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Topic: What Would Be (In Your Opinion) The Best Features A Magic Shop Can Have?
Message: Posted by: Beezer109 (Mar 2, 2006 06:47PM)
Hey everyone - as a magician myself, I always like to hear what other pro magicians would like to see in a magic shop, such as a feature that isn't available in a shop, but should be.


ALSO - Do you think that all the features that you can possible want are ALREADY available?


Message: Posted by: Marcus K (Mar 2, 2006 06:53PM)
Slot machines, pole dancers, shoe shine guys, and a crepe station.

Wait... that's Vegas.

I suppose I've always wanted a lounge where the learned men can hold court with the rest of us. That doesn't mean it can't have a pole dancer every now and then.

Check this out... http://www.calmagic.com

Gerry has created a magnificent space here. Magic shop, restaurant, lounge, theatre, **magic library**, museum, all in one place. Started out small, but since then, Daryl, Colombini, Lewis... everyone performs there. Lance Burton even did a presentation there. I can't think of much more I could want... except... well... you know.
Message: Posted by: Beezer109 (Mar 2, 2006 06:57PM)
Haha, I chuckled....well, I was focusing more on ONLINE MAGIC SHOPS.

I know your probably saying under your breath **BORING**

But, I don't have a brick and mortar shop available within a 2 Hour radius, so that's why I am wondering about ONLINE SHOPs mainly.

So again, any features you WISH online shops had, or what are your FAVORITE features that are already available.

Message: Posted by: Daegs (Mar 2, 2006 07:11PM)
A really good magician behind the counter....

A 3 webcam setup so that you can practice stuff getting video'd from 3 different angles at once, and then a cheap PC to watch all 3 streams.

I think it would be cool, while hanging out, to get some video's made of sessions...

Also some food and places to lounge including a table with pad so we can throw down some stuff in between customers coming in.
Message: Posted by: bitterman (Mar 2, 2006 07:34PM)
How about a guy behind the counter that won't try to sell every kid in the door dross like Carpenter's Nightmare?
Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Mar 2, 2006 07:34PM)
Online shops can never match the guidance, instruction and helpfulness that real live behind the counter magic shop employees can provide. Never. Ever. They can provide access to secret forums or downloadable videos but it's just not the same as being able to interact with a flesh and blood shop owner who has a passion for magic.

I suppose it would be nice for online shops to provide secure reliable service, and some of them do, and some online shops are great. Though I would rather shop at a brick and mortar store, I admit that I am always happy to shop online from David Malek's online shop. He carries some good stuff and gives very good reviews and consideration to what he sells.

Price, although a driving factor for many, doesn't matter so much to me. Not because I'm rich, but because I figure it's worth it to pay a buck or two more at a brick and mortar shop because you're paying for the service they offer.
Message: Posted by: Zazz (Mar 2, 2006 07:43PM)
I will have to put some thought in the online shop ideas.
The first place that came to mind was also California Magic Dinner Theater.


I think Gerry Griffin created the ideal magic shop.

1) Great selection of magic to purchase.
2) Expert inhouse magicians to give advice.
I have walked into the shop on different occasions and have seen magicians such as Losander or Aldo Colombini there.
3) Great lunches and even better dinners.
4) The atmosphere, music and videos are very relaxing.
5) The dinner shows. To date I have seen Aldo Colombini, John Carney, Daryl, Losander, Dana Daniels, John Calvert, Jeff Ezell, Jon Armstrong, and just this weekend Daryl once again. The opening magicians for the show are very good.
6) Once a month I look forward to attending our local S.A.M. meeting there. I couldn't think of a better place to meet.
7) Great stage.

I'm luck to be living so close to a place like this.
Message: Posted by: Turk (Mar 2, 2006 07:43PM)
On-line dealers?

1. Either free shipping or having the shipping already being factored into the advertised price. Being paranoid about unspecified unjustifiably high S&H (welcome to eBay), I get tired of having to put an item in a cart and then go through all the hassle of "checking out" 2-3 screens later just to finally be advised of the actual S&H.

2. NOT advertising any product that is not in stock. It is a VERY simple matter for a computer database to automatically remove an item from stock or to post a "temporarily out of stock" designation whenever the last "in stock" item is sold. I HATE buying something, and then later being advised that the item is out of stock. I want to know that up front so that I can decide whether or not to "buy and wait" or to buy elsewhere. As a corollary, I'd also like to be advised of reasonable ETA of the out of stock item both into the store and delivered to me.

3. Stores that have large inventories of magic merchandise so that I can do "one stop" shopping. I don't like to shop around nor to pit one dealer against the other. I want to develop a good on-going relationship with 1-3 dealers and stick with them, if possible.


P.S. Note that nowhere in the above is "low price" or "discount" mentioned. Dealers have to make reasonable profits to stay in business and if magicians keep beating them up on prices, the stores won't be able to make their profit margin necessary to stay in business. And once their cash flow starts to deteriorate, then "all he** breaks loose" as the law of Unintended Consequences rears its ugly head. The dealers start robbing Peter to pay Paul and the last thing they have any money for is to "stock the shelves". Their slow pay with their jobbers catches up with them and they are then put on a COD basis only. Hence, they tend to have more out of stock and they require your cash up front before they can even order the merchandise you just paid for. A dealer who requires your money up front and who has a high percentage of his "inventory" out of stock,...is a dealer hanging on by his fingernails. Shopping for the lowest price is a self-fulfilling recipe for disaster. When I discover a dealer such as this, I take my business elsewhere.
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Mar 3, 2006 10:17AM)
Large stock, cheap shipping, videos and pictures of stock, posting of the first few pages of each book, forum for discussion.

But other then as an intellectual discusion, I don't really care. Im not going to buy from an online store unless I know the owner. Ide much rather support a brick and morter store.

as far as that goes, a table or two to sit down at, access to the books and a chance to look through them, a large stock, a good group of regulars, and a demenstrator who is knowledgable, proficent, and helpful. I also wouldnt mind a tv and dvd player to preview dvds. Ive gotten way to many where the effects where not as advertised.

no one I know of has the dvds, but the rest describe browsers den and Denny and Lees (denny may not have the table, but he has th room next store to sesion in and a couch in the main room...)

If I can, Im going to shop at those two.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Mar 3, 2006 10:55AM)
Yeah Gerry Griffin's place is really cool. Not the best selection of effects, however. It's more of a performance space than a retail space, which is fine, and just a matter of priorities.

I'd also like the idea of a lounge for card workers to hang out, and maybe have access to a decent library of out of print books.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Mar 3, 2006 12:13PM)
An online shop would best have an interactive mechanism where you could ask question, and see products demonstrated in real time. Actually, I'm not real keen on on line shops, though they are more and more becoming a necessity sometimes. Hard to beat a brick and mortar walk in store, and if such stores have a "lounge" in which the local magi can gather and exchange ideas, all the better. Also nice to have two demo areas, one for pitching (which is almost necessary for such stores to survive anymore) and one for demos for magicians. Also they really need a separate room to show how a trick is done to a customer who just purchased it. I've seen too many demo this at the demo stand while a dozen non buyers looked on. Of course, in return, the local magi need to be supportive of the store, and if things are busy be willing to help out with a demo or two, in exhcange for the lounge provided. I never tell anyone to "not buy" something in a store. I've seen that done, or worse tell them "go to penguin (or some other net store) you can get it a lot cheaper". Best way I know to be uninvited to return to a store.
Message: Posted by: SPINE (Mar 3, 2006 12:35PM)
Go to Midwest Magic in Franklin Park, Illinois.

You won't be dissapointed!

Online - http://www.midwestmagic.net
Message: Posted by: bsears (Mar 3, 2006 12:40PM)
What would I like to see most when I visit an on-line magic shop? How about a sign that says "site closed: please visit my brick and mortar shop for service."
Message: Posted by: Jimmy Y (Mar 3, 2006 12:52PM)
I agree 100% with Turk.
Its best to have online shops with real time stock indicator, real time shipping quotes. Demos for all of the items they are selling...etc, /dream off.

Some of the popluar online shops never tell you whether the item you ordered is in stock or not, then you placed an order, it arrives, ended up missing few pieces. This happened to me a lot. Some shops even advertised xx% off discount but ended up ripped you off with shipping cost which they never stated in your cart, not even after you paid. This is really annoying.
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Mar 3, 2006 02:29PM)
Why is this topic in Pasteboards?

I'm just saying...
Message: Posted by: kid iowa (Mar 3, 2006 03:08PM)
The best shop I've ever been in was the Magic Depot in Tulsa. Huge selection, great prices, lounge area, stage, complimentary food/drink. Aaron Smith has the coolest job in the world running that store. Can't beat it in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Atrophy (Mar 3, 2006 06:57PM)
I've only ever been to one "brick and mortar" magic store and that is The Cuckoo's Nest in Pittsburgh, PA. I love this store because it doesn't just appeal to the tourist type people who just want to learn a simple gag to get their friends with. It's a gathering place for local magicians and has a huge stock of dvds and books with more advanced material. Their website ( http://www.thecuckoosnest.com ) isn't nearly as good as the actual store, but it does show some of their amazing selection. The site could use some work, so don't judge the shop by the site.

Midwest Magic seems like it would be a good place to shop. I wish it wasn't so far away or I'd visit the actual store.
Message: Posted by: jcigam (Mar 3, 2006 07:10PM)
Check out http://www.williamsmagic.com they have some great photos and descriptions of how a magic shop should be.

Take special notice of the performing stage they have set up for magicians.

Awesome magic shop; if you are ever in Tucson, Arizona you have to check it out.

Jered S.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Mar 3, 2006 07:57PM)
I think a bricks and mortar shop should have an old world sense of wonder about it, while totally eschewing the "magic shop" cheesiness with the dorky effects painted in bright colors and fake chinese writing on them. And when I saw old world I don't mean 1970s old world. I mean Houdini-Erdnase old world. That would be really cool if it were done tastefully, and a fantastic sort of a way that would appeal to young and old alike.

And absolutely no minimum price on demos. What a silly, anti-child policy that is. Does Tannen's still have a minimum price on effects that they're willing to demo? I couldn't believe it when I found out they were doing that.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Mar 4, 2006 04:48AM)
In a brick and mortar shop. I'd like to see demonstrators who can demonstrate and have some knowledge of working in the real world.

In an online shop, I want to see video demos of every trick. It also helps if the performing conditions are discussed in the description. Nothing is worse that buying a trick and finding out that it can only be performed for friends, under very controlled conditions.

Sometimes a magician needs something, fast. It helps if the inventory status of the item is current, so he isn't wasting time trying to order it.
Message: Posted by: Zazz (Mar 4, 2006 11:12AM)
Here is an online shop that may not have video demos or forums but you could count on that the tricks are proven and tested by a very reputable and respected magician.
I have had nothing but great service, lightning quick shipping and extremely prompt and courteous email correspondences with http://www.foolerdoolers.com
Message: Posted by: Beezer109 (Mar 5, 2006 10:35AM)
Thank you everyone for your suggestions and for this great discussion! I agree with everyone, except those who talked about Brick and Mortar shops, simply because I don't have a brick and mortar shop within a 2 hr radius of my house. YOU GUYS MAKE IT SOUND SOOOOO GREAT (brick and mortars) and I wish so much that I could experience it. that's why I asked about Online Shops mostly.

Anyone else who has contributions to this discussion, please proceed! Thanks!...Nick
Message: Posted by: pdmedic (Mar 12, 2006 09:05PM)
The biggest thing that I want is a helpful knowlegeable sales person. I would be willing to pay more to have someone who can help learn a effect and is friendly. However if pole dancers are included in the shop so much the better.
Message: Posted by: GarySumpter (Mar 16, 2006 05:29AM)
I think SOME of you guys are asking too much.

Only advertise what is in stock - Agree, however magic shops and online shops tend to have 2 different stock systems. If a magic shop is busy, its not practical to go an update the website after EVERY sale. However I do agree with this statement.

Demos for every trick - Demos take a lot of time, money and effort to put together. NO other area would insist on videos of products in action. You wouldnt expect Toysrus to have videos of avary toy in the shop being played with by a small child would you?

I like demos as much as everyone else, but to expect a demo for every product is insane!

Message: Posted by: vash (Mar 25, 2006 12:12AM)
Most online stores don't seem to give you a good idea of the difficulty invoved in
the tricks, maybe some sort of sliding scale?

Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (May 13, 2006 11:30PM)
A GOOD brick and mortar magic shop is more than simply a retail space. Unfortunately, some of the "new model" business people these days, seem not to understand this concept and will, eventually, kill themselves - and a good number of excellent magic tricks, in their pursuit of high profits through the sale of mechanically easy and shiny products to the gullible passersby.

Example: I recently witnessed a magic shop in a mall-like setting sell the following to a group of high school kids who stated CLEARLY to the sales person behind the counter that they wanted to "buy this junk so they could destroy this magic guy at school who does all of these things by telling everybody how he does them," and the idiot behind the counter, without so much as a second thought sold them:

Hundy 500
D'Lites (set of two)
DeKraam (Leslie) Marked Deck
Stripper deck
Scotch & Soda Trick
an ITR
Cig through Quarter
Pen Thru Anything (NOT the original, I might add!)
Invisible Deck
Peek Wallet

All so that these kids could EXPOSE another magician!

And it's not the first time I've seen it happen - or had it happen to me.

So what I would like to see is someone behind the counter who would tell people like this to take a flying leap - or, better yet, sell them stuff that would NOT allow them to expose another magician and maybe, just maybe, show them how tough this stuff really is to learn, instead. While still allowing the store to turn a profit, but without damaging the business. Like selling them a copy of a basic book, like Magic for Dummies, instead. Or making them sign up for lessons before they can buy ANYTHING.

Or, make them attend a magic lecture by someone from the local club on a topic that they would have NO interest in at all, like a historical lecture on Houdini, or on the care of silks... teach them a lesson in more ways than one.

"Revenge is a dish best served cold.... with favah beans and a nice chianti!" - from Freakazoid.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: ceme20 (May 18, 2006 11:06PM)
Definately a magic shop with all the newly released items. I realize fully stocked means high investment, but when I'm ready to buy it I want it NOW! So many times it's "yeah, we can order that for you" or "I don't think that's been released yet" When I have already read reviews about it. Nothing worse that walking away empty handed when you were ready to buy, and start using the latest hot item.
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (May 19, 2006 09:25PM)
Online Shops?

Demo videos...not enough demo videos out there.

Also, exclusive effects.
Message: Posted by: Katterfel22 (May 20, 2006 06:55PM)
Ok preferably the perfect magic store has an expert magician behind the counter. They have a good selection of items and can get you what they don't have in stock.
There is a smokey back room for a magicians club.
There is a coffee machine in the back room for when the magicians are in there late at night working on ideas for new effects.
The store is open 24 hours a day.
Also the place shouldn't be easy to find. It should have to be the kind of place that you have to ask around about. This should limit the frivilous crowd.
Any rate that's my two cents. Now watch it disappear
Message: Posted by: wildarr (Jun 23, 2006 12:57PM)
Online stores?
[*]Accurate inventory. (If it's not in stock or you can't get it in one business day, don't display it.)
[*]Specific shipping policies. Most internet stores will ship the next business day. If yours won't, say so!
[*]Enough staff to get orders shipped an emails answered.
[*]Accurate tracking

I am in the middle of a transaction with a Brick and Mortar shop with an online store. My order has been "Processing" for seven days. An email request for a status update has not been returned for 48 hours.

Searching through the forums, I saw only a single complaint about this store which came to a successful resolution. All other comments were glowing. However, my experience is strikingly similar to that complaint, and I feel that if you cannot handle the internet customer base with the expectations of eBusiness economy, then you shouldn't risk the bad word-of-mouth that could be caused by slow customer service.

And all I wanted to do was support the brick and mortar shop.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 4, 2006 10:36PM)
Since this is about on-line shops, I'll tell you what I want to see. I don't care much about video demos. If they have a writer who can accurately describe an effect, that's all I need.

I do want the following.

1) Good phone support
2) Knowledgeable staff
3) People who tell the truth
4) Reasonable shipping fees
5) Fast shipping
6) Overnight shipping at an extra cost, if necessary
7) People who tell the truth (that's very important)
8) Accurate descriptions of the effects.
9) Quick response to e-mails

And truthful staff.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Aug 21, 2006 01:04PM)
Honesty (in print descriptions, online video demos , etc. )

Knowledgeable staff that are able to demo items competently .

A front room or front area with all the costumes, joke items , magic sets , and cheap "EZ " magic stuff aimed at tourists and beginners, with the back room reserved for the real work .