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Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
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Profile of Bill Palmer
On 2004-07-08 19:16, Peter Marucci wrote:
That's about right.
I charge about $150 an hour for a maximum of two hours (my poor old legs won't take any longer than that! LOL!)

Is this in $US or in Dollarettes?
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Profile of hagemagic
Donald, you make some great points.

You are correct that some people might not know what is a reasonable rate. When that is the case, it is up to the individual performer to let the consumer know why their fee is whatever it is. Hopefully consumers will do their research and find the best show for the money. If not, they will be burned by a sub-par show or in some cases (especially for those in it for the art) be completely satisfied with the performance and lower fee.

Consumers should consider other factors besides price. However, the first factor that most consumers consider is the PRICE. This can often be the go/no-go decision point for the consumer. I just bought a new vehicle and I immediately ruled out several top of the line models because of price.

Consumers want to find a product in their price range--not what they can afford, but what they are willing to spend. So, if $50 sounds too high then that's not the market for me. If $500 sounds reasonable, then that's the market I'm looking for. I don't want to try too hard to convince someone that $500 is a good rate, because that will increase their expectations of my performance to a level that might be difficult to attain. Rather, I'd like to book shows where people say, "Hey, we didn't pay this guy enough." You never want to hear someone say, "we paid this guy too much." That's why I let people rule themselves out and I don't try to "sell" them extra hard on my show. It's just the way I do it and it might not work for everybody.
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Decomposed
I took a gig for $200 for 4 hours and now regretting it. It's walk around and I did it while I was at the grocer.
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Profile of p.b.jones
I think we need also consider the comfort/feel good factor, by this I mean that many prospective clients feel more comfortable about the goods/service if it is as they say "re -assumingly expensive”. Everyone has this feeling to some extent in a thread earlier someone mentioned that though they would pay $20.00 for jeans they would not pay $200.00 but even they might feel a little insecure in a $5.00 pair. Lots of us spend on how things make us feel I definitely do I have lots (over 50 pairs) of $200.00 + jeans no they are probably not much better than the $20.00 pairs but they are more exclusive and I feel better in them (right or wrongly).
Many of our clients are the same whether you think they/me are shallow or whatever is not important it is more important to understand why people are compelled to buy what they want.

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Profile of todsky
On 2004-07-12 12:22, trenchant wrote:
As long as we are prejudiced against everyone equally, I think there's no harm in it. In that spirit, then, let's bash the middle class, which has, so far in this thread, escaped notice.

People in the middle obviously have a problem with commitment. They have neither the talent to succeed nor the courage to face failure.

In determining my fees, therefore, I always assess a "middle-class surcharge" for these clients. Gosh, maybe I've stumbled across the rationale for the current tax code.

Trenchant, I appreciate your acerbic wit. This entire post has been most passionate and amusing, especially the jibes.
Here in Montreal, for private house parties I charge between $150-$200 for the first hour, $100 each additional. My clients are usually those modest middle-class types.
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
Red Shadow
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Perhaps I missed it, but nobody seems to have commented on the level of skill that is relevant when setting a price.

I have seen many magicians doing self-working tricks and effects such as dynamic coins, which don't require any skill. They use cheap plastic props (that look gimmick ed) and can often be found in your local toy-shop.

I'm not saying that this is bad, but those people cannot charge the same rates as someone who does an Elmsley count with a key card double undercut flourish with a pack of cards.
Or fancy maneuvers with a coin, rope and ring etc.
These tricks require serious skill, and it shows. I've worked gigs next to other magicians who did these self-workers and they got no respect at all. I then came along to the same table and they refused to let me leave!

I know, to the client who pays the bill, they have no idea on the magicians level of skill. So its up the magician to explain that to them, and show them that you have quality effects, which is why you charge a little extra.

My two cents.


P.s: I charge £65 per hour. Every hour. I have on average 3 shows per week. (Manchester, England)
I know that's cheap compared to the competition, but I still have clients who cannot afford that. So I thinks its the right price.
And I know some of you are going to laugh at that price. I don't care. You might be able to charge double. But I get repeat booking, I get happy clients and I get the opportunity to perform on a regular basis.
When everything about you is about money, and how much you can rip off the client for, then your only good trick is making their money disappear.

P.s. - At christmas I charge £95.00 per hour.
Lee Darrow
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I had a call today for a one-day gig in January of next year- 9 AM to 4PM doing essentially my trade show stuff in a limited venue for 30 minutes every hour during that period of time with a one-hour lunch break and no travel involved.

I quoted a fee in the $1,500 range. Now that may seem to be pretty good money for what amounts to 3 actual hours of work, but the client flinched.

My response was as follows: "Yes, there are people in town who will do this for less, but I assuem that you want your company to be presented well during the performance, by the use of your slogans and even using your giveaways, brochures and business cards in a manner that will improve the prospect's keeping you and your company foremost in their mind, correct?"

Client: "Yes."

Me: "I'm also pretty sure that you want to make sure that you get their contact information and get them to one of your sales reps, instead of just running their badge through the scanner - using the performance as a sort of pre-qualification process, am I right?"

Client: "well we hadn't thought of it in exactly those terms, but that would be great!"

Me: "And you want someone who has experience doing this - who has a proven track record and with a client list that shows that he CAN do this for you, am I right?"

Client: "Well, that's one of the things about your web site that made us call you in the first place, yes."

Me: "Great! I just wanted to make sure that we were on the same page because there ARE people out there who will give you the same old 'Sales, Service and Quality Product' pitch that they use for every other client. I don't do that. I customize my presentations to YOUR needs, use YOUR promotional materials and YOUR giveaways. My goal is to Attract, Interest Create Desire and Stir to Action any GOOD prospect, and get them to your sales people as efficiently as possible and still make sure that they have s fun time watching what I do. Does that fit what you had in mind?"

Client: "Exactly."

Me: "Well, I've been doing trade shows since 1980 and customized shows, like customized cars, take extra effort and extra expense on MY part, which, of course means that I might be a little higher priced than some of the newer people out there. But you have to ask yourself a question about that - who would you rather have representing your company - a twenty-something kid who may be very good with cards and coins, but who has a very limited level of experience at doing trade shows and selling to people - or someone like me, with over twenty six years of experience and a client list like mine?"

Client: "Well, that's a no-brainer. We will send you a proposal this afternoon. What's your fax number - or would you prefer it to be emailed?"

Sell the benefits AND he sizzle, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor. Your bottom line will improve, dramatically.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
P.S. - they also threw in parking and bought two dozen decks of cards with their company logo (ordered through me, of course!) based on my suggestion - at a tidy markup! - LD
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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Profile of rmoraleta
Here in my country, I charge approximately $66 an hour to $100 for 2 hours.
Pete Biro
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Profile of Pete Biro
Not magic, but in my photo job days I had a Vice President of a Fortune 500 company tell me why they paid the high day rates they did. (I was probably the highest paid photographer doing racing work in those days)... He said, "When I'm at the country club talking to my peers do you think it sounds good if I say I have a photographer that works for $100 an hour, or do I want to say I hire a guy we pay $3500.00 to cover an event plus all the expenses."

The other day one of the regular's at Dean's Shoppe came in and told us he quoted
$500 to do a bit of magic at a small dinner party. He did four tricks and the client paid him and added a $500 tip.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
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Ok, there are way too many posts here that I can argue with. Let me just say this. I live in Southern California. I live in Chino Hills but work in the OC, LA and IE. The bottom line is that you charge what you think you are worth and what the market will bare. I charge the following. Restaurants: $100 per (2 Hr.) night plus dinner. I am at 5 restaurants a week right now. I have had between 2 and 7 restaurants a week for the past 16 years.

For strolling magic I charge (locally) $275.00 for the first hour and $175.00 for the 2nd. If you are a larger corporation or a bit of a drive I charge slightly more. Sometimes a corporation won’t hire you if you don’t charge enough. If you quote them too cheap, they think you are not experienced enough. I have had clients tell me this.

My stand up “family” magic show starts about $250.00 and goes up to about $425.00, just depending on the situation. Sometimes I combine strolling and stand up and charge a higher fee.

My “Adult” show starts about $350.00 and goes up to about $550.00, again, depending on the situation. I offer my clients many types of performance options to choose from. I am able to customize my show to fit my clients needs, thus the fee will change.

Again, it is all what the market will bare and what you think your self worth is. Obviously, if you live in LA or New York, your fees will be higher than those livening in BF Ohio. I hear you can’t get a 1 bedroom apt. in New York for under $1500.00. The cost of living in NY, CHI and LA are much higher than most cities. For what I pay in mortgage, you can get a mansion in Alabama. I have a cousin working 2 nights a week at a restaurant getting only $40.00 a night, for 4 hours, plus tips!!!

So in closing, there is no correct answer on what you should charge for a strolling gig. Find out what the others are charging, be completive and offer a better product.

I hope this helps.

Michael Peterson
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A couple years later & I am wondering what everyone is charging these days?

I myself am charging $250.00-350.00 per hour, I am not performing full time as I have a 9-5 job & I don't do that many shows per month.

Anyone care to share?


Posted: Sep 22, 2008 12:29pm
Wow, hundreds of views & no responses.

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Profile of Decomposed
I will bite. My fees are always changing. Currently, my minimum strolling rate is $250 a hour. Shows are widely variable depending on whether I do strolling in combination or not. Normally they start at $395-$495 minimum.

Restaurant strolling between $150-$200 for 1.5 hrs.
Jamie D. Grant
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Here's a:


that I wrote a while ago....


TRICK OF THE YEAR: Industrial Revelation, BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Approach, The AIP Bottle, and my new book Scenic 52, can all be found over here: SendWonder.com
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Has anyone given any thought to the current state of the economy? It has effected not only the amount of shows that I have booked, but what I'm able to charge at for them.
The Naked Magician
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If a resturant don't know what they will get, I normanly do a 30-1 hour slot, for £50, or I will ask them for abita dinner. dish out some business cards while I'm there, if they don't like what I do, then they can tap me on the shoulder and ill pack up and go, if they like it then fine. when they start saying, go to this table and this table, then I start saying, okay now we are talking about a verbal contract.
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Hey guys, I live in NYC , my going rate is $300 for the first hour $150 each hour after. my clients seem to like the sound of a half priced rate for an addition hour, it always sells. 95% the time they book me for no less than two hours.
I always say never under sell yourself, if you think your magic is worth a high price sell it at that.
Eternity by Emran Riaz (Gimmicks + Download) An IMPOSSIBLE prediction of ANY number, ANY word, literally ENGRAVED in a medallion they've been holding THE ENTIRE TIME.
Jon Blakeney
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At a strolling gig Icharge $250 for 45 mins and $300 for the hour. For a standup show I charge $400, most people take the $300 package.
'What the eye's see the heart must believe"
Eddie Torres
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Do people ask you to do 45 minutes of strolling? That seems strange to me for some reason, I've always been asked to stroll by the hour.

Eddie Ivan Torres
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Profile of montymagi
I live in a fairly small size town in southern Louisiana. They just can't afford what is paid in LA or or a large city. I have been told often that I do not charge enough but I love the restaurants I work in. I charge $30 an hour plus dinner. The reason I charge such a small amount is I book almost all of my family shows from the restaurant patrons. I advertise in different ways but most come from there. For my family show I charge $125.00 for a half hour show and a half hour of either walk around or balloon animals. I think this is the first time I ever honestly disclosed my rates.
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