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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Cutting off the nose to spite the face? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jonathan Townsend
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Nor is it worth discussing at this point. Enjoy the drought. The art will progress among those who put the art ahead of their vanity.

Honestly, how does it serve the art to enable many to dilute what little magic there is? Dollars can buy you stuff. The magic comes from somewhere else.

I think of this as deciding not to offer any more of my children to those who would in turn sell them on the streets.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
explain why it's not financially worth releasing an effect.

A. Research and development costs
B. Manufacturing costs
C. Packaging costs
D. Distribution costs
E. Advertising costs
F. Knowing it is becoming a matter of when, not if, you are going to be ripped off.

What do you lose? ...the material you will never know existed.
MagicalPirate
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It would appear then that we will have to create the material the old fashion way, ourselves. Do we have to depend on the creativity of others to express our art. Its not as if they are releasing new methods just reworking that which already existed. Perhaps if we were to spend as much time studying as we spend discussing then it wouldn't matter what the next big new release is.

Martin Smile
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Bill Palmer
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I'll give you an example of where the problem lies. Viking has made the Lifesavers trick for several years now. I know what George Robinson has invested in a set of them, and he is not making a disproportionate profit when he charges what he charges. Now, a company comes through, buys one, sends it over to China and has it copied. This company gets them made very cheaply, with little precision at all. And they sell for a fraction of what it costs George to make his. So, many of his regular dealers have trouble selling George's, because the imported imitation sells for so little. Most of us know what the imitation costs, so the newbie and the fellow who can think only of his pocketbook purchase the cheap one.

The dealers are stuck with merchandise, because the internet shoppers want to save a buck. George is stuck with merchandise. The dealers then purchase the cheap one. And guess what! THEY DON'T WORK! THE INSERTS FALL OUT AT THE LEAST PROVOCATION!

But the people who purchased the imitations have already blown it for the two people who watch them perform at school, so they don't want another one. And George is stuck with the good ones. He has already paid for them. Not only that, he has to pay county and city taxes on his merchandise at the end of the year, so he is stuck with that, as well.

And this is just one example.

I know of several items that will never be marketed because they are too easy to copy. The inventors figure a reasonable markup, but they don't have the connections to have these things made overseas. Or they don't want everyone and his cat to be doing the vanishing lifesavers or Badlands Bob.

So, a few years down the road, when the legit inventors have dried up and quit producing their stuff for the magic market, you will find an "underground" of people who will be doing stuff you will NEVER be able to perform.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
meilechl
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As usual Bill comes through with a thought out factual reply. Bill, do you therefore feel that it's not worth for the creator or only for those who carry the stuff? Also, if it really isn't worth it, why do so many other creators release their products?

P.S. Contrary to what Tom (and maybe some others) thinks I'm just trying to understand the inventors' FINANCIAL point of view. I think it's TOTALLY WRONG to copy someone else's things.
Colin Gilbert
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Of course it is worth releasing new effects, that's how a lot of magicians 'top up' their earnings. But what sort of effects are going to be released in the future?
Tricks/effects have always been under threat of being copied from day one, but today the marketplace is much bigger with the arrival of the Internet. With instant online purchasing a lot of damage is done before the 'owner' of an effect gets to even hear about it. The only 'protection' an inventor has is that 'the magazines' will not let a retailer advertise with them if they are found to be selling 'knock-off's'. Or so I was led to believe. I have found out since this is not the case. No such 'rule' exists. Maxwell openly and somewhat proudly, admits on the 'Genii' forum to selling knock-off's. Everyone knows the ethics (or lack of ethics) of Magic Makers and that they supply Penguin yet they still get advertising space in Genii and elsewhere. So as an inventor, In the words of Richard Kaufman himself 'You're on your own kid'.
Churn out the usual stuff for the kids but keep the good stuff for yourself or the close few who you trust.
It is, I'm afraid, as simple as that.
Kent Messmer
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Here's a question... How many of you purchase only Kleenex brand kleenex or the original creator of toothpaste or for that matter only the original of anything? If you don't you too are contributing to the "rip off" world.

The main difference between the above and the magic creations is that most of them took the legal steps to protect their items as long as they could.

I am not saying these knock offer's are right but I don't see any threads from other industries crying about this (and they are being knocked off too) let alone as many uneffected, uninvolved parties as in the magic world.

Just wondering
Colin Gilbert
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Yes, I am quite upset to have my effect 'ripped off'
as are 'Kleenex' etc. etc. But how many 'rip-off's' are being wrongly advertised as being 'authorised' by the originator? I can think of only one. This is the latest weapon being used to peddle copies. So if you want to only buy genuine effects and thereby support the original creator of that effect how will you know which are genuine and which are 'Knock-off's' if they are all 'Authorised'.
Kent Messmer
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You are absolutely right. In fact, since they are advertising the rip-offs as "authorised", when they are not, they are violating a "printed law" of false advertising and a suite like this could hold up in court. There could also be some mail fraud involved as the magazines are sent through the mail.

As far as the rip-offs being made to stop manufacturing and selling un-patented items there would not be a very good case.

Maybe the false advertising and mail fraud would be a good way to stop some of them.??

Kent
meilechl
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Colin, bear in mind (in light of the recent revelations) that in this instance they didn't knowingly rip you off. To the best of their knowledge it was an authorised version. So, at least in this case, the word authorised was not a new weapon but a mistake.

Anyway, why don't you release the China Wall trick? Are you really afraid of getting ripped off (when? by whom?) or is it just a way of getting back? If that is the case, aren't you, too, losing out in sales? Hence the title of this thread.
Big Al Jnr
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Meilechl, I think you have it all wrong mate.

I bought Colin's linking Polos (lifesavers) effect direct from Colin and the gimmick is great. I happened to see it on the penguin site and mentioned this to Colin, he then told me this was a rip off of his effect. I was talking about this in the local magic shop one Saturday afternoon and someone who I've never seen before was in the shop and he said he had the effect and though it was poor, he didn't realise he had a rip off gimmick, until he'd heard me talking about it. He said the gimick was poor and it had split within a few performances. That guy thought the effect sucked because he didn't have the 'real' gimmick, he had a 'rip off'. that's THE POINT meilechl! Colin has lost out on sales because that guy told everyone that the gimmick was crap so they didn't even buy the rip off version, let alone the real version, it's simple! THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL LOSS COMES THROUGH THE KNOCK ON EFFECT, if you bought something that was crap and you saw another effect from the same inventor would you buy that? I doubt it, by association that's going to be crap aswell, therfore sales of the 'next' legitimate product will be reduced, affecting the financial viability of the product. If each and every product released is ripped of then eventually 'your name' becomes associated with them and no-one buys your products.

meilechl you're out on a branch on your own and sawing furiously, put the saw away man!
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. George Bernard Shaw.
Tom Cutts
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in this instance they didn't knowingly rip you off. To the best of their knowledge it was an authorised version.

A'hem... and when they were told it was not authorized they waited almost a week to make the correction. They know exactly what they are doing.

But please, keep sawing. I'm sure you will cling to your branch, even as it plummits to the ground.
Colin Gilbert
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So, at least in this case, the word authorised was not a new weapon but a mistake.

[Firstly this was no mistake. Penguin never contacted me direct. They did the deal in my absence with Gerald of Magic City. I had no knowledge of the arrangement. And they never paid up. No mistake]

Anyway, why don't you release the China Wall trick? Are you really afraid of getting ripped off (when? by whom?) or is it just a way of getting back? If that is the case, aren't you, too, losing out in sales? Hence the title of this thread.

I am not purlely in this for the money. I treat it as a sometimes paying hobby. I am not a magician. Other people may call me a magician after a performance, that is their choice. You are not a magician because you think you are, you are only a magician when your audience says you are.
You can be appear to be magician by buying 'stuff' from a web-site' or a 'magic shop' and demonstrating to other people how to do someone elses work, but that will become boring for you and everyone that knows you someday.
You have to put your mind into the way your audience sees you. For example : They are watching you now, but, lets say they have just left their computer having surfed the net, looked at web-cams with live pictures from the other side of the globe. Live! Micro-chip technology etc.etc. Instant everything. Wam! Bam! Thank-you mam!
They then go to a resturant for a meal and you show up and say 'pick a card'. Wow, that is gonna blow thier minds when you produce it in some fantastic fashion. I've seen this happen over and over and I STILL feel embarassed for the poor buggers! But maybe they are just starting, they don't know any other or better. Just like the young Penguin customers today, they don't know any better. That is why I bare no malice to anyone that has bought Magic Mints from Penguin. It is a 'good' effect and at that price I would have done the same if I was twelve. But although Maxwell does his bit for charity ( i.e. the bit about sick kids etc. on the Penguin site) A man with his lack of morals and ethics shouldn't be allowed anywhere near kids. He also 'ocasionally mentions' about his good work for the 'troops'.
Which side? There is only one lot of 'troops' that I know of at the moment that rob, cheat, steal and hurt people they have never known or met.

One of the oldest sayings that always stands true:- You will reap what you sow. (unless Daddy's got big enough pockets to buy you a stairway to heaven).
meilechl
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If you're not in it for the money why don't you release your effects free of charge? I know many magicians (including Hideo Kato, Alex Hui, Zach Allen, Florian Rago and myself, to name but a few) have released effects for nothing.

If I'd released something and it got ripped off I'd do anything legally possible (I can't guarantee the 'legally' part) to get back my money and at the thief. But, and this is where we differ, if I'd have any other effects I wouldn't hold them back as long as it'd be financially worthwhile to produce. What would I gain from holding back? Whom would I hurt other than myself?

And Big Al Jnr, it's you that has it wrong. I know that Colin lost out in sales. My point was that it'll still be worth his while to release other effects. I don't think I'm out on a limb with that - look at how many magicians release stuff and risk being ripped off. They all agree to me that it's worth it.
Big Al Jnr
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Tom you're so right, meilechl is merrily sawing away.

meilechl, re-read my posting above, ITS THE KNOCK ON EFFECT! The Knock On effect! Maybe that loses something in translation to American English, but in the UK, the Queens English, this means "What will happen in the future as a direct result of the actions which have preceeded." i.e. No-one will buy stuff if you're associated with crap, Q. E. D.

Regards

Al.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. George Bernard Shaw.
Colin Gilbert
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I will release effects. But I will be very, very careful in the future as to what I let go 'public' and what I sell or give away to a chosen few that I can trust. What you need to understand here is that this last fiasco with Penguin will not be felt by many magicians for a while. It will slowly become apparent when people begin to realise the absence of 'new' and 'worthwhile' effects in magic shops and on dealers tables. 'New' effects will still keep turning up of course they will, but will they be worthwhile buying/performing? They probably will only be suitable for wide eyed newcomers. Nothing wrong in that. I was once one of them. Weren't we all?
Kent Messmer
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Get a patent like the rest of the inventing/manufacturing world. At least then you can do something about it. Yes they cost a lot but in the long run you will win.

Lets figure this out. First let me say that no one in business for themselves ever gets paid what they are worth.

Lets take an item that will retail for $30.00. Most retailers have a 100% mark up so this item would cost them $15.00
Lets assume that the distributer has the same mark up so his cost is $7.50.
If the manufacturer also uses this percentage $3.75 would be his cost. (I use these figures because a product I have created ends up close the them)

Now again I know that a $3.75 profit is not much, especially if you try to count your time, but hear me out, the day will come.

The average patent will be about $8000.00.

If the “creator/inventor/manufacture” (because most likely until the cash starts coming in you will be all of these) sells exclusively the first batch it would look like this...

$30.00 less the $3.75 cost = $26.25 profit.

$8000.00 divided by $26.25 = about 305 units.

The magic Café has over 14000 members could you sell to half of them, a third or even twentyfive percent? That's 3500 people x (at this point you might hire them made) $7.50 = $26,250.00 - $9143.75 (your first 305 units) = over $17,000.00.

This gets you back all of your investment plus now you have a legal leg to stand on.

If a company “knocks off” your product. Your attorney sends them a letter telling them to cease and desist. If they do not treble damages can be awarded.

Hey just my 2¢ worth (again)
Colin Gilbert
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Lets leave it at that then.
wayno
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Colin, I can appreciate your frustration with Genii. I tried to gain as much awareness of the situation out there for you.

As for Richard stopping the advertisments, and IBM, etc. I had initially supported that. And still do.

However, I can tell you that the LARGE majority of Penguin's customers have never heard of Genii Magazine, or Richard Kaufman. They have never heard of SAM or IBM. They have no clue what The Café is either.
Wayne Stevenson
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Colin Gilbert
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That is one **** of a shirt! Talk about misdirection!

I am not talking about Penguin or Lifesavers or Magic bloody Mints anymore.
It's got like two bald men fighting over a comb.

See how mellow I am? The Prozac must have kicked in.
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