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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Tip Bucket or pocket? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bball5630
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Okay, first off, I'm a Corporate magician but in my off time I am starting to do busking with balloons on the street. (I live in an area that is good for it, but I know the magician that works it and don't want to do magic.)

Anyhow, I have a sign with a menu of balloons and that I make them for tips, should I have a tip bucket out or just take the tip after I hand them the balloon? I know for shows the bucket is imperative, but how about this?
Devious
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The short answer is most definitely a tip vessel.
Want to know why or is that sufficient?
Here's to your hatfulls of coin!
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
Juliegel
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The benefits of a tip jar only really work when you are working for tips. People see the jar and think that they will look like a jerk if they don't tip when so many others clearly have.

On the other hand if people KNOW that the balloons are a buck a piece or something then there is no need to have that kind of visual stimulation a jar provides. Just put the cash in pocket.

I sit is a area that is contradictory to what I just mentioned. I work in farmers markets and fairs for tips only but I play to a crowd. People stand around me as I make something for the child that came up to me. At the end they will more then likely give me a tip. Now everyone in the crowd has seen this exchange and considers it the norm. From then on I have about a 95% tip rate. This only works if you keep a constant crowd. If you work for occasional passersby then it is just not the plan for you. No one will see the tipping and it may go down to about 60 to 70% of the time.


As always,
Dylan
Bball5630
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The sign only says balloons for tips, it doesn't give a price. So you both really think my tips will go up if I use a bucket or hat as opposed to putting them in my pocket?
JoeJoe
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Collecting tips by hand will slow you down ... you can't be blowing up a balloon and pocketing money at the same time. The faster you can twist balloons, the more money you can make. I recommend a tip jar.

-JoeJoe
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Juliegel
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Quote:
On 2011-08-18 00:39, JoeJoe wrote:
Collecting tips by hand will slow you down ... you can't be blowing up a balloon and pocketing money at the same time. The faster you can twist balloons, the more money you can make. I recommend a tip jar.

-JoeJoe

I accept the money after I make and hand the balloon over. Making balloons as fast as you reasonably can just so you can make more money will eventually lead to lackluster results all around. Take that couple seconds to make a physical connection with the person you are entertaining by allowing a proper exchange.
JoeJoe
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That's just total bull ****! You don't need to physically touch someone to make a connection with them; you should have already made a connection before you made the balloon in the first place.

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
Devious
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Many folks tip a twister who sets up near us because he is very humorous, and don't want a balloon...they tip his bucket. Don't see this happening if they had to hand it over to him.
Agreed JoeJoe or if I may J˛..
Devious Deceptions
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L'Chaim!
tom hughes
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Personally I avoid tip buckets... there's a strategy to it and here's why.

When I first started twisting balloons for tips at fairs and festivals I worked with a tip bucket and found that my daily take was a couple of hundred dollars... not bad I thought until I realised that lots of that money was in the form of coins. What was happening was that parents were sending their kids up with a handful of coins, the kids were asking for a balloon and then tossing the coins in the bucket; once you establish an energy that balloons are worth a certain amount then it is really hard to break that cycle and thus most balloons were going for change... not good.

so I got rid of the tip bucket and focussed on strongly hinting that each twist had a specific value between $3- $5... sometimes more. On my rig I have three small whiteboards; one for $3 balloons, one for $4 balloons and one for $5s... they don't specify a cost but say "recommended tip $..." on them. That way if I'm quiet I can draw a family in without them feeling there is a set price ( although I can also strongly hint that there is)

The next thing I did was realise that the kids aren't usually the ones carrying money... that's the parents, so I concentrated on making the balloons for the kids but making the fun of waiting for a balloon for the entire family... I constantly tell bad jokes, ask hefty guys of they want fairy wings again etc etc. I also insist that EVERY kid who gets a balloon has a "designated grown up" with them... often I mention that this is just in case of latex allergies or some other nonsense... really I just want the parent, and their wallet, to be present.

Finally there is a sequence to the twisting itself.... I kneel down and ask the little one what they want, then I stand up to use the pump and chat to the grown up... I then give the kid the balloon ( either a hat or on a stick to prevent reverse engineering) and reach into my money pouch and take out my business card which I hand to the adult saying "here's your warranty card, good for 1000 miles..."... the parent invariably hands me the money, I say thank you "tip tip hooray" or something and then I tell the kid that if it pops they are to come back and see me and I'll repair it for free.

It's quick, it ensures that every parent has my business card... and it creates an exchange between the parent and myself which leads to bigger tips.

I'm not sure if I make better tips than other twisters using tip jars... but I do know that I do a lot better this way than I used to with a tip bucket.

best

tom
http://www.ashevillemagic.com
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gallagher
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Personally, I find most Balloon Twisters on the Streets to be disgusting. I find most to be cheap, crappy, and "the product" a rip-off. Instead of a bucket, or a tip jar, or using your hand with a big smile,... you should probably have a sign that says, "Punch me."

gallagher.
Bball5630
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I second you having a sign that says, "Punch Me," Gallagher. I would certainly line up bright and early!!

P.S. I love the Random capitalizing Of letters That don't need Capitalizing. Maybe an English class would be Beneficial in being an Internet message Board tough Guy.
gallagher
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Sorry Bball5630,... I kind of got caught up in myself. Really, it was nothing personal. My feelings towards most Balloon Twisters, though, is the same. I see them often, on Pitches,.. usually quietly, quickly sitting up next to me; after I´ve worked, struggled, scratched some life into an audience,.... clown costume, big painted on smiles,... "Balloons for Free".,.. ahhhhh. sorry, but it makes me throw-up. The little kids all run over there,.. their mommys dragged in hand. Well, you know the rest of the story.

Again, nothing personal, but in all honesty; do you find handing out twisted balloons an expression of anything?, an act of beauty?, fullfilling a need,... other then consume? Again, I don´t know you, and maybe you are going down a different street; but everyone I´ve seen, or know, twisting balloons, is doing it as a scam.

give it easy,
gallagher.

p.s.: English Classes!?!,.... Teachers have a hard enough job, as it is!
Bball5630
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No worries, Gallagher. I do know your point. We had one lady doing balloons down here and honestly she was as you described. Her clothes were what looked like 3rd hand clown clothes and her balloons barely resembled anything. She has since left, but I've enjoyed doing restaurants and want to see if my style will work on the street. I take a much more professional approach in dress and in the characters I make. The reason for doing it is that I enjoy performing. On my nights off, I would like to do balloons. I guess I approach it much more like a magician than a balloon guy, since my full time job is a magician. This lets me perform and not step on the toes of the magician that works there. He's a great guy and would love to have another performer to help build up the traffic in the area.
Juliegel
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I personally enjoy the lower end twisters. They give a great comparison. When I am standing across the street from a smothered makeup clown who has simply refused to progress any twisting ability in the years they have told me they have been working it certainly makes me look good.

I dress in a suit and tie and twist only the best work possible. Once I was working a fair and a mom with a couple kids came up to me. The young boy has a 2 balloon monkey in a tree (I will let you imagine what this looked like). Apparently the girl had missed out on a balloon and I was right there. She did not know what she wanted so I asked her to trust me. I then proceeded to make a huge 14 balloon monkey in a tree that completely put his to shame. The boy then walked over to to the garbage can threw his away and asked for one of mine. $20 tip and I saw a lot less of the other balloons floating around.

Quality exists to those who have earned it.


As always,
Dylan
Paddy
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Dylan, when I work a fair or festival I am surrounded by people wanting balloons, in fact yesterday (Sunday) I & 2 face painters did a "Pacific Rim Festival" and the shortest my line got was 30 feet. So my question is how do you have time to make a 14 balloon creation??? Yes I was paid by the fest but also made more in tips than the fest paid me.
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Juliegel
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Quote:
On 2011-08-22 07:22, Paddy wrote:
Dylan, when I work a fair or festival I am surrounded by people wanting balloons, in fact yesterday (Sunday) I & 2 face painters did a "Pacific Rim Festival" and the shortest my line got was 30 feet. So my question is how do you have time to make a 14 balloon creation??? Yes I was paid by the fest but also made more in tips than the fest paid me.


Howdy Paddy. Always nice to hear from you.

Perhaps I should have been a bit more clear as to the conditions of this event. It was quite early and I had just arrived and set up. To be exact it was 11 AM and not even the rides had started yet making things pretty easygoing until noon when everyone pours in. The kids in question also said that they were about to head out meaning I would not have to worry much about others seeing the monstrosities (why they came and went so early s a mystery to me).

This fair has hired me to start at this time for the past 3 years and I can't complain. It gives me a chance to snag my favorite big shady tree with benches (for the older folk) to set up under and I also get a chance to warm up a little before I have the 30 foot line.

As for the factor of time I am actually pretty fast at making these Monkeys in trees. I use my own monkey and Don Caldwells tree and can get one done in about 7 minutes. I am not implying what I did was perhaps the wisest thing (I did nave to make a handful more monkeys that day) but I suppose I got a bit overzealous when I saw the very poor example for twisting the boy had.


P.S. I hope the Festival went well.

Dylan
Paddy
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OK, That explains it. Yea I make more complicated balloon hats when I start jost to get the lines started. My large hats use 4 balloons in stead of 14 so it is a lot easier for me. Just threw me off reading about a line worker doing a 14 balloon creation. Break a leg and keep the festivals going!!
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
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