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Topic: Svengali Pitch question
Message: Posted by: DaiBato (Jun 11, 2006 05:09PM)
When one is demonstrating the Svengali deck for potential customers, is it a good idea to riffle the deck and show all the cards as being the same? Isn't this a dead giveaway that you're using a gaffed deck?

As some of you know, Martin Lewis swears by this in his pitch. I don't think it's a good idea.

Dai Bato
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 12, 2006 06:55AM)
For a pitch routine, I think the answer would definitely be yes. From my own experience, showing all the key cards is the "kicker" that sells the trick. There is no concern about revealing that it's a gaffed deck, because that's the way the deck is sold -- as a "special" deck of cards. If you watch Don Driver's pitch video, you will see that he does the same thing. Click [url=http://www.dondriver.tk]HERE[/url] for more info.

However, I only show the key cards once, at the end of the routine. I use Mr. Lewis' table spread move for this, which is very impressive and sometimes even gets a round of applause. Then I riffle the cards, showing that they have all returned to normal, as they were at the beginning. Some people have sworn that it was an optical illusion, or that they were hypnotized into seeing the entire deck change into their selected card. Most people have no idea how the effect was accomplished.

However, if you are using the deck as part of a card act, or have switched it in for a regular deck, then I agree that it wouldn't be a good idea to reveal all the key cards, because it would tip the fact that you're using a gaffed deck. The power of a Svengali Deck lies in the ability of the magician to handle the deck as if it were a regular deck of cards -- doing overhand and riffle shuffles, etc. SETH
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Jun 12, 2006 07:51AM)
Why don't you think it's a good idea? Don't you want people to buy your "magic deck" of cards? After all, that's what you are selling. "A trick deck, a mechanical deck, a deck of cards specially designed to allow anyone, anywhere to perform amazing feats of magic without any special skill or ability whatsoever."

That is what you are selling. It's not a magic show, it's a pitch. People need to see what the deck can do if you expect them to buy it.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jun 12, 2006 09:47AM)
Seth and Vandy said it all...ditto...ditto...ditto

Don
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 12, 2006 12:00PM)
Just a reminder that there is a section of the Café' specifically for pitchmen -- the "Step Right Up" section of the "Carnival of Fun."

Although I'm not positive, my guess is that this portion of the Gaffed Card section of the Café' is for the handling of the deck and specific tricks that could be done with it. The pitch section would deal more with the pitch presentation, as this thread does.

Anyway, all "Svengali sellers" are invited to visit the "Step Right Up" section, too. SETH

Posted: Jun 12, 2006 8:08pm
One more thought on this -- the fact that you show all the key cards does not expose exactly how the deck works. The specs still need to buy the deck and read the instructions in order to perform the same effects with the deck. Don Driver even goes so far as to tell folks about the short card in his pitch (in order to get them to come right up to the pitch table and look at it) -- but he doesn't explain that there are more than one of them in the deck.

I think this is an important distinction. I know I'm not doing a magic show, I'm selling a Svengali deck, as Vandy says. But as a magician, I still don't knowingly expose a secret just for the purpose of exposing it. If you want to know how the deck works, you have to buy the deck; that's no different than any other magic dealer, from Tannen's to Hank Lee or anyone else. But I don't give secrets away for free. SETH
Message: Posted by: DaiBato (Jun 13, 2006 10:05PM)
Thank you, one and all, for your feedback. I guess a Svengali pitch and a card trick are two different things.

Dai Bato
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Jun 18, 2006 05:20AM)
I think you can use the pitch routine also for normal performances. Pitch routine works great because it gives strongest impact, so it works for any occasion.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: DaiBato (Jun 18, 2006 12:40PM)
If showing all the cards the same is a strong selling point, then I must say that I will reconsider my view on that point.

I was thinking that showing all the cards the same being a bad idea if you were performing with the Svengali deck for an audience or friends in a [i]card trick[/i] setting.

Dai Bato
Message: Posted by: nucinud (Jun 18, 2006 02:16PM)
Some people will think that the tricks you can do with a Svengali deck are too hard to do for them, and are afraid to buy. So you have to show them that it is a "trick" deck and easy for any one to do these amazing tricks.
Message: Posted by: mota (Jun 18, 2006 07:52PM)
Seriously, just get Don Driver's video on the Svengali pitch. He shows you what to do and when. Then get some decks, go out and do it.

You will make money...many here have done this exact thing.

Good luck.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 19, 2006 06:47AM)
[quote]
On 2006-06-18 15:16, nucinud wrote:
Some people will think that the tricks you can do with a Svengali deck are too hard to do for them, and are afraid to buy. So you have to show them that it is a "trick" deck and easy for any one to do these amazing tricks. [/quote]

This is quite true. I usually tell the audience that "The deck does all the work for you" and that it's a "very special" deck of cards, things like that. SETH
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jun 19, 2006 12:22PM)
Dai, are you selling decks or doing a trick? You are not clear about this. Either way the answer is to show the deck all the same. The pitch aspect is obvious, people will buy just to see how it works. From a trick or routine aspect the showing of the cards being different then the same then etc etc is the one thing that makes it interesting as a deck.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Jun 19, 2006 12:54PM)
I don't like the tone of that last post. It's been reported and I've recommended banishment.


HA!! Welcome back Steve.
Message: Posted by: DaiBato (Jun 19, 2006 10:40PM)
Steve V, I mean to get into selling Svengalis.

Dai Bato
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jun 19, 2006 10:50PM)
Dai Bato,if you are thinking of getting into this business even if its week ends at a flea market.You might as well start off on the right foot...you don't "sell" Svengali's you "PITCH" them.

Don
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jun 19, 2006 11:38PM)
Vandy...don't throw gas on a fire.

Dai, I am going to give you the greatest advice you'll ever get and hopefully I'm too late and you already did what I'm about to say. Get Don Drivers DVD on pitching the decks. You will then be ready to rock. I'm sorry I didn't follow what you were saying, selling and customer to me means trying to get a person to hire you. Get the Don Driver DVD and go forth and become wealthy.
Steve V

Posted: Jun 20, 2006 1:51pm
Dai, in reading your first post you reference Martin Lewis, you mean Mark Lewis. You also reference his 'pitch', which I'm assuming you mean his routine. If you purchased his brilliant routine you got just that, a brilliant routine, it isn't intended to be a pitch. I'm pondering the creation of a Svengali licensing program for pitchmen and wannabe pitchmen, just to keep everyone honest.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: DaiBato (Jun 21, 2006 02:25AM)
You're right, Steve V, I meant Mark Lewis.

Dai Bato
Message: Posted by: gman (Jun 21, 2006 08:26AM)
Hey Steve,

Didn't Mark once say that Pitchmen aren't honest people? Actually good idea, maybe even require say a 40 hr class prior to the test for the license.

Don could take the east coase, you could take the west, David could take the mid west and Mark could have the international.

George
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 21, 2006 09:01AM)
I hope there won't be a written test! <grin>

Actually, the Svengali Pitch is very honest and straightforward -- what you see is what you get. Anyone can do exactly the same tricks that I do, once they read the instructions and practice for a while. Yes, we do tell people that it works by static electricity and whatever, but nobody takes that seriously anyway. SETH
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jun 21, 2006 01:28PM)
I admit it...when I wrote the word 'honest' I giggled.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: kOnO (Jun 23, 2006 05:47AM)
[quote]
On 2006-06-19 13:54, Vandy Grift wrote:
I don't like the tone of that last post. It's been reported and I've recommended banishment.


HA!! Welcome back Steve.
[/quote]

Vandy,
I don't think you are supose to talk about thing like this on the Café. I know once I tried to welcome Koz back and my post was deleted. Then I got a warning not to talk about this type of thing on the Café.
Just a word of warning to keep you and Steve in good grace.....

kOnO
Message: Posted by: joegow (Sep 15, 2006 01:17AM)
Regarding the pitch of the spengali deck, I sell tons of these at the amusement park, I always let them know that it is a trick deck, and when they all turn into the key card, the trick is normally sold.

Posted: Sep 15, 2006 2:20am
I am also amazed how even after they know it is a trick deck, they are still so amazed
Message: Posted by: indridcold (Jan 1, 2007 10:19AM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-15 02:20, joegow wrote:
I am also amazed how even after they know it is a trick deck, they are still so amazed
[/quote]

Well, usually when I see a fantastic magic trick, I am still astounded by it, even though I know there is an unknown method behind it.

Dave
Message: Posted by: okito25 (Jan 6, 2007 12:34PM)
Gee whillaker .. You guys always make me grin from ear to ear and My better Half shudder at the thought of me pitching yet again ;) , generally the first week or so after the new year ,, I start to look at all Venues possible .. I start to walk with a bit of a swagger , and my daily chatter becomes a little more bold and Brazen .. as of Late we have been showcasing , a monthly magic/ variety act .. and from there I usually Mc the Show ..I Have also set up a Pitch , during the Intermission , it is a show unto it self ..equally entertaining , yet I usually tuck an extra yard and a half into my jeans by the end of the 20 minutes Happy folks wandering away , for yet another 45 minutes of magic , and a happy pack , of Svengali deck ,a two card monte , and a profs nightmare, and a Cupon for a half hour workshop, directly after the show
Enjoy life
Keet
Message: Posted by: T-RAY (Jan 8, 2007 12:23AM)
Where can I get decks wholesale? Thanks
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jan 8, 2007 10:45AM)
T-Ray,
All that infomation comes with my Svengali pitch DVD. You can order it at:

http://www.magicpitch.com as well as see a clip of it.


Don
Message: Posted by: DWB (Aug 12, 2007 06:53PM)
I find that I start off with the selection of the card, and I riffle through, showing the faces and say "As I riffle through here [showing the faces] I want you to stop me anywhere you'd like" That gets them to pick their card and subtly show the deck as normal.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Oct 5, 2007 12:33PM)
I first saw the pitch on Television with Marshal Brodien’s TV Magic Cards. I remember as a kid when he showed (with Paul Scarne’s hands) that all of the cards changed to the Ace of Spades, it fooled me. Granted, I was a kid, but I didn’t know the principle.

When I became a magician, I thought it was not a good idea to show the key card. I thought it was exposing the secret. I used it only to pitch the cards. Well, when I do it, I notice that they are just as mystified as I was when I was that kid in the ‘70’s. Even when I tell that it’s a trick deck, they still don’t get it.

So, the lesson to be learned is, audiences will believe anything by the way you present it.
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Oct 11, 2007 11:30AM)
I purchase the Don Driver Svengali Pitch. Its very informational and I am very happy with the purchase. My question is to purchase the decks on tape you need a resale license. I was able to find 7 decks at the dollar store and wondered if I I could try to pitch it at the fleamarket this weekend and just sell the decks or should I wait for decks and two-card monte?

Thanks
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Oct 11, 2007 09:26PM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-11 12:30, fireperformer911 wrote:
I purchase the Don Driver Svengali Pitch. Its very informational and I am very happy with the purchase. My question is to purchase the decks on tape you need a resale license. I was able to find 7 decks at the dollar store and wondered if I I could try to pitch it at the fleamarket this weekend and just sell the decks or should I wait for decks and two-card monte?

Thanks
[/quote]

It's up to you, of course. With seven decks, if it's not going to cost you much to go up there and get a table, you may wish to do it just to wet your feet :) I'm waiting for my two card monte decks, personally.

As to the resale license, it's a good idea to get one. I'm in the process of doing so - looks like it'll be about $50. That's not bad :)
Message: Posted by: sethb (Oct 12, 2007 10:32AM)
[quote] On 2007-10-11 12:30, fireperformer911 wrote: I purchased the Don Driver Svengali Pitch . . . . My question is to purchase the decks on tape you need a resale license. I was able to find 7 decks at the dollar store and wondered if I could try to pitch it at the fleamarket this weekend and just sell the decks or should I wait for decks and two-card monte? [/quote]
Don't forget that while you need a State resale license to purchase items wholesale without paying sales tax, you also need the resale license in order to be able to collect sales tax when you resell the decks at retail. In fact, at least in New Jersey, you are required to have a copy of the resale license visible when and wherever you are selling. I taped mine to the side of my pitch table, so I don't have to worry about forgetting it. Some shows also require you to provide a copy of your resale certificate with your application before they will let you have booth space or a table.

If you happen to be caught at a flea market, craft show or street festival selling without a resale license, your friendly State Sales Tax agent will not be happy, and can shut you down and fine you for the uncollected and unpaid sales tax, plus interest and penalties.

I know you're anxious to get started, but if I were you, I'd wait for the resale license to come through. In many states you can register online and get a temp certificate within 24 hours, it's not a big deal. In the meantime, you can always practice your DL's. :) SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Nov 5, 2007 01:55PM)
Well, (my great-aunt said NEVER begin a sentence with “WELL”) last weekend (my 1st with the Svengali deck) was an eye-opener!

Frankly, I don’t remember ever having seen a Svengali deck before I saw the ad for Don Driver’s pitch, (When I said to myself, “Hey—ANYBODY can do that. I think I’ll get one of them thar DVDs and learn it!) so everything is new to me. Yet I’m sure that most of the things I’m gonna say here are not news to the seasoned performers. But here goes….

I had rented 2 spaces at the flea market, one for the wire strippers to be done by a friend of mine and one for me. I printed out 4 “IT’S MAGIC” signs on my computer but by the time I got both booths set up it was almost 9:30, so people were there and walking past. In spite of my 14 years of experience saying, “Have you squeezed one yet?” I was a little shy to start the “Hey..it’s magic..gonna have some fun..make the cards walk, talk,…etc….” But I finally did.

I had printed out the pitch in BIIIIIG letters and put the 10 pages (not 3!) into sheet protectors and had them on my table because, in spite of practicing for what seemed like MAAANY hours in front of the TV with Don’s pitch running and doing it maaaany times with my wife, I was still not confident enough to do it without the “instructions”.

But I finally got over (most of) my shyness and called in my 1st 2 people. You must realize, I had waited until Thursday to get it, so the location was not the best. Not a lot of people at any one time so it was mostly 1-on-1 AND, I learned very quickly MOSTLY KIDS stopped!

I made my 1st demo, not exactly shaking in my boots but, as you might imagine, not NEARLY as confident as I was doing the stripper demo. I still had not gotten the trick to putting the cards back on the deck after the “Give me a # between 1 and 10” so they were always messed up when the demo was over and so, after EACH demo, I had to spend time getting them straightened out. But back to my 1st “pitch”.

It was a guy about 14 and a well dressed older guy. Naturally, I messed up on the 2nd trick, altho I did finally finish the demo. The young guy was impressed but said he had no money (frankly, he looked like he didn’t!) but believe it or not, the older guy laughed, pulled out 5 bux and gave it to me. I was just as surprised at the money as he was with the tricks. So we were both happy.

I did a few more demos (all kids) with no results then 2 ladies came up and one was so excited she bought 2 sets! (“Christmas is coming, ya know!”) “Oh yeah, little so-and-so will love this. He is always doing magic…”

Sometimes when the kids would stop, so would the parents but it was obvious to me by the time lunch rolled around, I was gonna have to get to the “MONEY” thru the kids—or at least at THAT flea market and THAT location.

To make a very long boring story short, by about 4PM I had only $25 so I really felt the day was NOT as I had planned, altho my friend, Judy the stripper person, kept saying “Hey—first day, bad location, etc….”

I was still having a hard time with the end of the 2nd trick and was about to pack it in (Judy had already left) when a guy with 2 gold front teeth came by and watched my demo. He was on the edge for, what seemed like, about 5 minutes, while I kept saying “Hey if you can turn these 2 cards over, you can fool all your friends…..” Finally I said, “Hey, ya know Christmas in only 45 shopping days away…” He very slowly smiled with those gold teeth, pulled out 5 bux and gave it to me. “Are you sure all the stuff you showed me is in here?” “Yep, it’s all there.”

When I got home and told my wife of the problem I was having with the 2nd trick, she very painstakingly showed me the error of my ways (evidently she had been watching more closely than I) and commiserated with me about the “only $30”. But I was determined to make up for it on Sunday.

You will recall the time change on Sunday. Well, (there is again) I didn’t, so I got to the flea marked at 7AM. I was not the only one there but all of those that were said they had forgotten about the time switcheroo, too.

I sat and practiced the 2nd trick with myself and really did have it down pretty well by the time the REAL people came along. And it seemed that pockets just opened up. By the end of the day, I had over $100, still not a lot but over 3 times the 1st day. So I sold over 1 box in 2 days.

I had had a problem with the “grab the kid by the thumb” part because some kids just didn’t get the “flip thru the cards” deal, making the trick look hard. AND most kids had sticky hands. So even tho it left out one of Don’s jokes, I began leaving it out and doing the flipping myself. It seemed to work OK and I think that is the way I’ll do it from now on—unless I can be shown a better way to incorporate it into the demo.

One problem I had was the really small kids….4-6 years old. Even after the demo, they’d hang around in front of the table and want to see the tricks again. They were very cute and smiled at me and loved the demo but, frankly, got in the way. I know it’s easy to ask them to go away but it seems they always came back and just stood there. Any suggestions? Another problem—kids want to handle the deck after the demo. They come beside or behind the table and want to see what really makes it work. I just tell them, “Hey…get one and it will tell you in the instructions.”

All in all (as they say) I guess I had what might be called a low-average 1st time. I have read in Don’s DVD thread of people who did $1200 in a “first” flea market weekend. They musta had a bigger flea market and a better location. Or were more experienced in handling the cards.

I still have not had more than 4-5 people at any one time, usually 1-2. And usually the parent will ask the kid, “Do you want that?” “OH YEAH!!” Dunno whether it’s the parent or the kid who actually wants it because sometimes, even tho the kids wants it, the parents just walk away.

Hey…Christmas is coming and there’s always NEXT WEEKEND!! Gonna try to do a Christmas show or festival and see if that makes a difference.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Nov 5, 2007 02:08PM)
John,
Putting the deck in the kids hand is really strong..don't leave it out.

If kids keep wanting to see the deck after the pitch say " the deck is $5.00 lessions are $10.00"

Best to you...
Don
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Nov 5, 2007 04:55PM)
[quote]
If kids keep wanting to see the deck after the pitch say "the deck is $5.00 lessons are $10.00"
[/quote]

Neat idea. I'da probably thot of that in about a ZILLION years.

But I must say I DID add, "Hey, watch, takes only about a half a minute." I guess I'm "one of these guys" too.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: Tom Riddle (Nov 6, 2007 05:56PM)
I don't know if any of you are familiar with a Scottsman named Ronnie McCleod. He used to be an excellent pitchman, although I imagine he must be getting on in years like the rest of us! He has much to say on these matters:

"I get a vibe that New Zealand is virgin territory where the Svengali deck is concerned. It is a small country and I suspect that Brent is the only one selling Svengalis there. I suspect the public have hardly ever seen it. If this is the case he has the potential to take in $1000 per day on a regular basis. It is only 100 decks a day at $10.

Joe Stuthard worked Australia with the cards for years. He was a great Svengali worker. I am not sure if he went over to New Zealand or not.

Do you know Richard Webster? I got my psychic powers from him and he worked Ginsu knives in New Zealand for a while.

There is a UK pitch and a US pitch. I have never heard of a Kiwi/German pitch. It sounds to me like the end of civilisation as we know it. However I cannot comment upon it until I actually see it. Neither can I really comment on whether you should show the "secret" until I know the demographics of New Zealand punters and how hot the deck is over there. I suspect it is as hot as hell and you should be taking in a grand a day. I suppose I could be wrong. I am just going by intuition from years of experience in ripping off the public in the way they deserve.

What does your routine consist of? What tricks? How do you come to the bat? (close the sale) The way you come to the bat is more important than the tricks themselves.

First I do NOT show the secret in the way that I work. I only give the illusion of doing so. I get a vibe that you should certainly show it in your demonstration since not only will it increase sales it will take the unholy burden off your shoulders of you having to give the ***s magic lessons later as you have described in your post. You may as well give them the lesson during the demonstration rather than after they buy it.

It is utterly fatal to your business wasting time teaching people how to do it after they buy them. You are not running a school of magic. You have their money. It is essential that they now clear off and that you never see them again. I believe in protecting the secrets of magic and it would break my heart if I thought anyone could actually do the trick after purchase. I don't think I could sleep at night if I gave anyone value for money.

You come from New Zealand so you must know something about sheep shearing. The punters are merely sheep to be sheared and you are not there to educate the ***s. Take their money and get rid of them.

One advantage of being a nasty man like myself is that they are very nervous of coming to me for private lessons afterwords. They get away from me as soon as possible and that is just the way I like it.

You MUST have some way of giving the illusion of revealing the secret in the demonstration so they think they can do it. I have my way and Don has his way. It helps sales and discourages people asking for lessons afterwards. If someone comes up to me and asks for deeper instruction after they buy it I merely snarl at them and say "Read the Instructions!"
They soon get the vibe that I want them to clear off and leave me alone.

I have always believed in service with a smile." RM
Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 7, 2007 06:44AM)
Thomas, this was an excellent imitation of Mark Lewis!

Or could it possibly be the Master himself, in yet another disguise? SETH
Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 7, 2007 06:56AM)
[quote] On 2007-11-05 14:55, Jon-O the Great wrote: I still have not had more than 4-5 people at any one time, usually 1-2. And usually the parent will ask the kid, “Do you want that?” “OH YEAH!!” Dunno whether it’s the parent or the kid who actually wants it because sometimes, even tho the kids wants it, the parents just walk away. [/quote]
Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day! Sounds like you had a decent start, anyway.

Once you get the routine and the pitch down solid, you can concentrate on pulling in the customers. I find that even if you're doing a one-on-one or just pitching to a few people, it pays to "play to the crowd." Look over the heads of the front row, include those other folks and you will pull more people in. And of course, the sight of a small crowd will always draw even more people, who just HAVE to see what it is everyone is looking at. SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Nov 7, 2007 08:20AM)
[quote]
Look over the heads of the front row, include those other folks and you will pull more people in. [/quote]

If only there WERE more than the front row! ;-) Truly I was in a very low traffic area--a cross aisle--and people were sparse. And getting ANYONE to stop, except for kids, was very hard....IT SEEMED they were all wanting to get to the main aisles. I think they got on my aisle by ACCIDENT! My friend selling the wire strippers did about 1/2 of what she usually does at that flea market.

Next weekend I have several choices and I think I will use the flea market as the last resort.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 7, 2007 08:40AM)
I agree, it's "tough to make bricks when there isn't any straw," as they say. We've all been in that situation, there isn't much you can do.

But as you said, there's always next weekend! SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Nov 7, 2007 08:45AM)
Re-reading the above, it sounds like I'm whining about the show. In actuality, I'm trying to give encouragement to new guys, such as myself...DON'T GIVE UP, just because you have a bad day or a bad location. There's always ANOTHER day and another show.

On a good day at a good show, I can AVERAGE $100 per hour or more with the wire strippers. (I've done over $300 per hour many times) But I DIDN'T do that 14 years ago, when I started. The fact that I did a little over $100 ALL DAY on Sunday with the cards only shows that

1) I need to practice MUCH more and
2) do the demos, don't worry about the money, it will come.

And 3) FIND A GOOD SHOW!!

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Nov 7, 2007 09:11AM)
[quote]
What does your routine consist of? What tricks? How do you come to the bat? (close the sale) The way you come to the bat is more important than the tricks themselves.
[/quote]

I do 80% of Don's pitch. I have a problem with kids dirty hands on my nice clean cards. (I told one kid with an ice cream cone, "Gimme your clean hand." He put the cone in the other hand and gave me the sticky one! UGH!!) So I run the cards in both directions myself--SLOWLY, bending over the table so they can see them!! But the close, the 2-card Monte--all Don's demo. Have not done the "Larceny" close yet because, except for the LAST guy on Saturday, no one seems "on the fence". They either bought or left, (sometimes in the middle of the demo!)

All in all, as I said many times, TENACITY seems to be the key. That--and kids with CLEAN hands!!

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 7, 2007 10:27AM)
The "Larceny" close is VERY strong. In my experience, it not only gives you a great kicker for the routine, it virtually guarantees sales because it is such an eye-popper. I use a table spread to show all the key cards, based upon a similar move in Mark Lewis' great booklet, "The Long and The Short of It." If you're interested in that and some other neat moves with a Svengali deck, click [url=http://themagicwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/findit.pl?x_item=BK5342]HERE[/url] for more info.

Don's opener is also great -- short, to the point, very visible and easily understood, and another great eye-popper. I have had people buy the deck right at that point on the strength of that effect alone. While people may not believe that the cards actually changed places, they have no clue as to how you managed to change the card that they were holding under their hand all the time.

It took me about 6 months to perfect a good DL for that opener, because I am a coin and a C&B person, not a card person, and there is no comparable sleight for coins or balls. But once I got the mechanics worked out, cleaned up my angles and could execute it quickly and smoothly, my DL's were and are now perfect about 95% of the time. Just takes a little practice (and the move is also easier with a Svengali Deck than with a straight deck).

FYI, S. David Walker's Svengali Deck DVD has a very nice bit with a DL that I also use for variety from time to time -- where you apparently produce the wrong chosen card, and then magically change it to the right one by rubbing it on your sleeve; it also gets great reactions (and sales). SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Nov 7, 2007 12:59PM)
Frankly, I have the DL pretty down pretty well. I practiced it while waiting for people to come along (SOOO I had LOTS of time to practice!) I also have Mark Lewis's book, and while it is interesting and shows LOTS of tricks, I prefer Don's method to the LOOONG demo in the book. 3 tricks and either they buy or they don't. Then the Larceny if they don't. I AM having a hard time with the table spread but really don't need it with Don's method. All in all, I think that once I learn Don's method COMPLETELY and can handle the cards better, AND have a good location...everything will be fine.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Nov 8, 2007 07:11AM)
There is a thread elswhere about the tables at Sam's. I looked at them closely yesterday. While they are 4' that fold to 2', cost only about $40 and LOOK very solid, the one on display was very wobbly and it did NOT even have the legs extended. That may not make a difference because you don't usually lean on the table but it really seemed kinda flimsy. Frankly, I want something more solid.

The tables I made (14 years ago!) are a 2' X 4' piece of 1" plywood, covered with white vinyl with a leg kit attached. I bought all the hardware parts at Builder's Square (and the vinyl at a fabric store) but I'm sure you can get them at Lowe's, Home Depot, HQ, etc. Even with the leg extensions (I use 22" of 1.25" PVC pipe on each leg when I sell wire strippers but no extensions for selling cards) feels much more solid. I would probably NOT use white for the vinyl color now, maybe red or black. But they are easy to build and cheap. Just doesn't fold in half, so not quite as convenient.

Don Driver's idea for building a table (in his DVD) is probably best but I already had my tables, so I used one of them. Get his DVD and you'll see what I mean. I especially liked his idea about fastening the screws.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 8, 2007 09:22AM)
Jon-O, I have used the 4' folding Sam's table for over a year now with no problems, even had kids leaning on the table. While it is not quite as strong as the non-folding 4' version that they offer, it's still more than adequate for indoor use, in my experience.

I also have the Sam's 4' non-folding version, which I use for outdoor shows. It's a little heavier, but also more of a pain in the neck to cart around. The benefit to both of these tables is that they are lightweight, especially compared to the older pressboard folding tables, which seemed to weight a ton. Yet they are just as sturdy if not more so because of the thick plastic tops and steel framing. I carry a few small wood shims with me in case the floor isn't level, which happens sometimes.

No question that Don's pitch stand is the neatest of the bunch, with the built-in shelving and quick setup and knockdown. But not being a carpenter, I went for the Sam's tables and have been satisfied with them. SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Nov 8, 2007 10:35AM)
Hey, if it works, it works. I like the idea of folding to 2' square, so you can put it anywhere. I already have a van with all my strippers stuff (and the 4' tables) so the folding idea is not so important in that situation.

But I also have a '54 Studebaker Land Cruiser I'd like to show off and use for the shows near my home, INSTEAD of the van. So the Svengali cards together with the folding table idea appealed to me because everything would fit in the trunk, leaving nothing showing, as it does now with the van.

Maybe I just need to buy one and see if I like it. If I don't, well, it's only $40. Christmas is coming.....makes a great gift! (Where have I heard THAT one before?) ;-)

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: MagicMan11 (Nov 15, 2007 09:02PM)
If you want to sell the trick. I would recomend to show all the cards as the same cards. This will fry them and they will really be interested in it. But when I am performing for my friends or people I don't know. I try not to change them all becuase it IS a dead give away. It all depends if I'm in the mood.

Art
Message: Posted by: mota (Nov 15, 2007 10:24PM)
Showing them all the same is a very powerful part of the pitch. I strongly suggest you look at Don Driver's video on this.
Message: Posted by: MagicMan11 (Nov 16, 2007 04:48PM)
I second what Mota said.
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 2, 2007 09:52PM)
Today I was at a gun show, selling the Svengali cards. Told one smarty to pick a # between 1 and 10. He chose 1. Obviously, couldn't do 1, so from then on I told them between 2 and 10.

Had I been using my head, would have told him, "I said BETWEEN 1 and 10". I guess we never think of those things some times.

I'm getting the pitch down better each show, I think. Even began doing the larceny bit. Mostly sold kids today...they just went and got the money from the folks. I was really surprised. Some even bought 2 sets, one for Christmas. Sold almost 2 boxes of cards today. I know it's not a lot for a pro but I'm coming along slowly.

One thing that irritates me is that the 2-card monte cards stop being slippery after about an hour of use. Don suggested using 2-3 sets in rotation but I'm wondinging if talcum or baby powder would help. Has anyone else had this problem?

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 2, 2007 10:24PM)
Jon...THINK

If they get smart and say ONE just do a DL right from the top of the deck and you got them.

I can't believe your having trouble with the two card monte sticking like they are.Go to a magic shop on line and find some fanning powder.

Keep up the good work.
Don
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 2, 2007 11:20PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-02 23:24, DonDriver wrote:
Jon...THINK

If they get smart and say ONE just do a DL right from the top of the deck and you got them.

I can't believe your having trouble with the two card monte sticking like they are.Go to a magic shop on line and find some fanning powder.

Keep up the good work.
Don
[/quote]

Well DUH! I guess I was so accustomed to counting them out on the table, I couldn't see the obvious. Well, there's always a next time. And I'll find the fanning powder. There are a couple of magic stores here in San Antonio.

Jon
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 3, 2007 08:25AM)
[quote] On 2007-12-02 22:52, Jon-O the Great wrote:
Today I was at a gun show, selling the Svengali cards. Told one smarty to pick a # between 1 and 10. He chose 1. Obviously, couldn't do 1, so from then on I told them between 2 and 10.

Had I been using my head, would have told him, "I said BETWEEN 1 and 10". I guess we never think of those things some times. Jon-O [/quote]
Hmmmmm, I think you're making this tougher than it needs to be.

My understanding of the way the "countdown" move goes is that if the spec picks an odd number, you just count to it and turn over that card, which will always be a key card and thus their selected card. On the other hand, if they pick an even number, you count down to that card and then turn over the NEXT card, which of course will also always be a key card. So regardless of what number they pick, you can always reveal the correct chosen card. It's the old "Magician's Choice" in a new suit; it shouldn't matter which number they choose. But if I'm missing something here, please let me know.

Although I think it's probably OK for someone to pick #1 and thus the top card, you can prevent that by telling them to pick a number between 5 and 15, of course making it sound like you just picked those numbers at random out of the air. And after I reveal the card, I always turn over the next card (which is always an indifferent card), saying something like "It's a good thing you didn't pick xxx number" (whatever the next number would have been). This indirectly shows them that all the cards are different, and in my mind, enhances the trick. SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 3, 2007 09:21AM)
[quote] On 2007-12-02 22:52, Jon-O the Great wrote:
Today I was at a gun show, selling the Svengali cards. Told one smarty to pick a # between 1 and 10. He chose 1. Obviously, couldn't do 1, so from then on I told them between 2 and 10.

Had I been using my head, would have told him, "I said BETWEEN 1 and 10". I guess we never think of those things some times. Jon-O [/quote]

[quote] Hmmmmm, I think you're making this tougher than it needs to be.[/quote]

Yep, I was. But I was so accustomed to doing the "lay down" that when I had NOTHING to "lay down", I was lost. As Don says, 'THINK'!! And actually I WAS thinking. At that instant, I was looking for a way to lay down "one" and still do the DL.

[quote]My understanding of the way the "countdown" move goes is that if the spec picks an odd number, you just count to it and turn over that card, which will always be a key card and thus their selected card. On the other hand, if they pick an even number, you count down to that card and then turn over the NEXT card, which of course will also always be a key card. So regardless of what number they pick, you can always reveal the correct chosen card. It's the old "Magician's Choice" in a new suit; it shouldn't matter which number they choose. But if I'm missing something here, please let me know.[/quote]

Nope--I was the one "missing" something. I won't say what it was but it was formerly in my head. ;-)

[quote]Although I think it's probably OK for someone to pick #1 and thus the top card, you can prevent that by telling them to pick a number between 5 and 15, of course making it sound like you just picked those numbers at random out of the air. And after I reveal the card, I always turn over the next card (which is always an indifferent card), saying something like "It's a good thing you didn't pick xxx number" (whatever the next number would have been). This indirectly shows them that all the cards are different, and in my mind, enhances the trick. SETH
[/quote]

That's a great idea but, using Don's method, since I just put the "wrong" card back on top of the deck, that would't work in this situation.

Let's face it guys, I'm a virgin at this. Virgins gotta learn!

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 3, 2007 11:25AM)
Guys,

Now you have me lost.Seth on the count down you always do a DL and show "them" the WRONG card.You put the DL on the deck than thumb off the key card to them and say: "Here hold the (what ever card) we'll do a different trick" now they have the key card in their hand thinking its the other card.Have them look at it,they think the card changed in their handto their card.You always count down an odd amount to the table,than do a DL.

Don
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 3, 2007 11:52AM)
Yep. That was my prob. Since the dummy had said "one", I knew I couldn't put ANY cards on the table so I was lost. Didn't think of just doing the DL and going on with the trick, as Don suggested above. I'll do it next time. Don IS the pro!

By the way, when I do the 1st DL, if I take the top 2 cards off the deck and bend them toward my palm, a little, just prior to doing it, then put 'em back on the top of the deck, it's much easier for me. They almost jump into my hand.

Hey, it took me 14 years to learn to sell strippers! ;-) Gimme 14 years with the cards!

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 3, 2007 12:09PM)
Jon in a way its even better if the "wise guy" says one.You can say..."come on guy ONE ! Nobody ever says ONE !...but we'll try it...(do the DL) see I didn't think it would work..ok hold the (what ever card) we'll do a different trick...look at the card...I know its your card, SEE not even a smart A** like you can mess this deck up...

Does it put him down...I love it.

Don
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 3, 2007 12:48PM)
OK, now I see where Jon-O is coming from -- using the "wrong card" bit -- and I also understand Don's solution. I think Don's way definitely has more punch to it, but also requires more skill. My DL's aren't that great so I try to minimize their use, and so went in a slightly different direction.

But the end result is the same, that by proper counting and spec management, you can always control the result and get to where you want to be. That's the beauty of the Svengali Deck. SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 3, 2007 12:55PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-03 13:09, DonDriver wrote:
Jon in a way its even better if the "wise guy" says one.You can say..."come on guy ONE ! Nobody ever says ONE !...but we'll try it...(do the DL) see I didn't think it would work..ok hold the (what ever card) we'll do a different trick...look at the card...I know its your card, SEE not even a smart A** like you can mess this deck up...

Does it put him down...I love it.

Don
[/quote]
What a NEAT comeback!! That's why YOU'RE the pro and I'm the virgin!

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 3, 2007 01:26PM)
Seth,

The giving them "the wrong card" is really strong.When you tell them to look at (what ever card) they think they are holding and it becomes their card right in their hands,they jump.Its that strong.( they think the card changed right in their hand)Than without letting them catch their breath you do "all the same" You have them "GASED" after those two moves one right after the other.That sells them.

I explan it more in my DVD.Go back and look at it.

Work on your DL. its worth it.

Don
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 3, 2007 01:40PM)
Thanks, Don for the advice -- as usual you are right on target.

I do use your initial card transposition during the first phase of the routine, and it is very strong when the cards "change places." So I agree that another instantaneous change from the "wrong" card to the right card would be equally as strong. The best part is that even though it is the same M.O., it appears to be a different effect (sort of like getting two for the price of one)!

My problem is that about once in every 20 DL's, I get sloppy and somebody picks it up. I guess that's not too bad as far as the Law of Averages goes, but it would unacceptable to most good workers and it's also unacceptable to me. So I will just have to clean up my technique, that's all! SETH
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Dec 3, 2007 03:31PM)
Seth - remember that you're teaching them the trick at the end, anyway, so if they pick up on your DL, it's not the end of the world. It would probably make the effect a little weaker (it makes the deck look harder than you want it to look), but like you said, law of averages and all...

I have a question to the point of changing your cards every so often - how often do you pros change your demo Svengali decks? I did my first pitch a couple weeks ago and my deck was getting really bad by the end of the day. The downside to switching it is that you need to learn a new key card and the card for the first switch. I was afraid I'd keep calling the wrong card, ya' know?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 3, 2007 04:07PM)
TKD27,

Where I get my pitch decks from ( that info comes with my DVD)they all have the same key card so that makes it easy.

I do know what you are talking about.When you switch out to a new deck that has a different key card and you can't remember the card in the middle of an effect,just drop your hand holding the deck below the table and peek another key card in the deck by turning the deck so the bottom is facing up in your hand and just slide the indifferent card (bottom card)to one side.

Later,Don
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 3, 2007 06:26PM)
[quote] On 2007-12-03 16:31, TKD27 wrote:
I have a question to the point of changing your cards every so often - how often do you pros change your demo Svengali decks? I did my first pitch a couple weeks ago and my deck was getting really bad by the end of the day. The downside to switching it is that you need to learn a new key card and the card for the first switch. I was afraid I'd keep calling the wrong card, ya' know? [/quote]
The decks I sell have all different key cards, which is actually an advantage, in my opinion. I keep two or three different decks on the table during the day, and I switch decks about once an hour. Especially if I'm working outside and it's a hot day, a deck can get sticky pretty quickly, so rotating the decks helps solve that problem.

In addition to keeping the decks fresher, using multiple decks avoids the possible problem of the same people seeing the same key card all the time. This happens more often than you might think, because people sometimes stay for a second show or come back later, by themselves or with other folks.

Of course, I have to remember a different key card and indifferent card each time, but I usually manage to get it. I ignore the suits and just remember that it's a Seven and a Jack, or whatever they might be. If I forget, I just say "my card" and "your card" -- nobody's ever complained. Of course, Don's solution is much classier, as usual.

Back to your question, I found that my problem isn't so much a deck wearing out as it is just getting dirty. I sell a medium-grade deck and the quality of card stock is pretty good. The problem is that after a while, the cards just get dirty and dingy-looking, so I eventually toss the deck and replace it with a fresh one. But generally a deck will last me at least a six pitch days (which of course is lots more actual performances) before it goes to the recycler. SETH

P.S. Don is the real pro here -- the rest of us are just amateurs by comparison! <grin>
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 3, 2007 06:54PM)
I agree. I'd much rather have different key cards in each deck. I bought 2 gross from (YOU KNOW!) and so far, all three decks I've used have had the 9 as the key. It's easy for me to remember (one guy recommends, the first time the customer draws a card, NOT having him show the key card to the dealer, then saying, "Now you'll remember that.....won't you?") but you're right, many kids do see the same key card many times because they bring their friends, either before or after buying. I guess that's just one more thing to live with. Of course, I can always "DO" my own cards. ;-)

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 3, 2007 06:57PM)
And by the way, I REALLY don't "teach" them the trick at the end. Only show the difference in card size and "magnetic finish". They gotta "learn" the trick after they buy the deck.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 3, 2007 08:17PM)
Guys,

When I had decks with different key cards when you start a pitch have someone in the tip just grab a deck out of your stock box on the table and hand it to you to do that pitch with.This proves they all work the same way and not just the deck you use for the demo.Than when your done the pitch just sell the deck you demoed with as the first sale.Now understand rarely does anybody say "do all the decks work like the one you used?"

If I just keep useing the same deck to demo and it get "larry" (carny lingo for bad) I put it up and get a new deck out.Than someday a good kid will stop by and REALLY won't have the money for a deck,so I'll tell him...hey kid if you take this money and go to the snack stand to buy us a soda I'll give you a deck.

Never just give a kid a deck.Make him think he earned it.

Just the smile I get on the kids face is worth way more than a larry deck.Remember in this life,whats goes around comes around.

Later,Don
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 4, 2007 09:46AM)
Another reason I HAVE for using new cards every once in a while--it seems that with cards that are "well used", doing the DL WELL is very hard for me. Sometimes the key card sneaks out just a little, particularly on the top left edge. And of course, people standing close sometimes see that little edge, so they know I have 2 cards. New cards, not so hard. I understand it takes practice to do it well and showing them back and forth to the crowd helps. But new cards really alleviate that problem for me. Maybe the "fanning powder" will help with the old cards. Gonna get some today and see.

By the way, when people SEE the DL and say, "Hey, that wasn't the top card (or whatever) I say, "Well, I SAID it was a TRICK deck." and go on with the pitch.

And frankly, in the shows I've done, I never have a problem with people standing back from my table. Particularly the kids WANT to see how it's done. And they come right up against the table when I say, "Gonna show you the secret...it's very small....."

One kid bought a set then stayed on to ask, "How do you make 'em magnetic?" I did my little magnetic thing again and said, "It's the finish on the cards. They're already magnetic." Believe it or not, he said, "If you leave 'em alone, will they point north?" "Dunno. You could try and see. Let me know what you find out."

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 4, 2007 10:36AM)
[quote] On 2007-12-04 10:46, Jon-O the Great wrote:
Another reason I HAVE for using new cards every once in a while--it seems that with cards that are "well used", doing the DL WELL is very hard for me. Sometimes the key card sneaks out just a little, particularly on the top left edge. Jon-O [/quote]
I have that same problem every once in a while, too; I try to use my first finger and pinky to square everything up before "liftoff," which usually helps.

But my bigger problem is angles. I usually try to keep the cards "face-on" to the specs and in a small but constant motion, per Don's advice. But once in a while I'm sloppy and they will get a flash of a partial side view and there goes the neighborhood, as they say. The key card makes for an easy DL but also makes it nearly impossible to keep everything tightly together (I do bend the card inward slightly, which helps a little.)

And hey, watch out for those magnetic Svengali cards, you could disrupt somebody's pacemaker! <grin> SETH
Message: Posted by: SeasideShowman (Dec 4, 2007 09:32PM)
Sethb wrote:
" ...nearly impossible to keep everything tightly together (I do bend the card inward slightly, which helps a little.) "

Now I'm no old pro like Don (although may I mention that I have bought his DVD and think it's great) but I do the Svengali everyday as part of my demo pitch at a friends magic store here. As sethb mentions when doing the DL if you do the slight bend when showing the face it won't tell on you. It doesn't just 'help a little' it helps alot. I love the Svengali !!

And Don, I want to thank you here publically not only for the production of your DVD but also for the time you took to personally correspond with me this past summer answering my questions and helping resolve a very minor problem with turnaround time on the product from your vendor. All your help was (and is) greatly appreciated !!

Cap'n Mike
aka Alfresco Fettucini
http://www.fettucinibrothers.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Dec 4, 2007 09:32PM)
Don - funny, I just assumed all the cards were different key cards. I opened up a new deck, and sure enough, same key card :-P
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Dec 4, 2007 09:40PM)
Regarding the cards - I've found that for cheap pitch decks, Fun Inc's is really the nicest quality.

That said, Don't place doesn't require a minimum order (Fun is $350, I think) and is actually 5 cents more expensive a deck when you buy to gross at a time(for what it's worth). Plus Don's recommended dealer comes with nicer looking instructions. And on top of all that, Fun Inc's decks are not collated.

I've been using Don's recommended dealer, but if I start doing more I might try out Fun Inc's. I personally bought one of these decks from the local magic shop some time ago and they really are just so smooth to use.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 5, 2007 07:40AM)
[quote] On 2007-12-04 22:40, TKD27 wrote: Regarding the cards - I've found that for cheap pitch decks, Fun Inc's is really the nicest quality.

That said, Don's place doesn't require a minimum order (Fun is $350, I think) and is actually 5 cents more expensive a deck when you buy to gross at a time(for what it's worth). Plus Don's recommended dealer comes with nicer looking instructions. And on top of all that, Fun Inc's decks are not collated. [/quote]
After investigating several sources, I went with the Royal Magic Svengali Decks from FUN, Inc., for a number of reasons.

FUN sells three different grades of decks: a pitch deck, a medium-grade deck, and a Bicycle deck. The Bikes would be too good and much too expensive to pitch. The pitch-grade deck is not collated and uses thinner card stock, but does come with decent instructions printed on two or three extra cards that are packed with the deck; this eliminates the need to carry around and give out a separate set of instructions. I had also looked at a different pitch deck (the “1847” deck) from another supplier, which was about the same price, also not collated, but of lesser quality with even thinner stock, and with fair-to-middling instructions on a separate piece of paper.

(BTW, good instructions are important. When the kids come back and say they can’t work the trick, you don’t have time to stop and give them lessons. If the instructions are good and clear, all you have to say is “read the instructions.” And if the instructions are good, the child will actually learn the trick and won’t be frustrated with it, making a satisfied customer (and parent) instead of an unsatisfied one).

In the end I went with the Royal Magic medium-grade deck, which is actually basic magic-store quality. They are already collated and come packed a dozen to a box that can also serve as a good tabletop display. The card stock is of good quality and very durable. The decks are individually sleeved with a very attractive shiny wrapper, and good instructions are packed with each deck. FUN also sells a good companion “101 Tricks with a Svengali Deck” pamphlet that has a matching shiny cover. (Don’t laugh –- as they say, you can’t sell the steak without the sizzle!) These decks are more expensive than the FUN pitch decks, but in my opinion they are a better quality product, look better and consequently sell better, too.

I recently worked a flea market where another fellow was selling toys, including a Svengali Deck. He had a good pitch and a nice setup, but I noticed that many of the kids were buying from me rather than him. Why? Well, I think it was because he was selling plain pitch decks, with homemade typed instructions wrapped around them, tied up with red or green ribbons (this was an Xmas bazaar). His decks looked cheap and unprofessional by comparison, even though we were both charging the same price. So even though my decks may cost me a bit more, I think it is money well spent. In three years of pitching decks, I have not yet had one complaint or return – that’s pretty good!

It is true that FUN, Inc. requires a large initial order, but I believe that reorders are only a $100 minimum (although you would likely order more than that anyway, to save on shipping costs). And even if you don’t initially need that many Svengali Decks and pamphlets, I’m sure you could find something else you might need –- a few hanks of rope, a Card Duck, some sponge balls, a book or two, etc., to bring that initial total up to the required minimum. I have also found FUN's service and shipping to be fast and accurate. Incidentally, the Royal Magic decks are also available from Robbins, too. SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 5, 2007 09:46AM)
As I've mentioned in some of my posts, I got my cards from the source mentioned in Don's DVD. Two gross cost $202.61, including shipping to San Antonio. That's $0.703 each. The 2-card Monte cost about $0.05 from Don's source. So, including printing out the sheet for the 2-card Monte, it costs about $0.77 per sale.

I know there are guys selling the cards for $10 but I don't see how to do it without raising the perceived value. I've been toying with the idea of raising the price to $10 by adding a home made CD or DVD of me doing the 10 tricks in the box. Could show close up stuff that the instruction sheets only SAYS, doesn't show. Sam's has blank DVDs in thin crystal cases for about $0.45 ea., including tax. I have little to do during the week, so making the video and the disks would be no problem. A $10 sale would require a $1.22 investment.

The only prob, Don says there are codes that some home DVD copiers would not put on the DVD. So it would not play on some players. I'm thinking I'll try it and see what happens.

Opinions?

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 5, 2007 11:47AM)
I could be wrong, but I think $10 is a tough number to hit for an impulse item like this, at least in my area, regardless of what you are including. I think S. David Walker gets $10 a deck, but I'm certainly not anywhere close to his category!!

This is why I have priced my decks a bit below $10, which seems like a lot less money but really is not. I'd rather make a little less on each sale and make more sales; at the end of the day, I think you come out better.

But if you wanted to increase the value, you could try adding a "101 Tricks" pamphlet; these are easily worth $3-4+ on their own, but would only cost a little more than the price of the DVD's you are considering (with no player compatibility or technical issues!). I used to carry the pamphlets, but found that most buyers were satisfied with the seven tricks in the instructions and didn't want to learn any more than that, or at least didn't want to pay extra for any more tricks. But you could certainly get a few dozen of the pamphlets and see how they go, then you'll know! SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 5, 2007 12:12PM)
Kids today don't want to read and most won't.They sure won't pay more for a pamphlet.

But you could just jack the price of the deck and GIVE the pamphlet as part of the package.

I think the DVD will work much better for todays kids.

If you guys aren't pitching the Squirmle with the deck as a package deal,you're loosing lots of money.

Don
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 5, 2007 01:10PM)
I'm sure not trying to change procedure, only make more money. It may not work.

But years ago, I sold 2 automatic wire strippers for $10. Now sell them 2 for $20. But the perceived value is higher now, because now I use a copy of the site where the guy on TV sells them for $20 for one. Sometimes, if they start to walk away, I use a 3rd one as a "drop". Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but if it's a matter of "Sale" or "No Sale"...I'll take "Sale" every time.

As for impulse items, I'll guarantee no one comes to a gun show or car show WANTING wire strippers, which I think makes 'em a $20 "impulse" item.

My thot is that it won't take much longer to give 'em a DVD and if I only sell 51% of the number of sales as before, I'll make more money. I plan to have a very colorful label for the DVD, so it looks professional,...say something like "10 Tricks for your..." with a picture of the deck under it, then, "...complete close-up instructions..."

As for the worm, my mind is so busy now, trying to keep the cards aligned, being sure I count properly, etc., I think I'll save the worm for later. A DVD requires NO thinking ("...that's why they let ME do it...". Only a few words and they either buy or don't.

Maybe I'll find that kids don't wanna spend 10 bux or can't "jack" the money outta their folks, so it may not work...or it may. We'll see.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 5, 2007 02:31PM)
I re-read the above and aside from irritating Seth AND Don, which I DID NOT intend, my major point was "perceived value".

If I can make the 45-cent DVD LOOK like something worth near $19.99 (the price I intend to put on the label) then give it free with a sale, my hope is that while the $10 price of the deck with the DVD may DECREASE sales, it will INCREASE profit. (Was that a LOOONG sentence?) ;-)

E-mail me at TexasStrippers at Yahoo.com and I'll send you a copy of my proposed label. Tell me what you think.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: markmagic (Dec 6, 2007 12:10AM)
Don, I haven't pitched Svengalis for years, Do the worm occasionally. Watched a video the other day, seems like the pitch was 10-12 minutes. Won't mention names of whose video, but seems to me, todays crowd won't stay around for a 10 minute pitch. Am I wrong? Maybe I should get your pitch videos, but 10-12 minutes seems like a long time to hold a crowd? Thanks,
Mark
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 6, 2007 06:50AM)
Jon-O, I know you didn't irritate me and I don't think you irritated Don either, I don't know what gave you that impression. Sorry if my post upset you, it certainly wasn't intended to do that.

Anyway, Don's comments have confirmed my experience with the Svengali pamphlets, so perhaps your instincts with the DVD are right. Since the cost to you is so low, you could certainly try a few and see what happens. I have constantly had to review and adjust my pitch, my prices and my stock to find out what works best for me, it's an ongoing process.

BTW, I second Don's comments about the Squirmles. If you haven't done any thread work before, they will take some getting used to before you get the hang of it. But it is a beautiful pitch item. When people see that worm jumping from one cup to another all by itself, it stops them dead in their tracks. Short of setting yourself on fire, there's no better way to build a crowd.

Also, the worms go over big with kids that are a mite too young to appreciate and handle a Svengali Deck, so you would be expanding your market at very little additional work or cost to you. I can pack 75 worms in a medium-size Stanley plastic tool chest, take it along and make at least an extra $150-200 a day with very little effort. SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 6, 2007 07:56AM)
Markmagic
I agree with you 100%.10 minutes is just too long.My pitch is just 5 mimutes and it works good.

Not only is it better for todays tip that dosen't want to stay still for too long,at half the time you can get twice as many pitches in a day witch adds up to $$$$$$$$$$$

If anybody wants squirmles wholesale,email me at: pitchmandondriver@hotmail.com

Don
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 6, 2007 09:31AM)
Every time I watch Don's video, I see something else that I'm not doing or not doing exactly right--or DOING that I shouldn't. Little mannerism or phrases that make it work BETTER. Last nite was watching it again, as I copied the DVDs and picked up stuff I either missed before or forgot. I was surprised at how much I learned--AGAIN.

As I have mentioned, I hate to put the cards in the kid's hands because they are soooo sticky and yucky looking. I do the "all different and all the same" myself. But doing it Don's way DOES seem better because

1) it gives a feeling of ownership AND
2) shows that they ("...anybody...") can do it.

I guess I just gotta make up my mind and do it. But UGH!! those FILTHY hands!!
Is there a solution to that?

Seth, you didn't upset me. I was just disagreeing with your statement that a $10 "impulse" item might be hard to sell, while the strippers I sell are a $20 "impulse" item and they are easy (for me) to sell. (After 14 years they SHOULD be!) Of course, I mostly sell strippers to adults, while I've sold the cards mostly to kids. Again, I guess the "proof is in the pudding". I used to tune Weber carbs, changing venturii, rods, jets, etc. People would ask..."What will happen if I do so-and-so?" The answer is always "suck it and see". Well, I'm gonna...you know.....;-)

I've seen people doing the worms at shows and marveled at their handling. But most of the guys I've seen have done it for years and seem so adept at it. I am reticent to try it until I can do the DL so people don't say "Oh look, he has 2 cards...". Then I might.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Dec 6, 2007 08:42PM)
I'd love to do the worm, but it really is hard to get. All magic is like that at first, I guess, but I don't know where to start. Does anyone know of a good resource to learn the handling of it (other than Don't video which is more pitch-related)? Or do any of you guys have any tips to practice with?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 6, 2007 09:07PM)
TKD27

Watch and study these vids http://www.magicalpets.com/ This site is on ever Squirmle package so the kids that buy one can go and learn some moves.

That's Carl and he owns the name Squirmle.He'll be on QVC with them this Sunday December 9th at 6:00 AM Eastern LIVE. (yes I said AM )
Message: Posted by: SeasideShowman (Dec 7, 2007 08:12AM)
Geez,

6:00 AM? On a Sunday !! Now that's a tough pitch ...

Cap'n Mike
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 7, 2007 08:20AM)
TKD27 -- Don's pitch DVD provides a very good wholesale source for the Magic Worms. That source also sells a TREMENDOUS 45-minute "training video" that will teach you ALL the moves, including the "jump through the hoop" stunt that just kills. The video also includes the complete pitch, plus lots of good tips for prepping and handling the gaff (such as, a little cornstarch goes a long way).

If you are pitching the worm or planning to, you need this video. But Don's "kissing move" on his DVD is still the one that really brings in the money --- when they see that, the five-dollar bills really start landing on the table! SETH
Message: Posted by: markmagic (Dec 8, 2007 12:46AM)
Some people get upset, when they open the worm, and discover a fishing line. They can't see your invisible thread, but the fishing line is pretty obvious. Anyone else have a problem or comment on this.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 8, 2007 06:43PM)
[quote] On 2007-12-08 01:46, markmagic wrote: Some people get upset, when they open the worm and discover a fishing line. They can't see your invisible thread, but the fishing line is pretty obvious. Anyone else have a problem or comment on this. [/quote]
Your concern is a valid one, and I wondered about it myself. However, I think the answer is that the pitchman needs to use IT to show what a great trick it is. But I can't sell a worm with IT, because most people would break that IT line in the first 10 seconds of trying to use it. It takes practice and skill to use IT properly, something most 10-year olds don't have right off the bat.

So I sell my worms with a very thin monofilament leader line, which is much stronger but frankly, is also pretty invisible under the right conditions. And, I also include information in the instructions that explains how to substitute a very thin black thread once the buyer learns all the moves and becomes used to handling the worm.

I have sold hundreds of worms over the past two years, and have only had one occasion where a woman wanted her money back because "there was a string" in the package. I'll take those odds any day. SETH
Message: Posted by: mota (Dec 8, 2007 07:29PM)
Actually that package with fishing line almost got me into a knife fight. I was working a flea (Trader's Village in Grand Prarie, Texas). I had a good tip going when this tattooed guy storms in front, throws down the worm and screams he wants his money back.

Normally I do this without a thought but this guy was ape and I reacted. I always tell the buyers to not throw anything away until they are sure they haven't thrown away the gimmick. Of course, his kid (cowering in the back) had torn open the package, thrown everything away except for the worm and then told his dad it didn't work.

So I asked the guy where the rest of it was and that his kid had thrown the gimmick away. He got even madder and went for his pocket...so I went for mine. He froze when he realized I had a knife too. I have no doubt he would have tried to stab me if I wasn't carrying also.

I threw him a five and he retreated swearing at me in Spanish while I made observations about his swimming ability. Kind of wrecked the pitch.

That package with the fish line was an endless source of headaches for me...the complaints were non-stop as it didn't come attached and wasn't what I used. It got to the point where I stopped pitching the worm as the headaches were just too much.

There is a solution:

Use the worm Don Driver hooks you up with. You can pitch it straight out of the package using the gimmick it comes with. That gimmick is already attached and works great as is. You don't need to give lame excuses why you use something different or triple-tie the bag so they don't open it until they get too far away to complain (as the maker of the fish-line worm recommends).

If I had Don's worm I would still be pitching the worm. It eliminates every problem I had.

At some point I may get the taste out of my mouth of that experience. If and when I do I will be using the worm Don recommends.

I highly recommend dumping the stock with the fish line (I did) and getting Don's recommended worm.

I never had a thousand dollar day with the worm like some but I had days over seven hundred and four hundred dollar days were common (and that was with the fish line worm).

My wife and I ran two joints, side-by-side. She covered the Higley zbit and I pitched the worm. Both drew large tips and one joint fed the other.

We did real good.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 9, 2007 09:47AM)
Mota, sorry to hear about your problem -- that's a pretty amazing story, but as we know some people are just totally nuts.

I have seen Don's worm and I agree the gimmick is quite good, probably better than the mono leader. It is probably about the same strength and thickness, but it's darker, I guessed it was Kevlar or something similar. I also liked the eyes on Don's worm, too, although I though the body was a bit on the thin side by comparison. Basically, each version has its assets and liabilities. However, I have been pretty successful with the other worm and still have a pretty good stock of them that I would need to run through first.

I also agree with your refund policy of making sure that everything is returned complete and in saleable condition, although I would probably make an exception for someone with a knife or gun! I also keep some extra gimmicks with me, because you are right, some of the kids throw away the package and the gimmick and then complain that it doesn't work.

I still say the worm is a pretty good and clever trick, but I don't what people expect for $5 -- something powered by nuclear energy? SETH
Message: Posted by: mota (Dec 9, 2007 11:52AM)
I would inoculate against this in my pitch...I would say something like this:

"This uses a gimmick...it is a simple gimmick, so simple it is embarrassing. I first saw this gimmick in second grade in a magic book at the school library. You are going to open the package, look at the gimmick and go, "That's it?"

Yes, it's that simple...and watch what it can do."

That section worked great for me...they would open it, find the string and go, "well, he did say it was simple." With that section in there I pretty much eliminated beefs about the gimmick.
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 9, 2007 12:00PM)
What a neat idea!

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 9, 2007 06:51PM)
Very good idea, Mota -- I agree.

Of course, the irony is that most good magic tricks are also simple -- the Linking Rings, the Cups & Balls, Cut & Restored Rope, Color-Changing Knives, just to name a few. It is the handling and the routine that sells the trick. The same thing is true here. SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 9, 2007 07:38PM)
That dosen't happen often to me but when it does I say:

" This a magic trick not a miracle...and isn't it wonderful it only takes a thread to make it work and you don't have to buy batteries or plug it in...why now that I think about it,it is a MIRACLE..to think of all it does with just a small piece of thread...what a magic trick...its amazing...don't you think?"

Don
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 9, 2007 08:09PM)
I hate to disagree with a pro, but doesn't covering IDEA of the "gimmick" FIRST usually preclude HAVING a problem with the "gimmick" later? Isn't the best defense a good offense?

I know you do it in your DVD. You cover the objection before it happens. That's why we say, "It's a trick deck, a mechanical deck...." So when my DL is not the best and some little kid says, "Hey, you got 2 cards..." I can say, "Well, I said it was a trick deck and I have no talent or ability..." and keep on going. What my "bumble-fingers" and a "trick deck" have in common, I don't know but at least I'm reminding them it's not a regular deck and I have no talent! ;-) So when they buy it and see the key cards, hopefully they remember I said it was a trick deck.

Of course, if they forget that you described the "gimmick" at the front of your worm demo and DO come back upset, THEN you can use your response. Maybe you need 'em both!

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 9, 2007 08:55PM)
Jon,

You never tell them how the squirmle works NEVER,for that matter I never "really" tell them how the deck works in the pitch.I cover all this in my DVD.

I only say this if they come back and are upset when they find out the squirmle works with a thread (I have no idea what they think should make it work),and they rarely ever come back.


Don
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 10, 2007 08:09AM)
Don is right (as usual), you don't explain the secret.

Even in his Svengali Pitch, although Don does show the short card, he does it to bring the tip in closer, but he doesn't explain that there are 23 more just like it, nor does he give away the DL. Saying that it is a trick deck and explaining how it actually works are two very different things. The secret is part of the purchase price of any magic trick, which is why most tricks are usually nonrefundable (except to irate mothers and customers with knives!).

In addition to keeping the Magician's Code, not giving away the secret makes business sense, because lots of people buy the deck or the worm just to find out how it works. You may smile at this, but I know that plenty of magicians, including myself, have done exactly the same thing when buying from a magic dealer.

So when people ask if the worm works with body heat, static electricity, magnets, string, batteries, gravity or whatever, I just say "That's a good guess," which doesn't admit or deny the method. SETH
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Dec 26, 2007 02:17AM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-06 18:56, Tom Riddle wrote:
I don't know if any of you are familiar with a Scottsman named Ronnie McCleod. He used to be an excellent pitchman, although I imagine he must be getting on in years like the rest of us! He has much to say on these matters:

"I get a vibe that New Zealand is virgin territory where the Svengali deck is concerned. It is a small country and I suspect that Brent is the only one selling Svengalis there. I suspect the public have hardly ever seen it. If this is the case he has the potential to take in $1000 per day on a regular basis. It is only 100 decks a day at $10.

Joe Stuthard worked Australia with the cards for years. He was a great Svengali worker. I am not sure if he went over to New Zealand or not.

Do you know Richard Webster? I got my psychic powers from him and he worked Ginsu knives in New Zealand for a while.

There is a UK pitch and a US pitch. I have never heard of a Kiwi/German pitch. It sounds to me like the end of civilisation as we know it. However I cannot comment upon it until I actually see it. Neither can I really comment on whether you should show the "secret" until I know the demographics of New Zealand punters and how hot the deck is over there. I suspect it is as hot as hell and you should be taking in a grand a day. I suppose I could be wrong. I am just going by intuition from years of experience in ripping off the public in the way they deserve.

What does your routine consist of? What tricks? How do you come to the bat? (close the sale) The way you come to the bat is more important than the tricks themselves.

First I do NOT show the secret in the way that I work. I only give the illusion of doing so. I get a vibe that you should certainly show it in your demonstration since not only will it increase sales it will take the unholy burden off your shoulders of you having to give the ***s magic lessons later as you have described in your post. You may as well give them the lesson during the demonstration rather than after they buy it.

It is utterly fatal to your business wasting time teaching people how to do it after they buy them. You are not running a school of magic. You have their money. It is essential that they now clear off and that you never see them again. I believe in protecting the secrets of magic and it would break my heart if I thought anyone could actually do the trick after purchase. I don't think I could sleep at night if I gave anyone value for money.

You come from New Zealand so you must know something about sheep shearing. The punters are merely sheep to be sheared and you are not there to educate the ***s. Take their money and get rid of them.

One advantage of being a nasty man like myself is that they are very nervous of coming to me for private lessons afterwords. They get away from me as soon as possible and that is just the way I like it.

You MUST have some way of giving the illusion of revealing the secret in the demonstration so they think they can do it. I have my way and Don has his way. It helps sales and discourages people asking for lessons afterwards. If someone comes up to me and asks for deeper instruction after they buy it I merely snarl at them and say "Read the Instructions!"
They soon get the vibe that I want them to clear off and leave me alone.

I have always believed in service with a smile." RM
[/quote]


Great advice from the master!!!

I show the deck during the demo & it really is the selling point of may short promo routine that I must perform about average12-15 times an hour so over an 8 hr day that's a lot of pitching !!!!

NZ is new to Svengali pitching , no one is doing more than what I do as I am aware, I work 2 days a week at markets & usually 1-2 days on the street which suprisingly works well between certain hrs-I am becoming well known at my regular pitch now as well as the market -sun I sold 54 decks at $10 a pop in 3 hrs which for here is actually very good, the only way to sell 100 decks a day is to get in to the show expos without spending a fortune on rent!!

The thing that is annoying is I have to spend 1-2 mins showing some people how to work the deck which I shouldnt do but the sale would fall through so need advice on that one from anybody


In conclusion show the cards all to be the same!

Funny thing is even after telling people 3-4 times its a trick deck they still ask if they can use the cards at home etc...........
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Jan 7, 2008 06:07PM)
I’ve written before about the sense of “wonder” the kids have when they see the tricks with the cards. I’ve changed Don’s pitch just a little by adding the DVD at the end and using one of Mark Lewis’ lines on the 1st trick, “Choose a card from my left hand, you look at it but don’t show it to me. Now you’ll remember that 9 of Hearts, won’t you?”

WOW!! What a response that gets. Some people look at the back to see if it’s “marked”. But I ALWAYS get a reponse of some type.

“How’d you do that?”

“I told you it was a trick deck, remember?”

A couple of kids came by yesterday, I did the pitch, they had no money and left. One (a vendor’s son) came back a few hours later, almost at closing, with, I assume, his Granny.

“Will you show her?”

“Sure” So I did the pitch again, changing the last trick by having the 9 inside a card box. I had run out of DVDs by then and the price was down to $5.

The kid said, “Well I’d like to buy it but my dad says I can’t. If I buy it, he’ll get mad.” Long face. I thot he had brought the Granny so SHE could buy it but she just stood there.

So I said, “Hey, it’s not the end of the world, kid. I’ll be back at this show again and you can get it then. And I sure don’t want your dad mad at you OR me.” And the Granny just stood there. Then they left again.

I’m really starting to tear down and they came back. The kid said, “Would you take $4?”

“No, but I PROMISE I’ll be back next show.”

“Well, I guess I’ll take it.” He threw a rolled-up $5 on the table and I gave him the set. The Granny whispered to me, “His dad didn’t want HIM to buy it, so I gave him the money.”

Now the question is, Should I have given them to him for $4 or free, as a reward for his persistence or just as I did?”

“Is a puzzlement!”

Jon
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jan 7, 2008 06:25PM)
Your a pitchman...take the money.

Don
Message: Posted by: SeasideShowman (Jan 7, 2008 07:01PM)
Jon & Don,

You got to give the kid 'props' though for trying to get it for $4.00 ... way to go, kid !!

In the end though, Don, you are correct, sir. And nice work sticking to your pitch, Jon.

I love this stuff ...

Cap'n Mike
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Jan 7, 2008 09:42PM)
Well, obviously I took the bux. But sometimes these kids really get to me...they want the cards SOOOO bad but the parents just walk away--"Oh, you don't need those, etc..."

I'm SORELY tempted to GIVE it to 'em and tell 'em, "Hey, next time you come back, you show me that 2-card Monte..."

But, being the greedy son-of-a-gun that I am, I don't! ;-)

Jon
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Jan 20, 2008 09:15AM)
Had two interesting things happen yesterday. One: I sold out of Svengali cards. Well, figuratively. I had taken less than 2 boxes into the show and sold ‘em all—45 sets. I guess that would be comparable to not taking an umbrella to a rain dance. But that was the most sets I’d ever sold in one day. I was very proud of myself for that.

But the funny thing….one kid, about 10, came back, asking lots of questions. He said he could do the 2-card Monte pretty well but still didn’t understand a couple of things with the deck. I said, “Did you read the instructions? BOTH SIDES?”

“Yep, but I still don’t understand how to make the card go thru the box!”

Frankly, I have never read the instructions so I don’t know what was in ‘em. About that time, some more kids came up so he watched me very intently, actually getting down with his eyes level to the table top—thru TWO demos. When the other kids had left, he said, “I’m sorry, sir, but I just don’t get it.”

I used Don’s retort, “We charge $5 for the cards, $10 for instructions.” He just stood there, waiting for who-knows-what? After about a half minute of this, I finally said, “Do you remember in the demo where I do the 1st trick?”

“Yes”

“How many cards to I pick up?”

“Two.” At least he got THAT part.

“And then I put them BACK on the deck?”

“Yes”

And then how many do I put on the table?”

“Ooooooooh!! So it never actually GOES thru the box!” You can believe this or not but his eyes got very big and he actually GALLOPED away, happy as a lark.

I guess he finally got it!

KIDS!!

John
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Jan 20, 2008 12:14PM)
It's funny - as magicians I think we (at least I do) sometimes forget that kids (and adults) don't really know that everything is a simple explanation. Many really assume there's some secret, complicated, mechanical (and even almost magical) way our tricks work.

I went with my friend who owns our local magic store to an illusion show he helped produce. He was given a table in the lobby to sell tricks. I demo'ed and sold a Hot Rod to someone. This was just as we were wrapping up and had had a terrible night. Almost no sales. So I decided before the kid left I'd take it out and teach him how it worked. Once I did, he looked at me unbelievably - even a little disappointed. He really expected a secret method for making it work. I'll never forget that. It really all goes back to why we (as magicians, not pitchmen) aren't supposed to reveal out secrets. It's because they will just be disappointed at how easy it is.

Your situation went a little differently, as he seemed a little more happy to learn it. Maybe he'll really be a future great magician, now, instead of someone who just throws his worthless toy in a junk drawer next week :) Congrats,

Matt
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Jan 20, 2008 09:55PM)
You think THAT one was funny…

Two brothers, one about 7 and one about 5, who bought a set yesterday came by about noon today and just kinda stood there. I finally asked, “How do you like the cards?” The older one pulled the 2-card Monte out of his pocket and said, “Well, OK—I already won $5 with these!”

“Hey—you already paid for the cards, right?”

“Yep” And they left.

Near closing, they came back. The older one pulled out the deck and said, “Can you show me some other tricks?”

I used Don’s comeback—“The cards are $5, instruction is $10” and went on with my work. He seemed a little disappointed but they left. I still have a hard time believing it but in a couple of minutes they came back, the older one with $10 in his hand. Frankly, I was flabbergasted!

OK, Don, I DIDN’T take the money!

I told him, “I’ll tell you what. You keep it and after I show you what you want, if you think it’s worth $10, THEN you can give it to me.”

It was getting very near closing and there was NO ONE in the aisles, so I said, “OK, gimme the cards. You have them in the correct order, right?”

“Yeah.”

Well, of course they weren’t, so I put them in order and did the larceny trick, (Hey, I ONLY know those 3 tricks!) telling them, “You really gotta read the instructions. And if they aren’t in the correct order, the deck won’t work.”

“How’d you know where to put them?” I went into the details of why and how.

“And remember what I said about READING the instructions on BOTH sides of the paper? You REALLY gotta do it.”

“Well, I can’t do the DL.” Of course he didn’t call it that.

“Look, here’s a trick I learned when I first started. Bow the top 2 cards either out or in and when you do it, they will almost jump into your hand.” He did it and was REALLY surprised—because they DID jump into his hand.

“Wow! That’s neat.” The whole time his little brother was taking all this in, eyes wide. “Can I try?”

Now this kid had REALLY small hands-after all, 5 is not exactly a ripe old age.

“Can you hold them in your hands without dropping them?”

“No…” (At least he was honest.)

“Well, look, when you get as old as your brother, you come back and I’ll show you, OK?”

“OK”, very dejected. I had a couple of 2-card Monte sets in my cash box and said, “OK, here’s a set like your brother’s. Go steal….er WIN 5 bux!”

Man!! His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree!!

The older one said, “Well, here’s your $10.”

“Nope…you go buy some books on magic. Then NEXT show YOU can show ME something new!”

OK, Don, I know, I know…I’m a pitchman not a philanthropist. Oh well….

John
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Jan 21, 2008 08:14AM)
Am I the only one who has these "wierd" things happen or am I the only one who writes about 'em? Maybe after a few years, things like these will seem ordinary. But for now, each day I work with the cards, it seems there is at least one thing that either amazes me or grabs my heart. Or both.

John
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jan 24, 2008 11:56AM)
John, you are right on the money, it seems like there is almost always something out of the ordinary at each show, that has been my experience as well.

I guess the answer is we are dealing with people and human nature, which is by definition pretty unpredictable. Add to that the fact that we are also selling something unusual, and there you have it. But that's probably one of the reasons we were all attracted to magic in the first place! SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jan 24, 2008 12:10PM)
Don't ya just love it all!
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Jan 24, 2008 02:27PM)
Yep. I'd LOVE to learn how to do a DL!! ;-)

John
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jan 25, 2008 07:13AM)
[quote] On 2008-01-24 13:10, DonDriver wrote: Don't ya just love it all! [/quote]

Great post, Don, that really says it all, and it's true. There is nothing like going out on a Saturday, performing and pitching all day, drawing nice crowds and puzzled looks from other vendors, seeing the smiles of the specs and hearing the compliments, and then coming home with a pocketful of money to boot!

And thanks again for making your Svengali Pitch DVD available. I remember seeing a wonderful Svengali pitchman on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City in the 1960's (and bought two Svengali Decks and a Money Maker as a result). But I could never have remembered enough details to recreate the pitch myself 40 years later. Your DVD gives the inside scoop and the real work, and makes it easy to learn, for someone who is willing to put in the time and effort. I thing it's a great contribution to the magic literature.

OK, now who wants one, just raise your hand and we'll get to you as soon as we can . . . . SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jan 25, 2008 09:50AM)
Thanks for that Seth...

Don
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Feb 14, 2008 12:09PM)
Jon, I'm not asking for you to post exposure in this thread, but your reference to the boy wondering if the card went through the box makes me wonder if the handling of 2 Card Monte taught by Don is different than the traditional 2 Card Monte, where the double-facer is put behind the back and the spectator is asked to guess which card it is? (eg page 116-117 in Mark Wilson's [i]Complete Course in Magic[/i]).

By the way, I've enjoyed browsing through these threads and reading your personal accounts of some of your experiences, especially the ones with the kids described above!
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Feb 14, 2008 03:40PM)
That's more or less Don's handling for two card monte, but I think Jon was referring to the Svengali Deck with the part about cards going through the boxes.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Feb 14, 2008 05:48PM)
Thanks for clarifying that, that makes sense, and the misunderstanding was mine.

Keep those firsthand stories coming Jon, they're great!
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 18, 2008 01:34PM)
Gregory,

You REALLY need Don's DVD! I think all your questions about the cards AND the worms would be answered if you had it. Even if you never use it to pitch, YOU NEED IT!

Jon
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (May 15, 2008 03:33PM)
I got Don's DVD, practiced (over and over) and hit the flea market a couple of weeks ago. I did pretty well, but I noticed that I was loosing sales that I should have got. I went back home that night and, sure enough, there on the DVD was Don telling me what I was doing wrong. I thought I had it all down, but I wasn't doing it exactly as Don told me. I corrected my mistake, and the next week, sales were much better.

I can't stress enough the need to do it [b]exactly like he says[/b]. I spoke with Don today and he always has great information and is more than willing to help.

Thanks for everything, Don!
Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (May 15, 2008 03:44PM)
What were you doing wrong?
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (May 15, 2008 09:06PM)
I was looking up, when I shouldn't. I wasn't always showing the card to the whole tip each time. The psychology is so fine tuned, if you think you can do it better, or omit the important tips that Don gives, sales will go down.
Message: Posted by: sethb (May 16, 2008 07:16AM)
It is amazing how one little thing can make a big difference. But it's true, "the devil is in the details," and fortunately, Don provides all the little tips that anyone needs.

Congrats, Scott, on joining the "Svengali Pitch Club," and best of luck to you. SETH
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (May 16, 2008 09:03AM)
Thanks Seth!
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Jun 4, 2008 08:06PM)
Last weekend I sold over 2 boxes of cards---AT A GUN SHOW! WITH the DVD!! That has never happened before. People just TOOK them away from me! And the kids just loved it! It seemed I heard, "How'd you do THAT?" more times than I ever have before. And NO ONE said, "Hey, you got 2 cards!" I think I finally may have the DL like it is SUPPOSED to be. I think I MIGHT even be a PITCHMAN some day!

Two guys came by at different times, both of them were very familiar with the deck. They each showed me tricks, one several coin tricks and one just cards. It was kinda slow at that time so no prob. I had seen one guy, an old codger, who said he was formerly a pro magician, at a previous show. He hung around for a few minutes and watched the pitch. He told the little girl, "Honey, you'll love these cards and you can have lots of fun with your friends." Unfortunately, she was about 10, had no bux and left. As I was packing up, she RAN to my table with $10, "Oh, I'm so happy I got here before you left. I REALLY want those cards. I know I can have fun with my friends."

YA NEVER KNOW!

Jon
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 5, 2008 12:58PM)
Well, as another vendor once told me, "Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you."

You just never know what the situation will be. I have gone to some shows with high expectations and come home with beer money. I have gone to other shows that I thought would be a dud, and really raked it in. Fortunately I have always made my table fee, that would be really depressing otherwise! Now I'm a little more careful about which shows and venues I take, and usually I do well, but you just never know.

That's why I always bring plenty of inventory, the last thing you want to do is run out of something! Congrats to you, and have a good summer with your DL's! SETH