of coins might be important.
In like manner, using a gaff gifted to you by a famous magician might affect your style regardless of monetary value.

It's like being able to tell if a woman is wearing her million dollar necklace or a copy. She knows and behaves differently in subtle ways.

So, if it is important to you to own/use a certain gaff -- it is. The price paid may be a factor in that, maybe not.

I have some antique magic props of some value that I will never sell. I might gift them to the right person just as they were gifted to me. A legacy.

Guess I am bother a bit in how the concept of "less expensive" changes to "cheaper" with an implication of less quality or less functional.
Likewise the notion that just because something is priced higher implies it must be better.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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