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sethb
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There is a great municipal street (sidewalk) festival taking place in Central NJ on September 10, 2011.

I have another commitment that day, and wonder if there is anyone who would like to take the spot. I did this show two years ago, pitched only worms and Svengali Decks, and walked away with hatfuls of moolah.

PM me for details if you're interested. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
sethb
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Don't raise your hands all at once, guys!! Smile SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
obsidian52
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OKAY, HERE'S THE DEAL "AND" MY STORY...

First I AM NOT LOOKING FOR ANY HAND OUTS OR FREEBIES

SECOND, I had a stroke in November of 2009 and while it completely stopped my career as a Washington DC area metro mechanic it allowed me to further pursue my hobby as a magician (and maybe even make a few bucks. (one do they say, when one door closes another opens?)

And THIRD, Yes I ordered Dons Svengali Pitch about 5 or 6 years ago, and essentially did nothing with it (except misplace and subsequently lose the DVD and I am saddened that I have to buy it again, but 3 times removed from Don...

So yes, I did order it I hope to do some pitching this summer, as a Magician AND Stroke Survivor and I will be returning for tips, Ideas, etc..but one off the top of my head what is the going wholesale cost of Svengali Decks and second (and I know this varies) one is the going street price for selling Svengalis, in a major market like Washington DC?
sethb
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Obsidian, I PM'd you. 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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Since we are telling tales,here is my story too.
I'm in kidney failure. I do dialysis 6 times a week.
I am a cancer survivor. (prostate).
On May first I had a heart attack.
I am hoping to get a kidney transplant.
obsidian52, just letting you know you are not alone.
As far as handouts, If you stick around here you will find a group of people more than willing to help you,beginning with Don.
But they do it with a sincere desire to help each other.
While I have been involved with magic for most of my life, this is a whole different animal.
Good luck.
Kim
sethb
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Very sorry to hear this, Kim.

We all wish that we could do some magic and make these problems disappear. Best of luck to you. 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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No need to be sorry,life is what you make of it. I was trying to give obsidian52 a positive message.The only "new" part of my story since I have been hanging around this forum is the heart attack part.That is recent,the rest I had for years without anyone here knowing.
Seth,you and others here have been very helpful to me since I started hanging around here,so once again let me thank you and Don and the others that share their knowledge unselfishly!
Jon-O the Great
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As long as we are commiserating, it was SOOO humid at the flea market yesterday...(Everybody--loud: How humid was it?) no amount of talc would allow me to do the worms and attempting to do the cards was almost impossible too. They stuck to the table. I think the humidity was about 110%. It was almost raining INSIDE!

I finally put a micro-fibre cloth on the table and did 'em kinda OK. Still yucky. Even a new deck didn't help, tho I did sell a few decks. Several times I had a very large “tip” and ZERO sales. The kids loved it but the parents just WOULD NOT BUY! Was it the weather? Gas price? My demo? Dunno...but it was very disconcerting.

Everyone with whom I spoke said 1) it was the worst Saturday they'd seen and 2) Sunday is supposed to be better. We'll see.

This is a brand new (Last December) flea market in San Antonio called Trader's Village. HUGE!!! I was under a big metal pavilion that was mostly empty of vendors. Maybe 20. There was space for probably 200, so you can imagine how empty it was. I had never been there before, so when I saw the pavilion, I was thinking “Wow! There will be SOME KINDA people here today!” Well, there was SOME kind...the kind that didn't buy.

There was an old pitch guy across from me selling boots. He'd come over and reminisce about the “good ol' days” every time there was no one at my table—which was often! I think he got his exercise for the day, walking across the aisle. He told me that he had stayed at the “Dodge motel” the night before, meaning he slept in his van parked in front of his space in the pavilion. Said he'd been a pitch-man for 30 years but just got tired of the hassle, so was selling boots.

Tho he'd seen the wire strippers, he'd never seen the cards and watched me doing them every chance he got. Once he said, “I know how you do that—the cards are printed with the aces on one side and regular cards on the other.”

“Good guess.”

“Lemme look at those cards”

“C'mon guy, you KNOW a magician never shows the secret. But I'll make you a deal...vendor price $5.”

“Naw, only made $95 today with boots. Gotta sleep in the Dodge motel again. Can't afford it.”

“Oh well....” Actually at that point, I'd only done about twice that, which was TERRIBLE for me. In fact, it was so bad in general, 2 of the vendors packed up and said they would not be back on Sunday. If the vendor turn-out was SPARSE yesterday, it's gonna be almost NON-existent today!

But my motto: 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing.” Everybody's gotta be SOMEwhere. I'm gonna be there.

Jon
sethb
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Quote:
On 2011-05-22, Jon-O the Great wrote:
As long as we are commiserating, it was SOOO humid at the flea market yesterday...(Everybody--loud: How humid was it?) no amount of talc would allow me to do the worms and attempting to do the cards was almost impossible too. They stuck to the table. I think the humidity was about 110%. It was almost raining INSIDE!

Hey Jon, been there and done that with the heat/humidity angle. At one street festival last year, I went through about 15 pre-tied worms in a half hour before I gave up. I think it was so hot that the IT just dissolved! But the next weekend was better -- as it usually is.

I've had to eat "carny steaks" (hot dogs) for dinner once in a while after a larry show, but I've never blanked or had to sleep in the Dodge Motel, so I guess I'm lucky!! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
*Mark Lewis*
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I would seriously advise Seth not to use invisible thread when working the worm. With all due respect it is the height of insanity to go through 15 pre tied worms in half an hour. I know many, many worm workers use this daft method but I can assure you that they shouldn't. They pre tie about 6 worms every day before they start work since that is how many they may go through in a day with this ridiculously thin line.

Use the thread in the packet which is pretty strong or use fishing line. Anything else is bloody stupid.
Now I know that I will hear bleating from the inexperienced that "People will see the thread if you do that" Well, they won't if you use a shorter length and a different routine. Who the hell has got time to deal with thread breaking all the time? If you use thin fishing line or nylon filament you can use one worm for several days before it looks a bit bedraggled. When that happens you can fluff it up again with the steam of a kettle. Or change it for another worm.

Now I admit that more people will see the thread with this method but still very few. Probably you will hear it 6 times a day. But I would rather hear "I can see the thread" 6 times a day than have to suffer breakage 6 times a day. REAL pitchmen don't have the time for that nonsense.

Here endeth the first lesson. There will be many more. Wait and see.
Jon-O the Great
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While I am CERTAINLY not a worm pro, I have used one worm for the times I demo'd them. ZERO ITs broke. Of course, I'm obviously not a dedicated worm guy, especially since I'm doing strippers AND cards. And maybe someday, I'll have to repair an IT. But so far, no breakage.

Now, I have had 1-2 people say they saw the IT, even tho I'm wearing Seth's suggested blue plaid one day and a red plaid the next. But far more people have been mystified and thanx to Seth's demo, I've even sold some. Tho, since I ordered 2 gross from the guy going out of biz, I have a few hundred still to go....Smile

After demo'ing the cards today, one little girl, barely able to see over the table, said "Is that thing in your pocket magic, too?" I had "Hermie the Squirmee" stuffed in my shirt pocket, with his head sticking out.

"Well, it might be. Let's see." And I went into my demo. I sold no cards on that demo, but did sell 3 Hermie's ($15) to the family, just because the little girl asked the question.

You just never know.

Jon
*Mark Lewis*
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Jon. If you have had no breakage that simply means you have not been working it much. With invisible thread you WILL have breakage. A LOT of breakage. Don't use the awful stuff. If they are seeing it with the so-called invisible thread there is utterly no point in using the bloody stuff.

Has it not occured to anyone that the worm is a very old product? Pitchmen were selling it in Europe 50 years ago. Invisible thread didn't exist then. What the hell do you think pitchmen were using at the time? Rope?

No. Fishing line or nylon filament like I just said. I have sold literally thousands upon thousands of worms in my life and I never once used this awful stuff that breaks once every two hours and that is if you are lucky.

Incidentally I heard that Steve Brooks himself worked the mouse when he was young. A very little known fact, actually. He sold many, many of them by all accounts. I bet he didn't use invisible thread either. In fact he couldn't have because it didn't exist then. But he wouldn't have had the *** thread breaking every five minutes either.
*Mark Lewis*
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I think you're all in for a surprise. Come here very late this evening and you will see what I mean. However, I do promise to be nice to you while I am here. You seem to forget that I know more about the magic pitch business than any man living except David Walker who has been doing it even longer than me. I know how to take in REAL money. If I decide to give this information away for FREE to those who need it then they are going to benefit greatly. If I am not given the opportunity to impart valuable information it is not I who is going to be the loser but all the inexperienced pitchmen here. I am the way, the truth and the light in these matters. If people here grovel appropriately I will impart that knowledge which I have gone through hell, high water and suffering to find out. Now do stop fussing and pay attention to the information which I shall impart in due course.
RS1963
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David Walker and Don Driver are the ONLY go to men for Svengali pitches no one else period end of discussion. You want to learn the right way to to David or Don there is no one else better to learn from.
Jon-O the Great
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Mr. Lewis:

I have never met you but you seem to be an intelligent man. I have your booklet "The Long and Short" and have used some of the ideas. And they work. I have never met Don Driver yet I class him as my friend. But it is because of his DVD and help that I am not only on here but sell Svengali cards. He knows what he's talking about and gives reasons why his method is good.

Jon
Matthew W
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I am glad to see you here Mark. Your posts have actual information, and this section of the Café is more active than ever. Thank you.
-Matt
Jon-O the Great
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Mr. Lewis:

I generally try to respect someone who is more knowledgeable about something than I. Especially when that someone has been around that 'something' longer than I. While some points you make are valid, you have addressed NONE of MY points. I did NOT say you were a jerk. If you'll re-read my post, you'll see what I said and your present post does nothing to change my mind.

You state that Don's DVD and many posters on here “give away” info that they shouldn't. I challenge ANYONE to show that knowing where to buy supplies makes that person a good pitchman. As for “wannabees”, you would be the 1st to agree, they come and go. And if they set up near me, selling the same thing for less, do you think I can't do the same? Because I'm probably buying the item in gross quantities, KNOWING I'll sell it, while they bought a dozen or so, just to see if they could.

At one gun show in Dallas, unbeknownst to me, David Walker and his helper were set up at the same show. I didn't learn this until near the end of the show. I had never met David prior to then, but when I met him, he made no complaint about my being at the same show. In other words, he was a true gentleman. I learned later he was actually selling the decks for $7 while I was still at $5. I told Brian, "Hey, I didn't know you were selling them for $7 while I was at $5." Brian said, "It doesn't matter, we weren't worried." I began selling them for $7 JUST IN CASE I accidentally met him again at another show. So, meeting him, increased my income without his even knowing that he did it.

I have sold strippers for 20 years FOR A LIVING. Do you think I'm not a pitchman? Do you REALLY think I've never had competitors doing the same thing? Yet, I have given DOZENS of people help in doing the same thing. How many people are still doing it? MAYBE 3. And we never do shows in the same places. But, tomorrow, if I'm doing a show and someone else is selling the same thing, I'll do what ANYONE would—I'll try to reach an agreement but if I can't, I'll do that show and go on to the next one. LIFE GOES ON!

By the way, if you think your book doesn't “give it away” you might want to re-think that, too. I got one GREAT idea from just the LETTER announcing the book! Whether you “give away the biz end of it”, truly doesn't matter because anyone with any brains can figure out that part. If they have no brains, they won't be here tomorrow anyway.

In the mean time, as I asked in my last post, why not stop disparaging INDIVIDUALS and act like a GROWN UP?

Jon
WillRoya
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You make some good points Mark. How I see it is that there are so many shows and so many marks that there is enough business for all of us. Most of the people here are only going to be 40 milers anyway and do the smaller shows. This business is a lot of work, the hours and travelling can wear you out, but you can make a lot of money. It is not for everyone. I've been in the same situation as Jon with another person selling the same product as me, but if it is a medium to large show it won't make a big difference. The better promoters will not have overlap of products at their events or at least put you in different locations. And products do get stomped and pounded in certain areas, but if it is a well attended show, you'll still do well. And if you do your pitch the right way sometimes people who have bought a similar product before have a good potential of buying it again.

I was worried that I would only be able to do the big fairs every couple of years with the same product, but a wise pitchman told me that I could work the same spots with the same product for the next twenty years. This person had a vested interest in my success but I was still worried, until I did the event for the second time. I ended up doing better the second year! I look at it this way, there are 1000s of people at these events, my package I sell is $25, and I only need to make 40 sales to hit a $1000. As long as I'm averaging over a k a day I'm a happy camper.

Also the large fairs I work at are near impossible to get a spot at (try sending in an application if you don't believe me.) The reason I advertise where I'm at is I'm always looking for helpers and potential partners and general networking.

As for the product problem I recommend you have multiple suppliers and if you are serious about this business you keep up to a year's worth of product on hand or as much as you can afford. You can always make or import the items yourself as well.
*Mark Lewis*
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Jon. I haven't the slightest intention of being nice to you or anyone else. I have never been nice to anyone in my entire life and I am certainly not going to start now. I have addressed none of your points because they are of no importance whatsoever. You are a threat to my business (or would be if I were still in it) and I don't like it. And I never said that knowing suppliers makes anybody a good pitchman. I merely said that it makes them a bloody nuisance.

I have met David Walker and he is indeed a real gentleman. And it sounds like he outwitted you. I am sure he knew you were there from the very beginning and acted accordingly. However, I am not a gentleman by any stretch of the imagination and never will be. If I were working the same show as you I would make sure you were not selling Svengali decks by the end of the first day. And no. I am not going to tell you how I would do it. Good grafters keep their secrets.

It is true that anyone with any brains can figure out the grafting business. However, I have not seen anyone with any brains on this section. It is merely the blind leading the blind. Proof of the lack of brains is the contention that you "help" people and have only found 3 people taking advantage of it. If that is the case then why help them in the first place? And three people is far too many. If I hear of a grafter selling Svengali decks in Bangladesh I get upset. And I am not even in the business any more.

As for Will he may not be in this business for much longer. He doesn't like it. I can tell. I do happen to be psychic after all. And as for looking for helpers and partners that is possibly the way to rack and ruin. There is no escape from the grafting business. Getting other people to do it for you doesn't work. You have to do it yourself or give it up. You cannot have your cake and eat it.
briansmagic
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Mark,
What did your mother do to you as a child that was so terrible?
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