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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » From Soup to Nuts » » Exposure in magic shops. (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

epoptika
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Florida
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What do the rest of you think about magic shops who prominently display magic gimmicks for all to see?
Just visited a newly opened magic shop in my area and among the openly displayed gimmicks in the glass cases were hank pulls, coin clips, invisible thread, thread reels, various gimmicked coins and so on.
Why do dealers think they need to expose these things to every curious gawker who wanders into their store? The public does not need to be informed that these things exist just by walking in off the street. A magician who needs one will ask if they are available, he does not need to see them sitting out in the open.
I will save my discussion of the hostile, unwelcoming shop owner for my next rant. Not likely to make the 45 minute drive to his shop again anytime soon.
Rizzo
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East Coast
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Im not sure that most of those items displayed would mean anything to a lay person. I remember as a kid seeing pulls etc and it meant nothing,did not ring a bell. Used to vanish a small item?? But how? Jusy my thought, I could be wrong.Just seeing it from both sides. Anyone else?
Nothing Personal-Strictly Business
epoptika
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Perhaps. But if a kid asks what the pull or invisible thread is for what will the dealer tell him? And what about the gaffed coins prominently displayed? I just don't see why these things are sitting in a glass case instead of hidden away in a drawer. If you want to sell the coin in the bottle then demo it. Same with floating dollar bill or whatever. Demo the trick. Don't give away the secret to every wanderer who happens into your shop. Do you want them to buy just because the gimmick is clever? People should not even know that gaffed coins, etc. exist. You spend weeks working on a coin routine and it is dismissed with an "Oh, I've seen those trick coins in a magic shop!" Dealers are some of the guiltiest when it comes to exposure of magic. Granted, anyone can find the secret to absolutely anything on the internet but you don't have to shove it in their faces just because they walked in the door.

Speaking of which, and on another subject, it's a good idea, when doing a magic trick, not to call it by its dealer name so that anyone who cares to know how you did it can pull out their Blackberry and Google the secret before you are even finished with your performance. Come up with your own name for the effects you do.
Promagia
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We have a lot of Magic secrets exposure in this times. If the owner of the shop is a magician as well. That is not good, as a magician he has to respect the code.
superpixel
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Knoxville, TN
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Perhaps they could put some 2-way mirrors and a light and hide the stuff until asked? I'm sure they won't take my advice, but if I ran a shop that's what I'd do.

Except in some cases I'd say the layman has no idea what purpose those have.

But I also agree that you should be careful not to call tricks by their dealer name for *exactly* the reason you state, epoptika!
-- superpixel = Victor --
aechecop
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Even if layman have not idea, those "unusual" items will always arise suspicion and curiosity, and not necessarily for good reasons. I think that secrets should only be revealed to the purchasing customer, and not just for asking. If the customer has special interest in magic, the shop can always relate them to a magic club or magic school in the area, or maybe suggest them a good magic book.
Faster
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What do you mean by exposed, as in magic coins exposed? Do you mean there's a package labeled Hopping Half and you see a half dollar and English Penny on top of the package?

If that's what you mean, I don't have any problem with it. Nothing is "exposed." The product is merely on display. The secret is not visible.

If you mean the coins are displayed to show their gimmicks, then yeah, that's pretty stupid for business. How many floating mummys would not have ben sold if every kid who bought one knew the secret ahead of time?

We can talk codes of secrets, etc. but, from a shop owner's perspective, the bottom line is profit (be it magic, food, books or haircuts). One doesn't give away the secret prior to money changing hands. Sales can be made on the merely curious customers who just gotta know how the trick works. Giving away the secret before the sale is like telling every tenth customer, "Sorry, we don't want to sell anything to you. Good bye."

As to reels, threads, etc., I don't have any problem with them being on display provided their function (e.g., "This is a Take-up Reel") isn't displayed with the product. So you see a couple of reels under glass. If you now what they are, you don't need to ask. If you need to ask, the owner doesn't need to tell you.

But I do believe the wares shouuld be on display for those customers who don't know they need a new reel, e.g., because they didn't know a better reel was available. They go into the shop to buy product X and see the new reel. They now know to ask questions about the reel and why is it better than what they already own. Then another sale can be made.

Put the product in front of the customers' eyes.

Just don't show the innards, the gimmicks, or text about how it works.

That's called merchandising and keeps all brick and mortar businesses in business. Hiding products limits sales. Then the shop goes out of business.

I've been in many a shop where a customer is asking, "What's that?" and points to wax or a change-bag or thread. And the demonstrator says, "That's used for other magic tricks. Buy those other magic tricks and you'll know what that is. Let me show you one. This one is called..."

$0.02 and all that.

Richard
Faster
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Quote:
On 2010-04-07 10:07, epoptika wrote:
Speaking of which, and on another subject, it's a good idea, when doing a magic trick, not to call it by its dealer name so that anyone who cares to know how you did it can pull out their Blackberry and Google the secret before you are even finished with your performance. Come up with your own name for the effects you do.


Why state the name your effects, real or faux? I never understood conjurors and mentalists who name their tricks to their audience. Lay people aren't going to remember the name anyway, so why bother? If they know it's called Three Fly, so what? Does that help them suspend disbelief a little easier, now that they know the name of the trick?

So you're doing the Marriage Waltz (for example) and you've just made the wife go all melty and buttery inside. She's all romantic and snuggling against the arm of her husband. You know, the man wearing the $1500 suit? The one who's likely to give you a $100 tip for doing something meaningful for his wife on their anniversary?

Then before he can pull out his wallet, you announce, "And that was the Marriage Waltz trick. Hope you enjoyed it!"

He'll say, "Yes. Great," then walk away without giving you the tip because you just spoiled the whole thing for his wife. Now instead of some mystical romance encounter from The Beyond, it's just a cheap magic trick. So cheap and common that it even has a name!

I've never, never had an audience member ask "What's the name of that trick you just did?" They don't want to know bibliographies. They want to be entertained. Stay on the Entertainment Express train and let it run. Don't derail it at Historical Credits Junction. When's the last time you watched Lance Burton and he said, in the middle of performing, "And this next trick's my version of Think-a-Drink. I like to call it Belly Up to the Bar, Boys!"

Plus, if you don't name your tricks, the spoil-sports in the crowd won't have any clue as to what to search for on Google. Since they can't be distracted with trying to out-Google you, maybe they'll actually watch what you're doing and decide you're pretty good. Instead of ruining your show, they'll actually applaud.

Another $0.02.
Richard
MitchellMac
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I do agree with the fact that this stuff is exposed and shouldn't be as exposed as it is. I recently went to a magic shop that was a perfect example of how magic shops should be. Tannens.com is a famous website and they also own a magic shop in New York City. I had heard about this place and looked up the address online so I knew where to go. We had gone to the building which the address said the magic shop was in and asked the woman that worked there if she knew where to go. She said fifth floor. The fifth floor of the building had the first sign of the magic shop. This also isn't a mall this is a little upstairs hallway.
Anyway... If you didn't intend on visiting this place you would have no idea that it exists. This is how they all should be.
magicgettogether
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Michigan
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MitchellMac, that is a point I never thought of. Sort of redefines the term location, location, location.
80 years in the making - Magic Get Together
Visit Abbotts Magic Online - Abbott Magic
danmarimba123
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You guys are the same ones complaining that there aren't enough brick and mortar shops....
swifthand
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It's a little strange seeing everything out on display, maybe the solution is the hide the entire magic shop somewhere where people won't come across it by accident? I know I'd be upset if I saw a high street store with those kind of things out for everyone to see, but a small backstreet place seems just about ok.
thebeaky
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I don't think there is an issue with a magic shop being visible on the street. I would however expect people to keep there gimmicks off display to the public, not hidden but in a box describing some of the effects. but not the secret.

It helps as a sales technique for one thing. Know how to perform them well. When anyone asks, show them the effect and they have to buy it to see how it is done. That is what got me into this whole malarkey. I had to know, so I bought it. Now I have a show, still in early days, but still.
Dr_J_Ayala
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I really have to say, I agree with the whole gimmick display issue. Point blank, it should not be done. There was a magic shop in Toledo, Ohio some years back that did it right: The front of the store was where most of their items were displayed and even then, they never displayed things, such as reels and pulls, openly. They had your Svengali and Mene Tekel decks in their boxes and displayed, silks, Scotch & Sodas (not exposed), etc. This forced any Joe Schmo walking in to say, "What is that?" or (What is the effect of this piece?" Then they would demo it.

Then, there was a curtain that separated the main show room from a little show nook, for lack of better term. It was a little room that had the really nice props and tricks on display, things for the more advanced performer or the professional. Those were the things that never needed to be demonstrated because if you had to ask, it was not for you. If you had to ask what it was, it was not for you.

The magician that helped run the place, who is now sadly passed, would show simple tricks to all the young ones that came in and asked for a good trick. He would give them different things to think about. These were simple effects using little or no props, often things from books. Then they would ask, "Ohhh ohhhh ohhh show me this one!" whilst they pointed excitedly to a particular effect in the main showroom case. This was often accompanied by big, excited eyes and an almost drooling demeanor. His response would be, "Here is what I want you to do: You take the trick I just showed you from this book and practice it at home for seven days. Once you have done that, you come back next week and I will show you the (whichever trick they begged for)." That was an amazing thing to watch, and I know for a fact that just about 99% of the kids he did that with, always returned.

Whether a complete amateur or a seasoned magician, you were guaranteed to be inspired just by walking into this shop. It was truly a very magical place. It had the right displays, the right lighting and a wonderful staff of magicians. These guys did not just sell anything to just anyone. Just like in the golden age of magic, you had to earn it. They did this even into the late 90s before a different owner bought the store and ran it into the ground. I remember a certain 10 year old and his father walking into the shop and asking for a set of linking rings for the son. The magician behind the counter asked him how long he had been performing and what areas of magic interested him. He said, "A year and a few months. I love coin magic and stage magic." He told the boy that he was not ready for the rings yet, and recommended that the dad get him a book. He showed them some of the Tarbell books and the Greater Magic book. The boy looked defeated but they walked out with the Greater Magic book in hand, which back then was only $100/USD.

I will never forget that experience and what it taught me about this art, and about the way the shops and their owners should work. Thanks to Ted Carrothers and John Colwell, and may they R.I.P. wherever they are.
henri loik
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The magic shop I have been to does not display gimmicks. SInce I am a magician they will occasionally say "Here's the gimmick" (DOn't worry I don't ask them to show me, that would be rude.) and show me, which is pretty good cause that way I can be sure I'm not disappointed. I agree that magic shops should not put gimmicks on display.

Dr. J Ayla, I am surprised that the magic store refused the linking rings to a kid who was one year and a few months into magic. That shows a little bit of dedication at least. Though maybe since he was only ten he never practiced.
Failed Magician
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Quote:
On 2011-05-11 17:46, Dr_J_Ayala wrote:
I really have to say, I agree with the whole gimmick display issue. Point blank, it should not be done. There was a magic shop in Toledo, Ohio some years back that did it right: The front of the store was where most of their items were displayed and even then, they never displayed things, such as reels and pulls, openly. They had your Svengali and Mene Tekel decks in their boxes and displayed, silks, Scotch & Sodas (not exposed), etc. This forced any Joe Schmo walking in to say, "What is that?" or (What is the effect of this piece?" Then they would demo it.

Then, there was a curtain that separated the main show room from a little show nook, for lack of better term. It was a little room that had the really nice props and tricks on display, things for the more advanced performer or the professional. Those were the things that never needed to be demonstrated because if you had to ask, it was not for you. If you had to ask what it was, it was not for you.

The magician that helped run the place, who is now sadly passed, would show simple tricks to all the young ones that came in and asked for a good trick. He would give them different things to think about. These were simple effects using little or no props, often things from books. Then they would ask, "Ohhh ohhhh ohhh show me this one!" whilst they pointed excitedly to a particular effect in the main showroom case. This was often accompanied by big, excited eyes and an almost drooling demeanor. His response would be, "Here is what I want you to do: You take the trick I just showed you from this book and practice it at home for seven days. Once you have done that, you come back next week and I will show you the (whichever trick they begged for)." That was an amazing thing to watch, and I know for a fact that just about 99% of the kids he did that with, always returned.

Whether a complete amateur or a seasoned magician, you were guaranteed to be inspired just by walking into this shop. It was truly a very magical place. It had the right displays, the right lighting and a wonderful staff of magicians. These guys did not just sell anything to just anyone. Just like in the golden age of magic, you had to earn it. They did this even into the late 90s before a different owner bought the store and ran it into the ground. I remember a certain 10 year old and his father walking into the shop and asking for a set of linking rings for the son. The magician behind the counter asked him how long he had been performing and what areas of magic interested him. He said, "A year and a few months. I love coin magic and stage magic." He told the boy that he was not ready for the rings yet, and recommended that the dad get him a book. He showed them some of the Tarbell books and the Greater Magic book. The boy looked defeated but they walked out with the Greater Magic book in hand, which back then was only $100/USD.

I will never forget that experience and what it taught me about this art, and about the way the shops and their owners should work. Thanks to Ted Carrothers and John Colwell, and may they R.I.P. wherever they are.

What an inspiration! I wish we had that kind of shops around here. That would be really great not to expose the effects but give a little challenge so they have a learning process.
Magic comes through perception. -HS
TheGreatNancini
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There are still magic shops like the one Dr J Ayala wrote about above. In fact we travel a lot and when we stop in one, I do not immediately identify myself as a magician because invariably they think because I am a woman, that I cannot possibly be a magician.

I walked in one such shop a couple of years ago in Cleveland, and was looking at the stuff behind the counter, when the owner came up to me and said "I bet you find all that stuff interesting that you know nothing about huh?" I laughed and proceeded to tell him what many of the items were and how they are used and the look on his face was priceless....

He quickly recovered and said I must be a magicians spouse or assistant. I then informed him that I am a magician and have been for many years.

I had fun messing with him because I knew he would most likely stereotype me, but I did appreciate that he did not have the props out where people could handle them and thereby have the secrets revealed.

~Nanci
-- Nancilee N. Jones --
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