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Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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Since I script my routines with so much care that it takes me about a year for one to be half proper..., I don't buy many tricks and then I go for very nice material using the money I saved on sexy junk.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
MagisterFreud
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The 18
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Yeah, I think if you buy an effect out of curiosity as to the method you are bound for disappointment. I usually buy things I've researched and need for an act, so I'm rarely disappointed.
vampiro
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Atlanta
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LeoH, what you said is great.
It is really important to make what you have better.
One possible source of disappointment in buying is when you find out it is REVEALED ON YOUTUBE.
So now I am realizing that INNOVATION AND CREATING UNIQUE EFFECTs is the future of magic. We all need to buy tricks and
gimmicks, but to protect what we have, we also have to create at least part of that.
mgsmagic
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Torrance CA
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I can't say I'm always happy with my purchase(s) particularly online when the Demo real is EDITED to make the effect look stronger than it is, or when they claim the trick is "self working" and I'll be able to do it within 30 mins of receipt and I can't, takes more practice than learning how to deal 2nds decently. I prefer BRICK & MORTAR or seminar/club purchases because there's someone in front of you selling the effect and you can ask ??? if you have any. I like the personal touch. I can't say I've been disappointed with all my Web purchases of magic though I can say I've been duped and scammed a couple of x. PRESENTATION is the key and buying effects is important but taking them and making them one's own is ever MORE IMPORTANT. Add your own patter, change the handling to make it a bit easier if possible, use the prop/gimmick in a different/unique way that the individual who came up with it doesn't provide. Innovation and individuality are the keys to being a good magician regardless of what trick(s) you purchase.
Siraldi
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Johnson City, Tennessee
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I would say yes 99% of the time

I shop at a local magic store (www.tophatmagicsupply.com is the website of the store... give him a call! I just had to do a small plug (;) and the owner and I are very close friends and I also watch his store for him when he has shows and I'm in town. The only time I'm really unsatisfied is when I find something used on the internet and I feel like I can't live with out it... once in a blue moon I'll be disappointed because I didn't do research.
Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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Quote:
On 2013-04-07 13:17, vampiro wrote:
LeoH, what you said is great.
It is really important to make what you have better.
One possible source of disappointment in buying is when you find out it is REVEALED ON YOUTUBE.
So now I am realizing that INNOVATION AND CREATING UNIQUE EFFECTs is the future of magic. We all need to buy tricks and gimmicks, but to protect what we have, we also have to create at least part of that.


Vampiro,
The fun is to fool people with things they know but, thanks to a rivetting script and just a few canceling out twists, lead them to believe that what you just showed is in a totally different league of a totally different level. What is more known than a TT? Yet many of us can entertain and fool the heck of us by using it.

Now when we take the time to develop a real relationship with a serious dealer (like Joe Stevens in Wichita, Joe Porper in California, Henry Mayol in Paris and they are not the only ones), he will never be stupid enough to sell us something that would turn out to be a disappointment.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Merc Man
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Nuneaton, Warwickshire
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I also buy very little magic these days.

Why? Well firstly I now work professionally and since taking the plunge, finally realise (after 35 years in magic) that you actually need very little to perform/entertain.

But let's go back some time. I find myself fully endorsing Quentin's comment above; I see so much 'new'(?) magic today that, in all honesty is so bad, you wouldn't have been able to give it away over a magic shop counter in years gone by. But then I fully appreciate that in this day and age, with the advent of the Internet, newer guys just don't have as many bricks and mortar shops to visit. This means that the buying process is (more often than not) through demos on YouTube, etc. These range, as already discussed, from pretty good through to a downright pack of lies. Creators, and suppliers guilty of the latter are, in all honesty, beneath contempt.

Now, in fairness, it wasn't all wonderful in days gone by. If you had to depend upon the written word within a dealer advertisement, then these were also sometimes overly hyped (to the point of being untruthful). However, you got to know those dealers that you could put your faith in - no different to the people that we meet during our lifetimes that become reliable, supportive friends. They are few and far between; but they are out there.

So where do we go from here? Well, personally I don't think that you can go far wrong with buying new stuff (and let's be honest about this - we all like to treat ourselves at times) from guys who work professionally in the game, and NOT solely for magicians. Two people spring instantly to mind in the UK - namely Paul Gordon and Harry Robson. I used to buy a lot from Paul as my focus was cards but when I turned pro, I knew that I had to go in another direction. Well, not 'had to' but perhaps 'wanted to'. I just wanted to add a little more to my arsenal than card tricks. Not knocking card tricks per se, as there are a lot of magicians out there, far superior to my good self, earning their living with just a deck.

I've bored people with this story before but it may help to put something into perspective. A couple of years ago, I sold nearly my entire magic collection to a dealer in the UK. Over 30 years worth of tricks, books, DVD's and so on. All of these, at time of purchase, were going to launch me into stardom. Guess what? None ever did. That's not to say it was bad magic, I just didn't need it. It didn't suit my style or maybe I shouldn't kid myself (and you) - I just didn't put in the necessary time to read everything that I had, nor work on everything sufficiently to perform it to it's true potential. Many purchases were made on a whim. Next time you want something here's some golden advice. DON'T hit the PayPal button. Go back to the Shopping Cart a week later and see whether that passion and desire to buy the item still exists. Often, it will not.

Just to add that having sold literally a large room full of magic, my props these days fit into a small case. For me personally, it's taken me 35 years to realise it's all that I need. Having spent what must me a few thousand pounds over the years, my act that pulls the money in, now fits into my suit pockets. Utter madness I know. However, take heart - it's not just us that are complete nut cases. I was at a birthday party yesterday for my sister-in-law. Her husband is a bass guitarist in two bands. Chatting to another band member, Ted told me that he actually has around 35 guitars in his garage and is finally selling some; as many are from the 70's and worth a few quid. 35 bloody electric guitars! That's more guitars than I currently have packs of playing cards! AND, this is the absolute truth, the guitar that he plays with most regularly, and professionally I should add, was actually pulled from a skip at a house clearance! Is that any different to us working with basic, borrowed items; or basically seeing the value in something and working with it? Food for thought?

Blimey, off at various tangents as usual. And I'm not even pi*sed! Smile
Barry Allen

Joe Riding (1932 - 2005). "I still miss you mate".
https://magicweek.co.uk/magic_articles/article_joe_riding.htm
Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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Why should you be pi*sed? Some people go to the movies or to Broadway show, some spend on playing golf, other at playing tennis, riding horses... but WE buy dreams and we're even able to share them with virtually anyone even if they don't like golf, horses, movies or tennis... Then we can even resell the props that supported these dreams for a fraction of their cost.
Isn't this day dreaming for a lighter world, where everyone is nice and everything is simple, much better than most of the pleasures offered to the rest of the world...?
I never bought a lot of tricks but bought and read tons of magic books watched hundreds of VHS and DVDs and then played, sometimes just in my head, sometimes with my hands and body language for countless hours. Then (late in life) I discovered, thanks to my friend René Lavand, the rarely explored joys and subtleties of scripting to share these assembled moves and props in intriguing, interesting, emotional, poetical, logical, philosophical, rational ...ways, and that offered my imaginary world some more countless hours of happy magic life... I also learned from Pop Haydn the pleasure of building subtle characters and even smarter antagonists to defeat by magic. From Darwin Ortiz I learned how to design a story and a miracle... and all of this knowledge served me very well in business and easily paid for "the tricks". Magic is a good deal, no matter how much we spend on it and renews itself constantly!

A happy satisfied (old) customer
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
mysto59
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Bethalto, Illinois
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Quote:
On 2013-05-06 14:12, Lawrence O wrote:
Why should you be pi*sed? Some people go to the movies or to Broadway show, some spend on playing golf, other at playing tennis, riding horses... but WE buy dreams and we're even able to share them with virtually anyone even if they don't like golf, horses, movies or tennis... Then we can even resell the props that supported these dreams for a fraction of their cost.
Isn't this day dreaming for a lighter world, where everyone is nice and everything is simple, much better than most of the pleasures offered to the rest of the world...?
I never bought a lot of tricks but bought and read tons of magic books watched hundreds of VHS and DVDs and then played, sometimes just in my head, sometimes with my hands and body language for countless hours. Then (late in life) I discovered, thanks to my friend René Lavand, the rarely explored joys and subtleties of scripting to share these assembled moves and props in intriguing, interesting, emotional, poetical, logical, philosophical, rational ...ways, and that offered my imaginary world some more countless hours of happy magic life... I also learned from Pop Haydn the pleasure of building subtle characters and even smarter antagonists to defeat by magic. From Darwin Ortiz I learned how to design a story and a miracle... and all of this knowledge served me very well in business and easily paid for "the tricks". Magic is a good deal, no matter how much we spend on it and renews itself constantly!

A happy satisfied (old) customer


Great post Lawrence O!
It's not the size of the wand that matters, it's the "magic" in it...
ahattrick
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I've only bought a few things from magic shops in the past year, but I have been quite happy with all my purchases!
Twizle1977
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Chicagoland
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Yes! I would say 85% of the time I am very happy with my purchases. I don't pre order anything. I also do a lot of research to make sure that what I am getting is something I need to advance, or something that I will truely use.
Poof-Daddy
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Considering Stopping At Exactly
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I would like to say I was happy with most but many still fall short in my opinion even after some research.

Short of flat out exposure to get you answers or borrowing a friends copy of the DVD that comes with it ( exposure again), there are not a lot of nonbiased reviews of most effects. Editing goes a long way with making the effect look much better than it is. Many effects "real world performances" are A) edited like crazy B) use "stooges / confederates" C) arent even being performed in a real world setting that the other 99% would be performing in with everything "laid out" just so.

I find it very hard to find an honest, well written review in most cases but there are some out there - I personally Like David Regals video Reviews Section in REEL MAGAZINE. Although he my tilt a little more toward the nicer side of even a bad review, he does give them.

Another problem is that some effects are great, perhaps even wonderful but the dvd isn't shot worth a darn or the product come damaged due to shoddy packaging by the maker (not the sellers fault)

Some products are in the catagory of late - we have labled "false or misleading" They show a great demo. have rave reviews by all their other big name friends in the business yet when you get the product you must head out to the craft and hobby shop cause you didn't know you would have to make it all yourself. (If I wanted to spend half my life sewing, I would have been a seemstress) is the attitude you can start to get.

Probably the bigest problem with reviews stem from the annonimety of the internet. When was the last time you read a review on an app store that didn't sound like some poor neglected teenager who is just outraged and ready to go postal over the 99cents he just "wasted" on a "stupid" app. I hope you get the picture of what I mean there because I sometimes see the same mentality on a Penguin User Review <-- another I don't take to heart.

I am fortunate enough to have been in magic long enough that I can get somewhat of a feel of what I would or could use in the real world but mark my words... I do suffer from buyers remourse still from time to time. To me, Its what you make of it and how you turn a seemingly horrible product around and make it work for you (Now That's Magic)
Cancer Sux - It is time to find a Cure

Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






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Nick Birch
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Sheffield, UK
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Approx. 95% of the time I'm satisfied. However, even after 30 years of buying and collecting I still get burned occasionally. Just goes to show you never stop learning! Research, research and then research some more and if still in doubt leave it or buy used.

Nick
www.dark-artifacts.com

Purveyors of the finest handcrafted hauntiques. The Uninvited, Deathwatch, The Gift, Whiteface, Satan's Circus
Mr. Danny
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North Central Louisiana
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Hmmm. About 4 I guess. I don't buy much, but when I do, It usually is some sort of improvement to what I am doing already. And replacements as things wear out. I had trouble getting some Flip tips from Roco's web site, kept sending me Dlites. When Roco called to sort it out, wish I could have recorded the conversation he had with my wife. Southern Bell meets Italian!
SteveFromSpokane
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Most of the time I try to find a You Tube video of the product or look up reviews here on Magic Café but everyonce in awhile but not too often I get something that just didn't meet my expectations. But I must say there has been some outstanding dealers online who will work with you.
AKMan
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Spokane, WA
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I'm a sucker for a good demonstration. But, when I get it home and work with it, I often wonder, "What was I thinking?" Too much stuff sits on the shelf, never used and never to be used. I should stick to books. ~Jon
SteveFromSpokane
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We are often like bass and strike at anything that glitters. We all have boxes of stuff we will never use and don't know quite what to do with it.

My biggest complaint is of items with terrible instructions. Now days every item tends to have a dvd. But years ago you got a poorly printed set of barely legible instructions.
I can remember buying an item from Hank Lee's magic that had a two sided sheet of paper with drawings without one word typed on the paper. I was totally unable to make out what the drawings were showing. I just mailed it back to Hank's and said, " I don't have a clue what these instructions are showing so perhaps you can use it." They could have at least hired a high school student taking art to do a better set of illustrations..
RobertlewisIR
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Colorado
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I'm pretty good with my purchases. Almost (but not quite) 100% of the time, I'm happy when I first get the product/book/DVD. That's because I do my homework before I buy and I usually know that what I'm getting isn't going to be garbage. Five years later, the satisfaction rate drops to probably about 85%. There are a few things I've bought and later asked "what was I THINKING?" Those aren't many, though. Most of the time, the problem isn't the product but the fact that for some reason I just can't find a way to make it fit.

There was one item I bought a few months back, though, that just didn't work, despite good reviews. I asked the dealer, he discovered that the manufacturer switched designs without telling anyone, and took care of it for me. Disappointed because I wanted that item, but since I got a full refund, I'm not counting that against my near 100% satisfaction rate.
~Bob



----------



Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
pickin_grinnin
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Texas
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I am still very much a beginner - I have only been studying magic (and purchasing things) for about a year now.

I tend to do a lot of research on everything (I'm a librarian in real life), and in reading articles and posts about getting started in magic I noticed that a lot of people noted that they bought too much early on, sometimes in a feeding frenzy. I took that to heart, because I have seen it happen to people in other hobbies and arts, so I worked hard to reign myself in.

So far I have made about five or six total purchases of effects/tricks, all of which were heavily researched ahead of time. Most were under $25 and were fairly simple to learn. The most complex and expensive were the three L@na books, which I am carefully working through. Book tests are a fitting trick for a librarian, after all, and those also matched my interest in bizarre and storytelling magic.

As a professional storyteller I'm used to creating shows with running themes and bits that reference and play off each other, so everything I have bought to date could potentially be used in a single bizarre or storytelling magic routine. That helped me to keep the purchasing bug at bay, too - if I don't see how a trick will fit into the rough outline of the show I envision, I don't buy it. I have been happy with all the tricks I have purchased so far, but I really did a LOT of research on all of them, so there were few surprises.

I have purchased a number of magic books, though I have been careful to stick to the authors that get recommended the most. I put those purchases on hold right before summer started, and probably won't buy any more until I have worked my way through at least one reading of the ones I have. I'm patient, luckily Smile
Teyo
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New Brunswick, NJ
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At first glance, Im usually dissatisfied with my magic purchases. After performing it and watching the explanation videos I would 4 out of 5 purchases
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