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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ballooning 101 » » Basic busking questions (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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R2D2
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On Aug 11, 2016, NYCTwister wrote:
As someone who's made a good living off that particular park I have to say that it's all about personality - make 'em laugh and they'll pay.

Cool. Can you be more specific about what you're doing to make them laugh? Engaging them / telling jokes while you're making each person his balloon?

Quote:
You can ask for a minimum donation for complicated things. I've got about a dozen 2-4 balloon things that take no more than two minutes. I just recite them, easiest to hardest, and they usually pick within the first few choices. I have a friend who makes some complicated things and asks for a minimum tip, usually $5.

Do you verbally suggest the minimum donation when they ask for something complicated? I'd imagine that you don't want to write it down. You have to make sure you're not charging, right?

Thanks for posting all this. It's very helpful.
NYCTwister
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Quote:
On Aug 12, 2016, R2D2 wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 11, 2016, NYCTwister wrote:
As someone who's made a good living off that particular park I have to say that it's all about personality - make 'em laugh and they'll pay.

Cool. Can you be more specific about what you're doing to make them laugh? Engaging them / telling jokes while you're making each person his balloon?

Quote:
You can ask for a minimum donation for complicated things. I've got about a dozen 2-4 balloon things that take no more than two minutes. I just recite them, easiest to hardest, and they usually pick within the first few choices. I have a friend who makes some complicated things and asks for a minimum tip, usually $5.

Do you verbally suggest the minimum donation when they ask for something complicated? I'd imagine that you don't want to write it down. You have to make sure you're not charging, right?

Thanks for posting all this. It's very helpful.


It's a personal style thing as far as the humor. I've always had this way about me that makes people laugh. Bit's of business, pretending to tie the balloon and letting go, sword fighting with the kid, mostly off the cuff stuff. Reading the kids energy is also important. When the kid is obviously shy I'll get down on my knee and show them what I'm doing so they can be part of the process.

As far as the amount of the donation I don't suggest a price for anything. I do say things like "When I'm done you say 'how amazing' and then you throw money at me" or " Give what you like, just remember the more you give the more I have"
Most of what I say is ad libbed and situational.

The only time I state a price is if there is a massive language barrier, which happens a lot in NYC because of all the tourists. Then I just hold up three fingers and it's a yes or a no.
As I said you can ask for a minimum donation, which is effectively charging a price. I've found that usually people give what they can, so I gamble on the goodness of people. 90% of the people who tip small aren't cheap....they're broke, but that doesn't mean their kid shouldn't get a nice balloon.

Obviously you should always be friendly. Always smile with your eyes. Speak loudly and with inflection. How you say it is as important as what you say. Focus on the kid. Let them choose the colors. Parents appreciate your making an experience out of getting a balloon.
I'm sorry if this sounds vague but it's personal style. Everyone has to find their own.

On last thing - tips are down. Europe is basically broke and everyone is watching their cash; if they carry any at all. People are thinking hard about what they spend and they know that a balloon is likely not to last long and when it pops there is usually some crying involved.
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
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