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mike donoghue
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I must admit that when I regurlarly worked in London a few years back, I to got a bit of a shock when I saw where Davenports was located & I saw the people outside.

Obviously Davenports had been in my mind as the place to go as the shop & it's owners were very much a part of magic history.

Nevermind, I have been several times & although I didn't feel warmth emenating from my visit, the staff were really fine with me. Very business like, but really most people from the North East are probably strangers to them & there is no way that anyone meeting a customer fleetingly can assess their experience & magical knowledge.

Can't expect people to be as friendly as the Magicbox crew or Mr Nardi of Alakazam Magic. People that we know are often more freindly & warm. That is just human nature.

Mike Donoghue
mike donoghue
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Excuse my usual typo's . It wouldn't be me if I didn't do that.

Mike donoghue
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Profile of deanbarlow
I have probably been to Davenports 5 or 6 times over the last few years and each time I have entered the shop I have been met with a response along the lines of 'what do you want in here - we are not interested in selling you anything as everything we sell is secret'. I would not recommend anyone to go into the shop if you genuinely want to have a look at what is on offer and would like to chat to the staff about what they have for sale. For this type of service (in London) go to International Magic where you get a friendly welcome and advice on what to buy and not feel as though you are putting the staff out by simply being a customer. Alternativley if you are willing to venture to the outskirts of London you can visit Propdog where you will find a Magic Shop which you wont to leave. In additon, for those of you who go to the Blackpool Convention the Davenport's stand operate the same 'customer service' - it is like they don't want to sell you anything and look at you as if to say why should we allow you to buy our products.
It is such a shame as the Davenports name has a long history in British magic yet they are failing in customer service.
Karl M
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The assistent I saw in davenports was a tal guy and was like he was realy depressed about some thing,not very chatty and fiddling with cards most of time I was there but he was helpfull when I asked him some questions about new stuff
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Profile of hackmonkey
I am incredibly surprised at these comments about the staff! I visited Davenports many times recently after spending 6 years in Australia. I'm not sure who you guys met, but the staff have always been wonderful to me. They even let me 'try out' a few products to see if they fit me, a card to wallet and a ring flight. I took the ring flight and some basic supplies. No weirdness about 'secrets'.

Not just me I have many times seen them demonstrating basic effects to groups of kids and having fun.

When I have taken friends there and asked them to 'show them a trick' they have obliged and done the classics, such as 'quarter squeeze' and dynamic coins. Also had little sessions with them on card moved here and there.
I agree Betty can be a bit 'stand-offish' and do weird things like turn the lights off when it closing time while customers are still in the store!
But overall the guys on there are great.
Maybe the have brought in new staff recently, although there is def one guy there that has been there over 10 years.
Look behind you...on your left...thats the real world.
Stu Montgomery
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On Oct 3, 2016, Ray Chelt wrote:
I live in the middle of the country so when I get to a bricks and mortar shop it used to be by going North and to Tam Shepherds in Glasgow run by a great gentleman, Roy Walton.

One of the best card guys around and a fabulous person.

Excellent shop! Roy wasn't in the last time I dropped by, but at 84 I guess he deserves a day off Smile
"Round about what is, lies a whole mysterious world of might be" Longfellow.
Thorn (UK)
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Some 20 years ago I was a Covent Garden street performer, so Davenports was a very handy regular point of call for me in those days. Even back then the area outside was a hangout for the homeless, but that's just London for you. The poor guys have to go somewhere! I never once found them threatening or intimidating though, in general I've always found them to be understandably a rather sad and quiet bunch who just want to be left alone!
Whatever anyone's thoughts on Davenports as a shop, the homeless people outside is quite a separate subject.
Nowadays though, probably like most of us, I do most of my magic shopping online. When I'm in London and need something in a hurry I do pop in to Davenports, but I tend to find they don't stock the things I want anymore. Whether this is because they have a more limited range, or just that the things I want these days are more obscure I can't say!
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Profile of RevConfused
I tried to visit this place in February.
I checked the opening times, arrived, was hassled by aggressive homeless drunks at the entrance...went downstairs, they were closed.
A small handwritten note said they were opening an hour later, so I milled round Covent Garden for a bit, went back, drunks even more aggressive, still not open.
30 minutes after the advertised and delayed opening time, no opening, so I went elsewhere and will continue to do so.

Being a long standing shop doesn't give you the right to do as you please to the detriment of customer service, sadly something it appears at least 2 London shops should learn.
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Profile of bugjack
Davenport's has received some bad notices on this thread, so I thought I'd just offer another perspective. Yes, the shop is in a depressing underground shopping arcade, and the store itself is small and not so fancy. But they had a choice selection of good stuff, and the demonstrator when I was there couldn't have been more helpful and engaged. I watched him sell a set of sponge balls to a beginner and then teach the kid a routine that had lots of nice touches and bits of misdirection. He discussed some recent books with me and there was no pressure to spend a lot of money. I'd certainly visit there again if I spent some time in London.
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