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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » The 2008 season (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

sethb
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Well, time to dust off the pitch table, charge up the portable PA system, grab the suitcase and start a new season. I’m doing a 75-table indoor flea in about two weeks; it will be a good opportunity to warm up, get the rust out of the routines and try out a few new ideas.

I have now expanded my territory to a 40-mile radius, and that’s as far as I care to travel right now, especially with gas prices high and probably going higher. Since I travel pretty much the same circuit of shows/events each year, I have found that in order to keep sales up, I need to offer something new in addition to the Svengali Deck.

So this year, in addition to the Svengali Decks and Magic Worms, I’m adding two new items. One is the good old “Money Maker” from S.S. Adams. We’ll see how it sells, most people are always intrigued by tricks involving money. The only downside is there’s a bit of a reset involved, but if I have two or three loaded and ready to go, I should be able to reset them at my convenience when I have a spare moment. The other item I’m keeping under my hat for now, until I see how it does. But it’s cute, I’ve always liked it, and it meets my requirements of being impressive without being overly difficult to do (for me or the buyers!). It’s another effect using money, and I’ll be interested to see how it goes.

I also hope to avoid some of the less productive shows, so that I can do the same amount of work or less, but still make more money. Now there’s a great magic trick, if I can pull it off! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
TKD27
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How's it gone for you so far Seth? Any stories? Anything new really working for you?
sethb
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Thanks for asking, it just so happens that the flea market I spoke about in the first post is tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. The weather isn't too great, which may cut down on attendance a bit -- but at least it's INSIDE!! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
TKD27
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I was planning on heading out this weekend for what would have been my third and fourth time (my first two day weekend at the same place), but then the blizzard hit and I figured I'd get more bang for my buck next weekend Smile Plus it's about an hour and a half drive...

There are just NO good flea markets anywhere near me. The closest big flea market is a little over an hour away from me, in a different state no less. I don't so much mind the drive time, but the gas is a killer.
sethb
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We were pretty lucky, we had about 2 inches of snow Friday morning and then lots of slush Friday afternoon. But by Saturday morning, everything had pretty much melted away (there are some advantages to living near the ocean -- lots of salt air to help melt snow!)

Attendance was OK at the flea, but there were not a lot of kids, which made it slow going for me. I had hoped to do at least two yards but ended up with much less. However, I was able to clean the rust out of my routines and also try out a new item (the Money Maker), which demos well and should be a good seller. I also got two very good leads from fellow vendors on an upcoming Earth Day event and a new craft show that will accept my booth, so it was still worthwhile.

The only problem was that a nearby table was selling some clothing that had evidently been stored somewhere for quite a while -- the smell of mothballs was everywhere! A few other vendors complained and the show sponsor made them take the stuff away. Some people apparently don't know the difference between a GoodWill or Salvation Army clothing drop and a flea market! Sheesh!!

Another flea in two weeks, and after that hopefully it will be warm enough to start some outside work and make some good money. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
TKD27
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Yeah, I can't wait for outdoor weather. There are two flea markets right in my area that should do well, but they're both outdoors. If they work, I can drastically cut down my drive time (and gas cost Smile).
TKD27
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I went out this morning for my third pitch (ever, not just of the season). I went to the same flea market today as last time, but did MUCH worse. I think it was the location they gave me. I was stuck in a row with a bunch of antique guys and fake flowers. The row got missed by everyone. There was a steady flow coming in one side and circling right around my row. Someone had mentioned to me earlier it is one of the worst spots in the place.

How do you guys deal with that? Getting really crappy spots. Do you talk to the flea owners ahead of time? What would you say? Everyone wants a good spot, right?

A very frusterating experience today Smile Oh well, I'm hoping to be able to try a new one next weekend. Hopefully I'll do a little better.

Anyone have any stories this season?
sethb
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Getting a good spot is often just a matter of luck. However, you can try to ask for a spot that's 1) near the food concessions or 2) near (but not next to) the bathrooms. You are more likely to have steady traffic in those areas.

Sometimes you just have to make your own luck. If you attract even one person, other people will feel more comfortable stopping, and pretty soon, you'll have a nice tip.

Along the same line, don't just stand there waiting for someone to walk up to your pitch table. Although most people like magic, they are either embarrassed to admit it or are too shy to approach you, so you need to make the first move. Stay in motion and keep talking. Greet people with "Good Morning"; ask people if they'd like to help you do a card trick. If you're selling Magic Worms, say "Have you met my friend Willie the Worm?" If you don't want to talk, then just doing the cup move with the worm will usually stop people in their tracks. But DON'T say "Would you like to see a magic trick?" It's much too easy for people to say no and keep walking! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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Location,location,location....I talk about this in the Svengali pitch DVD.If you get a bad spot go looking for a better spot in the market. Than go to the office and ask to move.Even if its in the middle of the day.

That's why I talked about it in the DVD...its important.

Don
Jon-O the Great
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This seems to work for me.

Zig Ziglar has said that when people are in a show, most of them are thinking "NO". "No, I don't want to talk to you, No I don't want to buy whatever you have, NO I don't even want to look". After all, what do they USUALLY answer when you ask a question? "NO!!"

SO--He says, "Give 'em chance to say 'NO'! Get it out of their system."

When I'm doing strippers, I ask, "Squeezed one yet"? When I'm doing cards, "Have you seen the Magic Cards?" They almost ALWAYS say "NO". Then I can say, "Here, put this in your hand" or "Come here, watch what you can do with this deck...."

It sure seems to work well for me. Of course, when I'm doing the Zibit, I just sit there like a dummy and they give me the money anyway. ;-)

Jon
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