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BJ Mallen
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New user
Colon, MI
37 Posts

Profile of BJ Mallen
I have been working behind the counter at Abbott's for about 15 years on and off. Soon I am going to do a booth at a craft fair independently and I am seeking advice. I am thinking about taking several items, 3-6 perhaps- I don't believe there will be many kids, if any. I have been told there will be plenty of grandparents. I thought perhaps a trick or two that they could use to fool their grandkids, a trick or two the grandkids could be given as gifts, one good for adults, and a kit.
Too much? Narrow it down? I have specific tricks in mind as well; snapper, coil and ring, jumping wand, buddha papers, nickels to dimes, Svengali or an expensive kit.
What is the wisdom of the lot?

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Elite user
437 Posts

Profile of LeoH
Hi, BJ:

My experience tells me that is too much. I've demonstrated magic in a shop, and pitching is a totally different animal. People who come in a magic shop have an inherent interest in magic so you demo different tricks that match their interest. In pitching, you gather the crowd, demo with a quick "show", call , then start over. I pitch the standard: Svengali deck, fuzzle worm, and give a 2 card monte away as a "kicker". I also look for events that are family oriented events, like street fairs and festivals. I want kids there to become interested wanting the trick, but the adult also who has the money to pay. When I started I used information from Don Driver, one of the best Svengali pitchmen in history. I only have about 3 years in the game, but following Don's advice I have had a great time (mostly) earning some happy dollars along the way

Don is a member here and hopefully chime in with some additional advice for you. I do strongly suggest finding a copy of Don's DVD on his Svengali pitch. This info really kickstarted my efforts.

Good luck and all the best.
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Inner circle
1792 Posts

Profile of DonDriver
M.B. heed the words of Leo,hes right on about the pitch business.If you still want to do this "craft fair" be sure to bring enough money to buy lunch because you aren't going to make enough to buy a hotdog.

Stick to country and state fairs or festivals.Maybe a car show or gun show they are good for pitching.You NEED kids.

I hope you found my DVD you PMed me about.

For thoses new to the pitch business here is the informatition on my Svengali pitch DVD.I sold all the rights several ago to my 3 DVD's.I didn't even keep a copy for myself.I'm RETIRED and loving every minute of it.Here is where you can still buy a copy. Here is an interview I did for Wayne on his Ballycast a few years ago. Some funny stories from being on the road for over 30 years.

Also a new site on The Magic of Baltimore (my home town) Baltimore has lots of magic history.There is a link for yours truly there but the entire site makes for a good check it out.

All the best to every new and old pitchman out there...remember G.T.F.M. Don
Jon-O the Great
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Elite user
493 Posts

Profile of Jon-O the Great
I work mostly gun shows but I also do not sell many decks. Because not many kids go there. I think the most I ever sold in one weeknd was 36 decks with an average maybe 20.

My staple is automatic wire strippers. But I must tell you, after 22 years of strippers, pitching the cards is MUCH more fun! And of course, I'm not as good as Don, (mainly I have smaller hands!) so I have changed his demo to fit my hands. I simply CANNOT drop ONLY 2 cards. And at the end of the demo I HATE to have some kid riffle the cards with yucky hands, so I changed that too. I've done it for over 5 years now, so what I do fits me. I would NEVER suggest changing ANYTHING that Don does on the DVD. He and David Walker did that demo for more than 20 years so it must be good. I wish I could do it exactly as he does. Maybe in another 5 years....Smile

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Special user
778 Posts

Profile of thomasR
I perform at fairs more than I pitch.. but I have pitched a couple times and I pitch the Svengali Deck and the Coloring Book. I usually sell about the same of each trick.

I use Don's Svengali pitch... the DVD is great.

I thought I should sell more than 2 tricks as well... the end of the story is... well.. I would be HAPPY to sell you a few dozen ball & vases if you know what I mean. ha
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Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2693 Posts

Profile of sethb
Same story here! I discussed this issue with Don a few years ago, because I figured more tricks would equal more choices and more sales. He said no, just stick with the cards and the worms.

But I didn't listen. As a result, I became the proud owner of lots of Buddha Papers, Coin Slides, Ball Vases, Dime & Penny sets and a few more lovely items.

Stick with what works, and that would be the Svengali Deck and the Magic Worms. They are PERFECT pitch items -- very visual, no reset needed; they also pack small, play big, and have a proven sales record.

If you absolutely MUST add something else, you could think about a few Money Paddles or Jumping Gems sets. But I can't really recommend it --- for me, the worms outsold the decks about 5 to 1, and the decks outsold the paddle tricks by about 5 to 1, too. 'Nuff said!! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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Montgomery, IL
17 Posts

Profile of twycislak
Local festivals are also great venues for pitching. Usually the rent is low and chances are very good that you'll be the only one actively selling anything. Be prepared for whatever weather Mother Nature sends your way. Get there early, work hard, stay late, and the money money will come. Never give up.
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