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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » A new way to charge fees (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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todsky
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Dear customer: Please pay according to what you can honestly afford, and according to how entertaining the show was. Just put the payment in a sealed envelope.
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nucinud
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I can't agree with this.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



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rossmacrae
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"That was a WONDERFUL show - never had better! Here's a check for $25."
NJJ
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This idea works very well in restuarants. I have been to one that lets its customers pay what they feel the meal was worth. People end up paying MORE!

However, with a magician, people don't know how much we are worth and how much to pay. So they will underpay most of the time.
Jerrine
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How could a person under pay what you are worth to them? What you think you are worth to them, yeah.
NJJ
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Jerrine - because they do not know how to show that worth.

For example...

A cup of coffee costs $3.
If I say - pay what is worth you will pay me MORE then $3 if you like it or less then $3 if you don't.

However, no one knows what a magic show is supposed to be worth. They pick the figure out of their head.

And that figure is usually lower then accepted market rate.
todsky
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Unless people you perform for already have some experience booking magicians, then they'll know the going rates. This idea might work best in private situations (house parties, for example) and with social organizations, because I have a feeling business and corporate entities wouldn't know how to deal with such a financial arrangement, and their heads might explode.
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suspectacts
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Todsky -

50 years ago (when credit much harder to secure) people only bought cars and houses when they had 100% of the money in hand. Now plenty of people buy cars that will take them years and years to pay off. Can those people 'honestly' afford that car? What about people who spend 10 of thousands of dollars on a wedding? Or

The modern North American bases most of their spending on every factor EXCEPT whether or not they can afford it.
Jerrine
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Sure they know how to show that worth. There is no secret you want money. How much is the question is it not? You can get less than you think you are worth to them, but they are actually paying what they think you are worth to them. I submit what they think is most important in this case, what with the paying and all. Convincing them that you are worth more, closer or even higher than the number you had in mind, now that's the trick. It's the fundamentals of Busking, which is what is happening in todsky's given. See the show then decide what to pay = Busking. Sure you are gathering the crowd in a different manner, a prearranged meeting, but I see it as Busking.
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2007-01-15 09:48, Jerrine wrote:
Sure they know how to show that worth. There is no secret you want money. How much is the question is it not?


Yes. That is what I said.

Quote:
You can get less than you think you are worth to them, but they are actually paying what they think you are worth to them.


But this number is not indictative of your actual worth to them because they do not know how much you MIGHT be worth.

Think of it this way....

They give you a ranking from 1-10 in their head. 1 is bad, 10 is amazing and 5 is average.

So they know what your worth is based on that ranking. However, they don't know how to transfer that worth into a dollar amount.

Quote:
I submit what they think is most important in this case, what with the paying and all. Convincing them that you are worth more, closer or even higher than the number you had in mind, now that's the trick.


You don't need to trick them. You would just need to tell them, out right, what the cost of a magician is. You tell them that a bad magician gets $150, a good magicians $250 and a great magician $300 and then let them choose how much.

Quote:
It's the fundamentals of Busking, which is what is happening in todsky's given. See the show then decide what to pay = Busking. Sure you are gathering the crowd in a different manner, a prearranged meeting, but I see it as Busking.


No. Whilst this system is more like busking then a traditional fee, busking is VERY different.

1) Everyone in the audience pays a small amount to see a busker. ONE person pays a performer's fee. the thought processes to pay $5-$10 is very different to $1000.

2) A busker's show is designed around maximising his or her hat. A professional performs their show and gets paid at the end.

3) A busker gathers a crowd. This is very different from a prearranged meeting.
magic4u02
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I think Nicholas is right on the money with this one. The real point here is that most clients have never used or hired a magician before. because of this, there is no real point to base a price upon because they have no idea what the base price or going rate is for a magician. even if they thought you were fanastic, they have no idea how much a fantasic magician show get paid cause they have never seenor experienced having to pay for one before.

Case in point. If you want great sneakers then you know there are brand names out there and there are also cheaper ones as well. You see the ads and you go to the stores. You are used to buying sneakers when you need them. because of this, you obtain market data. You know that certain brands cost more and associate better brands with higher prices. You also know what that price is. this gives you a basis for which to start from.

With magic, you do not have this luxury. People really do not know what a base fee is for a magician or for what you are doing or for magical entertainment in their market. there is nothing from their past history that allows them to gain this information.

So what ends up happening? Well the person thinks the show was awesome, thinks um how much is for awesome and gives you a much lower rate then what you really wanted to get simply cause they have no idea.

Nicholas is right on with this one.

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todsky
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I would have to disagree that most clients are booking a magician for the first time. In my experience, it's more like 50/50. Also, many who haven't booked a magician have booked a music band, which also charges in the same ballpark as a magician.
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Jerrine
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"But this number is not indictative of your actual worth to them because they do not know how much you MIGHT be worth."

It doesn't matter what you might be worth. If you ask someone to pay you what they think you are worth, which is todsky's given, if they only think you are worth $1 that's what you will get. Which spurred rossmacrae's post, ""That was a WONDERFUL show - never had better! Here's a check for $25."

"You don't need to trick them. You would just need to tell them, out right, what the cost of a magician is. You tell them that a bad magician gets $150, a good magicians $250 and a great magician $300 and then let them choose how much."

I used the word trick in the sense of "that's the ticket", not that you would actually have to trick anyone. If you tell them outright what you expect, then you are not merely asking them to pay what they think you are worth, which is todsky's given.

"1) Everyone in the audience pays a small amount to see a busker. ONE person pays a performer's fee. the thought processes to pay $5-$10 is very different to $1000."

True for most sane people.

"2) A busker's show is designed around maximising his or her hat. A professional performs their show and gets paid at the end."

The Hat is at the end, and that's when a Busker gets paid. A Busker is a professional, what with the pay and all. Both are trying to please an audience. The Busker needs to please as many as possible. The other Magician primarily the ONE person with the $1000.

"3) A busker gathers a crowd. This is very different from a prearranged meeting."

Yes it is, IMHO more direct and difficult, however one could say that booking that show is gathering the crowd. No booking, no crowd. True, you are selling the ONE person instead of the many.


I apologize for posting concerning todsky's given, the purpose of this thread. I'll have to bone up on my twisting the thread and ignoring the original post skills. It may take some time, but I'll get it down.
todsky
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The purpose of my proposal is not necessarily to boost one's income. It's more of a social and economic experiment.
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jlevey
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Hmmm... Todsky, Here's a twist...Perhaps we should offer to pay them for us to perform?

After all, they are providing us with their smiles and laughter free of charge.


Orm work out an exchange... we perform in exchange for use of their car, their home, a meal, etc...

Jonathan
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todsky
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I was wondering when you'd pipe in, Jon.
As far as exchange, see my thread Magic for Barter.
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keithmagic
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GREAT IDEA TODSKY!

Now here is how you should go about your experiment... Become the guinea pig!

Set up a blog where you can write about the experience. Assuming you are full-time, make a public declaration that you will only work for random contributions based on what people think you're show is worth.

Do this for one year. Remember - you can't CHARGE - only accept!

I'd love to see where you stand at the end of the year! Let us know how it goes (that is - if you can keep your ISP paid...!).

best of luck.
keith
Author of "The Festival Entertainer" The Professional Entertainer's Guide to Booking and Working Outdoor Fairs, Festivals, and Events.
Available at http://www.howtobookfestivals.com
NJJ
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Jerrine - I assume you don't busk much!

good performers can get no money from busking.

I've seen guys with a tip, a silk and no technique make hundreds.

The whole show is structured around how to maximise each person paying. The way in which the audience is seated, how the arrive and leave, what tricks are performed and when. A professional who is expecting ONE person to pay him does not do this. And if he did, it would be a very strange show.

The problem you don't quite get is that if a customer pays what they THINK you are worth...they are guessing! They are not paying what they KNOW the show is worth to them. They are picking what a good magician MIGHT be worth.
Jerrine
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Nicholas-

You would assume wrong. Glad it wasn't a bet? My audience doesn't sit either. Ideally they don't leave because I am entertaining and can hold their attention. Wish that were always true! I'm fully aware of what a professional Magician who does not busk does. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Ask the cats, they know.

The problem you don't quite get is todsky's given. In case you have forgotten or can't scroll up I'll copy it here: "Dear customer: Please pay according to what you can honestly afford, and according to how entertaining the show was. Just put the payment in a sealed envelope."

Sounds like a sorry hat line huh? This is in effect asking the customer to pay what they think, what they think, what they think, what they think, the show was worth. The emphasised point is what they think. Not what you think, or anyone else on the planet, what they think. You are allowing them, in todsky's given, to make that decision. It will be based on any number of things, but it is up to them. Will you get what you think the show is worth? Probably not. Will they pay what they think is fair? Yes. That is todsky's given. Makes no difference if they know jack squat about what a good or bad Magician is worth here, there, or anywhere.

Say that is crazy, bad idea, totally insane if you want but todsky's given is what I am addressing. I submit that it is impossible for a person to under pay what, here it is again, what they think the show is worth. They could look you straight in the eye and say, "That's the worst example of entertainment I could ever imagine. Gather your props and get out!" You leave without a red cent.

I'm curious just how this approach would work out. I doubt that anyone could afford to spend the time necessary to give it a fair chance. It would be cool if a person who could care less about the money could spend a year to experiment, per Keith's suggestion, and keep a blog so we could monitor results. We all might learn from the results. Perhaps regional or social trends.
todsky
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Jerrine, I do think, however, as suggested by Nicholas earlier, it would be okay to let a client know what a typical fee is for magic, provided they ask you. How many would ask? I have no idea.
And I do hope to carry out this experiment at some time, and it will hopefully result in a book.
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
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