I agree, in my limited experience I have not had many requests for refunds, perhaps five or six in the three years I have been doing this. Don's line about the boss is good, I have used that once or twice before.
I happen to use a price list because I sell about five different tricks. On the list I also have a "No Refunds" statement, something to the effect that "once the secret is told, the trick is sold, so choose carefully before you buy." It's my understanding that in New Jersey, there is no requirement that a store give a refund, but you must post whatever your refund (or no-refund) policy is for it to be enforceable.
Some of the tricks I sell are either shrink-wrapped or bubble-packed, and if they have broken open the package, I can't resell it, and that's what I tell them. Sometimes they just haven't read the instructions and get frustrated, they think they are going to be David Blaine in 60 seconds . . . . If it isn't busy, I give them a real short lesson and often that solves the problem.
Although my normal policy is no refunds, I have on occasion let a kid exchange one trick for another if the return is resaleable. And I did give a refund to one woman who was very unhappy to discover that her son's Magic Worm was not really magic (!?!), and very loudly said so. I decided it wasn't worth the time and effort to argue with her, plus she was wasting my time that I could spend selling to other people instead. I just used her return as another sample demo, so it was OK.
While I don't want to be known as a patsy, I do want to have satisfied customers and don't want complaints to the show organizers. So I have the general no-refund rule, but I still try to find out the reason for the refund request, handle each one individually, and then use my best judgment; generally it works out well. I figure that just one refund per 1,000 Magic Worm sales isn't too shabby! SETH