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Topic: Who sells the MOST Svengali decks?
Message: Posted by: eatonmagic (Sep 23, 2012 01:13AM)
I see a lot of people discussing how amazing they are at pitching Svengali decks but I wonder who holds the record for selling the MOST decks at one location? I know your location has a LOT to do with your numbers such as fairs, amusement parks, etc but I was just curious if anyone had those stats.

I work with Theatre Magic and although I have posted this picture before here on the Cafť, I still don't think people (magicians) even can begin to take me seriously when I tell them we push nearly 10,000 decks per month between our three stores. Here's a picture I took one day as we were unloading a 40' container filled with our decks. We get these about 4-5 times a year and it;s not just Svengali's but our five main sellers. This one container just happens to hold a 4-month supply along with a few other items but I think it'll give you an idea of the volume we do ; )

[IMG]http://i45.tinypic.com/14qkjr.jpg[/IMG]
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Sep 23, 2012 01:59AM)
The record for most? David Walker or Don Driver perhaps.
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Sep 23, 2012 07:32AM)
[quote]
On 2012-09-23 02:13, eatonmagic wrote:
...we push nearly 10,000 decks per month between our three stores... [/quote]

Wow! I'd love to see THAT demo!! :) That's over 100 decks a day for each store. When do they have time to sell anything else?

Jon
Message: Posted by: eatonmagic (Sep 23, 2012 08:50AM)
Hey Jon,

Well, when you consider our process it makes more sense. It's not just pitching the Svengali deck it's more like a 12-minute show with 5 tricks that are scripted. Each of our stores have two rooms that hold about 40 people each. The rooms fill up, doors shut, show begins.

After the show, usually about 30% wind up buying the combo while another 10-15% buy just the deck or one of the other tricks. After about 5-7 minutes th entire store fills up again an it's show time once more. An that's the process for the 10-hour day : )

So hopefully you can see when you're doing 20-25 shows a day how the numbers add up.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Sep 23, 2012 12:55PM)
Marshall Brodien has sold the most Svengali decks than anybody.

You can't compare doing a 12 minute show with working on a fair ground.The key thing you said was "the doors shut" that's why you sell so many decks.

Don
Message: Posted by: eatonmagic (Sep 23, 2012 09:56PM)
Don,

I'm not arguing with you there. Marshall has sold a BOATLOAD of decks! I was just curious. Thanks for answering my question.

In regards to the "doors being shut" comment...it's actually not intended to keep people in as it's so much to keep the noise out. Being in a theme park we have a LOT of things going on outside. When people get distracted you lose them. Therefore, we must make it feel more like a show than a "pitch".

In all honestly, there are some underlying psychological principals also involved with the doors being closed that play both the people inside as well as people outside. Have you been to our store before?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Sep 23, 2012 10:12PM)
Regardless of why you close the doors...they are "closed" and you have a captive audience.But that's good.Keep up the big sales.

And I have never been to any of your stores.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Sep 24, 2012 09:04AM)
As a matter of fact I don't even know the name of your store's or where they are other than somewhere in Orlando Fl.Maybe you know Bev Bergeron,he used to pitch Svengali's with David Walker many years ago. http://bevbergeron.com/

Or John Ekin,I know John when he was a kid coming into the Yogi Magic shop I worked at in Baltimore back in the early 70's. http://www.johnekinmagic.com/
Message: Posted by: eatonmagic (Sep 24, 2012 09:51AM)
It's Theatre Magic and yes, I know both Bev and John. Actually, I'll probably be hanging with John later tonight.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Sep 24, 2012 12:17PM)
Please do tell John I said hello.

Don
Message: Posted by: Tom Frank (Nov 23, 2012 06:44PM)
Jaw Droppers sold over 20,000 decks as a bonus for buying all four video's. Brilliant
Message: Posted by: SleepNow (Dec 10, 2012 04:17PM)
Tom, I think Haines had one run of cards for Jaw Droppers that was about five times the number you quote.
How old is that picture? Did you lose a bunch of weight?
Message: Posted by: Zuke (Jul 25, 2013 10:00PM)
[quote]
On 2012-09-23 09:50, eatonmagic wrote:
Hey Jon,

Well, when you consider our process it makes more sense. It's not just pitching the Svengali deck it's more like a 12-minute show with 5 tricks that are scripted. Each of our stores have two rooms that hold about 40 people each. The rooms fill up, doors shut, show begins.

After the show, usually about 30% wind up buying the combo while another 10-15% buy just the deck or one of the other tricks. After about 5-7 minutes th entire store fills up again an it's show time once more. An that's the process for the 10-hour day : )

So hopefully you can see when you're doing 20-25 shows a day how the numbers add up.
[/quote]

Woah! Let me do some of the math here... 2 rooms of 40 people each 20-25 times per day (let's compromise and call it 23 shows)that is 1840 per shop or 5520 people watching your pitch EACH DAY across 3 venues. Even Batman Returns wasn't THAT well attended! :) :) :)

Let me see what that is each month, I want to be conservative so I'll call it a 4 week month with you doing 5 days a week. That adds up to 110,400 people watching your pitch each month. With THAT many people watching your pitch I'm actually surprised you're not selling MORE decks...what are you doing wrong? ;)

You say that 30% buy a combo and another 10-15% buy just the deck, so that's 40-55% of people who buy, but let's be conservative again and just say it's 40%...that means you would be selling 44,160 decks each month, but you say you're only selling 10000 decks per month, what are you giving to the other 30,000 people...empty boxes? :)

Working conservatively with all the figures you gave you are only selling to 9% of the people who see your show. So I think you either need to take another look at your numbers or get a better pitch. :) :) :)
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jul 26, 2013 12:08AM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-25 23:00, Zuke wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-09-23 09:50, eatonmagic wrote:
Hey Jon,

Well, when you consider our process it makes more sense. It's not just pitching the Svengali deck it's more like a 12-minute show with 5 tricks that are scripted. Each of our stores have two rooms that hold about 40 people each. The rooms fill up, doors shut, show begins.

After the show, usually about 30% wind up buying the combo while another 10-15% buy just the deck or one of the other tricks. After about 5-7 minutes th entire store fills up again an it's show time once more. An that's the process for the 10-hour day : )

So hopefully you can see when you're doing 20-25 shows a day how the numbers add up.
[/quote]

Woah! Let me do some of the math here... 2 rooms of 40 people each 20-25 times per day (let's compromise and call it 23 shows)that is 1840 per shop or 5520 people watching your pitch EACH DAY across 3 venues. Even Batman Returns wasn't THAT well attended! :) :) :)

Let me see what that is each month, I want to be conservative so I'll call it a 4 week month with you doing 5 days a week. That adds up to 110,400 people watching your pitch each month. With THAT many people watching your pitch I'm actually surprised you're not selling MORE decks...what are you doing wrong? ;)

You say that 30% buy a combo and another 10-15% buy just the deck, so that's 40-55% of people who buy, but let's be conservative again and just say it's 40%...that means you would be selling 44,160 decks each month, but you say you're only selling 10000 decks per month, what are you giving to the other 30,000 people...empty boxes? :)

Working conservatively with all the figures you gave you are only selling to 9% of the people who see your show. So I think you either need to take another look at your numbers or get a better pitch. :) :) :)
[/quote]Smile !
Message: Posted by: thenineofhearts (Jul 28, 2013 01:52PM)
What are your top 5 selling tricks eatonmagic?
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jul 29, 2013 11:16AM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-28 14:52, thenineofhearts wrote:
What are your top 5 selling tricks eatonmagic?
[/quote]

Having seen their pitch in person my guess is...

UFO Card, Svengali Deck, Fire Wallet, D'Lite knock off, and 5th place I'm gonna guess sponge balls.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jul 29, 2013 03:59PM)
Worms(squirmels) sell better than any magic trick.(with a good pitch)
Don
Message: Posted by: Dollarbill (Aug 6, 2013 09:08AM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-29 16:59, DonDriver wrote:
Worms(squirmels) sell better than any magic trick.(with a good pitch)
Don
[/quote]

I was pitched the squirmel at the Flea Market a few years ago. I bought 2. I want to say I spent $7 bucks. The guy had a nice litte routine.

I remember buying them from the $.25 cent gumball machines as a kid.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 6, 2013 11:59AM)
[quote] On 2013-07-29 DonDriver wrote: Worms(squirmels) sell better than any magic trick.(with a good pitch)[/quote]

Based on personal experience, I agree 110%. And if you alternate the worm pitch with the Svengali Pitch, the worm is also great for building tips for the Svengali Pitch. That little purple worm jumping from one cup to another always stops people right in their tracks, you don't have to say a word. SETH
Message: Posted by: Jinx18 (Nov 18, 2013 07:27PM)
[quote]
On 2012-09-23 09:50, eatonmagic wrote:
Hey Jon,

Well, when you consider our process it makes more sense. It's not just pitching the Svengali deck it's more like a 12-minute show with 5 tricks that are scripted. Each of our stores have two rooms that hold about 40 people each. The rooms fill up, doors shut, show begins.

After the show, usually about 30% wind up buying the combo while another 10-15% buy just the deck or one of the other tricks. After about 5-7 minutes th entire store fills up again an it's show time once more. An that's the process for the 10-hour day : )

So hopefully you can see when you're doing 20-25 shows a day how the numbers add up.
[/quote]


I read this and it sounded so familiar. Then I checked your location and saw Orlando and it hit me. I attended one of these about 4 years ago or so.

[quote]
On 2012-09-24 10:51, eatonmagic wrote:
It's Theatre Magic and yes, I know both Bev and John. Actually, I'll probably be hanging with John later tonight.
[/quote]

I didn't know the name of the place and just looked it up and sure enough that is it.

[quote]
On 2013-07-29 12:16, thomasR wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-07-28 14:52, thenineofhearts wrote:
What are your top 5 selling tricks eatonmagic?
[/quote]

Having seen their pitch in person my guess is...

UFO Card, Svengali Deck, Fire Wallet, D'Lite knock off, and 5th place I'm gonna guess sponge balls.
[/quote]

I actually laughed because after seeing the show those are the 5 tricks I bought.



I just had to post because like I said I saw that show about 4 years ago and is singlehandedly what got me into magic to this day.
Message: Posted by: charliemartin (Nov 29, 2013 10:58PM)
When I worked at Magic Masters, we sold a ton of Svengali Decks, it;s about the presentation, sometimes less is more.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Dec 5, 2013 10:10PM)
I don't know how many decks I've sold over the years, but I do know that I went in to my magic shop at 7pm on Thanksgiving and left at 10pm on Friday ... with only a 3 hour nap in the stock room, that amounts to 24 hours on the floor. A long profitable stretch ... sometimes I wonder if I'm actually aging, it doesn't feel like it. :)

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Jan 27, 2019 06:24PM)
Fantastic to see so many decks in a truck being sold at your stores..nice one. Great pic.

Like a few of the comments above I do a 10 min show which includes attracting a crowd whether at a festival or tradeshow then doing a 6 min routine
with the deck using lots of comedy & 3 people in the crowd then finally the pitch.

Markets you can sell on average 80-100 decks here for about 3 hrs work. Tradeshow pitch I have sold over 300 decks in a day on my own which over 3 days works well but that was so hard to do and a couple of years ago now...I worked the markets,malls & tradeshows soley with Svengali decks for 7 years.

Im performing more of my own professional corporate gigs now so the pitch has taken a bit of a back seat but who knows....
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Jan 27, 2019 06:57PM)
Few photos on this thread from various pitching events...

https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=382584&forum=192
Message: Posted by: Phil Ainsworth (Jan 28, 2019 07:23PM)
Hey Brent!

So good to see you back here!

I recently went through the entire sub forum from the beginning, trying to get pointers on pitching and picking up on tips from all the guys who used to post here 10 years ago and your name always stood out... I was always impressed by your numbers, looks like you absolutely tore it up in NZ for the last few years.

Would love a quick chat with you at some point, just to pick your brains. Would you mind helping out a newbie?
Message: Posted by: Frosty (Jan 30, 2019 11:31AM)
[quote]On Sep 23, 2012, eatonmagic wrote:
I see a lot of people discussing how amazing they are at pitching Svengali decks [/quote]

Funny how the OP starts pointing out others then starts bragging on how AMAZING he is...! LOL!
Message: Posted by: Frosty (Jan 30, 2019 11:35AM)
I ain't gonna brag but I'll say this... It's a tough business and as Mark Lewis has said before.. ITS NOT FOR BABIES! I look up to all who work behind a pitch joint! My hats off to all..!
Message: Posted by: Phil Ainsworth (Jan 30, 2019 02:31PM)
I love this business model, I actually experienced it about 13 years ago on a trip to Florida. We were at Universal Studios, walking around and saw a sign saying 'magic show, about to start'. The chap outside talked us into going in (quite an easy sell as it was air-conditioned and it was tempting to get a break from the Florida sun!) and we enjoyed a 25- 30 min show of the 5 items above. Then of course, the 'magician' offered us the chance to buy any of them, or all of them as a special deal. It looked like almost half the room bought something, and many of them were taking bulk deals.

I smiled and thought 'this is genius'. Fair play to them, they were grinding out the shows as as soon as we left, more people were being squeezed in.

The variation between this and Hustler's idea is that they don't pay any admission fee, but then they never really see anything other than dems of the 5 products they can buy so it's not really a 'magic show' in the purest sense. Still free entertainment though, so all is fair.

Might have to scout out a few tourist attractions near me and try it myself!
Message: Posted by: Frosty (Jan 30, 2019 02:56PM)
Sounds much different from regular outdoor pitching at fairs or fleas but it does sounds like it works great! Working crowds at tourist locations are also so much easier to turn.. Might go check it out some day when I take a trip down to Florida..!
Message: Posted by: Phil Ainsworth (Jan 30, 2019 03:16PM)
Yeah, you're kind of offering a different deal.

Pitching at fairs and fleas, as you know very well... you're offering an instant bit of entertainment to those who are curious, which then turns into a sale (usually because they just want to know how it's done!) and then they are on their way.

This is more of offering to solve the pain they are in at the time: 'if you're tired and hot, come and rest your legs in a nice air conditioned theatre while watching free entertainment to keep the kids happy!"

I can vouch for how effective it is.. especially (as well you know) tourists LOVE spending money....
Message: Posted by: cosermann (Jul 8, 2019 10:55AM)
[quote]On Sep 23, 2012, DonDriver wrote:
Marshall Brodien has sold the most Svengali decks than anybody. ... [/quote]

I think I read somewhere recently, maybe in one of Marshall's obits, or tributes that he had sold 17 million decks.

At 10k per month, it would take about 141 years to sells as many. Wow. Now that's a trick!
Message: Posted by: Phil Ainsworth (Jul 18, 2019 11:36AM)
Hi Cosermann,

I know Marshall Brodienís TV ad campaign in the 70s was a success and made him a very wealthy man, but I donít think it was anywhere near that many units they shifted.

My understanding was it was around a million decks. Perhaps it was 1.7million?
Message: Posted by: cosermann (Aug 12, 2019 11:52AM)
Just sharing what I read in some of the articles after Mr. Brodien's death. His branded "TV Magic Cards" weren't sold just in the 70's. They're still sold locally in my town. That said, it would be easy for a decimal point to get misplaced in an article.