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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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Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2004-09-03 19:08, Mister Mystery wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-09-03 15:53, whithaydn wrote:

In response to Regan's comments, I just have to say that no great magician would have been stopped from becoming a magician because he couldn't afford the props. Nothing could stop them. That is why they are great. Making it more difficult for people to get into magic is not a bad thing.

With all due respect sir, I don't know how you could know this.

As far as the billiard ball story goes, you were able to buy the billiard ball holder for a much lower price because you were judged qualified to use it. This was never mentioned with the thumbtip scenario. I might think differently if I were told that they are priced $1,000 for novices, but once you prove your dedication to the art, then the price drops substantially. Had Mr. Flosso been asking $1,000 for that ball holder and that was the final price, no discounts no matter what, I'm sure it would have been disappointing for to you to walk out of his shop empty handed that day. You might have had the determination to work even harder, save up and do whatever it took to get that ball holder, but many would not. And remember, we're only talking about thumbtips and ball holders right now. You would have had to save for a long time to get enough magic to do a close up performance, not to mention the larger, more expensive props you would need if you get into stage magic.

Regan

If little things like that can stop you, then you are not cut out for show business which has a thousand much more costly and hurtful walls to climb, and traps and snares in which to fall. There is heartbreak, rejection and difficulties both on the way up and the way down.

If you can do anything other than magic for a living and still be happy, then I urge everyone listening to do that other thing with all my heart. If you can't, well, welcome to the club!

There is also lots of fun, and surprising advantages, and wonderful people to accompany you.

To answer your question, I know a hundred magicians who faced those same kind of obstacles and overcame them. They didn't have a choice. They smitten by the love our peculiar little art.

You are obviously not aware of how difficult it was to get into magic in the fifties and sixties. The type of obstacles you describe were the norm, not the exception.

I grew up in a small town in Tennessee, and there were no magic shops within driving range. I knew of no magic catalogs, or mail order houses. I was not in touch with any magic clubs. There was no one in town that I knew of who shared my interest. I learned from books I found in the town library. This was the experience of many, many magicians who started back then.

There were, of course, fewer magicians back then, and as someone mentioned earlier--that is not necessarily a bad thing.
pikacrd
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Well I have 30 seconds to get back into this discussion so here I go.

My first comment is this Bball is a friend of mine who I consider to be one of the most talented writers that I have ever met in all of magic and comedy. He has a professional resume that is very noteworthy and he is an accomplished magician. But I do not agree with him on this topic. Believe me he has called me off line and I have spent the last hour attempting to talk some sense into him. But the man is stubborn. Here are the reasons that I do not agree with what he is saying.

BBall says “I'm sorry, but one reason people are leaving out why these products are priced so high, is because the person wants to make money. I'll say it again the person wants to make money. He perceives the value of his effect and puts it on a pedestal so that he will be greatly compensated for it.”

I say “yes” the creator of an effect does want to be compensated for there hard work and effort that they put into there creation. But what BBall is failing to recognize here is that if the creator put his work out for a smaller price more would be sold and the creator would make more money even if each piece was sold at a smaller price. This is the concept for bulk pricing objects. Just take a look at the original D’Lite how many millions of dollars did Mr. Silano make? His product made a huge impact on the market place and he made a killing. The other problem that I have with this statement is that it is the opposite of what he says in a post to come.


BBall says “value is not set by the person who sells the object, it is set by the person who purchases it”

I say “no” this is not the case the value of the routine is set by the professional who created the effect and the supporting writing of the effect. If what BBall says was correct I could walk into any store and tell the sales person how I valued a gallon of milk and he would have to sell it to me at that price. Our economic system is not set up in this manner.

BBall says “I have purchased many extremely high priced effects, and have been happy with the purchases and not with others. I still, however, disagree for the reasons for these prices. If a person wants to limit the availability, there are many other ways to do it. If he wants to make money off it, however, raise the price, but state that as your reason. It would be understood, people have to make money.”

I say this seems like a contradiction of earlier statements. If the issue here is if something is worth x price or not will the masses understand that people have to make money? I don’t think so because the masses have become used to getting everything that they want without always working for it or paying for it just look at Kazza or other file sharing services that some have deemed ok the world of magic is no different. (Please do not misunderstand what I am saying here I am not saying that all or even most magicians have not worked hard but there are those who want everything handed to them without putting in the time and effort and will complain about the price without trying to work for it the 10% in the crowd knows who they are and I am sure I will here from them)

I will at this point stop using BBall as an example and make a point of my own regarding magic and magic pricing. Magic is priced by more than one person in a lot of instances it is not just the creator who sets the price. What is not seen are the behind the green curtain negotiations that go on between the creator and distributors of magic companies like Murphy’s, and Mak just two companies there are several. These companies negotiate with the creator for a lower than wholesale price of an effect and then add a markup to the product and sell it to the magic shops who have to add there % on to keep in business (standard is around 40%) Not much when you are talking about a $20 trick at the high end this % is much lower. With on-line companies driving prices down you are seeing fewer and fewer good magic shops around the country real brick and mortar places that you can go into and see the latest and greatest effect. This is part of the problem of exclusivity that I mentioned in an earlier post. With these shops closing down fewer and fewer real mentors are around to help the younger generation of magicians coming up. Please remember this the next time you walk into your local shop and ask to see something and then just go out and buy it on-line. (Sorry for the rant but the on-line shops are killing good people who have been the backbone for the magic industry for years and years) Back to the point at hand pricing and the pricing of a routine that some see as too expensive. With this particular trick in mind I ask that you remember that this is not just a prop it is a complete routine you are not just paying for the bits and pieces you are paying for the patter and real working material behind the effect. I have seen it posted that this should not matter and related to a book that you can buy for $5 at the local book store, it is not the same. Think of it this way, when you were in high school and the drama department put on it’s version of Oklahoma, they had to pay to do so. It is a royalty to the creator or the creator’s family for using that persons work. Every other form of performing art gets the fact that you should pay for intellectual material. Why has it taken so long for magic to catch up? You would think that an art form that has had more books written about it than all of the other arts combined we would be leading the way on this matter, but no we are still behind the times. The trick is expensive, and not for everyone not because it is not a good quality trick but because it is not meant for everyone. Would I buy it no because it does not work for me did not because it is a bad trick. Is it wrong for things to be put up on a pedestal not at all there are several limited edition props around that are very expensive and are not intended to be owned by everyone that is why they are limited and expensive.

Well that is much longer than 30 seconds and I am sure that people are getting sick of me going on and on. I wish you all of the best and hope to still have BBall as a friend after he reads this.

Take care.
“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
Bill Hallahan
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Bball5630 wrote:
Quote:
Bill Hallahan repeatedly brings up in his post that the creator can do anything he wants with the price. Of course, no one has argued that.

Here is the context for that repeated statement:

Adam wrote:
Quote:
1) The reaction against the $4500 d’lites is probably an expression of a feeling that has been bubbling under the surface for a while amongst consumers. The feeling is that there is an ever-increasing commercialisation of the magic-scene, which leads to a great measure of exploitation of consumers. That L&L produce on four DVDs material that could have fit onto one or two DVDs (based on the reviews) is getting on people’s nerves; that a routine with d’lites is being marketed at $4500 makes people wonder “do they really think I’m stupid?” (and then, when they think back to their magic-drawer chock full of evidence that they HAVE proven to be ‘that stupid’, feel their blood boil); and that on a weekly basis the next great thing is hailed by the big-wigs of magic, thereby placing enormous strain on the pockets of those who don’t want to feel left out – all of this leads consumers to feel that magic dealers are taking them for a ride.

I maintain that it is perfectly sensible, ethical, and ok in every sense of the word, for the seller of a magical creation, a performance piece, to charge whatever they wish, and the consumer has no logical reason to become angry about the price.

Bball5630 wrote:
Quote:
To this extreme, we had a hurricane hit down here recently, and many places were out of power for close to a week. We had to go out to eat as everyone did here. Bob Evans down the road changed their prices, so much to where my breakfast of bacon and eggs was priced at over twenty dollars. The three of us eating was over seventy. Now according to Bill's post this would be okay. He goes on to discuss Supply and Demand.

My post doesn't state, or even imply, that this is ok.

Certainly there are ethical issues related to pricing food, shelter, medical care, drugs, etc. It’s also obvious that these ethical issues don't apply to a seller setting the price of his or her artistic creation.

If it's perfectly ethical not to sell something at all, how can it be unethical to set a high price?
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"
bishthemagish
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I worked and sold magic in my Fathers magic shop for over 15 years. A lot of that time I spent giving the magicians that came into the shop attention. And my time. When I would do this it was easier to sell them something.

Having said that... I break the magic world of magicians down into three groups...

The first group is the performing magicians. They do shows and often make a living off magic. They don't seem to care what something costs. Because they are always on the look out for good material to add to their act. So when they buy something it is an investment. They make their money back when they do shows.

The second group is the part time pro. They have a day job and do shows on the side. They often have more money to spend because they have the ability to say no to a low paying show because they have a job that pays the bills. This group enjoys magic for fun and makes money with it. The used to complain about things from time to time. Mostly they were interested in what was new... They are having fun with magic and making money.

The third person is the magic pretender. They have a day job and they do not do shows. They collect magic mostly and do magic for friends but they do not perform shows. Often they say they do but do not perform. Often I have found this group very annoying when they would come into my fathers store.

They would hang around the shop watching demonstrations and ask questions. Really what they are looking for is secrets for free. They would thumb through the books and ask all sorts of questions.

I remember demo-ing an effect that used double faced cards. One of these pretenders asked... I have some double face cards at home. If it works with double face cards how much would it cost without the double faced cards?

It seemed that only when they can't figure something out they would break down and buy it.

I feel that in magic when people put something on the market they put a price on it what they feel is fare… And the prop is usually priced fare to cover the manufacturing… But often I feel that the secrets of magic are priced to low.

Getting back to the thumb tip. It is plastic and to some not worth that much. But the SECRET and how to USE IT to make magic…That is worth at least a million dollars to a performing magician that does magic to put food on the table…

We may use props but magic is more about secrets… We used to say in that old magic shop - when a person would buy a trick they get the trick for free and what they are paying for is the SECRET!
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Stuart Hooper
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I think Mr. Haydn, Mr. Bishop, and others are doing a fairly good job here, so I won't go into that side of things more, especially since at my age it seems I'm 'supposed' to be whining about how I'm entitled to everything for free.

However, I will grab one thing which seems to make magicians uncomfortable, and no one has touched here.

Bball, says, and I quote,

Quote:
My response to Stuart Hopper's post on the first page, first of all comparing a coin trick to the Mona Lisa. Come on, there are so many difference there that that shouldn't hold water. I don't need to go into those.

Funny, from a magician. Certainly there is much I have encountered in my travels of sculpture, music, painting, and architechture which I like better than what I've seen and performed of magic, though I daresay that if less magicians had attidude's like the above, (including the whining about prices) we might see some improvments.

But the Mona Lisa, I saw the original, on her lonley wall, come Bball, please help out a poor student and explain why this particular blob of paint on canvas of a long dead merchant's wife is so much greater than a good coin trick.

Say, perhaps we take the VCA plot, in one of it's original handlings, performed in proper context, with a good presentation...is the mystery in the smile of the girl more powerful than that of the coins? Are those slight turns of mouth more sensual than the thump of silver between heartbeats? I say the reverse is true! There are differences, yes, but they favor the coins.

Very simple really, having viewed both works, the coins elicit a stronger dose of the feeling we know as magic than the painting. It may vary from person to person. In fact, in my point of view, the strongest similarities between the two are that a cheap knockoff can be had for ten bucks, but the originals are priceless.

If I seem to be disrespecting painting here, you misunderstand me. It is simply that I respect magic no *less* than music, or painting or scuplture. All arts are the Art of magic, anyways, they simply use different mediums. I think what you call "the art of magic" suffers mainly from incompetent performers, public realtions issues, image problems, and most importantly a lack of self respect by the 'artists' themselves.

This sort of thing usually gets ignored, even by those I deem allies. However, I challenge you Bball, or anyone to explain to me why the difference is so huge between the canvas and our spiced up theatre. I say it is only because you folks make it so.

Did you ever notice people who read great works of literature, and don't understand them, so they assume they must be great? Ayn Rand picks up on this. Sometimes it really is good literature. Sometimes people read drivel, though, and assume it's wonderful because they don't get it, and others say it's wonderful. I have great respect for da Vinci. I don't simply bow before the Mona Lisa, because I'm told to do so, however. Art is largely a matter of taste, which we know there is know disputing, all I'm driving at here, is I wish people would stop ****ing with me because it's "THE Mona Lisa", and "JUST a coin trick."


Posted: Sep 3, 2004 11:20pm
-------------------------------

Oh, by the way, with all due respect, anyone who thinks this is off topic, I suspect doesn't really get it.

Then again, if you read my last paragraph, or the Foutainhead, you'll form your own *** conclusions about "getting" it or not... Smile
Regan
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On 2004-09-03 15:53, whithaydn wrote:
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I grew up in a small town in Tennessee, and there were no magic shops within driving range. I knew of no magic catalogs, or mail order houses. I was not in touch with any magic clubs. There was no one in town that I knew of who shared my interest. I learned from books I found in the town library. This was the experience of many, many magicians who started back then.

So, we do have something in common. That sounds like you are describing my situation exactly. Except I am from NC instead of TN. The closest library to me was some 20 miles away, and they had little of anything about magic.

Regan
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Bball5630
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I wasn't going to keep posting, as I simply posted to state my views and not change anyone's mind, but I see a post of mine was taken out of context.

Stuart, notice I said,

Quote:
My response to Stuart Hopper's post on the first page, first of all comparing a coin trick to the Mona Lisa. Come on, there are so many difference there that that shouldn't hold water. I don't need to go into those.

Notice I did not say one was more valuable than the other. I love art, I have seen the painting, I enjoyed it although I prefer other artists more. I simply stated that there are too many differences. Such as the painting is one of a kind, one could argue that a good coin trick is one of a kind. I still believe that this is not a good direct comparison. Not that one is more valuable, it's just apples and oranges. Never did I lower the value of the coin trick, and call it "just a coin trick". I noticed you spoke of literature being drivel and mentioned Ayn Rand. Next to my Tarbells is a copy of Atlas Shrugged, I enjoy this novel and do not think it's drivel. I think it is extremely well written.

Back on topic, I never said anyone should "bow" before any painting. I simply think the two can not be compared directly. Scotch and Soda has more value to me than the original Mona Lisa, but that's me. I still, however, think these can't be directly compared. So I wasn't "***ing with you", whatever vulgarity you chose to use in that quote, if you thought that, you misunderstood.
Whit Haydn
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Hey, Bish! I used to work for Al Cohen at Al's Magic in DC back in the early 70's. I pretty much agree with your analysis:

"The first group is the performing magicians.The second group is the part time pro.The third person is the magic pretender."

I do, however, think that you leave out the true lover of magic, the true amateur, who simply is a fan of magic--of its performance, its history, and its technical variations--for its own sake. These are the true intellectuals and abstractionists. I have known many like this, and actually they are among my favorite people in the world.

The world of chess is similar. There are people who make their livings off of chess (not very many), there are people who write and teach about chess and play in contests (a bunch more), there are those who play for fun and read and study it as a hobby--an exercise like working out in a gym, and there are some who are simply fans and for some reason study and learn and yet rarely play except with their computers.

Chess is almost as strange a world as magic.

And every bit as important in the maintenance of things on the planet, and the meaning of life itself.

I do not mean to be sarcastic.

Magic may not be brain surgery. But it is still a meaningful, important, and joy filled thing. I feel lucky to be allowed to spend (my wife would say waste) so much time and energy on something that fascinates me so completely.

But I do not think it a big thing. Magic is for me a wonderful, little part of the great mystery of life. It brings out the best in me, and makes me happy. It is enough.
MinnesotaChef
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This is an area that I have a little experience. It goes a little something like this.
Think of the something wonderful and special that is yours and yours alone. Something that is an expression and extension of your very soul. Imagine almost going broke trying to share it with people who will embrace it as tightly as you do. After surviving countless obstacles, setbacks, and discouraging input without quitting. How much would you charge for a glimsp of it? If someone is willing to risk all this, why shouldn't you take the risk of what you can afford to continue the process.
Before anyone complains about costs of any artistic endevor, try it yourself. See what really goes into it. Deal with the lawyers, manufacturers, and financial types. See them instead of your children's ball game. Watch how much value your free time, time with your family and friends, and hobbies adds into the final product. The things you give up or lose in the process are the real cost of trying anything along these lines.
Fail, repeat and keep at it. Not because you're greedy, but because you love what you do. Take the good and the bad, experience everything. Then decide on the value of what you do and how you got there.
You want to pay $5.00, you eat at McDonalds. You want to pay $500.00, You eat at The French Laundry. You get what you pay for, and you pay for what you appreciate. Both will fill your stomach, but which will change your life for the better? Why? Who's responsible. How was He/She capable of doing so? At what cost?
"Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but brothels.There is no point in going into them if one intends to keep one's belt buckled."- Fredric Raphael
Stuart Hooper
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Bball, I am sorry, I wasn't directing that 100% at you, you just got me started. They are different works, but what I'm saying is a great piece of music might be considered on par with a great painting, but most people, especially magicians would not par a great piece of magic with either.

I did not call Ayn Rand drivel. Was writing about how she identifies drivel in the Fountainhead. Identifies the Artistic syndrom that people seem to have. With the that book, though I forget the name, that was written by the American Council of Writers.

I apologize if I was insulting you, again, it wasn't entirely directed at you. Too many magicians do think it's "just a coin trick", and that's why we see thread where people whine about paying for beautiful ideas.

And you say you value your Scotch and Soda more the than the original Mona Lisa, good, then what would be the problem in charging higher prices for them?
bishthemagish
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I feel that magic is about performance - respecting the audience - entertaining the audience - selling the client and the audience - and respecting the secrets.

Now having said all that I grew up in a house with a professional magician. But he kept his secrets. Magic was a way of putting food on the table and it was taken very seriously.

Many people think that I had an easy time learning magic and my Dad used to teach me. Not so. My older brother wanted to learn magic at one time and my Father taught him. He was 4 years older than me. We were a family of six kids.

Well there was a big problem with my older brother keeping secrets with his boyhood friends so my Dad shut down. No more magic for the kids.

I decided I wanted to learn and I thought it would get attention from my Dad. Growing up in a house of 6 kids all needing attention.

There were no magic shops except magic inc downtown. And my fathers library was off limits. But I used to sneak in there when he was out doing a show.

So I went to the school library and built my first birthday party show out of coffee cans and cardboard tubes.

This show I started to do at kids parties for free when I was 8 years old. I was not allowed to charge money for it until my parents thought the performance was worth charging money.

After about a year I charged $5.00 for my coffee can and cardboard show.

The first trick my father let me in on was the die box and he let me use his in my coffee can show... That happened on my 13th birthday... And there is a picture of my Father with Blackstone and he is holding the large die from the die box - at my web site.

This was 5 years after my coffee can show was first performed in the local-hood... Basically - before the die box I had to prove some of my worth that I was going to keep the secrets.

I also went through the same thing with Jack Pyle, Don Alan, John Shirley and others.. I remember a three sheeters party (The three sheeters was a performers club that my parents belonged to... Members were Jack Pyle Don Alan etc)in the winter. It was a black tie event. Well being in winter in Chicago there was an ice storm.

Outside all the cars were covered with a thin sheet of ice. And the parking lot. As the party shut down I suddenly became in charge of warming up the cars and bringing them one by one to the front door.

I fetched the cars all night long. I did things like that. I washed their cars and carried props. I was what the circus acts would call "Generally useful" I wasn't paid cash money for those 15 years in the magic shop. YES I WORKED IN MY FATHERS STORE FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS FOR FREE! Or all those things I did for the performers in Chicago.

Because what I got was their trust, their friendship and later they opened up to me.

What I got was well worth more than a million dollars... And I would not trade my past for anything.

So now having said all that I feel that the secrets in magic are more value than the prop. But the entertainment value of the routine and the performance is one of the most important things of all in magic.

Because selling the entertainment to the entertainment world is how I make my living.

Does a tested routine have value to me - YES!

Does it have value to the other two groups? I feel no if they complain about the price... If they complain about the price for a tested effect - they must not do many shows - because it seems to take a magician that is doing shows to see the value!
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Paul Sherman
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A few observations:

1) Profit is not some sort of "hidden" agenda. Of course creators are out for profit...so is everyone else who sells anything. This is in no way inconsistent with people also claiming they need to cover production/distribution costs. If they didn't do that, they couldn't get ANY profit. They may not mention their profit-motive in their advertisements because of an esoteric philosophical precept sometimes expressed as "duh".

2) Every price is a "fair price". It's fair because there is no single routine/effect/book that you NEED to be a great magician. You could never read a single thing written by or about Dai Vernon and still become an amazing magician. I personally feel you'd be making your life more difficult, but there is no question that you could do it. This truth has a couple consequences. First, there's no such thing as price-gouging in magic. You can only gouge on things that people need (whether they should have bought those things before they needed them is another discussion). Second, we as a community have an enormous amount of control over the price of magic. If we stopped buying 4-DVD sets with 1 DVD's worth of solid material, people would either stop selling them, lower the prices, or put out only the good material. If you don't like overpriced crap, for God's sake, stop buying it!

3) As has amply been demonstrated on this thread, there is enough miracle material in print that every magician of every skill level could, for an extremely reasonable price, assemble a repertoire of nothing but excellent tricks, with no two magicians having exactly the same repertoire.

4) If you want it bad enough, you'll pay whatever price is asked. If you either don't want it that badly or aren't willing to save your money up, you have no right to it. Think of it this way, by NOT purchasing an effect, you're sending as strong a message to a creator as you would by purchasing it. If you're "right" and it's not worth what's being charged, other people will agree with you, the creator will start losing money, and the price will change to reflect the value.

5) If you purchase an effect which you have not seen performed or read a review of, and it's an overpriced piece of crap, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you keep doing this every time an overpriced piece of crap is marketed to you, you're almost certainly a magician.

Paul
"The finished card expert considers nothing too trivial that in any way contributes to his success..." Erdnase



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bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2004-09-07 00:07, Paul Sherman wrote:
A few observations:

1) Profit is not some sort of "hidden" agenda. Of course creators are out for profit...so is everyone else who sells anything. Paul


Well I happen to be one of those creators of my own magic routines and I use my ideas in my show. And my shows are how I make a living.

The only reason that I put my routines on DVD's was to claim what is my routines and the way I do things.

So far I have found 6 magicians that come from Chicago that claim my shellgame ending. It is not for profit and profit is not what I want out of producing my DVD's...

They are there and yes they are for sale. But I have given away more than I have sold and it would take several hundred more sales to even come close to breaking even for these DVD projects.

The new computer, Multi DVD copier, Software and the hours taping it took to produce them cost me thousands of dollars.

I also know people that write magic book and those projects are almost a break even deal as well.

My DVD's have gotten me great reviews and they do sell but If I never sell another I am a happy man because I produced them to claim what I own...

Not every artist paints for profit. And not every magician produces DVD's or writes books just for profit...

I don't and I know others that are just like me!
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meilechl
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It's been very interesting reading through both sides of the argument and there's nothing I can say that hasn't been said yet. I want to point out one thing, however. On the market there's no value, only price. Marketed items have a price according to the generally accepted marketing rules. Prices aren't reflected by an item's value (70p for a loaf of bread) but by the cost of producion and reasonable profit.

Some could argue and say that a Fender isn't worth that much, and in essence the price is reflected by its value, and they would be right. Bear in mind, however that no one denies that a Fender is overpriced. It's overpriced (and that is part of the value - the status symbol). Here we have people trying to justify the price of the D'lite routine with value and yet still claim that it's not overpriced.

If the price is set according to its value, then by nature it's bound to be overpriced (or underpriced, depending on your perspective). The only way something is not overpriced is if the price reflects the market price of similar items.

Just my 2p.
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How many times have we dreaded the read which starts "There is nothing I can say that hasn't been said..." and then in avoidance of their moment of wisdom the author goes on to attempt to add their nothing.

meilechl,

I'd love to know what country you live in, because the generally understood laws of economics obviously don't exist there. Most freemarket prices are established by exactly one thing, value.

[see Webster's:

1. a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged

2. the monetary worth of something : marketable price]

and see it here:

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?bo......amp;y=19

Yes, it is the purchaser who sets the price. All prices are negotiable, this has been proven and is proven every day. Creators are free to set any price they want and the market is free to decline that offer.

Most would say a real Fender is underpriced based on its workmanship, quality, and exceptional facillitation of what it was meant for, PLAYING. Cheaper imports, even those by Fender in an attemp to feed the birds (cheap, cheap, cheap) pale in comparison to the real thing. But then you have to know something about guitars to recognize the value within a true Fender.

Companies like Fender and Gibson, as well as multitudes of companies in the many different arts around the world, have great reputations and often mythic legacies because of the value of their product to the artist.

The big difference is that no one believes they own the equivalent to a Strat when they are buying a Chinese immitation. In magic too many in the marketplace think they are getting the same thing from a $15 cheap imitation which breaks easily and doesn't perform to the standard of the original which at $40 is a far better value if your intention is to perform.

If your intention is only to buy secrets, then of course the cheapest price is your target. But that includes the devaluation through your ignorance of the real secrets which are in the original product.

So in the end you aren't even getting the secrets you thought you were getting, so you have lost out again.

Cheers,

Tom
joeyjojo
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Tom cutts: it seemed that you wrote to meilechl in anger. he just expressed his opinion as he wrote at the end of the post.
about your post: dictionaries are for explaining words not for explaining ideas because they have to do this in a really small space. after reading soooo many long posts about this subject it is obviously not so simple to explain. so proving your thought about freemarket prices by looking it up in a dictionary is not helping either. the dictionary just avoids the question by explaining value to mean worth and price and each of these are obviously not the same (just look them up in your dictionary Smile)
it looks like this topic has influenced another thread on the board by pikacrd about de'vo. this is a good direction for the food-for-thoughts section imho.

adios,
joey
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
it seemed that you wrote to meilechl in anger.


You are entitled to your opinion. I disagree... with you and him. That is my opinion.

On other issues, fallacious comments like "...no one denies that a Fender is overpriced." are not opinion. What they are is absolutely false.

I find it indignant to say one has nothing to add and then go on to add falsehoods to a discussion.

Further, to say "Prices aren't reflected by an item's value... but by the cost of producion and reasonable profit." is to ignore the post earlier in the thread where clearly the price of a $5-$7 breakfast had gone to $20 due to the "value" of the meal more likely than the "generally accepted rule of production + reasonable profit".

Let's just say it is the rule of supply and demand. As supply goes down the demand and, therefore, the value go up. In that case, the breakfast in the wake of a disaster was, at the time, worth what was paid for it. Otherwise it wouldn't have been purchased. I do not know enough of the other details to make any kind of an ethical judgement on the pricing of the breakfast.

You claim it is complicated but I see that it is really rather simple. It has been clouded by the inclusion of some erroneous information in some posts, this is true.

Non essential products are offered for sale. You can purchase them or not, based on your perceived value. The price is somewhat immaterial... just numbers without the definition of value to give those numbers meaning.

But as they say, just my $20 worth.

Tom
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I am a working professional in a country with only a handful of magicians. there is no magic store here and I get everything from overseas (argentina and USA). it is still too expensive for me even tho' I am a professional. yes I do birthday parties and am HAPPY to get around 50 dollars for my show.
pikacrd
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Tom,
I admire the fact that you spent the time to look up the word and posted the link to the definition. But the problem that I have with this part of your post is that you took the definition that you choose to be true and did not bother to post the remainder of what this dictionary has to say about value. I think that I may have used #3 as the one to quote.

3 : relative worth, utility, or importance <a good value at the price> <had nothing of value to say>

You see I think that value is a judgment that the buyer makes as well as the seller. Using the term Value one can play both sides of the fence and say “Yup $20 on a pancake breakfast is a good price, but the person who is sitting across from him can say “$20 are you kidding it is some flower and water heated up on a grill. To the man who has all of the money in the world $20 may seem like an ok price but to the man who is working just to make ends meet $20 can seem like a huge waste of money for the same thing. Value is subjective to many things, so I guess that I agree with what Joey posted in his return to your post when he said:

“dictionaries are for explaining words not for explaining ideas because they have to do this in a really small space” and “so proving your thought about free market prices by looking it up in a dictionary is not helping either. The dictionary just avoids the question by explaining value to mean worth and price and each of these are obviously not the same”.

I think that what we are really talking about here is how some see that the seller of the trick/routine is charging too much for an effect that he created. Regardless of what philosophy of economics that you subscribe to at the end of the day what you have to ask yourself is do I Joe magician really want to spend that much on his routine, and is it worth that much to me? And if it is what am I willing to do to get the trick? Remember this is magic not breakfast, not guitars, not oil or electricity it’s magic and you do not NEED the latest and greatest trick you WANT the latest and greatest trick and if you want it you should pay for it and it should not be priced lower because YOU do not feel it’s worth it. Value is subjective what I value as priceless you could say is worthless.

By the way Tom I do have one question for you and that is if I wanted to subscribe to your magazine would you give me a discount? Smile
“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
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
3 : relative worth, utility, or importance <a good value at the price> <had nothing of value to say>


"a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged" is this not the same as "relative worth"? It is if you are making that decision with all the consideration it deserves... something I fear most in magic don't do.

Quote:
You see I think that value is a judgment that the buyer makes as well as the seller.

No argument there. See, you are actually agreeing with me... and it would appear that you agree that these "values" are what set the price.

I disagree with both you and joeyjojo that the definitions do not serve the point, the point being that regardless of what ideas you attach to "value" (as long as they are accurate) it is the idea of value which drives the numbers called price. Value establishes price, not "production + profit". By your own admissions the definition (or amount) of "fair profit" being a loose idea, malliable through perspective, would make it useless as a defining element of market price. To which was really my point.

Further providing a definition for "value" did not prove my thought about anything. It only sereved to provide a basis from which two sides could agree on a basis on which to build an understanding. Much like you and I have here. We agree that value is the personal worth one puts on something, which in turn will dictate what one is will to exchange for that thing.

Nowhere did I say "value" was established by the seller only. He brings his interpretation of value to the market in the form of price. The market, a collective of "value judges", then brings its interpretation of the value of this thing by purchasing it or not.

If it is not purchased, the price might come down or the product might be removed. That is a factor of the seller's decision if it is worth his time to produce it. IE if producing is really of value to him.

I end with this. We both agree that better judgements need to be made by buyers as to the value to them of what they intend to purchase and their responsability for their desires to purchase. No one makes us buy a magic trick.

When I was growing up we made better magic buying decisions as a whole due in part because we had the benefit of brick and mortar stores. Not that our wide eyed optimism didn't lead us astray at times, but nothing like we see complained about here.

When something came out that seemed rediculously priced, either everyone laughed at it, or someone of more experience than us explained the value of that object to someone we had no connection to, be that collector or big time pro. And you know what, we respected that person and what he told us. We took it as the truth and it turned out that is exactly what it was.

So today, when those newer in magic refuse to listen to the truths of those more experienced than they... well you know what they say about a fool and his money.

Cheers,

Tom
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