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Topic: Short Rant on Magic Store
Message: Posted by: Slide (Dec 11, 2006 01:45PM)
Just a short rant.

I try and support the local magic shops and buy locally. Over the last month Iíve probably spent $500 or more at my local place. I wonít mention the name but it is located in Manhattan. (You mentalists try an guess who it is).

Everytime I go in I ask for Marlo DVDís. Iím on a Marlo kick. The ordered one copy of ďItís all in the cardsĒ and I came right up a purchased it. Today I called them to find out if any other DVDís have come in. Their answer was no, but they are placing an order now, What do I want? (okay, everything is good so far). He mentions two that I want and I say order them.

But, no. They wonít order them unless I give them a credit card number and special order them. Frankly, I was a little taken aback. Iíve been spending a lot of money with them and coming up and buying when they have stuff in that I want. Honestly, if Iím going to whip out my credit card, Iíll go online and get the discount and no sales tax and purchase from someone who can send them that day.

Iím afraid Iím done supporting them. Iíve made my last purchase with this store. It is this lack of customer service that is driving folks online.
Message: Posted by: bugjack (Dec 11, 2006 10:52PM)
I'll add my own related rant as I live in New York too and those mentalists are probably divining the same store as the one I'm thinking of.

You get a weekly email with various "specials" listed. One is something I've been meaning to buy and I decide to use the 10% discount opportunity to go in and pick it up. I ask whether it's on sale... .yes, the answer is. But when it comes time to ring it up, I'm told that the sale is for "internet purchases only." Nowhere on the email does it say this.

So, I'm solicited over the internet, go into a brick and mortar company where I buy three items but the one I think is going to be discounted is not? Out of principle, I decided not to buy it (although I did buy the other two) and I'll just pick it up online elsewhere... with no sales tax and a bigger discount.
Message: Posted by: Jerrine (Dec 11, 2006 11:36PM)
"...because it feels so good when I stop."
Message: Posted by: Canvey Card Sharp (Dec 12, 2006 01:36AM)
The poor experience due to bad customer service in one store will hopefully not deter magicians from still supporting a bricks and mortar magic shop.

My biggest gripe with internet suppliers is their pricing. Considering their limited overheads (no staff, no rent, no rates, no lighting/heating) their costs for products are not reduced relative to their savings. There is one internet magic supplier on ebay based in England whose prices are far in excess of what Ive seen shops in London selling items for! Add to this postage and packing (often another killing for the supplier as minus the potage stamps they appear to be charging £2 for a padded bag!!!) and you are hardly getting a good deal.

Getting back to the request for your card details. Would ANY internet magical supplier send goods or order products for you without taking payment? I would guess not; I certainly don't know any.

Just my point of view of course.
Message: Posted by: Canvey Card Sharp (Dec 12, 2006 01:37AM)
The poor experience due to bad customer service in one store will hopefully not deter magicians from still supporting a bricks and mortar magic shop.

My biggest gripe with internet suppliers is their pricing. Considering their limited overheads (no staff, no rent, no rates, no lighting/heating) their costs for products are not reduced relative to their savings. There is one internet magic supplier on ebay based in England whose prices are far in excess of what Ive seen shops in London selling items for! Add to this postage and packing (often another killing for the supplier as minus the potage stamps they appear to be charging £2 for a padded bag!!!) and you are hardly getting a good deal.

Getting back to the request for your card details. Would ANY internet magical supplier send goods or order products for you without taking payment? I would guess not; I certainly don't know any.

Just my point of view of course.
Message: Posted by: John Pezzullo (Dec 12, 2006 05:30AM)
[quote]
They wonít order them unless I give them a credit card number and special order them. Frankly, I was a little taken aback. Iíve been spending a lot of money with them and coming up and buying when they have stuff in that I want.
[/quote]

Bill,

I'm not suggesting that the following applies to you, but I know of situations were individuals have placed sizeable orders with dealers without any form of 'guarantee', only to subsequently fail to collect and pay for the items they have ordered. As a result of this, the dealer is left in a less than favourable position.
Message: Posted by: Slide (Dec 12, 2006 08:18AM)
Right John, and I could see that if I was placing a sizable order. But I was asking for two Marlo DVD's, hardly anything that would break the bank and would be sold if I did not get them. Considering said shop has an entire WALL of Sankey DVD's I think asking them to carry two Marlo DVD's is not a bad thing.
Message: Posted by: Canvey Card Sharp (Dec 14, 2006 06:36AM)
I take your point here John.

I cannot honestly imagine Marlo DVD's sitting on a shelf gathering dust for too long in the event of non-purchase!
Message: Posted by: SeaDawg (Dec 17, 2006 08:47AM)
I am in a slightly different situation...

There is not a brick & mortar within 700 miles of where I live, therefore the Internet is a Godsend. but it is not without its lumps and bumps.

All I can say is thank you for the Cafť. It allows me to get opinions from a variety of sources and I can make more informed decisions. I have also made som" cyber" firends whose opinions I have gorwn t value and look forward to sharing a "glass" and swap face to face war stories with. Some of these folks have saved me a ton of money and aggravation. They have helped strengthen me as a performer and tighten up my acts.

I try and avoid the "latest greatest" marketing hype from some of the places cause you know you are buying glitz, glamour and schlock.

There are some real gentlemen out there. In no particular order ( and if I forget anyone please don;t get angry) but Doug Higley, Frank Starsnic( the ambitious Card), Baba gede Nibo, christian chelman, and Bob Plaut( empty cup magic), Keith Hart (Black Hart) are all real straight shooting stand up guys...
Message: Posted by: Suppo (Dec 20, 2006 09:38AM)
Not knowing the store it is sad the retailer failed to provide service, how he can compete with internet and or national dealers.
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Jan 10, 2007 12:33AM)
I own a B&M magic shop...
I'm sorry they asked you to pay "up front" Bill. Unfortunately, I think I know why. Sometimes when we "special order" something we find out later that patron couldn't wait, or finds another "better deal" (then gets it on the shipping...thank you, eBay!) online...so we get stuck with the item and have to move it.
I think you should ask them "why" before you move online. There's something about seeing what you're getting first hand...besides the socializing and the fact you can check out miriads of tricks first hand, get advice from pros (which I am...I'm firstly a pro entertainer...my wife runs the place when I can't be there) and often save money when we give you advice on what's hype and what's quality.
Please give them another chance.
Message: Posted by: Banester (Jan 11, 2007 09:31AM)
Bill, I own a retail store (no magic items) and I have special ordered items for customers I have known for quite some time only to have them change thier minds or find it else where and never call back to cancel the order. Now I am stuck with the item and ya maybe I can resell it in a month or two. So now my money is invested into those items until I sell them, now lets say I did that with 50 of my customers? See where it can add up real quick. We like to take care of our customers, but I refuse to special order items anymore without payment first. I must say that I do charge for any special items that are returned as well, that's called the restocking charge. Ya, it costs me money to send the item back to the vendor and some vendors do not allow you to send anything back! Something that you may feel will move right away may sit on that shelf for a long time, so please don't get angry with us when we ask you for payment up front.

As someone else stated about the e-mail only coupon. That drives me insane as well! Why would you not give that person who came to your shop the same discount! I had an experience like that with a local hobby shop. I wanted a train set and I was receiving thier newsletter at the time which had a coupon in it. So I printed it out and went down to the shop. When he was ringing me out he said that was a interent only coupon. So I said thank you and went home, ordered it online with the msg that I would pick it up at the store so no shipping was needed. I received the confirmation e-mail in about an hour and went down to pick up my train set. They did a great job at annoying the hell out of me.
Message: Posted by: NMaggio (Jan 21, 2007 07:52PM)
Retailing ANYTHING is not for the faint of heart. Here it is 30 years after my first experience in retail, now retired, but still having recurring dreams about shop lifting, devious, rude, underhanded, threatening customers. Those "customers" are LESS than one percent of the total clientele, yet they provide 100 percent of the defense mechanisms that business owners use to protect themselves.

Being both a consumer and a past retailer, I tend to side with the business owners who have responded on this thread. The "straight shooters" are out there every day trying to do right by their customers and, at the same time, defend their bottom line. Stereotyping those who enter the establishment is sometimes the safest route to take. Sometimes the well-intentioned purchasers will get caught in the crossfire. The Internet has created a formidable competitor for the local business owner. It is much too easy for a person to ask to special order a slow moving item on impulse. Then, have a change of heart as soon as they sit in front of their computer and order it on line. That tactic might seem innocuous to the purchaser, but it has monetary implications to the shopkeeper trying to turn their inventory. A special order item that is not paid for can sit for years on the shelf. Eventually, it may be sold by discounting the price up to 80%. That is almost like standing on the street corner handing out free merchandise. Obviously, that is not good for business.

Now, more than ever, sensitivity on both sides of the issue is in order.

Nick