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Topic: What was your biggest numbers day?
Message: Posted by: WillRoya (Feb 9, 2010 09:14AM)
What were you selling and when and where?

My best was $1700 one Saturday at Western Washington Fair last year, selling a Svengali deck, thumb tip and Floating card as a $25 package. Using no mic, in a inline booth, I did have a helper baging the product for me.

The next day my voice was so shot that I started charging people $1 if they wanted to see the demo and still did a grand. I gave the $1 back if they bought something. A lot less demos and much higher closing rate.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Feb 11, 2010 06:50PM)
One reason that it's good to have some idea of your top possible take, is that it helps you figure out what your top possible table fee should be.

In my experience, some shows have table fees that are all out of proportion to what you can possibly make. And then they want to ding you for insurance, signage and electricity to boot!

While they may think the fees are fair, they may not be good for you, based on what you're selling. Even taking into account that there may be great foot traffic, lots of kids, etc. (which is certainly worth something), the fee may be so high that it just doesn't make any sense to do the show. SETH
Message: Posted by: WillRoya (Feb 12, 2010 06:19PM)
I've decided that I will rarely if ever pay more then 200 a day for a spot. One of the worst spots I did this last year were these kids events that I thought I would do huge numbers at and they charged 750 for the weekend and I lost my shirt. All the kids were in strollers. Recently I've been doing train and gun shows, only 100 or so for the weekend and I do good numbers.

Posted: Mar 6, 2010 9:35pm
I broke my record in Chicago recently, had back to back 1800 days. All Splat balls. One bagger helping.

It is great to know your average so you never over pay for a show.
Message: Posted by: iugefu (Mar 27, 2010 10:15AM)
How do you demo splat balls, and could you recommend a wholesaler Will?
Message: Posted by: WillRoya (Mar 30, 2010 09:01AM)
I'll be putting out a DVD soon that will have my splat ball and magic pitch (and a couple others) and reveal everything.
Message: Posted by: iugefu (Mar 30, 2010 10:02PM)
No worry Will.
Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 9, 2010 11:53PM)
Your figures are certainly impressive Will.
My personal target is a mere $200 profit for about 3/4 hours of a very enjoyable Saturday morning pitch. Rent is only $10, and coffee is for free from my mate in the adjoining stall.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 10, 2010 07:38AM)
Just because its in print iugerfu, don't believe it. $200 in 3/4 of an hour is good for any pitch...and free coffee to boot...my god that's like "hog heaven"

I have spent more time sitting behind a pitch joint than Will has on a pitch joint and all ready hes an "[b]expert[/b]" and coming out with a DVD...give me a break!

Later, Don
Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 10, 2010 11:44AM)
Yes, I meant 3 or 4 hours. As for 480 decks, WOW WOW and WOW. Could you still talk after that?
Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 10, 2010 12:13PM)
Perhaps if Will would be willing to divulge how much a splat ball sells for, this would give an indication of units shifted. Or is that info for your dvd only?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 10, 2010 12:35PM)
Believe it or not iugefu its easer on a pitchman to sell 480 decks than it is to just sell a few dozen.When all thoses lines(money) is coming across the joint its amazing how much energy one has.

Message: Posted by: WillRoya (May 10, 2010 08:10PM)
For an update, I beat my biggest numbers day at a show in Chicago in February. Back to back 1800 days. Total of 6k for 4 days. Two people who post here and saw me at the show can verify the amount of money I was taking in.

It was with Splat Balls and I had one helper at 10%. I sell the Splat Balls for 5 for 1, 3 for 10, 7 for 20. I sold out at the show on Sunday.

The splats and my magic pitch will be on my DVD. For those who have questioned my motivation for the DVD and for those who have begged me not to put it out, I can say this; I have my reasons and they are not for my ego or for the proceedsí of the sales of the DVD.
Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 11, 2010 05:26AM)
Anyone here know what splat balls wholesale for?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 11, 2010 08:39AM)

Here you go.Click on " splat pig"


google splat balls there are lots of designs out there besides just pigs.

Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 11, 2010 10:36AM)
Thank you Don

Good markup on the splat pigs it seems, at $4,20 per dozen.......no piggies in stock though.

What distance do you throw the poor beast for demonstration purposes, and is it re-usable once demoed?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 11, 2010 12:49PM)
Just throw it on a table or floor in your booth but get a good size piece of plexiglass to splat it on so the ball stays clean,it will last longer.Let the kids throw it as much as they want.

Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 12, 2010 12:42AM)
Thanks again Don,

Anybody else out there who has pitched splat balls?
Message: Posted by: keithmagic (May 13, 2010 04:10AM)
Q. How do you know when a magi is lying...

A. The second he mentions his "fee" unsolicited...


Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 13, 2010 06:47AM)
B. When he supposedly charges $1 per demo......utterly unheard of as far as Im aware.
Message: Posted by: sideshowsam (May 13, 2010 10:21AM)
On 2010-05-13 05:10, keithmagic wrote:
Q. How do you know when a magi is lying...

A. The second he mentions his "fee" unsolicited...



LOL - even in Mexico you're funny Stickley!

Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 14, 2010 10:55PM)
Will, having looked at your website, I see you have a few (quite nice) press articles etc and been around the block a bit. So sorry if I slighted you above. But do you really charge the people a $1 to look?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 15, 2010 12:15AM)
do you really charge the people a $1 to look?

Give me a break,that question isn't even worth asking.

Message: Posted by: sethb (May 15, 2010 07:29PM)
I think it might be time to note that pitching is a [i]business[/i], folks. It's not a contest to see who can make the most money or move the most product.

I have also seen that it is considered bad manners to ask other vendors how they did, or to tell them how you did at a particular show. Sometimes despite your best efforts, you will just not move stuff, and ditto for other folks.

I think Svengali/worm pitches are very fortunate, because there is very rarely any competition due to the necessary skill involved. By contrast, there will often be a dozen different vendors, all selling the same kind of jewelry at the same show or festival, so they are all competing against each other for the same business. The food concessions are lucky, they usually get a guarantee of exclusivity for a certain type of product, but the other vendors often do not.

I think the best arrangement is to show up, set up, do your pitch, mind your own business, put your money in your apron, pack up and go home. If you do well, the other vendors will know it, you don't have to advertise it. They also respect what I do, because they see that pitchmen work for their money -- they don't just sit on their butts, watch the people walk by and hope that they buy something!

Plenty of other vendors have complimented me on my setup, my banners, my pitch and my tips (all thanks to Don Driver and other good folks on this board) --- and that's good enough for me. Fortunately, I do not have to rely exclusively on the pitches for my income, which I think would be a very tough situation nowadays. I'm just happy to be a 40-miler making a few extra bucks on the weekends, perfecting a good pitch, keeping a great tradition alive, and making lots of kids happy in the process. SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 15, 2010 09:46PM)
Well said Seth...well said
Message: Posted by: sideshowsam (May 15, 2010 11:20PM)
Appreciate the post Seth - keeping it real and in perspective. Keep up the good work and keep posting.

Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (May 16, 2010 07:14AM)
It's a "business"? Wait!! You mean is not just FUN??? Man, I LOVE the looks the kids give me when I do the cards. The eyes! The "How'd you do that?"! The "I really want that, Dad!" So "business"? Darn, you're saying I'm actually WORKING??? I am REALLY disillusioned!

But what the heck! I think I'll do it again, next week! :)

Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 16, 2010 07:41AM)
Question for you pitchmen out there: what percentage of your buyers are kids?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 16, 2010 12:24PM)
When I go out pitching I don't take surveys I take CASH. I don't check to see how old they are I just check to see if they have that green in their hand.

Of course I was being sarcastic but I have no idea.I am more focused on the pitch.I just don't keep track of who is buying,as long as someone is buying.

Message: Posted by: sethb (May 16, 2010 01:03PM)
Jon-O, you are 100% right, it is fun, no question about it, and that's part of the reason I do it. But I'm not running a charity here -- if it didn't make some money, then it probably would be a lot less fun! :)

Iugefu -- Although I don't really keep track, I would have to guess that about 70% of the buyers are kids. Even the adults that buy generally buy for their children or grandchildren. I do get a few adults that are interested in magic, but they are very few.

However, in my experience, the pitch has to be targeted to BOTH adults and kids. That way, the kids will want to buy the stuff -- and the adults will want to pay for it. SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (May 16, 2010 10:00PM)
Yes, gotta target all age groups. Usually, since I'm inside at most of my shows and the aisles are usually only about 6', that means the kids come down front and the adults stay back and whisper to each other.

I'm sure they are saying, "Look how sloppy he is with those cards..." or "Hey, those cards have the A of D on one end and the regular cards on the other." or "Was that SUPPOSED to be a DL?" Frankly, I really don't care what they say, as long as they buy.

But this past weekend I think I have NEVER had so many kids who wanted the cards but the adults LITERALLY dragged them away...too many times in the middle of the demo. In fact, vendors with whom I spoke said that, in spite of VERY good attendance, they had REALLY poor sales. I did about 1/3 of what I should have done. Some people sold NOTHING! At least I didn't blank out.

So it was fun but...haven't been able to put that in the bank yet. Next show, I think I'll settle for MONEY!!! ;-)

Message: Posted by: sethb (May 17, 2010 09:36AM)
Jon, no question that despite what Washington may say, times are still tough and many people are keeping a tighter hold on their wallets. I have noticed this same thing for a while -- I still pull good-size tips, but am not turning quite as many folks as before. So it's not you or your DL's, I think it's the economy!

Fortunately, a lot of people are still willing to spend $5 or $10 on the kids. But where I could often do a "double-dip" in the past (sell a second trick), nowadays most parents say "Oh, that's very neat but we'll stick with just this one for now." But at least if I sell them one trick, then I'm still satisfied. SETH