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Topic: The Magic Depot... How to make customers disappear?
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Jul 6, 2014 12:35PM)
Hello to the Magic Community.

I'm a French magician... Not a real one, because It's not my main job ... I'm an apprentice Magician for life... since twelve years.

Let me tell you a magic story... A real story.

I'm a fan of Aldo Colombini as many magicians in France (I translated some booklets into French and they are sold on Lybrary.com).

Few months ago - before Aldo died - I was looking for buying a new set of cards "Shenanigan". This trick was no longer sold on Aldo's WildColombini shop and when I asked for, Aldo told me that this trick will not be available for the future.

And one day, after asking my friend "Google" I discovered that this trick was on The Magic Depot.. but for "reserve only".

It was a wonderful news and I decided to buy two of this trick. One for me and the other one for a friend of my magic club.

It was in March.

As I live in France, I sent an email to The Magic Depot to ask if it was possible to get a refund in case the trick was not available into a delay of one month and I get this answer from Jenne Smith "Hello Patrice! I will let you know if they do not arrive within the month and send over to the refund department. Thanks!"

Wonderful ! A Magic Shop that takes care of his customers.

On April the 30th... Nearly two months after my order... no news about "Shenanigan"... So I asked for my refund and the same day I received this answer from Jenne Smith : "Hello Patrice! I have cancelled the backorder for you. The order has been sent over to the refund department. Thanks!"

Bad luck, I will not have this trick. But I will get my refund.

On the 12th of May... No refund. New email to Jenne Smith and this answer : "Hello Patrice! I have checked with the refund department and your refund is on schedule for this month. You should see it in your account before the end of May. Thanks!"

Okay... I just have to wait. But I don't understand why it takes such a long time... I payed with PayPal and It should be quite easy to refund me.

On the 2th of June... Still no refund. New email to Jenne Smith and this answer : "Hello Patrice! I am sorry for the longer than normal delays on this. I checked with the refund department for you and they say they are working to get this to you in the next couple of weeks. Thanks!"

Hum... Another couple of weeks... Very strange... A refund department ? Wouah... what a big magic shop ! A delay longer than normal... Only for $49.81...

New email to Jenne Smith on the 6th of June and this answer : "Hello Patrice, I apologize for the longer than normal delays. The item you purchased was purchased on the reserve policy. This policy states a store credit will be given if the item is no longer available and we are unable to locate it through other means. I have authorized a refund for you even though it is not the reserve policy method. The refund will take a bit longer. This account is cleared out automatically on a daily basis. I will watch for payments and try to catch it as they come in and get your refund over to you as quickly as possible. Thank you very much for your continued patience. Have a wonderful weekend!"

A wonderful week-end ? Are you kidding me ? I sent a new email and got this answer : "Hello Patrice, I will have this done for you by the 14th. Thanks!"

And on the 13th of June, this email "Hello Patrice, I am checking in your refund status. I also got word the Aldo item may be back soon. I am getting an ETA on this as well. I will get back with you as soon as possible. Thanks!"

The Aldo item may be back soon ? While Aldo told me different...

On the 5th of July as I got no news from Jenne Smith, I wrote to her to say that I have understood that I will never get my refund and to be sure to have "something" I asked for a credit store to download ebooks from Peter Duffie (a good friend of Aldo...).

On the 6th of July I got my links to Peter Duffie's books (and I lost $4.86...)

What a wonderful magic trick... The Magic Depot had a customer and made it disappear... It was a bit long to do it... but they succeeded.

I don't know how this sort of trick is called in USA... In France, it's called a swindle... And I know what I talking about because my main job is ... policeman.

And if you want to buy Shenanigan, you can order it to the Magic Depot as it's still on sell for "reserve only"...

Remember Jenne... A magician never do twice the same trick...

I'have been buying magic tricks and magic items on the Internet from magic shops in USA since many years and It's the first time that I have such a problem.

I wanted to tell my story on this forum and I will tell it on French Magic Forums in order to prevent that other people have the same problem.

I hope my post will not disappear... ;-)
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Jul 7, 2014 04:44AM)
A new trick ?

How to get a store credit for $9.95. Not $10... Not $20 or $30... No... $9.95. Why... Because it's part of the trick.

I worn Jenne Smith about my post... And she send me a new message - not to tell me about Shenanigan - It was to tell me that she raised my credit from $4.81 to $9.95... to choose another instant download.

Everybody here knows what is a "force"... This amount - $9.95 - is a force because the only instant download on the Magic Depot is the Ebook "From the Stall by Chastain Criswell". Perhaps The Magic Depot has difficulties to sell it (the previous price was $14.95).

My review for that trick is that Jenne Smith did quicker than for the previous one... But the climax is quite poor and sincerely I don't like this magic.
Message: Posted by: AaronSmith (Jul 7, 2014 09:46AM)
Patrice, I'm sorry that you are upset with our service. Most of the time, reserve items result in fulfillment. We are able to provide hard-to-find and out-of-print items to our customers at the original retail price. It is a service we are proud to offer.

We accepted an order from you for an item we knew would be difficult to acquire. This was not a secret—you also knew it was out of stock and discontinued. The status was posted on our website. We didn't ask to be paid extra for our work if the item proved impossible to obtain or if it cost us more than you paid. We simply asked—before the sale—that you accept a store credit.

Jenne and I spent a considerable amount of time and effort in an attempt to get the product for you. It took longer than expected, but we had more leads than expected too. Follow-up takes time when we ask a distributor to check their back warehouse for a needle in a haystack.

When you cancelled the order, Jenne tried to get you a refund instead of the agreed store credit even though we still had money out with a vendor. That is tough for a family-owned magic business this time of year, especially since we had to agree to quantity for wholesale.

You weren't swindled. You ordered a service from us and received it. You used your store credit and received the merchandise. Jenne added to the small credit you had leftover to make it easier for you. The combined credit will never expire and it works just like cash on our website—you can use it to buy any item, download or otherwise without restriction.

I appreciate your urge to warn people of our reserve item policy, but it is clearly marked on the website. You read it before you placed your order and others can too. If you, or anyone else would like to check the status of a reserve item before placing an order, email us and we will promptly reply with the details.

Thank You!

- Aaron Smith
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Jul 7, 2014 10:47AM)
Hello Aaron.

I placed my order knowing that it was a "reserve only" item and knowing what this meant. And then I sent an email to ask if it was possible to get refund rather than a store credit. Jenne answered "yes". No one used a gun to obtain this answer. If the answer would have been "No" I would have ask for a store credit, and that's all.

What do you think about all the emails I sent and all the answers I got saying that I will be refund. If you had changed your mind you could have tell me and I would have understood... Jenne never told me "Oh dear Patrice, in fact we can't refund and we propose a credit store". She only told me to be patient. Even worse, Jenne wrote "I also got word the Aldo item may be back soon..."

And after all that, why do you still let the trick Shenanigan on your site "reserve only" ?

You write in your post "the item proved impossible to obtain...". So why do you still propose something impossible to obtain ?

If I ordered this item it is because I thought you would be able to obtain it not because I knew it was the item impossible to obtain. I'm not an idiot !

If you want to keep your customers... Don't tell promise you don't fulfill.

And keep your credit store...
Message: Posted by: AaronSmith (Jul 7, 2014 11:26AM)
Patrice, your refund request was cancelled when you used the store credit. Otherwise, you would have received a refund even though it wasn’t our original agreement. Shenanigan is on reserve because it is still out of stock. I haven't deleted it from the website as I am told it may be available again soon and I still have a vendor looking for it. I would like to keep Aldo's memory alive for future generations. Let me know if you have any more questions... Thank You!

- Aaron Smith
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Jul 8, 2014 04:26AM)
Oh Aaron, Aaron..

Who do you try to convince ? Not me I suppose. The readers of these messages ? You are pretty good at talking... But you don't tell the real story. And you know, as a policeman, I have been making investigations for over thirty years and I'm pretty good at police questioning.

"Patrice, your refund request was cancelled when you used the store credit" : True, but you forget to tell that my order was placed on the 7th of March. I asked for the refund on the 30th of April... and as nothing was coming and after many emails I finally decided to asked for a store credit only because I understood that I will never be refund. It was on the 5th of July. After four long months waiting. And If I didn't ask for the store credit I believe that I would still be waiting...

"Otherwise, you would have received a refund even though it wasn't our original agreement" : False. You forget that Jenne wrote on the 7th of March (the exact day of my order...): "Hello Patrice! I will let you know if they do not arrive within the month and send over to the refund department. Thanks!". So our agreement was to refund.

"Shenanigan is on reserve because it is still out of stock" : True and very funny answer... And so logical. It is on reserve because you don't' have it. If we had it we would have sent it to you... So funny. But what you forget again to say is that this trick is on reserve since months ans months (perhaps years...) and you wrote about it - see previous post - "This was not a secret—you also knew it was out of stock and discontinued". "discontinued" ? The Collins American Dictionary gives that explanation : "to cease, to stop, to end..." And you still propose this trick ? Is it a new technique for selling ? To propose items that I don't have and that you know that you will not have ? Oh yes I remember you send adventurer worldwide searching for this particular trick because you know you van find one... somewhere. A friend of mine owns a magic shop in France. He has two or three suppliers - no more. And when you ask him for a trick - I ask his suppliers and give the answer very quickly. And he doesn't propose to sell items he perfectly know they're discontinued.

"I would like to keep Aldo's memory alive for future generations." : To invoke Aldo's memory that way is a shame ! I hope magicians reading that post will agree with me.

The best you can do now is to forget me. And you shown us that you are very good at forgetting.

Message: Posted by: Chris (Jul 8, 2014 03:11PM)
The problem with some magic retailers is that they leave discontinued items on their website. The reason they do this is for search baiting customers. These old discontinued product pages are indexed by Google and other search engines. They bring traffic and thus customers to the website. These retailers hope that these customers who come to these discontinued products will buy something instead.

That is why no refund is given on such discontinued items. A customer orders it in hope to get it, but instead he gets a store credit and thus is forced to buy something else. This is how search baiting works. I hate it and as we can see on the posts above others hate it, too. Patrice, you are right speaking out about this. It should stop.
Message: Posted by: AaronSmith (Jul 8, 2014 05:30PM)
We add "DISCONTINUED" to the product title so that it appears in all caps on search engines. While the manufacturer discontinued Shenanigan, I still have them on order with a vendor who shows a positive number somewhere in overstock. If they cannot find those units soon, I will add DISCONTINUED to the product title and eventually the item will be removed from the site once past orders are archived.

- Aaron Smith
Message: Posted by: Chris (Jul 8, 2014 08:27PM)
Aaron, but why don't you issue by default a refund if a customer wants to not wait any longer for a product you may or may not be able to procure in the future? I consider it unethical to take money from a customer on a product you may or may not be able to deliver in a reasonable amount of time. Actually, I would suggest you don't take any money upfront for such 'maybe products'. It is great that you make an effort to try to locate hard to find tricks, but taking money, not being able to fulfill your promise, and then not returning the money is simply not the way to do business. You can't be surprised that customers will balk at such customer service practices.
Message: Posted by: AaronSmith (Jul 8, 2014 11:30PM)
Chris, there is nothing unethical about our reserve merchandise policy. Take Patrice's order for example. We had an item that a vendor told us may be available, but in deep storage. I also show one in stock here, but it isn't on the shelf—probably in a bin out of official inventory.

Rather than leave the item in stock on the website, I marked it out of stock, "On Reserve." The "Add to Cart" button became a "Reserve Only" button and new terms appeared with a bold, red header underneath. It says this item is out of stock. If we cannot get it for you, you will receive a store credit for the full purchase price. No refunds.

Patrice agreed and placed the order. To motivate the vendor, I ordered all they potentially had in stock. Calls were made, emails were sent back and forth. We went digging through boxes.

It is a free service.

I only ask that customers agree to a store credit instead of a refund if the reserve item is unavailable—though most are obtained. Folks can email me if they don't want to tie up funds. I will do the legwork in advance and provide an ETA when possible.

As you can see from Patrice's posts, he was fine with the store credit initially. Our mistake was agreeing to a refund while we still had money on the table, which resulted in a slow turnaround time. He gave up on us and went back to the store credit.

Policy aside, I apologize for the frustration we caused Patrice. That wasn't our intention. As a magician, he is my brother and I would do anything for him, and for you Chris. This is a unique industry and we are all trying to build it together.

- Aaron Smith
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Jul 9, 2014 04:22AM)
Oh something new... "I apologize for the frustration we caused Patrice."

I wasted a lot of time sending emails and also writing theses messages to inform magic community. American language is not my language and it's much easier for me to translate American into French rather than the opposite.

But, after all this time wasted, after all Jenne's email telling me to be patient, I needed to tell my story just to let other magicians know and think about that.

Thank you Chris for your post. I really do appreciate.

The problem for me isn't to say that the "reserve only" principle is bad. I think that Chris gave a pretty good explanation about this "reserve only" principle... The question is : for how long an item should be left for reserve only ?

I wanted this trick Shenanigan and only this trick that I have been performing for years. The problem with cards is that one day you can't use it no more : to old, to sticky.

And because I wanted this trick, I accepted the "reserve only" principle as The Magic Depot was the only magic supplier proposing this trick and that is the reason why I put my order... I was hopping.

If Jenne would have say "we can't refund we can only offer you a store credit", I would have accept this principle because you made an exception for me.

But what she did was a very bad commercial practice. Remember, we, the costumers, are the ones who give you our money. And without our money you don't exist. Don't lie to your costumers. Don't act as if they were idiots. Or you will sell no more magic items.

And remember Aaron, you aren't my brother and I'm not yours. You only make business and not charity business. But try to make your business respecting your costumers and that will do.

Have A Nice Day (a wonderful trick also...)
Message: Posted by: AaronSmith (Jul 9, 2014 07:51AM)
Patrice, that is a good question. Typically, we let manufacturers and distributors decide when an item is gone for good. Discontinuing a product because it is temporarily out of stock—even for a year in this industry—is akin to a waiter clearing your plate mid-meal while you were away from the table.

A reserve program is a great way to show suppliers that an item has genuine demand. It has motivated production on many occasions. I am putting policies and technology in place to ensure the issue you experienced with the refund does not happen again.

It's not just business to me. I am honored to have been a part of the magic community for the last twenty years and I will do my best to contribute positively for the rest of my life.

I understand translation is a pain. Thank You for the dialog.

- Aaron Smith
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Jul 9, 2014 11:05AM)
"I am putting policies and technology in place to ensure the issue you experienced with the refund does not happen again."

Great ! You wrote about The magic Depot that it is a "family-owned magic business". I think that you just to tell Jenne about your new "policies and technology" and it should be okay ;-)

Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Sep 21, 2014 03:26AM)
Not my field of expertise, but failure to provide a prompt refund certainly sounds like a blatant violation of Federal law. See FTC's prompt delivery refund requirements.
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Sep 21, 2014 05:16AM)
Thank you for your contribution Intrepid... but you know, I leave in France and I know quite well about laws and about international rules (as my main job is policeman) and how long it is to get something. And for only $49.81, I'm sure that this case would have been close without nothing done.
So, I decided to buy ebooks from the MagicDepot with my money as I couldn't get any refund. I was not really interested by these ebooks but I felt that I was the only solution to finally get something and not loose my money.

I will still buy items from magic shops in USA (and I have done it since).. but not from The MagicDepot.
Message: Posted by: AaronSmith (Sep 21, 2014 10:06AM)
Intrepid, there was no violation. Patrice agreed to a store credit before placing his order due to the nature of the added services. The original transaction was complete when we issued the store credit. Patrice changed his mind and asked for a favor, but when the turnaround time was longer than expected, he used his store credit for the products of his choice.

- Aaron Smith
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Sep 21, 2014 01:05PM)
Aaron. I'm really fed up with all your false arguments.
I'm French... and I apologize I forgot to read all your terms about refund and so on.
I placed my order because your shop was the only one (in the world) to propose the trick that I have been looking for for many months...
Then I saw that I couldn't be refunded if the item was not available.
So I wrote to ask - saying that I was living in France - whether it was possible to get a refund rather than a store credit in case I cannot get the item.

And Jenne... your wife I think - said Yes.
I didn't use any gun or any knife to obtain this answer. And ME, when I say YES to somebody, I don't change my mind some months later.
YOU changed your mind. Not me.

I asked for a store credit. You never proposed me to have a store credit and you never told me that you changed your mind.

And If I decided to ask for a store credit it was only for one reason : To get something for my money because Jenne was still telling me "Wait a bit... The item will be available soon".

All you could say against that would be lies.
Message: Posted by: AaronSmith (Sep 22, 2014 10:01AM)
Patrice, despite the language barrier, it appears you were aware of the policy before you placed the order. To add the item to your cart, you clicked the "Reserve Now" button directly above the one-paragraph reserve policy and you expressed knowledge of our reserve policy here in this thread and by your request via email.

I love magic and I am a servant of the magic community, but that doesn’t mean I should net a total loss for my hard work. I spent many, many hours finding and following leads on your behalf and I placed multiple bulk orders with sources in attempt to secure the product for you.

All I asked in return via the posted policy—before you placed the order—was that you accept a store credit if the item was unavailable. You and I both knew it would be a difficult item to find, but I was happy to do all that work. Just PLEASE accept a store credit instead of asking for a refund.

You agreed. You placed the order. I did all that work. And then you asked for a refund.

I told Jenne we would issue a refund as soon as we received our money back (in credit mind you) from the vendor in which I had last placed an order. Before she conveyed that information to you—a lapse in communication from me due to the special circumstances of the product—you used the store credit. Another week and you would have had a refund instead.

All of this is indicative of a store trying to serve their customer, even bending the rules to accommodate the individual. In fact, I would still like to see you satisfied. If you want to discuss remedy, my inbox is always open. Thank You!

- Aaron Smith
Message: Posted by: Patrice (Sep 22, 2014 12:33PM)
You know Aaron... I'm satisfied... with many other magic dealers in the world...
As you're convinced that you did all well... Come on... Go on like that.
I stop here because I'm wasting my time.
Message: Posted by: Russ (Mar 5, 2015 10:39PM)
Thanks for the heads up about this dealer.
Message: Posted by: B. Edwards (Mar 14, 2015 11:03PM)
Not the kind of business, I would deal with. I don't trust any retailer who pulls the "he/she agreed to, by ..." line. Store policy is not a law, nor should it be set in stone. If a business owner is unwilling to make exceptions to his/her own store policies to promote goods customer relations, then they shouldn't be in retail.

The owner coming to the forums making excuses and hiding behind store policies doesn't help his business look good. In fact, it makes it look worse. Simply, a refund and an apology should have been given to Patrice. Regardless who was right and wrong, it would have been good for business. Instead, many of those including myself, will read this thread and avoid this company and take their hard-earned money elsewhere. I wonder how many hundreds, if not thousands of potential dollars have been lost, because a stubborn business owner refused to do the right thing morally. Such a shame.

"A happy customer tells a friend; an unhappy customer tells the world." - unknown

Thank you Patrice.

Message: Posted by: cat26 (Oct 22, 2016 10:48AM)
Patrice... I had similar problems with 2 orders I made with Magic Depot in May & Sept/2016. They would not supply the merchandise and then would only provide a store credit. When I made a subsequent order they did not give me the store credit issued from the 1st purchase. They don't even comply with their "so-called policies" and provide a refund when requested. I was able to utilize the Paypal resolution service to get actual refunds, as a last resort. They keep coming up with excuses for delays. My feeling is that they operate a "shell company" with minimal or no merchandise. Their "business ethics" are contrary to what is stated on their website. I refer you this website "https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/selling-internet-prompt-delivery-rules". I have been making internet purchases for over 10 years and have never experienced such poor service and the associated excuses. My suggestion is to report your matter to the Federal Trade Commission. I will exercise my due diligence to make sure that others in the magic community become familar with their business style. I would never to do business again with this company or any that represent themselves in this manner. Cheers.............
Message: Posted by: jskalon (Oct 23, 2016 03:18PM)
Hi Guys,
Sorry to butt in and I may get flamed for this. that's okay.
while I have never ordered a reserve item, I haved ordered from Aaron. He went beyond the call of duty by honoring a special on an item that was over for awhile. and I hope he doesn't mind me saying this, but I had a lot of question regarding one of his Poor Boy products. Aaron sent it to me for free. He has also freely given of his time and knowledge helping with a couple of products I was developing.
so anyway, I just wanted to say that in my experience, Aaron is a class act. LET THE FLAMING BEGIN.
thanks for listening and thank you Aaron.
Jack Skalon
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (May 26, 2017 08:02PM)
Paul Green and I had a terrible experience with The Magic Depot's awful awful service and that post was deleted by the Magic Café. So much for magicians helping magicians.
Message: Posted by: PaulGreen (May 30, 2017 08:08PM)
Clifford is correct. Bad experience. Won't be doing any more business with Aaron Smith!
Message: Posted by: LeoH (Aug 6, 2017 08:48AM)
My buying experience with Magic Depot was less than stellar. I will never order from them again. I placed my order, weeks go by. I finally email, was told the package was returned to them and the item stolen from the package. They reorder. Weeks go by. I again email. I was told that the warehouse was trying to find one in their facility. Weeks pass. Email again and requested a refund. I was told that my request was sent to the "refund department". What a dodge. Finally I receive an email about a new product Magic Depot is introducing. Within the hour of receiving the email, I requested the money from the first order be applied to this item and I would pay the difference. The refund was applied to the new item, and I immediately PayPal'ed the difference. I received a "your item has been packaged" email later that day, then nothing else. I call every week for 3 weeks with "it is supposed to ship at the beginning of this week/next week. Finally, I did receive the new item, but this process was very frustrating. I will never order from Magic Depot again.
Message: Posted by: klondon (Aug 8, 2017 02:12AM)
Another awful experience here, with Aaron and Jenne never keeping a single promise. 5 and a half months after my order, with no item received and the promised refund never processed, I had to get paypal to intervene and force the refund.

I ordered on 1st March. And when I tried to cancel the order on 19th April because it still hadn't arrived (after a few emails chasing) Jenne said she would have to check it hadn't already left the depot, which she must have known wasn't true as a couple of days earlier she told me that they had no sand until the next week! This felt like a delaying tactic to get me not to cancel the order.

At no point during this lengthy delay did they even attempt to let me know what was going on until I chased them.

Jenne promised a refund on a few occasions, with the final email from her being on 4th July, saying that the refund should take two weeks. I was incredibly suspicious of this as Paypal refunds are automatic. So the two weeks delay would be entirely on her side. I was right to be suspicious, another two weeks went and there was no refund and no email from Jenne.

I opened the Paypal dispute and Jenne didn't even bother to respond to their request for information, so finally, in August after ordering on 1st March, Paypal ruled in my favour and reversed the charge.

I never write bad reviews or write ups, but the dishonesty I experienced here was shocking. It was interesting to find this thread and discover I am not alone. The Magic Depot should really be ashamed of themselves.
Message: Posted by: Dollarbill (Apr 7, 2018 02:28PM)
I also have had a horrible experience with this guy some years ago. Since then, he hasn't received a penny from me nor will he ever.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Apr 29, 2018 10:15AM)
I am very disappointed to read this thread about [url=http://www.themagicdepot.com/]Mr. Aaron Smith's Magic Depot[/url] not delivering orders in a timely fashion (or never delivering) and their endless excuses ... I was afraid I'd find a thread like this when I searched for it ...

I've also had a similar experience recently with Mr. Aaron Smith's Magic Depot and will not order from them again.

I ordered an item from them over a month ago on March 22, 2018 that was listed on their website as AVAILABLE and under "When Will It Ship?" it said:

[i]"This item usually ships within 3-5 days. However, if the product is in transit, now kept in storage, or it is only stocked at the time of sale, your order may take up to two weeks to process."[/i]

Ok, I was hoping for shipping within 3 - 5 days , but was prepared for "up to two weeks" . My order status has been stuck on "Processing" since March 22. It has now been over a month . I've emailed them several times about my order and get a different reason each time they reply about why I haven't yet received my item.

First , they said that the item was [i]"temporarily out of stock and more are enroute to us now. [b]Your package will be on the way to you this next week.[/b]"[/i] (which at that point would have been the week of April 2 - 6 , 2018 ) .

When that week came and went with no package from Magic Depot (and my order status still stuck on "Processing") , I sent another email asking about my order and they replied that the item had [i]"not arrived here yet. However, if it is not here in tomorrow mornings deliveries, I will have it drop shipped directly to you from the manufacturer to prevent any further delays."[/i]

Guess what ? I never received anything. They did not have it drop shipped to me directly from the manufacturer.

I sent yet another inquiry on April 17 regarding my order and received this reply from Magic Depot on April 20:

[i]"There was an unforeseen problem with the vendor. He has straightened out this issue with the manufacturer and the item is enroute to us directly."[/i]
(gee, what happened to drop shipping it to me directly to avoid any further delays ?)

That last reply from Magic Depot was on April 20, 9 days ago. I have not yet received the item I ordered and my order status is still stuck on "Processing" when I log-in to the Magic Depot website and look at my account and order history.

I emailed them again about it on April 25 and have had no reply to my most recent email. At this point I expect that I will never receive the item from Magic Depot , that the item has most likely been discontinued and is unavailable from any source ... the impression I have now from reading this discussion topic and my own recent experience with them is that Magic Depot has just been stalling me all this time , purposely lying to me with each reply , what other conclusion should I reach from their behavior ? (but WHY would they do that if they knew they didn't have the item and would never get it in stock again because it's discontinued ? What possible reason for doing this , except to irritate me and lose me forever as a customer?) If I don't hear from them within another two days with confirmation that the order has shipped (and a tracking number) I will lodge a complaint with my credit card company and I will get the money back, so it's not like they're going to get to keep my money in the long run.) This kind of practice is the practice of a small business that is it's death throes. Something seems to be very, very wrong with Magic Depot. I would avoid ordering from them.


(by the way , as of today , the item I ordered from Mr. Aaron Smith's Magic Depot on March 22 is STILL listed on their website as "Available" and says [i]"This item usually ships within 3-5 days. However, if the product is in transit, now kept in storage, or it is only stocked at the time of sale, your order may take up to two weeks to process."[/i] , but obviously that is not true, so they never bother to update the status of items on their website , even when they know the item is not available . see attached screen shot from today.)
Message: Posted by: andolini (May 9, 2018 04:43PM)
Same exact problem same item diamond cut mirror goblet listed on there site as available ordered on march 26th back and forth with jenne for 6 weeks now run around run around opened a dispute with pay pal will see what happens lousy service will never order from them again.
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (May 11, 2018 11:10PM)
All these back and forth, delay tactics, and substitutions for worthless stuff sound like what Vick Lawston did to me in the 1970's. This crap has been going on forever. Jay Sankey was the last one to do this screw job to me after Katrina. Luckily paypal came to the rescue. jay went as far as threatening me. I called paypal, talked to a real person, they said they would take care of it and for me to not communicate with him so I do not get threatened anymore. I deleted everything from him and any emails will go to spam.

50 years in magic. I have seen almost everything. I still order magic weekly. I just call or email ahead of time and ask if the item is in stock and ready to ship. And I WILL do a paypal or credit card dispute if the item is not in the day before the deadline.

NO EXCUSES ANYMORE MAGIC DEPOT SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES AND GIVE THIS GUY A FULL REFUND, WE ALL KNOW THOSE INSTANT DOWNLOADS ARE JUST ABOUT WORTHLESS. He basically got nothing for his money. Just like Vick Lawston took advantage and did to me when I was a kid in the 70's. We had no recourse then. I'm sure he made his fortune screwing little kids out of their hard earned allowance.

I'm actually sorry to hear this. I put hose experiences behind me. This reminded me. It was sad to hear this is still going on.
Same old story over and over
Message: Posted by: joemystic (Jun 29, 2018 09:38PM)
I wish I had seen this thread before I ordered. I have two orders that I have yet to receive. We are talking 5½ months now. At first I got the same delaying tactics emails. Now they don't reply at all. They have taken $135 in payments and I have received nothing. I hope others see these replies before purchasing from Magic Depot.
Message: Posted by: furplesnort (Aug 8, 2018 03:43PM)
Magic Shops like Magic Depot and the last years of House of Fakini have left a bitter trust for online magic stores. I have been trying to craft my own magic lately. Do nt get me wrong, there are some awsome shops out there but it would be hard trusting new stores online.
Message: Posted by: joemystic (Aug 8, 2018 08:39PM)
I think it is up to all of us that have been cheated by The Magic Depot to spread the word. I am out $200 and I think there are many others that have been deceived.
Message: Posted by: furplesnort (Aug 9, 2018 11:47AM)
I agree
Message: Posted by: 61magic (Sep 9, 2018 01:25PM)
I gave up on MD also. I ordered from them and like many of you received a long list of "reasons" the item hasn't shipped. I finally opened a complaint with Paypal and received a refund.
The latest dealer falling off my list is Steven's they are shipping just from China and not responding when you ask for a quality replacement. Again refunded my money when Steven's would respond to them.
Seems like the days of honest magic dealers is going away quickly, Sad.
Message: Posted by: madelaine (Sep 17, 2018 02:26PM)
I agree with Jouemystic....'spread the word' about the lies and thieving being conducted by Magic Depot. MB stole $90 from me this year. I opened a complaint with PayPal and received a refund. Apparently MD falsely represents itself as 'recognised and credentialed by PayPay and other card agencies. Also, I have started alerting magic supplier and manufacturers - that MD is a scam company with a cheating owner.
Message: Posted by: richards (Dec 4, 2018 08:59PM)
I placed an order with The Magic Depot and they never shipped my item. It was said to be in stock too. Two months later...no refund, nobody reached out to me to cancel the order, nothing. I repeat...DO NOT do business with The Magic Depot. I am only posting to protect others from losing money too. I will dispute on my credit card, but this business practice in unacceptable and should not be tolerated. We need more reputable dealers.
Message: Posted by: TeddyBoy (Jan 18, 2019 08:41AM)
I am sorry for those experiences that have been recounted in this thread as I am sure they were very painful and frustrating. Here is my Magic Depot story.

I ordered the book Revolutionary Card Technique by Ed Marlo from the Magic Depot. As many of you may know, virtually every online vendor that lists the book indicates that it is "Out of Stock." I had contacted a couple of vendors that did not list the book as Out of Stock, however they all replied telling me that indeed, it was Out of Stock. The Magic Depot listed the book and I placed the order. Aaron indicated that it was not in stock but he could get it for me. This was in the middle of December, a bad time to be eagerly awaiting delivery of packages given the upcoming holidays. After a couple of weeks I figured that I should have heard something and getting suspicious I checked the Café and found this thread and one or two others. The stories of the terrible experiences people had with Aaron lit my fuse and enhanced my suspicions.

The bottom line, is that I got paranoid and asked Aaron for a refund. And when I emailed him my refund request, lo and behold, he informed me that it was shipped. I thought, "yeah, right, quite the coincidence." And just last night, a week after asking for a refund, the book came by UPS! Imagine my shock. Everywhere else I had looked online was not able to deliver this acclaimed Ed Marlo treatise, but somehow Aaron came through with a beautiful, pristine new and unused copy of the book! I do not know what he did that others do not or cannot do, but I was flabbergasted. Also, I was a bit ashamed because in the previous week I had posted my heightened suspicions about the Depot in this thread. I subsequently had the post deleted because it was quite premature at that point to jump to such a negative conclusion. I'm glad I did because although the experience was a bit irregular to me, the ending could not have been better.

I hope my post does not inflame anyone, but given my premature public condemnation of Aaron, I thought it only fair to finish telling the story in lieu of it having a happy ending.
Message: Posted by: jm4345 (Mar 9, 2019 07:40PM)
Another downvote forMagic Depot; I had a similar experience a few years ago which included correspondence that icontained outright lies from Jenne.
Message: Posted by: TomatoCain (Apr 26, 2019 03:45PM)
Yes, down-vote for sure. Aaron and Jenne took me for about $100. I emailed them for about three months and would have taken credit, but NOthing doing. They kept on texting me back that they actually had the item, but it was in 'Deep Stock'. That was a year ago. I am more than surprised that they are still in business. I remember Vic Lawson, too. He sold poorly edited instructions on poorly reproduced copies. The only item of professional production was the catalog.
Message: Posted by: simo68 (Aug 27, 2019 03:22PM)
Unfortunately, this dishonest person has not lost the habit of keeping the money and not sending the items, last year I placed an order after a month I received nothing, Aaron's wife told me that the package had been sent , when I asked for the tracking number, he invented various reasons for not telling me, then she told me that the package had come back ... and bla bla bla, I had a lot of patience but in the end I got bored .....
I made the Paypal dispute (fortunately I had used this payment method), providing Paypal with the link to this discussion and others on the net, which showed Aaron's lack of honesty.
I was reimbursed the next day. Aaron sent me a message saying that to show his seriousness he sent me my items without wanting to be paid, (of course they never arrived).
I am now 50 years old, I am no longer active in Magic, I was very active as a young man, and even though I am a modest amateur, for me Magic is one of the most important things in my life, it is almost religious and not I never tolerated dishonest people in magic.
Message: Posted by: simo68 (Aug 27, 2019 03:31PM)
[quote]On Jan 18, 2019, TeddyBoy wrote:
I am sorry for those experiences that have been recounted in this thread as I am sure they were very painful and frustrating. Here is my Magic Depot story.

Yes, it is a tactic of dishonest people, they hope that customers get tired of sending mail, but when the seller is threatened with legal procedures or not ... Oh !!! Just today I sent it to you !!!
How strange ...
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Apr 26, 2020 01:22PM)
Six years later it seems nothing has changed at Aaron Smith's Magic Depot. Buyer Beware.

[quote]On Jul 8, 2014, Chris wrote:
The problem with some magic retailers is that they leave discontinued items on their website. The reason they do this is for search baiting customers. These old discontinued product pages are indexed by Google and other search engines. They bring traffic and thus customers to the website. These retailers hope that these customers who come to these discontinued products will buy something instead.

That is why no refund is given on such discontinued items. [b]A customer orders it in hope to get it, but instead he gets a store credit and thus is forced to buy something else. This is how search baiting works.[/b] I hate it and as we can see on the posts above others hate it, too. Patrice, you are right speaking out about this. It should stop. [/quote]

[quote]On Jul 8, 2014, AaronSmith wrote:
We add "DISCONTINUED" to the product title so that it appears in all caps on search engines.

- Aaron Smith [/quote]

Not true. That's BS , Aaron Smith , and you know it. Chris Wasshuber nailed you on this six years ago. You practice search baiting. [b]"A customer orders it in hope to get it, but instead he gets a store credit and thus is forced to buy something else. This is how search baiting works."[/b]

To bring up a previous example: You took my money for an item (Diamond Cut Mirror Goblet) I ordered from your website in 2018, which at that time had already been discontinued and was unavailable , yet you had it listed on your website with no note about it being a "DISCONTINUED" item. After many emails back and forth with Magic Depot where I was told the item would soon be back in stock and shipped to me, after time passed it became apparent that the item was permanently discontinued and you would never have it back in stock. You offered me a store credit , but I didn't want the credit. I wanted the item advertised or else a full refund .

It's not the specific item I had ordered in my case that is important , it's the principle of the thing. I note that at the present time, April 26, 2020 , you still have that very same item --- Diamond Cut Mirror Goblet --- listed on your website as if it is available for purchase. As I write this on April 26,2020 there is nothing on your website to indicate that it is a discontinued item. (see the screen shot below) . You should either take down the listing or clearly mark it as Discontinued and Unavailable. But you haven't done that , so it seems you are still practicing the search baiting scam.


Also, if someone searches for Diamond Cut Mirror Goblet , Magic Depot is the first search result that comes up and there is nothing in the search result that says the item is DISCONTINUED. So when you previously wrote:

[quote]On Jul 8, 2014, AaronSmith wrote:
We add "DISCONTINUED" to the product title so that it appears in all caps on search engines.

- Aaron Smith [/quote]

that was untrue in 2014 and it's still untrue now in 2020.

[b]I hate to think of how many of the other items listed on your website are like this ... listed as if they are available to purchase , but you know full well they are not available and then you offer a store credit instead of a full refund, so the customer is forced to buy something else from you that they did not want. It's difficult to know how widespread this scam is on your website (I will certainly never purchase anything from you again , so I won't have any way to find out). People should be aware of your shady business practices before they order from the Magic Depot. [/b]
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Apr 26, 2020 01:35PM)
By contrast with Mr. Aaron Smith's Magic Depot , another dealer, Steven's Magic Emporium ,clearly lists this item as Out of Stock , in both the search engine results and on their website. That's how it ought to be done.

Message: Posted by: simo68 (Apr 27, 2020 07:27AM)
Hi David , just one question: did you use paypal or just your credit card?
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Apr 27, 2020 06:56PM)
[quote]On Apr 27, 2020, simo68 wrote:
Hi David , just one question: did you use paypal or just your credit card? [/quote]

Unfortunately for me I used my credit card. If I had known better I would have used PayPal so I could have easily resolved the issue and been refunded my money from these swindlers at Mr. Aaron Smith's Magic Depot.

This is why I prefer a brick and mortar shoppe , where I can see and handle the prop before I buy it and walk out the door. And even there I once had a dealer sell me a John Kennedy item which was demo'd for me in the shop , then they wrapped it up in brown paper and a bag for me ... something didn't feel right to me , so I opened up the package before I left the shop and found out that what they had wrapped up for me was not an authentic John Kennedy product , but a knock-off ... the dealer tried some double-talk: [i]"oh, it's the same thing , it's just as good"[/i] , but could see pretty quickly he didn't have a sucker on the line (I think I mentioned calling the cops) and he refunded my money. Never went back there again.