(Close Window)
Topic: No Photo...Drawing Instead.
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Mar 31, 2005 07:16AM)
My main complaint with any dealer is when they use drawings in their ad to show the effect or illusion rather than an actual photo. This always makes me very suspicious. I'm not referring to tutorial drawings but rather ones that are supposed to show what the effect looks like while being performed.

A lack of photos tells me that "A" the illusion dealer doesn't actually have the product finished and in stock (hoping to build it after you order it ) and "B" they aren't happy with what the illusion really looks like. If they aren't willing to show the effect as it really is ...why should you buy it.

Examples of this are Steve Fearsons self levitation, with the suitcoat ( note: Steve removed that drawing and replaced it with a photo of him performing it ) and the anti gravity boots. ( in the drawing a person was wearing boots and floating a foot off the ground surrounded by people. There was not ONE photo of the real effect. Who would buy that?

Any others feel the same way ?

Best Regards,

Message: Posted by: onezero1 (Apr 12, 2005 02:14PM)
True, it is dodgy but sometimes we magicians can stare at photos and footage and glean secrets before parting with our lovely hard earned wonga. This is a fruitless task with a drawing. Go on, its true, we've all done it.
Message: Posted by: Magic Nathan (Apr 20, 2005 08:57AM)
Good point but sometimes the drawing represents the fact that the prop has not even been built yet. I don't want to put my money down on some guys vision of a prop that he's waiting for me to finance. If there's a photo then I know that he had built the thing and worked the bugs out that he ran into.

These days people use computer graphics to show a prop but that's still a drawing of another nature and not a true repesentation of the working prop.

Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Apr 21, 2005 06:43PM)
I agree with Timothy-No Photo-No Purchase!!!
Message: Posted by: willem (Apr 23, 2005 05:21AM)
I like to see what I buy not a drawing
Message: Posted by: Paul D (Apr 24, 2005 06:24PM)
Sometimes when there is no Photo I just think that a picture wasnt available or maybe their Digi Cam is in the repair shop?!
Message: Posted by: Magic Nathan (Apr 25, 2005 12:56AM)
This is 2005. There are multiple ways to get an photo on a website. ( digi cams or regular photos that are scanned. ) If the product exists then there is NO reason not to have a photo of it available. There is something very fishy about the lack of a photo.

Web dealers take note.

Message: Posted by: David Todd (May 7, 2005 11:54AM)
Totally agree with you , Tim. No photo of the prop makes me lose interest .

In today's world of easy digital photography and upload to website or even formating for hard copy print catalog there really is no excuse for using line art illustrations. (and I say that as someone who draws for a living and enjoys looking at the Nelson Hahne style illustrations in old magic catalogs.) Line art has it's place in illustration work for advertising , but with magic props [i]the look[/i] of the actual prop is important , so an "artist's interpretation" of the prop is not always very helpful and can sometimes be downright deceptive (in the wrong way...... all magic is "deceptive" of course , but buying it should not be one of those areas where deception is involved ).

Steven's Magic Emporium has had an all-photo illustrated print catalog for years and their web site has photos of almost everything they sell. Hocus-Pocus has photos of most of their stuff. Viking/Collector's Workshop uses photos. A few dealers (won't name names, but you know who you are) do have an annoying habit of using PhotoShopped altered photos of some of their wares. I don't care for that approach at all. That can be just as bad as a line drawing that misrepresents a prop.

Unfortunately there are still quite a few dealers who are stuck in the past using line-art illustrations . I no longer purchase from those dealers unless I already know what the prop or gimmick is from having seen it in real life or owned one previously . Economic facts of life , guys.

Now , to reverse myself : Don't show [b]too much[/b] with the photos. One of the things I am opposed to is unprotected, no-password magic web-sites that expose the workings of a trick by displaying a photo of the gimmick/gaffe . Some magicians still don't seem to understand that internet search engines such as "Google" will cache almost everything (including images) that appear on the internet and these images will be around for years to come . Believe it or not , curious "laypeople" do in fact know how to use search engines to try to find out how tricks work. I've had people walk up to me (knowing my interest in magic) and describe an effect and exactly how it works . They found that info. on the internet. They were only curious , not looking to take up magic as a hobby or profession. Do we really need magic dealers contributing to this by displaying the working of certain props openly on the internet ? It's like when laypeople casually walk in to a mall magic shop and the shop has the Rings displayed in the glass case with the key ring clearly visible or a whole rack of TT's displayed on the shelf , etc. Only it's worse because instead of the potential of a few casual walk-ins every week a web site has the potential of [i]thousands[/i] of casual hits .
Message: Posted by: aquariusmagic (May 8, 2005 03:10AM)
As a dealer I may be able to enlighten as to why photos are sometimes lacking. In my own case it is simply a matter of time. I have two websites and constantly add new products. Many of my suppliers send me images in the form of a drawing and it is quicker to use that. I have been in business many years before the internet became widely used and still have about 20000 (yes twenty thousand) products to list on our websites (admittedly not just on the magic one). So in short it is either a case of add products as quick as we can or stop and photograph EVERYTHING in which case it will take another ten years to get everything listed. Hope this helps
Message: Posted by: Wizzard (May 9, 2005 09:37PM)
Part of the beauty about Magic was the Illusion of what the Trick or Effect was going to look like. That was the 'Lure', the vast majority buying "tricks" today are not even close to the Professional ranks. While I can understand your visual need to be digitally enlightened, I don't remember ever buying a Prop or effect solely on the picture alone. Thank goodness for the internet, where ideas about new things can be discussed and brought into the light of day.
Good Shopping,
Message: Posted by: David Todd (May 9, 2005 10:49PM)
On 2005-05-09 22:37, Wizzard wrote:
. While I can understand your visual need to be digitally enlightened, I don't remember ever buying a Prop or effect solely on the picture alone.[/quote]

Nor I. I don't think I said anything about buying a prop "soley on the picture alone" .

However, as I said above, the [i]look[/i] of a prop is important .

Let's say you're in the market for a flower production bouquet. You know how it works and any dealer's written description of the effect is going to read more or less the same.

Would you rather buy this:

[url=http://www.daytonamagic.com/Feather%20Flower%20Items/multflowboqu.jpg]feather duster "flowers"[/url]

or this:

[url=http://www.hughesmagic.com/images/catalog/rosebushproduction.jpg]prop flowers that actually look like flowers from a short distance away[/url]

I'm grateful to both the dealers who sell the two items linked to above that they provide photos of their wares so that I can make an informed decision of what I'm purchasing . Many other examples could be used.

Then take a look at this illustration from a magic catalog:

[url=http://www.abra4magic.com/Merchant2/graphics/products/b018.jpg]Flower bouquet production[/url]

What do you want to bet that when the package arrives the flowers from that illustration actually look more like [url=http://www.daytonamagic.com/Feather%20Flower%20Items/multflowboqu.jpg]this[/url] ?
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Sep 25, 2005 12:42AM)
Hey, head over to Abbott's site for a great collection of outdated drawings.
Message: Posted by: Black Hart (Jan 14, 2006 10:26AM)
It is very interesting to read this. It is also very useful (FREE market research).

As a MANUFACTURER and dealer who only sells effects developed and made by ourselves I would not dream of putting an effect on the website without having a photograph. Indeed I consider it of the utmost importance to get a good photograph as we specialise in effects with great props. I do all the photographic work myself and I also look after the website so I can have stuff uploaded very quickly and keep the site bang up to date.

However if the particular effect is, for example 'Power of the Tarot', which is is a 'packet trick' with tarot cards, there is not much to show on a photograph, but I still like to have some sort of illustration.

An effect such as 'Scales of Death' needs an illustration to show how nice the props look.

I think what annoys customers is those old 1950s style 'dinner jacket' illustrations that are years out of date. That is just plain LAZY!

Keith Hart
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jan 14, 2006 11:42AM)
I agree with most of what is being said here. I like to see what I am purchasing also. Since I don't live near an actual magic shop, I rely heavily on mail order. This makes it difficult to make an informed purchasing decision. If the catalog only offers a sketch of the product along with a description, it makes it that much more difficult.

I have been disappointed far too many times in the past. I now research and try to see the product before I buy. If I can't see it, I like to at least hear favorable reviews from people owning the prop.

In fact, I am currently in a delima where I am trying to find a picture of a Chalet Silk Cylinder. Now I am very familier with the Crystal Silk Cylinder, and I have no doubt that the Chalet is a quality piece, but I still need to know more details. I would like to see the color and the shape of the base. I also need to know the exact size. I don't like the Mak Crystal Silk Cylinder because of the painted design.

I have been trying hard to find a picture of this item, but I cannot locate one anywhere. I have tried to get info through the Magic Café, but I can't get a response. Truth is, if I could see this item, and it fit my needs, I would have already ordered one. However, without more info or a picture I am looking elsewhere.

This is one reason The Magic Café is such a wonderful place. I have gotten info from so many helpful people ad it has enabled me to make informed decisions.

I have wasted so much time and money through the years by ordering props that did not suit my needs like I thought they would. By seeing only a sketch or reading descriptions that are sometimes misleading, I have misjudged items many times. It took me a while to learn better and to be more cautious when buying magic without seeing it or at least knowing all about it first.

I believe that many manufacturers and dealers want it this way. After all, just think of all the money they make by selling items by this manner. I think they know if they show pictures that certain items would not sell as well.

Message: Posted by: Black Hart (Jan 14, 2006 12:02PM)
"I believe that many manufacturers and dealers want it this way. After all, just think of all the money they make by selling items by this manner."

You may be right Regan.

I understand what you are saying but of course even in a traditional magic 'shop' you can not necessarity see or try everything.

I have tried to get over this problem by doing something I believe is unique amongst magic dealers. We offer a 90 day unconditional money back guarantee on all our items. We try not to sell people things that are not suitable for them. You buy it, you try it and if you don't want it or don't like it, you can send it back and get the purchase price refunded. Why don't more magic dealers do that?

Keith Hart
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jan 14, 2006 02:26PM)

All I can say is, "Wow"...and, "Good Luck"!

I wish more magic dealers would offer a guarantee like yours. However, I'm not going to hold my breath while waiting for it to happen. I understand that you are purchasing the 'secret' when you buy magic, but if you are an established pro, you are only interested in something that will work and can be added to and used in your show. It stinks when you buy a magic prop and it is not as advertised and it can't even be used in "real world" conditions.

Hats off to you for making this 90 day guarantee. I wish you all the best!