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Sam Tabar
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Inner circle
Austin, Texas
1050 Posts

Profile of Sam Tabar
I agree with Peter, but just as Ammar said in his book, The Magic of Micahel Ammar, and I quote: "One way to prevent yourself from losing shows as a result of your original quote being too high, would be what I call a "safety net" into your pricing structure. Whta that amounts to, basically, is a second act that you can perform for a lower fee. Or, it might be a different performong character - still played by you, but capable of working for a lower fee." Basically what this says is if a customer cannot afford a $225 magic show maybe you could still offer them an alternative magic show which you could perform for them for $125.
"Knowledge comes from finding the answers, but understanding what the answers mean is what brings wisdom." - Anonymous
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Inner circle
Arlington, Virginia
2464 Posts

Profile of rossmacrae
You might leave your fees where they are (after taking into consideration the varying but wise advice in the posts above). Then add to your schedule by developing a line of "affordable" shows that don't overlap your birthday business in any way (you won't even have occasion to mention them to birthday shoppers): magic classes at libraries and recreation centers, educational-themed shows at local schools, etc. It might even happen that those additional shows result in an increase in your birthday business ("Mom, he weas great, can I have him come to my party?")
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Regular user
Victoria BC Canada
145 Posts

Profile of okito25
Lots of awsome things to consider ,, Brian made a good point refering to Michael Ammar section on negotiating the higher wage , in His book .. I have studied a lot of the marketing materials , from Dave Dee and Samuel Patrick Smith, all awsome but essentially say the same thing , for a quick and easy listen I would suggest picking Up Michael Ammars Negotiating the higher wage < I have increased my potentials in all areas of performing , I must say though .. when ever there is an opp for me to show off .. payed or not .. I have a hard time sitting still and holding Out as it were for the proper compensation .. just because Like many here I love performing, I think it was either Lance Burton or Tom Mullica , who said . man breaking into your own gig was scary, the lay audience did not realize there was a time the magician would , run around loving to show his stuff of and do anythig to get an audience , Now the magician has to sit and wait for the people to come into their theater and pay a Big buck , to see the same stuff .. he would have done for free anyway
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Inner circle
6439 Posts

Profile of NJJ
My rule of thumb is this

1) I Always strive to be the most expensive magician in my area. It means that clients will think I am the best and then I have to prove it.

2) Everytime I put up my price, I ring a charity I like and do a free show for them.

3) IF some one asks for a discount I always offer them something a little extra that has little value to me but a TON of value for the client like a free magic kit for the birthday child. I always draw attention to this extra thing in he show so that the parents realised what a special deal they got.

4) I don't try and book every caller. I EXPECT 10% of people to be price shoppers who want it cheap!
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1964 - 2016
2034 Posts

Profile of Michael_MacDonald
Raising fees doesn't always mean fewer shows, I haveb raised my fees to well over my competition and still book more and more shows.

the trick is percieved value and the proper marketing.
when they "think" you are the best they ARE willing to pay the price.

the only change that happend when I raised my fee was the change in client life style
meaning I do more upper middle class shows instead of average income families.

if you really want to do more shows offer a smaller package and thjat way you can have those that can not aford your normal shows as clients also..

packages are the way to go.
people love options
Bill Hilly
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Elite user
449 Posts

Profile of Bill Hilly
On 2005-04-11 05:19, Peter Marucci wrote:
It's fine to raise the price of your shows; just don't fall into a very subtle trap:


No, said the publisher, and for this reason: As it is now, just about anyone can advertise in the biggest paper in the country. If we were to double the rates, the paper would be "held prisoner" by three or four major accounts who run six or eight full pages a day. We would only have about a dozen huge advertisers, rather than hundreds of small ones, as at present.

I know this is an old thread, but in case anyone still checks on these things I'd like to say - There is a lot of wisdom in Peter's entire message, and summed up in that paragraph above. If it's not clear at first, read it over a few times, it's in there. Find it and reap the rewards.

Thanks Peter, you nailed it.

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Loyal user
227 Posts

Profile of vincentmusician
I have tried offering cheaper packages to get the cheapos to book me before. I have run unto problems. I book a lower cost show. Then two customers call me and want to book the same time slot for my regular price. I have lost them because I booked a cheapo show. Not good. So be careful about this. It can come back to bite you. Cheers!
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Inner circle
So.California / Centl.Florida / retired Florida
1036 Posts

Profile of Russo
Yes - Once a Church Men's Club asked for a discount - I did - When packing to leave, I heard one Man say to another "Cheap Price Cheap Show". Though they did call upon me the next year. I Charged full price+ - Did the SAME SHOW - when being paid - was told "Best Show we've ever Seen, Thank You". (So -you get what you pay for "). Best to ALL.
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Inner circle
West Chester PA
1264 Posts

Profile of danfreed
I don't feel comfortable trying to squeeze every nickel I can out of people even though most businesses do that. Also, if my fee seems fine to them and they are very happy with my show I often get tips ranging from around $20-$100. I just did a party for a millionaire and they gave me $100 tip, maybe if I charged more my tip would have been smaller, I don't know. Sometimes lower and middle income people are the best tippers. Also, I don't just want to do parties for upper middle income and wealthy people, though most of them are upper middle. If I tried to specialize in parties for heart surgeons and millionaires it would take more marketing effort, I don't want the bother. Also, if that caused me to do less gigs then I might not be as good due to less time performing. Also, if I charged quite a bit more, for me that would cause added stress that I don't want. I'd feel the need to up the production value (adding a backdrop, music, maybe an assistant, etc) which would take more time and effort, which after doing this since 94' I just don't want the bother, I feel like I can entertain them just as well without the bells and whistles.
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Eternal Order
10317 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Great thoughts Dan.
KC Cameron
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Inner circle
Raleigh, North Carolina
1922 Posts

Profile of KC Cameron
A good show takes practice, and lots of shows mean you polish your show more and become a better performer. At one time I was doing 7-9 birthday shows a weekend and throwing 3+ shows a week to other magicians. It was good money, and I love performing, but that was too much.

I just started performing again after a 2-year hiatus because of Covid. There is a lot more competition, and I am not pushing it and I am booking 3-4 shows a week, but I just resumed. My other business is doing well enough I don't need the extra income. I want to do 4 birthdays a weekend, max, and that is just because I enjoy it. I have raised my prices and may do so again because the area is expanding with wealthier people AND I don't want the extremely hectic pace anymore. It is what the market will bear. In NYC or LA you will be able to charge a lot more than in rural Mississippi.

I think in a mid-size city, a good performer that can market themselves can easily make 100K/yr. just doing kid's birthday shows.
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