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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Also always keep your eyes open when at dollar stores. Sometimes you can find some really great magic kuts and boxed tricks and even sets. I have found some gold mine items just by checking the local stores every so often.

Kyle
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MagicalPirate
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My local store you can buy 2 decks of coated playing cards for a buck. Svengali decks, stripper decks and a couple others that I can't think of off the top of my head. They're great as long as you don't work in a Dollar Store mentality area. Upper to elite class areas make great profits off of dollar store merchandise.

Martin Smile
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magic4u02
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It also is in how you demonstrate the value of the tricks and effects when your doing your BOR. They learn to realize that with the trick comes also the fun of entertaining.

Kyle
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MagicalPirate
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My point was that if they go to Dollar Stores they already know its a dollar and won't buy it. Whereas the upper class of people tend not to do so and won't know they can get it for a buck. I think Dollar stores have been a major thorn in the sides of people trying to make a living. If Walmart and Dollar Stores went away tomorrow I wouldn't shed a tear.

Martin Smile
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How To Sell Anything Online
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Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Trust me when I say most people have no clue what came from a dollar store and what did not. I have never had a problem with it at all. The main reason is people do not go to a dollar store to buy magic tricks or magic related items.

You can find some great magic tricks, cards, and entire kits there that are simply great for BOR sales.

Also, remember that you are not just selling a trick to them. Your selling presentation, fun, and hopefully a hobby.

Kyle
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pikacrd
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Just a thought regarding the topic.

Have any of you ever gone to your local shop and told them what you are attempting to do? The reason that I ask this is that I have developed a very strong business relationship with my local shop and what we do is this. I make an order from there wholesale catalog and pay them a commission above the total for the order usually a small percentage depending on the size of my order. I get the benefit of being able to make a wholesale order for giveaways (only) that I sell for a profit. The shop has the benefit of making a commission on things that they usually do not order or stock from there vendors. In turn there vendors are much happier with them for making these orders and are quick to pass along additional savings to the shop when or if they run specials. On top of this I always put a business card from the shop in the kit so that the kids and the parents know where to go to buy more magic if they are interested. This in turn has made me the number one choice of children’s entertainers with that shop and when they are asked for a recommendation for a Magician they will pass my name along.

I am not even going to attempt to say that this is the norm but I have made it work for us. Please note that I have spent Thousands and Thousands of dollars at this shop over that last 10 years and it took many years to develop this relationship but it was worth everything that I put into it and have taken out of it.
“Indubitably, Magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics”. William S. Burroughs 1914-1997 American Writer
magic4u02
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I guess the bottom line is if it works for you, continue doing it.

I just find that my own sources allows me much great profit margin as well as as the control I like. I cut out the middle man altogether and it just seems to run a lot smoother for me.

I also like the fact that my kits and everything I offer is branded with my own brand identity and image. This means that I am getting my name out there every time someone purchases a product.

To me, if I had a magic shops info on there, then it would really steer people away from who I want them to remember.. and that is me and my services to them.

Kyle
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pikacrd
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Kyle,

Well said. I have just been able to find something that works well for me, and a local magic shop and has allowed me to make a good profit while selling kits that I put together that are dare I say maybe a step or two above the dog doo, and are what I consider good quality. I do like the Popcorn Dye Box idea and a lot of the effects that I currently package would fit quit nicely in one. One thing that I did not mention in my post is that I do package the magic that I buy with a “Fun Sheet” branded to myself. This is something that I created and designed with free domain tricks and original art work for the kids. This sheet has all of my contact info on it and is one of the things that I get the greatest feed back off of from the adults who buy the kits for the kids.

One of the other things that I will do if the show is big enough that has not been mentioned in this thread as of yet is to set up a Super-X at the back of the room with a backdrop so that the kids can have there picture taken while they are suspended. I bring a lap-top, digital camera, and a Cannon portable printer. I take the picture print it and capture the parents e-mail address and name’s to send them a digital copy (very important if anyone thinks about doing this never take the child’s e-mail). Here is the beauty of this, I get to send parents an e-mail and on that e-mail I again provide them with all of my contact info and a brief summary of the different type of shows that I can do for them in the future. I always do the Guest of honor (B-day boy or girl) photo for free and then charge $3.50 for remainder of the kids the price covers the cost of the printing and puts a small amount in my pocket but it is not the real point of what I am doing. What is important here is that I am capturing the information for future promotional marketing.
“Indubitably, Magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics”. William S. Burroughs 1914-1997 American Writer
MagicalPirate
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That would sound like a great gimmick at a local festival where you were close enough to market to people who would actually buy your services. You would have to set up staging to avoid exposure but it would definitely be a draw for the event. You could even let them pay you for it and email a digital photo to the parents email eliminating your materials cost. It could be sponsored by American Airlines or others with the slogan for the festival being 'Come fly with us at the Lincoln Log Cabin Festival'.

Martin Smile
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
http://www.thehypnoguy.com/HYPNORESOURCES
http://www.docgrayson.com/
How To Sell Anything Online
http://tub.bz/?r=1z
Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
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What is even funnier is I already do this hehehe. The only exception is that I do it with my chair suspension and a polaroid camera. The chair suspension works nicely for me cause I am not exposing anything at the festival and I can set it up without worry of angles etc.

Kyle
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pikacrd
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I use a back drop and side skirts so exposure is not really a problem. I will also add that this idea is not mine I saw someone do it in Japan when I was working over there.

Kyle
If you ever have some time I would enjoy talking the business of magic with you one on one. I have read a few of your posts and you seem to have a really good mind for this stuff.
“Indubitably, Magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics”. William S. Burroughs 1914-1997 American Writer
MagicalPirate
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I just remembered there is a way to do the Super X levitation without worrying about angles or backdrops being blown over in the wind when working it outside. You can even step away from it and leave them floating in space. It was in one of the books by Ken & Roberta Griffin. They built it into a trunk that when opened up created a beautiful painted backdrop for the suspension and covered all the bases on angles. The book is called Illusion Show Know-How and it is called Super-X in a box on page 34. It could be modified from their description to work outside.

Martin Smile
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
http://www.thehypnoguy.com/HYPNORESOURCES
http://www.docgrayson.com/
How To Sell Anything Online
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Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Pikacrd:

Thanks for the complement. I do appreciate it. I would like to talk to you as well about the business side of magic or anything else that you (or others) would like to discuss.

I try to be as open and available to people as I possibly can and give back to magic what it has given to me. Please feel free to PM me or simply e-mail me at:

magic4u02@aol.com

I would be happy to chat with you more in depth.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Tod Todson
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For those using the Popcorn Dye Box, I assume you incorporate that trick as part of your instruction?

How difficult is it to get some of the companies to sell you at wholesale? What are their requirements?

Thanks, good topic,
Tod
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
<BR><BR>
Shawn Farquhar
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Wow you folks have some great ideas, but to be honest it seems like a lot of work to make a few extra bucks. I spent three months video taping my shows and another three weeks in a studio setting to create an interactive DVD of magic. It features sample video of my show, optical illusions, interactive magic effects like the princess card trick and a few hidden easter eggs just for fun. It cost me less than a dollar a piece to have them professionally produced and I sell them for $15.00 each and do quite well...in fact very well...


Cheers,

Shawn "less effort more bucks...happy fans" Farquhar

PCAM 2005 convention producer "We're going to Sea!"
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Shawn,

I am with you. My kits take nothing to produce and cost me less then 2 bucks total. Since I am a designer, I design my own fold-over header design and just print it out and staple it to the bag. That is all there is to it. I keep things as simple as I can and enjoy a nice profit from it.

I also do an optical illusion interactive sequence in my festival shows. It has gone over so well that I am desiogning a booklet all on optical illusions people can do at home. This also only cost me time to put together and little to nothing to print out. It is soemthing people want and I can provide to them. It also has my information all over it and acts as a great marketing tool.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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pikacrd
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Shawn,

If you don't mind can you share with us who you use to have your DVD's produced? I am currently looking for a new source to have the work outsourced with. I have a partner that I work with on special projects and we are looking into having a DVD of some of our "original" ideas done. I have 2 production cameras and lighting so the filming of the work is not an issue. I have a mid range of technical ability so getting it cut and pieced together in a professional manner is a concern. I tend to be very critical of myself and the work that I do so if and when I do put something out for the magic community I want it to be of the highest standards, and I really do not want to do the burning of the DVDs myself or the printing on the DVD’s. I have interviewed 4 companies that do this type of work and all of them come in well over a buck a DVD.

Regarding getting a wholesale agreement with a magic vendor, I do have some experience here as I have owned small magic shops in the past. Here is the high level view of what you will need to work with people like Murphy’s, Mak Magic, or Magic City:

First off all of them require a business license and federal tax ID number. Some of them will require photos of your store front, or copies of your add in the local yellow pages to show that you are indeed a real business. Most of them will also ask for references of the other vendors that you are working with. Minimum order amounts will also be established usually your first order will be the most expensive with subsequent orders being less but still having a minimum. If you want to set up net 30 accounts you will have to fill out a credit form. It can sometimes be a hassle to work with some of the vendors as mentioned above in one of the posts, but that is because most of these companies are very used to getting calls from Magicians wanting to get a break in prices. Here is the rub on all of this, even if your state or community requires you to carry a license to be a performing magician and hold a business license that does not mean that you are going to be able to set up an account. Only when you get that federal tax ID and can prove that you are a magic shop are you on the path to really getting this going. If you have that ID you are going to have to pay sales tax and charge sales tax on your items when sold. That is why I have decided to use the connection with the magic shop that I work with for my BOR sales. I do not want the hassle of dealing with the IRS.

Hope it helps
“Indubitably, Magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics”. William S. Burroughs 1914-1997 American Writer
Tod Todson
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Pikacrd, your post was very helpful. Others (Ken, et al) have this same experience getting wholesale orders?

Thanks,
Tod
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
<BR><BR>
MagicalPirate
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You won't be paying sales tax as you are purchasing wholesale and you will only be required to collect sales tax for the state you are selling in. If you can work out a deal with your local magic shop that would work except for it to be worth it to them you will need to pay a premium above wholesale cost. Most of the sources that we have been talking about aren't the big magic supply houses and they have a lower standard for selling to you than the ones you mentioned.

Martin Smile
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
http://www.thehypnoguy.com/HYPNORESOURCES
http://www.docgrayson.com/
How To Sell Anything Online
http://tub.bz/?r=1z
Copyright to my own words retained 100%.
Shawn Farquhar
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I created the DVD myself using Adobe Premiere 7.0 and Adobe Encore. I own a few Cannon GL-1's and all of the editing was done on my Toshiba laptop.

I have used a lot of companies in the past but the fastest, easiest to work with and most economical is 12ZCD. You will find his website is very simple and the pricing is straight forward. My last order was for 5000 DVD's and the cost including the shipping was $5009.00. I do not use Amary covers or Jewel cases. I have them make a full color cardboard sleeve. This is an atractive package and best of all it is small and non breakable. On a ship these are huge concerns. In a box 6" x 6" x 28" I can hold 400 DVD's...that's $6000 worth of product! Which means $5000 initial cost can bring in $75,000.00...

My contact at 12ZCD is Kent Jarnig.

Cheers,

Shawn Farquhar

Producer of P-SEA-AM 2005 "We're going to Sea!"
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