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lpmorgens
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Hi all. My son is a young magician who created a really cute act for his rabbits that requires a Rabbit Wringer. On a budget, we looked into used equipment. We found what we thought we be a great box to start with since it was described (verbatim) as: "(Like New) inside and (Very Good) outside. Only used a few times." Anyhow, the attached is what we got, and it does not look to match the description at all. There was an image on the site where we got it, but it did not reflect any of the damage we see in person.

Here's the dilemma: We were told that we have to lose the shipping cost we paid (and we cannot afford that)... Since I am feeling like the item was misrepresented by the seller, I think the seller should pay the shipping I paid.. since I only paid it because I thought I was getting something that was "only used a few times." Anyhow, the site asked me how much I think the seller should reimburse me to keep the Rabbit Wringer.

Now, I have to decide what it is worth. We're new to this, and I really don't know what a box in this condition is worth, what someone would actually pay for it given the extensive repair it needs. I would love to get some opinions from more experienced magicians who have purchased used equipment.

The images are too large to upload, so here is a link to the images: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxrOIj......udGwxdG8

If you double-click an image, you can see it better
danaruns
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Yikes. Personally, I think it is worthless. I assume you're looking for a basic one, something like this: https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/rabbit-wringer/ Since they are $250 new, all I can say is I hope you paid a very low price. Smile I would send it back, eat the shipping cost, get a full refund, and buy a brand new one.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
lpmorgens
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Thanks, Dana! That was my thought.. on its worth. Ironically, the new one isn't that much more.. I wish I had just done that, but we already spent so much, and we've had great luck with other items. I'd lose shipping x2 ($60) because I would have to pay to send it back. Just doesn't seem fair when the seller went out of his way to say "Used just a few times." That sends an unrealistic message to buyers. I hope the auction site can stand up for the customers...
WitchDocChris
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You could possibly have a case for a claim with your credit card company. If it's PayPal you'll almost certainly win the claim.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
lpmorgens
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Thanks, Christopher.

The Paypal idea is great! I will talk to them about my options. I wasn't sure how much to ask back to have it repaired, but I really think the repair would be more than what I paid.
Wizard of Oz
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If you've never dealt with PayPal before on a claim, it is usually pretty seamless if the case is valid. Yours seems to be certainly so.

The process is pretty easy. You put in a claim and reasoning for the claim, and they try to contact the seller to resolve the dispute before it elevates to the next level. Usually it settles there as more likely than not, the seller doesn't want to jeopardize his or her PayPal status, and would rather just make it go away.

Do you by chance have a link to the original ad (if it is still up)? If not, in the future, if you are dealing with an unknown seller, take screen captures of the ad and make sure to include the date at the top of your computer.

Don't feel bad or guilty. Everyone who reads this has been burned in the same way at least once. I for one, have 3 rather pricey props in my basement that were purchased second hand but in "VG condition." Someday, maybe, I'll get around to repairing them.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Wizard of Oz
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Oh, and always, always, use PayPal, even if the seller asks you to reimburse him or her for the PayPal fee. It's a small price to pay for a lot of protection, and a lot fewer headaches.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
lpmorgens
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Thanks, Wizard of Oz. I copied the page but didn't do the screen shot. Hope it is still up. Thanks!
Boomer
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I'd hate to see the condition of anything else he owns if he considers that exterior VG.


Dave
lpmorgens
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Ditto. on top of that, when I called Paypal to ask about my options, they went ahead and initiated a dispute, even though I was clear to the agent that I only wanted to find out the options. I really wanted to give the auction site a chance to take care of it before Paypal stepped in... now, they are not too thrilled... I am hoping the seller will take responsibility for this and that the whole thing will be over.
Dick Oslund
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You did the best thing. Now, let paypal handle it.

May I ask, how old is your son? I'm assuming that he is a pre-teen. When I was a preteen in the very early '40s, I made my own props. They were extremely simple. They were good enough to help me do those early shows. When I was 13, I did a show at the local Jr. High School in October 1945. I made $26.00. (Grown men were working all week for that. (A double dip ice cream cone was 10 cents then.) I bought a few SIMPLE props (less than $5.00) I did shows all through high school, and, made as much as $20.00 per show, for small groups. My buddies were making 50 cents an hour, sacking groceries.

The PRESENTATION, is what's important, NOT the PROPS.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Wizard of Oz
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I agree with Dick. My father was a woodworker and I used his workshop to make at least a dozen of my own props using books from the library. Made a Squared Circle (super easy), Anti Gravity Tube (super easy), and even a Flip Over Box and Silk Caddy when my skills improved. It was so much fun as I learned about wood working, painting, and more importantly...magic.

The props must have has some merit as long-time magic dealer - the late Joe Lefler - bought them to sell at his Pandora's Box magic shop in Richmond Mall. That made my day!
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Dick Oslund
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Hey Wiz!

The late Meinhardt Raabe, CORONER OF THE MUNCHKINS, was a friend, since I was in Junior High School.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Wizard of Oz
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I bet he would have stories to tell. Apparently the little people had quite the time on that set!
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lpmorgens
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Thanks for the great advice. My son is 14. Right now, we are mostly focused on the presentation and the stories he tells. He is mostly interested in entertaining children, so he is working on a skit about his little bunny that needs a bath (or whatever) and then it comes out flattened! Yikes. Then, he wants to move into how he needed to "unflatten" his poor bunny, and puts him in what he calls the "fluffer and stretcher". At that point, our little dwarf bunny will emerge huge and fluffy rabbit (Jersey Wooly bunny with same face)... That's where the woodworking and electronics might come in.. We are going to try and convert a production box into something that has all sorts of crazy tubes and blowing sounds.. maybe even show air blowing throughout for a fun comedic effect.

The tricks and props seem like the easy part. The hard part is the presentation and the stories to make the show come alive.... as far as we can see with our only few months experience Smile
Dick Oslund
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When I joined the Navy, in '51, I had my act in a little leather shaving kit. The props were all
GENERIC. (2 silks & dye tube, a 4' length of rope, scissors, deck of Aviator bridge size cards,
golf balls, watch winder, & hollow egg.) I added, soon after, a George Mcathy Insurance Policy
($2.00) and a Sterling/Mardo Egg Bag ($2.50). It was a 30 minute act. I made enough money with that
act, playing club dates, in off duty hours, that I could send my Navy pay check home to the bank,
plus, buy a good used car, and, rent a small apartment. --PRESENTATION! (not props!)

The rabbit wringer routine that you mention, would likely "play" for 4-8 year olds, with the
presentation concept that you mention. --and, that's fine for a 14 year old performer, just
beginning. I did stuff like that, when I was beginning, too. (Here comes the "but": BUT, your
son is not going to be 14, forever.) He will grow, physically, and mentally. He needs to grow
"magically", too!

The "Mark Wilson Complete Course In Magic" is definitely NOT a complete course, BUT, it will
definitely broaden his knowledge. The Wilson "CCIM" is relatively inexpensive, new. It can be
found on used lists, even cheaper. The props that are explained, are generic, and/or can be home-made with
only basic household tools.

The public library (793.8 - Dewey Decimal System) will have books, too, at NO cost!

Even the "CCIM" provides mainly the methods for tricks. Ken Weber published, about 12=13 years ago,
"Maximum Entertainment". It sells for about $40. It's an excellent investment, that will pay
dividends. Weber was a very successful professional. He talks about making magic ENTERTAINING with
PRESENTATION. He gives examples! It's written for readers a few years older than 14, but, a 14 year
old can benefit from what Ken says.

Only a few boys will become full time pro's. (Here comes another "but": But, he will benefit from magic
performing!. He will need to learn how to communicate with others (both children and adults). He will
learn how to study.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
jimhlou
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You may have already figured this out, but when buying used magic props get good photos of the equipment before you shell out your money. Sites like Surplus Magic Exchange require actual photos, and not stock photos or the manufacturers' ad photos. Most people in this business are very honest, but occassionally you run into a shady character.

Jim
lpmorgens
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Thanks! Good lessons! I'll look into getting Mark Wilson and Ken Webers publications. I think my son will enjoy them. Best!
danaruns
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Quote:
On Apr 12, 2017, lpmorgens wrote:
Thanks! Good lessons! I'll look into getting Mark Wilson and Ken Webers publications. I think my son will enjoy them. Best!


The Mark Wilson course is $15 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Wilsons-Comp......in+magic

There is a ton of magic in there that will last your son years and years. I started with that book, and still perform tricks that are in it. There is pro-level stuff in there, even though it's not a lot of knuckle busting. I love the book, but am a bit biased. Mark Wilson was my first magic mentor, along with his wife Nani Darnell, and they are still dear friends. I occasionally help Mark teach at the Magic Castle, and most of what he teaches comes right out of his book. Some absolutely phenomenal pros have cut their teeth on his work, and even still perform material from the book. Yet, the material is not too difficult, and is a great fit for young aspiring magicians. And it's powerful magic. One master stage magician told me that he spends thousands of dollars on big props and huge illusions, but what audiences always comment on is the Sucker Torn and Restored Napkin taken right from Mark Wilson's book. So it might be worth the fifteen bucks to get it.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Dick Oslund
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You should be aware (being new to "magic") that:

Dana, in her enthusiasm, uses terms rather loosely.

Magic does not come, "by the ton". Magic only happens in the mind(s) of the spectator(s). The PERFORMER and his/her PRESENTATION are what make that magic happen.

Mark Wilson is not a "new face" in the magic business. My very good friend, Bev Bergeron, was REBO the clown on the "Magic Circus" a "few" years ago.

I saw Mark "save the show" at a regional convention of magicians, in Minnesota, about 20 years ago. The first half of the evening PUBLIC show, opened with a local amateur, who messed up his whole act, A professional magician from New York was next, and he totally LOST the audience. #3 was another pro'. from NYC, who lost the audience, even more. #4 was a local juggler who got into a fight with gravity--and, gravity won!

Intermission was next, and well over half of the audience (public) who had paid about $10 each for admission, left the auditorium, to seek their money back.

My friend, Tom Ogden, opened the second half, and, did a fine job. Mark and Nani followed and did a great job to close the show.

I've been performing, as a part time professional, starting in the mid 40s, until the mid 60s. Then I started in the mid 60s as a full time professional, until I retired in 2008. I toured coast to coast and border to border.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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