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iugefu
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Will, having looked at your website, I see you have a few (quite nice) press articles etc and been around the block a bit. So sorry if I slighted you above. But do you really charge the people a $1 to look?
DonDriver
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[quote] do you really charge the people a $1 to look?

Give me a break,that question isn't even worth asking.

Don
sethb
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I think it might be time to note that pitching is a business, folks. It's not a contest to see who can make the most money or move the most product.

I have also seen that it is considered bad manners to ask other vendors how they did, or to tell them how you did at a particular show. Sometimes despite your best efforts, you will just not move stuff, and ditto for other folks.

I think Svengali/worm pitches are very fortunate, because there is very rarely any competition due to the necessary skill involved. By contrast, there will often be a dozen different vendors, all selling the same kind of jewelry at the same show or festival, so they are all competing against each other for the same business. The food concessions are lucky, they usually get a guarantee of exclusivity for a certain type of product, but the other vendors often do not.

I think the best arrangement is to show up, set up, do your pitch, mind your own business, put your money in your apron, pack up and go home. If you do well, the other vendors will know it, you don't have to advertise it. They also respect what I do, because they see that pitchmen work for their money -- they don't just sit on their butts, watch the people walk by and hope that they buy something!

Plenty of other vendors have complimented me on my setup, my banners, my pitch and my tips (all thanks to Don Driver and other good folks on this board) --- and that's good enough for me. Fortunately, I do not have to rely exclusively on the pitches for my income, which I think would be a very tough situation nowadays. I'm just happy to be a 40-miler making a few extra bucks on the weekends, perfecting a good pitch, keeping a great tradition alive, and making lots of kids happy in the process. 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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Well said Seth...well said
sideshowsam
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Appreciate the post Seth - keeping it real and in perspective. Keep up the good work and keep posting.

./sd
Jon-O the Great
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It's a "business"? Wait!! You mean is not just FUN??? Man, I LOVE the looks the kids give me when I do the cards. The eyes! The "How'd you do that?"! The "I really want that, Dad!" So "business"? Darn, you're saying I'm actually WORKING??? I am REALLY disillusioned!

But what the heck! I think I'll do it again, next week! Smile

Jon
iugefu
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Question for you pitchmen out there: what percentage of your buyers are kids?
DonDriver
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When I go out pitching I don't take surveys I take CASH. I don't check to see how old they are I just check to see if they have that green in their hand.

Of course I was being sarcastic but I have no idea.I am more focused on the pitch.I just don't keep track of who is buying,as long as someone is buying.

Don
sethb
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Jon-O, you are 100% right, it is fun, no question about it, and that's part of the reason I do it. But I'm not running a charity here -- if it didn't make some money, then it probably would be a lot less fun! Smile

Iugefu -- Although I don't really keep track, I would have to guess that about 70% of the buyers are kids. Even the adults that buy generally buy for their children or grandchildren. I do get a few adults that are interested in magic, but they are very few.

However, in my experience, the pitch has to be targeted to BOTH adults and kids. That way, the kids will want to buy the stuff -- and the adults will want to pay for it. 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, gotta target all age groups. Usually, since I'm inside at most of my shows and the aisles are usually only about 6', that means the kids come down front and the adults stay back and whisper to each other.

I'm sure they are saying, "Look how sloppy he is with those cards..." or "Hey, those cards have the A of D on one end and the regular cards on the other." or "Was that SUPPOSED to be a DL?" Frankly, I really don't care what they say, as long as they buy.

But this past weekend I think I have NEVER had so many kids who wanted the cards but the adults LITERALLY dragged them away...too many times in the middle of the demo. In fact, vendors with whom I spoke said that, in spite of VERY good attendance, they had REALLY poor sales. I did about 1/3 of what I should have done. Some people sold NOTHING! At least I didn't blank out.

So it was fun but...haven't been able to put that in the bank yet. Next show, I think I'll settle for MONEY!!! ;-)

Jon
sethb
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Jon, no question that despite what Washington may say, times are still tough and many people are keeping a tighter hold on their wallets. I have noticed this same thing for a while -- I still pull good-size tips, but am not turning quite as many folks as before. So it's not you or your DL's, I think it's the economy!

Fortunately, a lot of people are still willing to spend $5 or $10 on the kids. But where I could often do a "double-dip" in the past (sell a second trick), nowadays most parents say "Oh, that's very neat but we'll stick with just this one for now." But at least if I sell them one trick, then I'm still satisfied. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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