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The Cardfather
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New Long Beach Farmers Market opened within 10 minutes from home. Will be open every Sunday rain or shine. Set up shop for Svengali's the first time last Sunday. Not very busy but hoping only because it's new to the area. Thought I had a good spot, near the childrens entertainment area; petting zoo, inflatable slide, jumper. A balloon twister in the booth next to me, face painters behind and Santa's chair next to that. Not a very busy day for anybody but I'm thinking this area may be more squirmel age appropriate anyway. Will try them this Sunday. If need, found a supplier locally for Ja-Ru brand Twisty Worms .70 cents each if bought by the gross. Peter Pan Novelty Co. tylerpeterpan@gmail.com
Anybody been with a new start up location like this? How long did it take to get a sizable following?

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The Cardfather
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sideshowsam
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Rick,

I'll tell you this - it's not for lack of a FLASHY joint - man that thing is money! Hang in there and just remember that every kid that walks by you has your money either in their pocket or in their parents/grandparents pocket - GET IT!

My daughter has been helping me with the pitch - she is 10 years old and demo's those Squirmles better than most people I've seen - parents buy from her because they think if she can do it their kids can too - I look at it as her learning how to put herself through college...

have a GREAT day!

./sam
The Cardfather
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Will do. Thanks
sethb
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Sounds like this is more Squirmles territory than Svengalis, and that's a decent unit price for a gross if the worms are of good quality and packed well.

Don't forget to pitch to the parents and grandparents, too -- they're the ones with the money!!

Lots of luck and keep us posted. With a good-looking joint like that, you certainly ought to be able to pull some nice-sized tips.

BTW, my two favorite spots at any of these type shows are 1) anyplace near the food concessions and 2) anyplace that's on the route to the restrooms (but not too close!). In my experience, this just about guarantees you good consistent foot traffic throughout the day. But if you have a good joint and a good pitch, it shouldn't matter where you are -- the people will usually find you. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
The Cardfather
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Thanks for the compliments on the pitch joint. Looking forward to seeing if the squirmels sell better but not much I can do about the low traffic. This market just opened and may be a while before it takes off. I'm going to keep going rain or shine to keep my spot.
Seth, I haven't received the worms yet but I found this supplier by going to a Dollar Tree. I came across a single blister packed worm on one of the aisles. Similar packaging to Pockettoyz Thurston worm. Funny thing nobody in the store knew anything about them. No more in the store, went to another location with pack and manager never saw before. Contacted Dollar Tree corporate they weren't familiar with it. Contacted Ja-Ru direct and referred me to local supplier only 30 minutes away, Peter Pan Novelty Co. but he can't deliver for 2 weeks. He says he can get Splats too but hasn't priced them for me yet. Will keep you all updated fyi.
The Cardfather
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Just heard back, Splat Balls are .96 cents if bought by the gross. Is that a good price considering the low quantity? How much are they selling for at the pitching booths?
DonDriver
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I heard that the bottom fell out of the splat ball business.Wholesale on them should be about half that,about .45 to .50 each.

Don
The Cardfather
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I was very close to placing the order but thought I'd ask first. Thanks again. Any sources you can share?
sethb
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Quote:
On 2010-12-14, The Cardfather wrote:
Looking forward to seeing if the squirmels sell better but not much I can do about the low traffic. This market just opened and may be a while before it takes off. I'm going to keep going rain or shine to keep my spot.

The low traffic could be due to the economy or just the Xmas season (people may be tapped out).

But is the market doing its part to publicize itself? Some of these places figure their job is done once they collect the table fees, but that's when their job actually starts!

If they aren't spending the time AND money to properly promote and advertise the place, then you may be wasting your time and ought to start looking elsewhere.
SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Kim
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Some guy was selling the SPlat balls at the Virginia State fair this year.
He didn't have man7 takers while I wa watching him.
The Cardfather
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How much was he trying to sell them for?
The Cardfather
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Seth, sorry, didn't see your post. You're right about the advertising. I haven't seen much. I think he's counting on the drive by traffic. I'm going to hang with him for a while. Hoping it works out. Just too conveniently close. The market closes at 2:00, I pack up and home by 3:00. Still have rest of the Sunday with the family.
sethb
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Hmmmm, does this guy really know what he is doing? The timing doesn't sound good.

On most Sunday mornings, lots of folks are in church or in bed. By the time they get out and get going . . . it's 2 o'clock and his entire operation (and your joint) are closed down! Sounds like he's closing just when it's prime time to be open.

Also sounds like he's from the "build it and they will come" school of thought. That worked great for the Brooklyn Bridge, but it usually doesn't work so well for occasional outdoor events like this. No wonder there's no people. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
The Cardfather
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Very good point. 2:00pm does sound early.
sethb
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Had one more thought. As long as you're at this location, take advantage of it and be sure to ask some of the other vendors for tips on good shows and upcoming events in the area.

What you are selling is not likely to be in competition with any of their products (I have never seen another Svengali or Worm Pitch at any show I've ever done). So they are usually willing to share this info. This way, you should find out real fast where some of the worthwhile shows and spots are! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
The Cardfather
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Thanks.

BTW- Saw Tricky Worms at the Dollar Tree in large quanity for the first time today.
The Cardfather
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Set up in wind and light rain today. Only about half the vendors showed up. Management shut it down at 10:00.
The Cardfather
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Cold weather last week. Sold both Svengalis and Spalts (found Splats in downtown L.A. toy district for $4.50/dozen. Thanks Will for the lead.)but found I did about the same take but divided between the two.
This week had excellent, 76 degree weather and more vendors which meant more visitors. Put focus back on pitching Svengalis only, Splats on display without demo. Had the best day, all Svengalis and most fun doing it.
A few Splats sold only because they didn't buy them for their kids last week and bugged them so much they came back this week to buy. (says a lot about the virtue of the Splat)
This place is beginning to take off but still a long way. By summer may be hopping. Lesson learned: focus on one item.
sethb
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Quote:
On 2011-01-16, The Cardfather wrote: Lesson learned: focus on one item.

Yep, I learned that lesson a while ago! I originally started pitching about six items. I figured that with more variety, somebody would be more inclined to buy something. If they didn't like cards, maybe they'd go for a coin trick or sponge bunnies or whatever.

It was a great theory, but in practice it didn't work. I just had double the inventory (at double the expense). Also had to demo twice as much stuff in order to make a sale, because the kids wanted to see everything before they decided what to buy. Since the demos took longer, I had fewer turns and probably had fewer sales as a result. Plus, most of the kids didn't know what they wanted anyway; most of the time I'd end up suggesting something based on their age (worms for the younger kids and Svengali Decks for the older ones).

Don Driver told me several times that a pitchman sells just one or two items, and is not supposed to be a magic store. I found out the hard way that he was right! The answer is to MAKE 'em buy what you are selling. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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