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sethb
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I happened to be in a brick-and-mortar magic shop last weekend while the counterman was demo'ing a Svengali Deck. For a Bicycle deck and a "101 Tricks" booklet, the price was $16.99 plus tax.

I suppose that's not a unfair price for a mall magic store, and for Bikes to boot. But it's probably overkill for the 12-year old kid buying the deck.

So I feel just fine getting $8 for my pitch decks, which are still pretty good quality (the Royal Magic decks from FUN, Inc.), and come packed with instructions for six tricks, which is really all you need. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
jimhlou
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I can't believe any knowledgable magician would pay $17 for a Svengali. I think your $8 price is right on - almost any "trick" deck can be bought for $7 or $8. If you can sell a $17 deck to an interested magic wanna-be, more power to ya.

Jim
sethb
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Just checked Hank Lee's website, where Svengali Bikes are listed for $7.50. The booklet is probably another $3-4. Add perhaps $5 for shipping and you are at $16. So $17 is high but not nuts, especially for a brick-and-mortar shop.

I'm also pretty sure that Svengali Bikes wholesale for about $4-5, so nobody is getting rich selling them at retail for $7.50.

But I agree, for someone just starting out, Svengali Bikes are overkill, they would really be better off with a cheaper deck. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Comedy Writer
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Good point. I like the $8 price point ( or 2 for 10) with an 'extra' gift thrown in for the first five customers...
WillRoya
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You can get the decks from Loftus or Magic Makers for .70. I sell them for 10. In Vegas they cost 23 with a little book. The loftus ones come with 10 tricks and the MM ones come with a video link. Tell them Will sent you.

DD's DVD is good to learn the pitch. I have cut mine way down though.
Jon-O the Great
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My last order for 24 doz from Don's supplier was $210.53 including shipping to San Antonio or .73 each deck. Altho the cards are definitely not Bikes, I frankly don't see the need to pay any more.

If I'm inside, I can make one demo deck last 4-5 shows. Outside, maybe 2 shows, depending on the weather and heat. I frankly doubt 36 cents is too much to pay to sell a couple dozen decks.

On the other hand, in my opinion, paying more than the .73 is unnecessary. As Don says, "...they only have to last to the parking lot...." (That's a joke to all those not with it.)

Jon
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On the shipment I received this past week, the shipping was $20 higher than last time. When I called about the diff, was told that since the last order was back ordered, they had deducted $20 from the shipping. OK, so now they cost me .80 ea. Darn!

Jon
solrak29
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Quote:
I happened to be in a brick-and-mortar magic shop last weekend while the counterman was demo'ing a Svengali Deck. For a Bicycle deck and a "101 Tricks" booklet, the price was $16.99 plus tax.


A quick search on the internet turns up Bicycle decks by them selves for 5.95; eventhough, one site mentioned that it was 50% off. But remember we are talking impulse buys, perhaps that is what this shop is looking to sell. I'm curious if a layperson on the street would jump at this after their demo.

Quote:
So I feel just fine getting $8 for my pitch decks, which are still pretty good quality (the Royal Magic decks from FUN, Inc.), and come packed with instructions for six tricks, which is really all you need. SETH


Just doing a quick google search on Svengali Decks produces some interesting
results. On average you are going to see the 5.95 price tag (even on Bycicle brands, mentioned above). The other kicker is that (for those who use these pitch decks as mentoned by Seth), they are shown as a price of 1.89, but if you look at the fine print or visit the link you have buy at least 10 or so. In all the average price is 5.95.

My point/question?

If any internet savvy customer came across your deck and purchased it for 8.00+ without any kicker (i.e. book or or 2cm); I imagine they would be a little ticked at even purchasing from you in first place. To feel comfortable, I think the 5.00 price tag is fine with the kicker, but as someone mentioned before; it makes it harder for working those Street Fairs and Festivals that charge 50+ for spots.

I'm curious what the pitch is for the guy in vegas selling those pitch decks for 10.

What do you think?
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Jon-O the Great
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When I pitch at Christmas, Svengalis are $10 because I include: deck, TCM, million dollar bill/magic paper clips and home-made DVD. I figure the whole mess costs me less than $1.50 including the bag (“virgin vinyl custom carrying case”) and the “Don’t mess with Texas” bumper sticker (free at Texas border rest stops).

Frankly I’m too lazy to make DVDs the rest of the year, so the set is $5, less the DVD. I know many sell for more but truly I have a hard time at something other than $5 or $10. Probably a mental attitude.

I have worms (named mine Sammy and Suzy Squir-mee) but too lazy to pitch’em and besides, don’t need ‘em to stop people, I’ve done strippers for 17 years. Zig Ziglar says, “Ask ‘em a question where the answer is ‘NO’ because they are thinking ‘NO’ anyway. With strippers, it’s “Squeezed one yet?”

If I’m doing cards, I just ask the kids “Seen the magic cards?” holding up the deck. They almost always stop. My prob, many of the parents keep on going, so I wind up baby sitting the kids—with no money. If one kid stops, many follow. I can get a pretty big crowd pretty easily with the “Seen ‘em…” question.

But getting back to the price. I guess each individual must get the price with which they are comfy. For me, with cards it’s $5 or $10 and with strippers it’s $20.

Jon
sethb
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I saw Bicycle poker-size Svengali Decks advertised at $6.25 on the Net, but the buyer usually also has to pay shipping and sometimes sales tax, so by the time you're done, they really cost $9 or more, and you also need to wait a few days to get them. I have also seen what appears to be the Royal Magic bridge-size deck (either mid-range or pitch, can't tell which from the photo) and a companion DVD sold for $10 (plus shipping and sales tax, if any).

I feel $8 is a fair price for a mid-range Royal Magic deck, and really, I'd like to get $10 (less singles to deal with) and probably could. If anyone ever did complain about the price and compare it to somewhere else, I'd tell them to "go buy it there, sounds like a great deal!" Once you lower the price, word gets around fast and then everybody else wants the same deal. Even $5 for a pitch deck is not unreasonable, considering that you have to buy in bulk, pay the postage and shipping, lug them to the show and then stand there all day demoing them.

It sounds like a lot of markup, but when you figure we usually pay 10-15% or more of the gross for the spot, another 20% in income and sales taxes, plus about 20% for the item itself, there isn't much left for the pitchman! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
solrak29
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Hey Seth,

Thanks for that, I did a quick search again and see that "pitch" decks for laypeople costs 5.95 but you have to add 3.95 for basic shiping in most cases. that's a whopping 9.90. Now if you go for the Bycicle style decs your looking at at least 7 for just the deck. I also remember buying a Marvin Magic Svengali deck with book for 8.99 so it all adds up that your getting deal from us pitchmen (don't know if I would call myself one yet Smile ).

Hey Jon,

So you pitch the deck, TCM, million dollar bill/magic paper clips and home-made DVD for 10? But without the DVD you get 5.00? I see what you mean for anything other than 5 or 10. that's where I get stuck with doing the package deal for 6 and 6 or both for 10. As Don said on his vid, that practically anyone has a 5 in their pocket that they are willing to part with. Its so much easier when instead of having to fuss over change.

In the end, I don't feel bad selling the deck for 5.00 at all. I think 10.00 would be a hard sell at my stage in the game.

Now the worm...thats a different story. I have moved it at 5.00 but seeing it at Walmart for 2.99 just messes with my head. Once I get over that, I'm sure I can move it a lot more....
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sethb
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Heck, Walmart undersells everybody, that's not a fair comparison!

Besides, if you pitch the worm that Don recommends, it comes in a really nice sharp-looking package with a good gimmick and even a little hard plastic travel case. The worm is big & fluffy, not something that looks like a carpet scrap. Add a handout with decent directions on it for ten different tricks, and I think you've got a cute item that's well worth the $5. If somebody wants to drive out to Walmart, search all over the store and then stand in a long checkout line, etc., to save a buck or two -- hey, it's a free country!!

P.S. I have had plenty of people tell me that they bought a worm someplace else, but it can't "do" half the tricks that I show during the pitch, including the "give me a kiss" routine and jumping through a hoop. I tell them they probably didn't get good directions (which is probably true), and most of the time they end up buying another worm from me.

I agree you've always got to keep one eye on the competition, but don't let them psych you out! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Glenn Morphew
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Below are a few links to check out.

I sell the deck, the two card monte and a DVD I made for $10. I believe this is a good value in anyone's book. The DVD runs 38 minutes. I payed my ex ex ex girlfriend to come over and film the darn thing.

I teach everything you need to know to handle the deck. Then I perform and then teach a 7 phase routine with the deck. I cover exactly what you do from the time the deck comes out of the box to the time you put the deck away.

I also teach two handlings for the 2 card monte.

I put the DVD in a DVD envelope and the two cards for the 2 card monte go right in the same envelope so they can be seen through the window.

I have no printed instructions for either the 2 card monte or the deck to mess with any more. It's all covered on the DVD.

I actually printed out parts of the links below and laminated them together to show my tip they could either spend $35 online or $10 with me to learn to perform the same type of amazing magic.

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1730

http://www.magicproshop.com/card-monte-b......603.html

Glenn
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DonDriver
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Solrak29,Seth,

The good Squirmle IS at Wal Mart for $2.79 or something like that,but it sits on the shelf.When you do a live pitch it sells.Don't even worry about Wal Mart.

I just got finished with the New York state fair.Alex the 15 year old kid that had the spot did all the pitching,12 days 12 hours a day and grossed $13,500 (he had a good teacher...hahaha)@ $6.00 each 2 for $10.00 5 for $20.00 with a Wal Mart just down the street.This was his first show...there is no stopping him now.

So let this be a lession to you guys,if its not being pitched and just sitting on a shef it dosen't hurt you at all.

I'm in Baltimore now,I'll be home Monday and I'll post more about the fair than.

Later,
Don
sescarny
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Hey Don, that kid definately has a good career ahead of him if he sticks with it. Watching him work, I couldn't believe he was only 15 and that was his first big show! pat him on the back for me.

Ses
sethb
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Oh to be 15 again . . . . .

After 8 hours of pitching, it's usually Tylenol time for me! But I find that if I just take a handful of my newly-acquired 20's and rub them on my back, it stops hurting almost right away. Smile

Seriously, I'll be real interested to hear more about the NY State Fair and how it went. I did a nice Fall Street Festival in North Jersey over the weekend. I didn't make $13,000(!), but I certainly kept very busy all day and it was well worth my while, even if I had to get up at 5 in the morning to do the show. It looked like most of the kids had been given 20's by their parents, and like most kids, it was burning a hole in their pockets! My kind of people!! 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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I'm home now.I had a great time.On the way back I stopped off in New York City for a few days.

The fair went very well.Alex did a really great job pitching the squirmle.You would never know hes only 15,hes very mature for his age and it shows in his pitch.Like I said he grossed $13,500.00 in 12 days.Word got around and lots of other "with it" pitchman stopped by to see him work.They all gave him praise.Once he said to me "so many pitchman are stopping by and telling me how good I am...I'm starting to believe it"

I met some old pitchman I haden't seen in years and made some new friends of other pitchman.Sescarnie drove in from Boston to see me.An old friend Pete had his grind show on the midway.A giant snake and giant rat.We jackpoted for about an hour one day.It was a fun 12 days.

In New York City on the way home I had lunch with Todd Robbins and his 15 month old boy Phineas Taylor Robbins.( that's right P.T Robbins)Hes as cute as can be.

On Thursday night I stopped by Fantasma magic shop.Roger had a book signing for the new bio book on Doug Henning called Spellbound.Roger wants me to do a lecture at Fantasma on pitching and outdoor intertainment business sometime soon.I'll let you all know when we work out a date.

Harry Lorayne was there.My first time meeting him.He pitched Svengali decks with David Walker,the guy that broke me in,back in 1946.I got Harry in an office where it was quiet and got David on the phone.They haden't talked to each other in 50 years as they just lost contact with each other.I could see Harry was moved and it brought back found memories to both of them.

I stayed at a friends house in Baltimore on the way up for a few days and planed to stay a few days on the way back and see friends like Denny at Denny and Lee magic studio.Baltimore is my home town.But sad to say his house burned to the ground while I was at the fair on Friday Sept 4th.Nothing left at all.He was fully insured for the house and its contents so things could be worst.

So that's my three week trip to the New York state fair.

Anybody that ordered my DVDs while I was gone,thank you for waiting so long.They all went out yesterday priority mail.

I think I'll stay home till next summer now.

Later,Don
sescarny
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Believe me Don, it was a true pleasure meeting you and that long drive was well worth it. On top of spending time with you, it was great to see Pete K. again!! Surely that was a day to remember..

Ses
Brent McLeod
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Great Subjects to read! Having spoken over time with Don & Mark for prices, advice & general tips on Professional Pitching I owe a huge debt of gratitude as Dons DVD put me in the right direction after I had been pitching for over a year so kudos for that so I knew what I had to do!!!. Here in NZ theres only 2 of us actually Pitching me at 1 end of the country & the other chap down south occasionally. I work the trade shows, Home Shows & Massive Kids Fairs at the show grounds as well as weekly or so at local Market-12000 people in 3 hrs-I often get told off for having large crowds blocking the walkways but its usually by other booth operators!!. I don't pitch the worm -rather I attract crowds with a Plain Paper -same size as $20 Bill which is green here, and do a bill switch with lots of comedy & gags-the visual transformation attracts the crowd then I go straight into my Svengali Pitch which honed over thousands of demos works well with audience Interaction and loads of comedy. -I sell these for $10 outdoors or $15 indoors & always sell out!-My problem is supply from overseas but occasionally I make them as well when short & package them well. Working 8-10 hrs a day at tradeshows is hard on the enthusiasm and the feet but you keep going & it works out. The big money is in multiple deck sales or a package with DVD & a few extra items- The psychology of people only spending a $10 note or breaking a $20 is huge and this directs how the days taking end up so I work on this with them. 85 percent of my sales are single decks from a large audience watching so Ill keep it going when stocks arrive-always unreliable so does effect when I work but my 5th year In pitching decks Im getting there slowly!! but have developed a top pitch routine that has been finetuned over the years that works and gets the money!! usually 10-15dollars. Sorry for the ramble....... Cheers Brent
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No need to apologize at all, Brent. That is some interesting insight, thanks.

Jim
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