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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Value, price, worth, and $4500 d'lites (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tom Cutts
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Am I missing something


Since you asked, you sure are. See, when your "analogy" is found to be falsely founded your "argument" begins to take on that same trait. That is the point of finding out the realities of the situation.

More to the point, unless you would indeed buy anything at $4,500 for your magic, your POV is rather pointless to me. My concern is that you throw out these half facts which turn out to be partially, mostly, or in some cases totally unfounded and in doing so you mislead others.

I really don't have the incling to school you further on the economic law of supply and demand. If you don't get it or are unwilling to get it, I can help you no further to understanding the realities of economics.

Suffice to say, we need to hear from people who have purchased this or are true, potential customers. The rest are just idle gossips.

Cheers,

Tom
LeeAlex2002
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Very interesting reading and arguments on both sides...
Before we go any further can someone enlighten me on the original effect in question?
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

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salsa_dancer
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On 2004-09-24 19:53, LeeAlex2002 wrote:
Very interesting reading and arguments on both sides...
Before we go any further can someone enlighten me on the original effect in question?


You mean we are arguing about a real effect?? Smile
LeeAlex2002
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On 2004-09-02 14:25, Adam wrote:

This debate came to a boiling point when a routine using d’lites was advertised at $4500 bucks, while some thought it must be a mistake for $45.00 (they were wrong; it really is $4500).


Salsa Dancer: I presume there really is such an effect, but what it is I don't know!
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Lee Alex

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Whit Haydn
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It is a wonderful full professional routine by Kerry Pollack, the centerpiece of his act for years. It uses a very sophisticated electronic system to achieve its effect. It has very little to do with d'lites actually, but does involve many similar looking bright led's in a glass and on the body that are electronically controlled to produce a comedy effect of drinking a glass full of tiny lights.
meilechl
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The discussion was inspired by, but not exclusive to, the D'lite routine.
LeeAlex2002
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I checked out Wireless Wizardry but apart from the Mug there was n0othing on there for $4,500... am I missing something?
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Lee Alex

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Michael Dustman
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Check it out at the Hocus Pocus site
LeeAlex2002
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On 2004-09-26 18:25, Michael Dustman wrote:
Check it out at the Hocus Pocus site


Thanks for that. I had actually seen the advert before, but had overlooked the price.

The mug only is available for $650.00 direct from Wireless Wizardry.
The other accessories listed are available for around $20.00 each.
Does the chest light board justify this price label ( along with the routine and labour that Kerry has put into developing this routine?).
Does anyone want to pay so much for an act that will not be original to them?
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

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Michael Dustman
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Hence the 4 pages of diatribe here and 2 or 3 back in the Good the Bad and the Garbage.
mplegare
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Hang on, I have to strech out after benchpressing this thread... (shake it off, son, shake it off)...

Tangents:

I was raised in the other small town in Tennessee, Whit. There were only two back then, remember? Smile

Price *can* be irrelevant to whether or not you see value in the item, effect, piece, book, etc. Price *is*, however, what you're going to have to shell out in order to obtain, make, or otherwise acquire same. Sometimes it isn't monetary - Whit's 'price' for the ball dropper involved proving himself plus a bit of cash, the 'price' for anything at http://www.yourmagicstorehere.com involves knowing how to operate a keyboard and trusting the Post and Secure Online Ordering.

The only way both sides of an argument can look down their noses at each other is if they're on the same level, and both are leaning back a bit. Maybe that's what's happening here?

Back when I got my first pair of D'Lights, I had an idea for a 'catching fireflies' routine using 'em... but I'd need the golden ones... and how do I collect 'em, and how do I get the lights to all flash out of synch, and what if I want 'em to appear here and here and here... a long perusal of the electronics catalogs and talking to engineers I know slowly raised the estimated price of development out of my then-possible price range of 5 years ago... so I can understand why this routine is priced the way it is.

Which leads me to something... A lot of magicians slog through much 'cheap crap' before they get to the good stuff, and even in regard to thumb tips, a cheap one simply is *not* as good as a pricier one (Loftus vs. Vernet, and then Vernet vs. Custom-Modeled-on-Your-Own-Thumb thumb tip) but in the wrong, uh, hands, even the most expensive thumb tip can look like crap. Just like a Stratocaster in the wrong hands sounds worse than the cheap student steel six string from high school... if the cheap six string is in the hands of, say, Clapton.

I have no doubts that this routine, in the hands of someone who understands timing, pacing, comedy and presentation is worth far more than $4500.

And I have no doubts that in the *wrong* hands it's not. And I'm not even talking about an 'untalented' magician (being one myself, I can't!)... I mean in the hands of someone for whom it wouldn't be a good 'fit'.

Geez, I'm rambling. Well, what do you expect from a Fine Arts Major? Smile

Let's try this:

Value = (Entertainment + Fit) / Cost

Like I said, Fine Arts Major...

Tobias!
Proving that six years of college was NOT in vain!
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - http://www.adequateblog.today.com - you know you want to.
Whit Haydn
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Proving that six years of college was NOT in vain!


Another fortune p****d away! Smile
Bill Hallahan
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Whit Haydn wrote:
Quote:
It is a wonderful full professional routine by Kerry Pollack, the centerpiece of his act for years. It uses a very sophisticated electronic system to achieve its effect. It has very little to do with d'lites actually, but does involve many similar looking bright led's in a glass and on the body that are electronically controlled to produce a comedy effect of drinking a glass full of tiny lights.

If this is at all like I'm picturing, the engineering time, the hardware, and the programming would cost much more than $4500 dollars. Add to that a well thought out and audience-honed and tested routine, and this is a bargain. Of course, as Tom Cutts pointed out, it's only for the right buyer.

I hope the routine is funny. I’ve always liked light comedy.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
Whit Haydn
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Bill:

"light comedy"

LOL

Kerry could use that line as a title for his routine!
silverfire9
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I finally read through all four pages of this thread. I debated about chiming in or not, and decided to go ahead and do it. I have only a couple points to make, so this shouldn't take too long. I hope.

First off, price vs. value. Yes, there is a difference. If I have an heirloom (no, not the Underground Collective effect) from my grandmother, it has value to me. Now, perhaps the heirloom only cost ten cents when she bought it. The value it has to me makes it worth, to me, more than ten cents.

Conversely, let's say my sister buys me an ugly tie for Christmas. It cost $20. I hate it and would never wear it. The value, to me, is much *less* than $20.

Value is subjective. Price is objective. Granted, price can be based on perceived value, but that's tricky. The perceived value of any given thing can go up or down without much notice. It's much easier and simpler to base price on the costs of production, marketing, and fulfillment. If it costs $7 to make the tie, 50 cents per tie for marketing, and $1 to get it to the customer, that means we have $8.50 we *have* to make on it. So we price it at $20, $10 if we're having a huge sale.

That's a fairly reasonable price, imo, even for a tie I consider ugly. But what if it only costs $3 to make the tie? Then the same price becomes a little less reasonable. And what if the price for the $3 tie is $75.95? Then the price is unreasonable unless there's enough perceived value.

Say that the line of clothing the tie is in has a lot of status. Then you'll get people willing to pay your price, as long as the status is high enough.

Or let's say that it's *not* an ugly tie. It's an incredibly beautiful tie, and works with just about any outfit, adding that "touch of class." In that case, again, you'll get people willing to pay the high price for the oh-so-perfect tie.

Basically, the higher the price climbs above the costs of production, etc., the more value it needs to have. If the value is *less* than the price, people won't buy. If the value is right at the price, it's iffy. Some will, some won't. You want to get the value above the price.

Now, the value of the D'Lite routine mentioned at the beginning may be greater than the price for some people. If that's so, more power to them. What I understood this discussion to be about, however, was not that one routine. It was about pricing strategies in magic. And I have to say that I see a lot of stuff that's priced higher than the value.

On to my next point (thought I'd never get there, huh?). Some of the participants in this discussion have mentioned that, back when they were starting, magic wasn't "cheap" or easy to get started in, and that they had to "prove themselves" before being taught anything.

That's all well and good, but ... so what?

I don't mean to be rude or inconsiderate. The point is, that's then and this is now. Things have changed. This is equivalent to telling a schoolkid, "Back when I was a kid, I had to hike ten miles to school. Uphill both ways. In the snow, too. You wouldn't believe those summer blizzards ... "

Yes, if you're determined enough, like Payne, you can make your own way and get into magic despite being poor. Should you have to, though? I don't think so.

Isaac Newton once said that he wouldn't have been able to do what he did without the people who'd gone before him. On the shoulders of giants. If magic is made too difficult to get into, too expensive, there are no giants to stand on. You have to reinvent the wheel, each and every time.

Is the current state of magic perfect? No, of course not. Is it better than how it was? In some ways, it is, and in other ways, it isn't. Information is more accessible now, which allows people to not have to reinvent the wheel. At the same time, it allows people who aren't going to do anything with what they learn to learn.

Is that really such a bad thing, though? Even if they don't do anything in magic, I feel that their learning is still useful. No such thing as useless knowledge, imo.

Information becoming more accessible is part of what led to the world we live in. Back in the Dark Ages, many people actively strived to keep information away from the "common people." Even to the point of destroying the information.

That kept us in the Dark Ages for a long while. Gradually, attitudes changed, and information and knowledge started becoming accessible again. And after a while, progress was made. New information was discovered, new inventions made. And look where we are now.

Yes, that's overly simplified, but it makes my point. Smile

By keeping everything closely guarded, what future giants are we stunting? Granted, I don't think there's much real danger of that, but you never know. Perhaps there's some poor magician out there who would, if he could afford it, buy that D'Lite routine and make something even greater out of it. Only, thanks to the pricing putting it out of his hands, he has to reinvent the wheel.

The automobile will have to wait.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I think all tricks and effects should be free and distributed to everyone. I'm in favor of a balance between respecting intellectual property, making profits, and keeping things accessible. I don't agree with the idea of pricing things deliberately sky high, though. It's all well and good to say that it keeps it out of the hands of people who won't/can't use it, but it also keeps it out of the hands of those who *could* use it to good effect, but can't afford it.

Instead, they have to make do with a cheaper method. And by the time the price is lowered, or they get enough money, the opportune time for them to use it may have passed. Or perhaps it's cliche now. Or ...

One last thing before I shut up. The people whose opinion is most valuable here are those who might or might not buy something expensive. Those who definitely *would* buy it are biased in favor of its being reasonably priced, and those who definitely *wouldn't* buy it are biased in favor of its being unreasonably priced.

If I had the money and if it fit into my act, I might buy something priced like the D'Lite routine. Or I might not. It all depends. Right now, I definitely wouldn't buy it; primarily because I'm broke. But if I were able to afford it, and I deemed the value higher than the price ...
Stuart Hooper
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Why would anyone sell anything with "a value higher than the price"?

The below comments are to the general audience.

There is nothing 'evil' about making a profit. There is nothing intristically wrong with trying to get as much money for your work as you can.

Simple, if you don't like the price for something, don't buy it.

That doesn't satisfy many here, though. And this is funny part. People saying that "it's not fair" that things are priced to high, are basically saying, I *need* this effect, or *I want it very badly*, but I simply don't have the money.

Don't you realize that you're proving the high value of the thing right there?

Let's say the someone puts a product on sale, and it costs $X. If people look at it and say, woah, that is a lot of money, forget that, then you know you've probably got an overpriced product. However, if people stick around, and go anywhere from pleading for you to drop the price, to whining that life isn't fair, you've probably got yourself a winner Smile.

Now, in some cases, the smart business thing to do in the above senario IS to lower the price and sell to millions of people. However, in some markets, there is added value to the customers BECAUSE of the exlusivity of the product.

I am in the developing business, as well as constructing something to get into the hotel business, and setting up a magic business. In any of those cases, I do not, and will not sell "Mcdonald's Hamburger's" if you will. That works for them. In my case, you cannot find my development on the internet, or in guide books, or even get there without knowing someone first. The place is not even open, and there has been ZERO marketing, or attempt to sell anything, and already in the last year we have sold several lots for over one *thousand* percent profits. It is insane.

Different things work for different people. But I for one am ALL FOR some high-end magic. Mediocrity is so dreadfully crass, after all.

By the way, my goal for Magia Tropical, SA is to have it become known as "The Creator's Press". Our books will be difficult to find, extremely expensive, and there will be paperwork to sign upon purchase. And they will sell. And YOU (as in the collective YOU who complain on this thread and elsewhere), will not be able to afford them, it seems. And you'll probably moan, and bitch, and hey, I'm sorry, it's like the photo of the old fat bald guy sitting with the half naked playmate,

Folks, you're just going to have to get used the to fact, that LIFE ISN'T FAIR.

It's not about what life does to/for you, or what life hands to you, it is about what YOU MAKE life, and what you take from it, and ultimately yes, what you decide to give back at the end.

Go read some Ayn Rand. She was naive in many ways, but she expresses what I'm trying to say beautifully.


EDIT: Failed to mention, that while I'm doing okay on Assets, there are complicated ownership/investment issues going on, I DO NOT have four grand for well, anything. Titles and stock are nice, but on my $10 a DAY salary (doesn't take much to live down here), there is no way in hell I'd buy many of these expensive products. But I think those who are selling them, and buying them are doing the right thing, and I plan to sell them, and buy them, just as soon as cash begins to flow once more Smile...
mplegare
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On 2004-10-09 01:50, whithaydn wrote:
Quote:
Proving that six years of college was NOT in vain!


Another fortune p****d away! Smile



It's ok - *small* fortune. State College. Smile
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - http://www.adequateblog.today.com - you know you want to.
blwrjw
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Since my degree is in business, it seems to me that the item is over priced *if* Kerry Pollack feels he isn't selling enough units. It depends entirely on his goals.

Barry
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The Donster
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How many people actully bought one ?
Marco S.
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4.500 bucks for a d`lite routine is outrageous and ridiculous. It that case an ID routine should cost a million bucks.
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