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Matthew W
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Here is a tip that I learned from another pitchman.

Place the item in a plastic shopping bag and double knot it. Tell them not to open it so they don't lose the instructions.

This works and they don't come back. I have even seen them walking around with the bag handle around their wrist.

Now you wont have to teach them for 20 minutes and lose out on sales.

-Matt
-Matt
sethb
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Hmmmmm, either my buyers are very smart or very dumb, because I have only had about two people come back and tell me the deck didn't work (because it was out of order).

And actually, it is possible to shuffle a Svengali Deck with either a riffle shuffle or an overhand shuffle, IF you know how. In fact, during the course of my pitch I purposely do an overhand shuffle with the faces of the cards facing the specs, so they can see that the faces are all different.

If you can handle the deck gracefully and normally, I think it helps tremendously in doing the tricks as well as the pitch itself ("Yes,it LOOKS like an ordinary deck of cards, and it SHUFFLES like an ordinary deck of cards, but it is NOT an ordinary deck of cards, folks! The special cards do all the work for you!!") SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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Seth, I think I'd be hard pressed to shuffle the cards with ANY kind of shuffle, even tho it's explained very well in Mark Lewis' book. Knowing my shortcomings with the DL (tho I AM getting better) just don't wanna chance it. And it hasn't been necessary for me to shuffle because most of my demos are to kids whom, it seems, are flabbergasted enough with the Don's simple tricks.

I have changed Don's demo in that instead of asking them to take a card from my hand in the 1st trick, I drop them on the table, one or a few at a time, as in Eddie Ray's video, asking them to tell me when to stop, then tell them to take the top card, look at it, show it around, DON'T SHOW IT TO ME. Then I use Mark Lewis' line, "You won't forget that (9 of hearts) will you?" This REALLY gets a wide eyed look from just about EVERYBODY including adults. They look on the back of the card, ask, "Where's the mirror?", "How'd you do that?" I just say, "Did I say it was a trick deck?"

But, getting back to the original idea of this thread, I truly feel we do not give away the trick in Don's demo. However, I've HAVE changed "they have a magnetic finish" to "These cards are plastic coated. You know what static electricity is, right? You know that static electricity will SOMETIMES make thing stick together. When these cards are together, they tend to STICK together, like THAT" and I pick up the top card of the 2, as in Don's demo. In my mind, I'm not lying to them, just "mis" directing them--as all good magicians do.

As for making the buyer's read the 1st paragraph of the instructions, Don, I learned in sales school (in the early 1800s) that you should "meet the objection before it comes up." Even tho they PROMISE to read the instructions before attempting tricks with the cards, NONE of them do. They ALL take the cards out of the box and mess with them. BUT--if they come back and want MY instructions, I tell them...."You didn't do what you promised. You GOTTA read the instructions." If it's slow (as it has been recently) I will put the cards back in order, but that's all. And again tell them to do as they promised--READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. If I'm a HURRY, (which hasn't happened much, recently) I don't take the time to have them read it.

I like the idea of tying the bag. I have a friend who sells worms and he ALWAYS ties the bag closed. I use a very small bag I got at Sam's for both strippers and cards. It will be VERY easy to tie it.

I figure, as John Wayne said in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", I'm gonna have this thing down pretty good!! In another 8 or 10 years!

Jon
DonDriver
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I don't like tieing the bag at all.I do know Pete that pitches the worm does as well as others.

Lets face it we don't have lines of MARKS coming back with a messed up deck just a few now and than.I don't see this as being that big a problem.

So I think just saying to the tip before they leave "BE SURE TO READ THE DIRECTIONS" is all that you need to do.

When a kid does come back with a messed up deck the first thing I ask him is "Did you read the directions like I told you" They always say YES always.So I come back with "Good...whats trick number 5 on the direction sheet?" Of course they have no clue.(the funny thing is,I never read the directions and I have no clue
either)So right away you caught them in a lie and this puts them on the spot.Now you have the upper hand and can move on from here however you like.

Get their money and hope they make it to the parking lot before they mess up their deck.

Later,Don
Jon-O the Great
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Don, I had an adult girl (one of the vendors at a recent show) come back with the instruction sheet, asked me about one of the tricks. She was actually reading it but couldn't make heads or tails of this particular trick. NEITHER COULD I! That trick is so short on instructions, I just couldn't get it.

I finally told her I didn't know the answer. That I wasn't a magician, only a pitchman. Not much of an answer but the only one I had. Like you, I had never actually read the instruction sheet. Just scanned and printed it. Maybe I need to read it. Someday.

Jon
DonDriver
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I would have made something up.I'm sure she would have gone along with it.

Later,Don
sethb
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Jon-O, the overhand Svengali shuffle is about ten times easier than a DL, and just about foolproof IF you do it the way Mark says. Give it a try, the worst that can happen is that you 'll have to spend 2-3 minutes resetting the deck. I would venture to say that after a day or two, it will be a piece of cake and you won't have any misplaced cards after the shuffle.

I like to do a shuffle because it "proves" that the deck is not pre-arranged in any way, it's a normal thing to do with a deck of cards, and if you do the overhand shuffle with the faces showing, the specs can see that all the cards are different (without your having to point it out). Then when they all change to the selected card, it's all the more amazing. The shuffle also kills all the folks who bought the "T.V. Magic" cards and don't know that you actually can shuffle them!

Of course, sooner or later, something is eventually going to get out of whack, but even then, if you just avoid that part of the deck, you can still bring the pitch to a successful conclusion, then take a second or two to straighten things out. Normally it's just one or two cards that need attention. I usually keep two decks on the table so that if one has problems, I can immediately go with the other deck and fix the messed-up one later when I have a chance. SETH

Posted: Nov 1, 2008 6:40pm
I also agree with Don, I have not had lines of folks coming back with messed-up decks, only one or two that I can remember. And at least the kids were honest, they admitted that they DIDN'T read the directions!!

So I said to them, "Look, this is a professional real magic trick, not a toy. If you want to amaze people the same way that you were amazed, then you really need to read the instructions and practice." Meanwhile I reset the deck for them and that solved the problem. I think they were just excited, who can blame 'em?

Fortunately, the instructions that come packed with the Royal Magic decks from FUN, Inc. are pretty good. That's important, because as Don always says, you don't have time to give lessons while you're pitching. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
JoeJoe
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If shuffled end-for-end, it is hard to mess up the order. Ron Conley shuffles in his pitch, there is really nothing difficult about it - the cards stay in order automatically.

The problem I encounter is when I buy cards that are not already in order ... ie: you open up the deck and get a stack of cards, and a stack of force cards.

At some point, I made the decision to just go ahead and setup all the cards myself during the slow periods ... mainly Sunday mornings. At the market I was working, you had to be setup by 9:00 or they re-rent your space, but the Sunday crowds didn't show up till noon so I had 3 hours to kill anyway. It gave me something to do and actually doesn't take long and saved me from having kids coming back crying "they don't work".

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
Jon-O the Great
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Was at a flea market Saturday. I had about 10 people in one group of "lookers". One of the mothers sat down on a bench at the side of my table and REALLY watched me intently. "How'd you do that", she kept asking. Since she was at the side, not in front, it was easy for her to see my DL. Frankly, it has gotten good enough that she didn't notice it was 2 cards. She just seemed flabbergasted when I said, "Now you're gonna remember that 9 of hearts, right?" or when the 9 was under the box AND when I did the "give me a number between 1 and 10." even tho I mis-called the 1st card, as in Don's DVD.

At one point, she said, "This guy is a REAL magician!" AND she bought 4 sets of cards, one for each of her kids. THEY were jumping around like bunnies! At that point, I had run out of DVDs (only made 20)so I was back to $5 a set. I guess only making 20 DVDs was like NOT taking an umbrella to a rain dance. I wasn't prepared for the results.

I must say, I sold at least one set at EVERY demo yesterday. And I must give the credit to the Million Dollar Bill trick. It makes the demo a little longer but it gets the trick into their hands (proves they can do it) and IT WORKS! Several of the people said, "Now I DO get those magic paper clips and the million dollar bill, right?", even tho the whole mess is lying in the pile. Fortunately, I made 50 Magic Dollar Bills and had PLENTY of colored paper clips, tho I did run out of the big ones.

WHAT A DAY!

Jon
DonDriver
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Great story Jon,keep up the good work.I love the Million Dollar Bill trick,But than to you were a pitchman before you got into the Svengali pitch,so you "get it"

Later,Don
Jon-O the Great
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I must give credit where credit is due. I can SAY my recent success is because of the Million Dollar Bill trick but in fact, without Don's DVD AND his help (MAAAANY phone calls!) I'd still be only strippin'!

I have said before, I watched that DVD HUNDREDS of time. I just flat COULD NOT GET IT. I simply could not keep the cards in order. AND once I had the temerity to ACTUALLY attempt to do it for money, everyone saw my sloppy DL. You can't imagine how many times I heard someone say, as I was attempting to do the 1st trick, "Hey, that's not an ace (or whatever) on the table." And I had bought a GROSS of cards! :-(

But only a short YEAR later(!)...I'm into my 3rd gross of cards and I'm actually MAKING money doing it. If I CAN do it, it's like Don says in his DVD, "anyone can do it!"

Thanx, Don.

Jon
sethb
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Congrats, Jon, on your success with the Svengali Pitch, sounds like you have earned your stripes!

And I agree, although the basic concept seems so simple, doing a good Svengali pitch is NOT easy. In fact, it takes lots of practice and actual performances to become proficient at it. I also agree that it probably takes at least a year of pitching to really get the pitch down, learn how to pull and turn a tip, and get that DL going correctly.

No question that Don's DVD lets you hit the ground running, but it's really just the beginning of the journey. But it's a very interesting journey, lots of fun, and one that more than pays for itself if you do it correctly. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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Yes,---IF! Smile

Jon
Jon-O the Great
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Last weekend was the big Christmas show here in San Antonio. For the past 3 years, it has been the biggest show I do all year. I always do strippers because the show costs $340. A girl who works with me sometimes, worked with me at this show because she is really good and can sell just about what I do. Together, we usually do about 10 time the cost, even tho the show is mostly attended by women who are normally NOT stripper buyers..

However, this year instead of strippers, I sold sheet sets and she did strippers. In my 10 x 10 space I had the sheets on 2--8' tables in an L-shape and her 4' table was at the opening of the L. Couldn't believe it, this year we both did almost double what we have done in previous years. But that isn't the point of this story.

She had to leave at 3 pm on Sunday, which gave me a chance to do strippers and cards. By this time, the show was really winding down. Few people were there, even fewer with any money, I think. I figured if anyone wanted sheets they could ask.

I had only 10 homemade DVDs so even tho I had my strippers prominent on the table, I truly wanted to do cards. First little girl could hardly see over my table but walked up and said, “Magic?” referring to my “It's Magic” sign on the front of the table. I use this sign even when I do strippers.

“Sure---blah blah blah...” Suddenly the biggest group of kids IN HISTORY (MY history!) amassed in front of my table, along with some adults. Long story short, I sold 5 sets of cards @$10, but none to the original little girl. Two or 3 more demos and was down to one set w/ DVD. I was away from the table, talking to someone about sheets when the 1st little girl came rushing back, truly breathless, with a wadded up $5 bill. “I want the cards!”

I was putting the set together, “And you get the 2-card monte, the DVD ---”

“And the magic paper clips?”, she asked. She was REALLY excited about them. Frankly, I think she wasn't interested in ANYTHING but them. Probably because there is NO WAY she could have actually HELD the cards, let alone done the tricks.

My point is, ya never know what will sell these things. Recently, IT SEEMS the Magic Paper Clips/Million Dollar Bill is the REAL magic, even tho I think I AM getting better on the DLs. The only reason I add the DVD is to get the price up. Didn't have my computer yesterday, so couldn't play the DVD. Without actually SEEING the thing playing, I think some of the value of the DVD is lost.

But selling 10 sets of cards in about a half hour is CERTAINLY a FIRST for me!

Jon
DonDriver
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Jon,

Its getting better because you're getting better...amazing how that works.

Good going(again)

Don
Jon-O the Great
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Let's face it, Don, I JUST LOVE DOING CARDS! The looks, the "oh" and "wow" from the kids--nothing like it! I don't make NEARLY the money doing cards as strippers (16 year!) but a "How'd you do that?" is somehow worth it to me.

I don't even remember where I saw it or how I decided to buy the Svengali DVD but I did. Oh wait, I DO remember--I saw the ad and said, "Heck, if THAT dummy can do it (meaning YOU, Don!) I'm sure I can too." Not as easy as it looks, tho, huh?

Now if I could just learn the WORM!

Jon
DonDriver
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Jon,

The worm is 1000 times easer than the deck...I know you can do...go for it!

Don
sethb
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Jon, the worm does take some practice, first to learn all the moves, then to learn how to handle the IT gimmick well (and not breaking it), and finally, to make it look like there is no gimmick at all -- doing a really good animation of the worm.

However, it is NOT difficult and simply requires some practice and getting used to. The worm is also the best crowd generator I have ever seen. I just stand there with the worm crawling all over my hands or jumping from one cup to another, and people literally stop dead in their tracks to watch. Then all you need to do is say "This is my friend Willie the Magic Worm, he's quite a talented little fellow, watch this --- " and you are off. When I bend over to give the worm a "Good Night Kiss" and he crawls up the side of the cup to meet me, I always get gasps, oohs and ahhs galore.

Like the decks, the worm packs small and plays big. I can carry 75 of them to a show in an oversized plastic Stanley toolbox with no problem, and have sold out on several occasions. The worms also appeal to girls (who normally don't like card tricks) and kids who may be a little too young to handle the Svengali Deck. I also sell tons of them to parents and grandparents who tell me that "they had one of those when they were a kid," and now want to buy them for their kids and grandchildren. And after you sell them the worm, you can always say "And here's a great little trick with a very special deck of cards . . . ."

So pick up a worm or two and some Kevlar IT, then stand in front of a mirror for a few hours, and get ready to make some money! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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So buy a couple hundred and just DO IT! Is that what you're saying? Stop wimping out? Hmmmmmm.....

Jon
DonDriver
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You got it Jon...hehehe

Don
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