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sethb
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Just wanted to remind all the Svengali pitchmen not to pass up a couple of Xmas bazaars this time of year. They are inside, no worries about rain or wind, and generally the people are in a spending mood. The small pocket tricks make great stocking stuffers, too.

I have done two Xmas bazaars so far, with two more to go. One was a bust -- just no traffic at all, despite good publicity, lots of good vendors, etc. In three hours only about a dozen people showed up, so I decided to cut my losses and pack it up (I did make my nut, but that was about it). The second one, this past weekend, was just phenomenal! I pitched from 8:30 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, almost without letup. The Magic Worms and Svengali Decks were flying off the table, and I also sold quite a few higher-priced items (Cup & Ball sets) as well. One lady, bless her, scooped up six worms at one time, for all of her grandchildren. I also managed to consistently draw good-sized tips, once again blocking the aisles and causing traffic jams -- was I proud!! (On the other hand, I did have a good teacher, so thank you, Don Driver!!)

One cute note. This was held at a catholic school, and the kids were extremely well behaved, even to the point of raising their hand to ask me what the price of the deck was. I felt like I was in an old TV sitcom like "Father Knows Best" or "Leave It to Beaver"!!

And I only had one kid ask for a refund on a Svengali Deck. When I asked why, he just said "I didn't like it" (usually they complain that they can't do it). I guess he was expecting some complicated mechanical miracle (even though the deck is about as clever and self-working as a trick could be). I took a look at the deck and it was all out of order, so it had obviously been used. I reset it and briefly showed him how to work it, even doing a DL for him, but he just didn't want it, period. I decided to hold firm and told him that once the secret is told, the trick is sold (just like it says on the price list on my pitch table), so I couldn't give him a refund. He was disappointed but accepted it, and his mom, who had come back with him, thanked me for resetting the deck and taking the time to show him about it, and said she agreed and understood. (WHEW!!)

And on one side of my booth was a Tupperware lady with a big, lovely display. But she SAT there all day, waiting for something to happen. As you might imagine, not much did. When will these people learn to stand up??

Anyhow, Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good pitch! 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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Great story Seth ( don't forget to mail me my 10%) Sometimes when a kid comes back for a refund its just because he found something else that caught his eye and needs the money to buy that.

A few times I have given the kid his money back and let him keep the deck.I do it just to freak the kid out as they have NEVER seen someone do this before and it does freak them out...its fun.

Later,Don
mrunge
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Great story Seth. Keep up the good work.

Mark. Smile
sethb
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One more note. I used my new 3' x 6' banner at the Xmas bazaar, and it really made my booth stand out from all the rest. Although it cost me about $90, plus another $35 or so for the 3/4" PVC tubing for a stand to hold it up, I consider the banner to be a very good investment that has already paid for itself a couple times over. Remember Don's motto -- "No flash, no cash!" -- it's really true. The banner definitely helps to attract attention and create good tips; it also makes the joint look very professional. Thanks again, Bill Beach, for the great banner info!

And in this case, there were also lots of schoolchildren present. Once the word got around that there was a magician present, with a magic store where you could actually see and buy magic tricks, I had crowds of kids all day long. Best of all, they squealed, laughed, clapped and made plenty of noise as I pitched, which only attracted more people, who spent more money. What a perfect setup!! 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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Neat idea about the bazaars, Seth. There is one woman that puts on one fantastic one here in San Antonio in a couple of weeks but she also has 2-3 mediocre ones and 1 TERRIBLE one. I guess it’s all in knowing which one to do. I did ‘em all one year and learned.

Did a one day computer show and a one day flea market this weekend. I’ve done both so often that strippers don’t do much (“I’ve gone one…I’ve got one….I’ve got one…”) but the cards went very well and I actually sold a complete box at the flea market yesterday. (I know it’s not much for a pro, Don. ;-) I still hesitate to say the Million Dollar Bill trick is the reason but I AM convinced it sure helps. I’d like the reaction from some of the guys to whom I sent the scan and instructions.

I have to say, I actually got what I would call a CROWD (10-15 people) several times yesterday and ACTUALLY sold 4 sets for one demo. I could TRUTHFULLY say, “One over there…one over here….” and it was TRUE! That was a FIRST!

There was one young person, maybe 10-12, that came alone to my table yesterday and kinda leaned on it, smiling at me. Didn’t say ANYTHING, just smiled. I assumed it was a person who had already bought the cards, so I did my usual “Hey, are we having fun yet”? Frankly, I couldn’t tell if this person was a boy or a flat chested girl with a high voice. But after a few moments of chit-chat, I finally asked, “Have you seen the magic cards?”

“No.” So I did my pitch and finally I said, “What’s your first name?”

“Jasmine”

So I assumed it was a girl. She came up with a wadded-up $5 bill and gave it to me.

I said my usual, “Merry Christmas and Happy magic!”, as she walked away. I turned to the lady in the space next to me, “Did you see that person I just sold?”

“That guy?”

“Well, it kinda LOOKED like a guy but…his name was Jasmine!”

“Oh really?”

So I guess I was not the only one confused. Either I’m getting old or I’m losing my sense of SEX! (Hope I NEVER get THAT old!)

Jon
Matthew W
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I am inquiring about doing a couple of church events and craft fairs.

Here is one recommendation as far as products go. Have a couple of scotch and sodas and TT's on hand. You would not believe how many people come up to me asking for scotch and soda sets and TT's.

Some people may already have an interest in magic and already have the cards. See what stuff you get asked for. You might not sell them right away, but just having them on hand is good.

I actually carry about a dozen different items, but only pitch the cards. I sell a lot of the other items. I sold out of 2 dozen fantasticks in about an hour, someone even wanted my demo one.

-Matt
-Matt
sethb
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Matt -- I have tried to do a "traveling magic store" situation, but have found it impractical for a couple of reasons that you might want to consider.

First, the cost/risk of carrying more expensive effects is substantial. For the cost of one Scotch & Soda set, I can carry a dozen Magic Worms. If I sell that one S&S set, I will make perhaps $10-12 profit. But if I sell the dozen worms, I can make about $50 profit from the same investment. I think the numbers tell the story.

In my view, to carry a couple of S&S sets on the off chance that someone might ask to buy one, is not worth the investment. If someone asked me for a S&S set, I'd tell him/her to go to a magic store; you just can't be all things to all people.

I have also found that carrying anything over a $2 wholesale cost really ties up too much money in inventory (and remember, you can't deduct the cost of your inventory as a business expense until you actually sell it). Most of my items run about $1 wholesale or less, which is more affordable and also lets me price the items reasonably, too.

In my experience, pitching involves an impulse purchase, which to me and in my neck of the woods, is something under $10. Even a cheap S&S set has to run at least $20 retail, not including sales tax, which is beyond an impulse purchase, in my opinion. I'm not saying it's not a good trick or not worth the money; just that as the price rises, the chance that someone will want to buy it goes down proportionately, especially in today's economy.

And although I have tried carrying a number of small items, I eventually gave it up, because in addition to the higher inventory costs, I found it was just not practical (which by the way is what Don Driver told me in the first place). If I carried a lot of tricks, the specs would want to see ALL the tricks before deciding what to buy -- and who has that much time? Not me!!

So I have held my stock to four or five effects (Svengali Deck, Magic Worms, Money Paddles, Cups & Balls, and Money Makers), but the first two easily outsell all the rest combined. And I have less stuff to carry around, less stuff to buy and store, and less stuff to deal with on the pitch. Yet I am probably making MORE money than when I carried more items, because I have honed in on what sells. I do need to have some variety because I work some of the same shows each year, and the kids either expect something new or want to buy something different. But this ain't Tannen's, and it doesn't need to be.

But I learned all this the hard way, and I have the boxes of Mutiplying Rabbits, Nesting Coin Boxes, Imp Bottles, Dime & Penny Sets, and Copper/Silver coins to prove it! I'm also not saying it can't be done your way, just that you really need to sit down with a calculator, figure out your costs and see if it makes sense and is workable from a financial standpoint. 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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"(which by the way is what Don Driver told me in the first place)"

For the thousand time! If you want to be a pitchman stick to no more than two items and offer them as a package deal(worm/deck) If you want to open a traveling magic shop...HAVE AT IT.You won't make any money with the magic shop PEROID !

I refuse to expaln this ever again.(you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink)

Later,Don
sethb
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Don -- sometimes the horses need to wander around for a while, getting thirstier and thirstier, before they finally figure out where the watering trough is. Smile 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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That last post wasn't for you Seth...you get it!
sethb
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Yes, but I was also one of those thirsty horses once, too! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
chefmagic
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Quote:
On 2008-11-10 12:14, DonDriver wrote:
"(which by the way is what Don Driver told me in the first place)"

For the thousand time! If you want to be a pitchman stick to no more than two items and offer them as a package deal(worm/deck) If you want to open a traveling magic shop...HAVE AT IT.You won't make any money with the magic shop PEROID !

I refuse to expaln this ever again.(you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink)

Later,Don




That is not true! I don't know about you, but I have made plenty of money with your so called magic shop! While only pitching a few items. I also get people that come back and purchase new stuff every show. So it can be done.
Mike

Magic Legacy - Low prices on great magic!
www.magiclegacy.net
DonDriver
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I'm sure Mike,you're the greatest !
chefmagic
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What is your problem Don? Why are you so bitter and rude. All I am trying to do is let you know I have made money doing your so called magic shop. I never said I am the greatest or best. I am just trying to make a buck like everyone else. So please lighten up.
Mike

Magic Legacy - Low prices on great magic!
www.magiclegacy.net
Matthew W
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Don,

Let me jump on you again.

I have done the 'magic shop' setup. I have made good money doing it too. Having the variety of items gives people the chance to spend money on something else if they do not want to buy the cards. Not everyone wants them or may have them already.

In fact in the middle of pitching, people have come up in the middle of a pitch and said, 'Let me get one of those' referring to something I was not demoing. In fact I had one person that bought one of almost everything.

I would not say that you cant make money with more than 2 items.

So, Don, what will you say to that? I should have insulted him for spending a lot, right?

-Matt
-Matt
DonDriver
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Mike and Matt why not go do your thing and leve me alone and out of it from on.

That sounds like the best idea so far...
Matthew W
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Nice grammar, Don.

Why do you always have to argue with what we post? We offered advice, tips and ideas, but you always shoot it down.

Jeez, man. Lighten up and stop trying to be a know it all.

-Matt
-Matt
DonDriver
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You can't let go can you Matt.All you're doing is showing everybody reading this post how immature you really are.You are such a pitiful person...you really are!
chefmagic
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You are the one that seems to have a problem Don. All I am doing is voicing my experiences. It seems that all you what to do is belittle everyone for not doing it exactly like you. You act as you are the only one who can have a view, opinion, or experience in this field. I am not trying to pick arguements with you but you seem to get very defensive when someone has accomplished what you said can't be done. A simple that's a good job would work well.

Mike
Mike

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Matthew W
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Don, just keep quiet already.

You have already said that you enjoy insulting people, have insulted people here and are insulting yourself, by keeping up with your big shot attitude.

All we are doing is trying to add to the topic and throw some ideas out for people to try.

By keeping this up you are becoming the pitiful one. I am not going around telling people that they don't know what they are doing, just to sell a dvd and look like a know it all on this topic. I and several others have already established what we think of you, and you are only making it worse for yourself.

Give it up already and let people share their ideas and experiences.

-Matt
-Matt
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