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Topic: Where NOT to purchase Magic?
Message: Posted by: Dylenium (Sep 25, 2020 08:48AM)
Hi Everyone, I am 100% certain that there already is a topic on this, but I used the search function with various keywords and wasnt able to find anything.

My question may seem a bit strange but I think many of you can relate to my problem. As a beginner it is natural that I buy magic stuff quite frequently, even tough I pace myself and learn the stuff I have before I buy something new (most of the time ;)).

You can guess that because I am still at the university I don't have a big budget for the magic supplies, so I try to find the books I want to purchase as cheap as possible BUT without just taking it from pirate websites. The problem is that its sometimes hard to detect if a website is pirating or not. Of course it is obvious when a 50$ book suddenly is downloadable for free but other sites charge money, just not that much. I am not sure if I am allowed to post the websites here, so I won't, but there are websites that sell some Ebooks for 10$ or even 2$ instead of 50$. They always seem legit and also have an https url but it seems to good to be true.

So how do you detect pirating websites? Is there some kind of "blacklist" that one could look through before purchasing?

Thanks for your answers

Dylan
Message: Posted by: DrewBstoss (Sep 25, 2020 08:58AM)
Hi Dylan!

Great question. Here's my advice - if it sounds to good to be true (and the price disparity is THAT high) then you are looking at stolen and pirated material. I hope all pirate sites die a slow, PAINFUL, death and that's only possible if people completely ignore them.

When it doubt, only purchase from reputable, well-known retailers.

Also, most of the ebooks available on those sites are scanned copies. It's easy to determine that by doing some research to see if a given book is available as a PDF elsewhere. If it isn't - then you're mingling with a pirate.

Best of luck on your journey through magic!

Drew
Message: Posted by: Mac_Stone (Sep 25, 2020 10:26AM)
You'll have to use your best judgement, if it looks too good to be true it probably is.

The better question is where SHOULD I buy magic?

The answer is directly from creators or reputable sites like Vanishing Inc.
Message: Posted by: Manos Kartsakis (Sep 25, 2020 12:44PM)
Hello everyone. I am sure the person who started this thread has the best of intentions but posting a list of pirate sites here might not be such a good idea as others might see this as a suggestion list to buy knock offs at cheap prices.
I agree that a suggestion of where to buy good magic is a more appropriate topic. As far as books and ebooks are concerned the only site that I have found that legitimately has ebooks at prices of $2-$10 is the Conjuring Arts website.
However, all of these books are classic books from 50 or even 100 years ago.
If you see one of the latest books that costs $50 for less than $10 then stay away. As others have stated before me, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.
Message: Posted by: Magic KL (Sep 25, 2020 01:21PM)
[quote]On Sep 25, 2020, Manos Kartsakis wrote:
Hello everyone. I am sure the person who started this thread has the best of intentions but posting a list of pirate sites here might not be such a good idea as others might see this as a suggestion list to buy knock offs at cheap prices.
I agree that a suggestion of where to buy good magic is a more appropriate topic. As far as books and ebooks are concerned the only site that I have found that legitimately has ebooks at prices of $2-$10 is the Conjuring Arts website.
However, all of these books are classic books from 50 or even 100 years ago.
If you see one of the latest books that costs $50 for less than $10 then stay away. As others have stated before me, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is. [/quote]

Good point! I agree that we should post good sellers here instead.
Message: Posted by: no2ss (Sep 25, 2020 01:24PM)
There are some sites that have legit ebooks at discount prices -- though I always try to double check before purchasing.

Honestly, the first time I came across http://www.llepub.com/ during a sale, I worried that it was a pirate site -- but it was legit selling L&L ebooks and downloads at crazy low prices. Also, https://trickshop.com/ and Lybrary often have very inexpensive ebooks. But the more you look around, the more you can tell which ones are legit and which ones are not.

The easiest tell of a pirate site: just see what "new" things have been recently added. If it's all the same Murphy's stuff, but at about 10% of the price of everywhere else, it's a pirate shop. If they show new devices and gimmicks for impossibly low prices with phrases like "download only!" then it's a pirate shop. It should be pretty clear pretty quickly.
Message: Posted by: phillsmiff (Sep 25, 2020 04:53PM)
Lybrary is a great place to look for legit ebooks, I've got stacks of stuff from them.

Phill
Message: Posted by: Dylenium (Sep 26, 2020 10:43AM)
Thanks to all for the tips. It may seem obvious that if a price sounds to good to be true, it usually is. But often the low price is justified with a sale or special offer that just never ends (or after the january sale there is a february sale etc.) So it is quite difficult to find the differnece between bargain and piracy.
As Manos stated, the blacklist would probably backfire. But its great that so many posted good magic dealers instead.
Message: Posted by: videoman (Sep 26, 2020 12:11PM)
[quote]On Sep 26, 2020, Dylenium wrote:
Thanks to all for the tips. It may seem obvious that if a price sounds to good to be true, it usually is. But often the low price is justified with a sale or special offer that just never ends (or after the january sale there is a february sale etc.) So it is quite difficult to find the differnece between bargain and piracy.
As Manos stated, the blacklist would probably backfire. But its great that so many posted good magic dealers instead. [/quote]

Have to disagree with you a bit.
I think you are pleading ignorance to convince yourself itís okay.

35% off may be a good sale price. 95% off is not a sale price, itís piracy. You may feel tempted and then justify it by convincing yourself it could just be a really good sale price but in your heart you know itís not. Itís not hard to discern between legitimate or piracy if you are honest with yourself.

Secondly, in most cases when a product is marked down drastically you will see it on sale at most every magic dealer, not exclusively at some Chinese site.

Just stick to reputable companies, itís really not that hard.
Message: Posted by: John C (Sep 26, 2020 12:47PM)
[quote]On Sep 25, 2020, Dylenium wrote:
Hi Everyone, I am 100% certain that there already is a topic on this, but I used the search function with various keywords and wasnt able to find anything.

My question may seem a bit strange but I think many of you can relate to my problem. As a beginner it is natural that I buy magic stuff quite frequently, even tough I pace myself and learn the stuff I have before I buy something new (most of the time ;)).

You can guess that because I am still at the university I don't have a big budget for the magic supplies, so I try to find the books I want to purchase as cheap as possible BUT without just taking it from pirate websites. The problem is that its sometimes hard to detect if a website is pirating or not. Of course it is obvious when a 50$ book suddenly is downloadable for free but other sites charge money, just not that much. I am not sure if I am allowed to post the websites here, so I won't, but there are websites that sell some Ebooks for 10$ or even 2$ instead of 50$. They always seem legit and also have an https url but it seems to good to be true.

So how do you detect pirating websites? Is there some kind of "blacklist" that one could look through before purchasing?

Thanks for your answers

Dylan [/quote]

If you see any of my pdfs there you can rest assured it's a pirate site.
Message: Posted by: Mac_Stone (Sep 26, 2020 04:45PM)
[quote]On Sep 26, 2020, videoman wrote:

Have to disagree with you a bit.
I think you are pleading ignorance to convince yourself itís okay.

35% off may be a good sale price. 95% off is not a sale price, itís piracy. You may feel tempted and then justify it by convincing yourself it could just be a really good sale price but in your heart you know itís not. Itís not hard to discern between legitimate or piracy if you are honest with yourself.

Secondly, in most cases when a product is marked down drastically you will see it on sale at most every magic dealer, not exclusively at some Chinese site.

Just stick to reputable companies, itís really not that hard. [/quote]

What's the difference between buying a pirated PDF and a knockoff product?
Message: Posted by: Magicalos (Sep 26, 2020 06:13PM)
Not sure why my post was deleted

but seriously consider before buying from:

Justin Miller
Dave Forrest

i don't see how the post I had made about this was deleted...this is legit I'm sure others can vouch for it

Dave Forrest alone has stolen upwards of 20,000$ (i think that's how much his KS campaign raised) and delivered nothing
Justin Miller also has scammed people out of money, his magic Cafť accounts have been deleted every time he makes them...

again this is just a warning for people.....not my personal rant...just truth from someone who loves magic and has been burned by them...
Message: Posted by: Andy W (Sep 26, 2020 06:37PM)
I have had experience with Justin. he is a decent performer but his business ethic is questionable.

funny how he always claims people are stealing from him but he material are minor modification from other people's material


[quote]On Sep 26, 2020, Magicalos wrote:
Not sure why my post was deleted

but seriously consider before buying from:

Justin Miller
Dave Forrest

i don't see how the post I had made about this was deleted...this is legit I'm sure others can vouch for it

Dave Forrest alone has stolen upwards of 20,000$ (i think that's how much his KS campaign raised) and delivered nothing
Justin Miller also has scammed people out of money, his magic Cafť accounts have been deleted every time he makes them...

again this is just a warning for people.....not my personal rant...just truth from someone who loves magic and has been burned by them... [/quote]
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Sep 26, 2020 07:05PM)
There is another type of website shop to beware of: shops from another country that simply take your money and you never receive the product nor hear from them in any way. I recently had experience with such a site, and from that experience can offer two suggestions:

1. Pay through PayPal or a credit card that--if you hear or receive northing in measurable time, you can request a cancel of the purchase and a refund. It is still a hassle and takes some time, but you should be able to get a refund.

2. If the website features multiple products that are no longer being made, that no other hop has in stock, beware. And a specific warning: When you google the product you want, a site or two what comes up early may be a con. Explore the site carefully. Ask on the Cafť if members have experience with that site.

George
Message: Posted by: Poof-Daddy (Sep 26, 2020 09:13PM)
I live by a simple rule. I have posted it several times when this subject comes up.
"IF YOU HAVE TO ASK THE QUESTION, YOU ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER." PLEASE do not support piracy
Also, please read this short blog from about a week ago. It puts out VERY IMPORTANT points.
https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/blog/what-to-do-when-your-magic-is-pirated (and it involves all piracy, not just yours as the title might imply).
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Sep 27, 2020 08:10AM)
[quote]On Sep 25, 2020, Manos Kartsakis wrote:
. As far as books and ebooks are concerned the only site that I have found that legitimately has ebooks at prices of $2 - $10 is the Conjuring Arts website.
[/quote]

Conjuring Arts is a good source, but so is Lybrary.com and TrickShop.com.

https://store.conjuringarts.org/category/books/ebooks-by-instant-download/books-ebooks-by-instant-download/

https://www.lybrary.com/

https://trickshop.com/


.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 28, 2020 10:49AM)
[quote]On Sep 26, 2020, Mac_Stone wrote:
What's the difference between buying a pirated PDF and a knockoff product? [/quote]

A pirated product is just a straight copy. Usually only digital products can have this, though technically you can find scanned copies of print books as well. How someone has the time to scan large books page by page is beyond me.

A knock off is a copy. Someone sees the original product's advertising and then tries to create the same thing themselves - usually cutting every corner possible. They will also sometimes steal the original creator's advertising materials (videos, photos, ad copy) to seem more legit.

Basically - as others have said, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Message: Posted by: Michael L (Sep 29, 2020 09:36PM)
If you're going to pirate something, at least find a way to get it for free rather than giving money to the websites selling knock-offs. If you've decided that you're going to pay money, then make sure the money's going to the right place. This isn't a great year for performing magicians, they could use your help and your dollars.

To legitimately get good magic at a discount, look at your local or online magic shops. Wait a bit until Black Friday, all of the big sites run sales then. My local magic shop frequently runs clearance sales and I've picked up a ton of Live Lecture DVDs for dirt cheap. You can also find used books and props here, or on other forums, or on social media sites. You don't need to reach for the low-hanging fruit of pirated media just to pay less than top dollar for magic.

On a technical note, https doesn't mean something is legal/ethical. It means the connection between your machine and the site runs over an encrypted session and the site is what it says it is. It's based on a chain of trusted certificates, and prevents you from setting up your own copy of an existing site, but you can set up any sketchy site using https and it will work. I mean, the bay of pirates dot org is a site reachable by https, so "legit" is open to interpretation...
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Sep 30, 2020 01:08AM)
As others have said if you are looking for good digital products Lybrary is good as well as L&L. The L&L deals are amazing with downloads regularly marked down 72% or so when they are on sale.

I really like Penguin Magic, they usually have the best prices, a little lower than list price, and it's very easy to buy enough to get free shipping.

And has been mentioned, watch for deals and sales. Penguin has killer sales for Black Friday and Christmas. I always hold off until one of those sales to buy expensive books or other props because the more you spend the more free stuff they send you.

It's a great question because as others have mentioned, many magic sites are so outdated they look like cheap copy sites, but they are actually legit.
Message: Posted by: Chris (Oct 13, 2020 10:00AM)
I have fought pirates for as long as I run Lybrary.com, 20+ years. We use several techniques to fight them. I don't want to detail them here, because that would simply help pirates think about countermeasures. However, I do have a suggestion for all customers. It is very simple:

USE A WHITELIST APPROACH TO DECIDE WHERE TO PURCHASE!

What I mean by that is only purchase at known retailers, particularly when it comes to downloads. Several known reputable dealers have been mentioned here. Lybrary.com, as the 'father' of all magic download sites (Lybrary.com has been the first to offer magic downloads more than 20 years ago), is one place where you can be certain that authors get their royalties and where we only sell legitimate and authorized digital editions. If you search for a product and then you end up at some website domain you don't recognize as one of the well-known and reputable places, then don't purchase there, no matter how tempting the prices are. It is very likely a pirate site.

Also keep in mind that when you purchase from a pirate site you are exposing yourself personally to more troubles. These pirates often misuse your payment information, personal information, email addresses, etc. Anything from simply getting more spam to having your identity stolen can be the result of purchasing from a pirate site. So stay safe by sticking to reputable websites.