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Topic: Giving a free DVD with the Svengali deck
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 16, 2007 11:02PM)
I’m sure that most of us have heard the story of the newspaper reporter who interviewed Edison after he had finally invented the electric light bulb. He asked Edison, “Sir, you ran 5000 experiments and failed all those times. How does it feel to fail 5000 times?”

Edison said, “On the contrary, I didn’t fail 5000 times. I DISCOVERED 5000 things that DON’T WORK!”

Well, I found ONE thing that DOES work. At least for me.

On another Svengali thread, we had previously discussed my idea of making a DVD of the 10 tricks in the Svengali card box, then giving away copies with the deck and the 2-card monte as a means to raise the price from $5 to $10. And I stated that if I sold 51% of the pitches as I had previously, I would earn more money.

Well, I sold about 60% of the pitches. I did $150 the last day I sold the cards without the DVD 2 weeks ago. Not spectacular but I’m only learning.

This weekend I did over $200 each day. And I can tell you, when I put the DVD into the deal, eyes lit up. Obviously, not a bunch bought but it was a gun show each weekend, so it was at least a comparable crowd. It was usually 1 on 1, not a crowd each time, tho there were some times when I’d start with one and finally 4-6 people watched.

I had the DVD playing on my computer on my left so I could point to it and they could see the tricks. Sound was off, tho the DVD has explanations of each move.

The major problem is that it takes almost 17 minutes to copy a DVD using my computer drive-4x. Sam’s sells a copier that is a 20x for $100. I’ll be looking into that as soon as I get the pitch perfected. I still have several DVDs left. ;-)

Just wanted to let everyone know that it does seem to work FOR ME.

Jon-O
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 17, 2007 10:12AM)
Glad to hear the DVD was attracting attention and sales. Sounds like you have a winner! If you check around you may be able to find a local commercial DVD duplicating service that can do it even faster and cheaper than the Sam's DVD burner.

I agree, the toughest part is to attract a crowd. I have done plenty of one-on-ones, and some have grown to nice tips, which is a much more efficient way to do business if you can. I try to keep one eye on the patron and one eye on the passersby, always inviting other people to stop and watch the Svengali Miracle Deck in action. Nobody wants to be the first one to stop, but most people will stop if someone else already has. Good luck to you! SETH
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 23, 2007 08:35PM)
Yesterday and today were really the 1st day weekend I had concentrated entirely on selling the cards using the DVD as a “kicker”. The other weekends I had switched back and forth between strippers and cards so it did not give me an accurate idea of what I could actually do.

The show was a gun show which is usually not very good, even for strippers. Yesterday I did over $400 and today, a little less than $400, so total of almost exactly $800 for 2 days, using the DVD. I felt that was pretty good, especially for a gun show. Many of the other vendors were complaining about the lack of sales but I really had a good weekend. Dunno if that is good for a REAL pro, like Don, but I was happy. Mostly 1-on-1.

So the money was good and I’m happy I did well (for me!) but frankly, that was not the best part. I demo mostly to kids and many times the parents just kinda drift away, leaving me to “babysit” the kids. Some kids watch the demo 2-3 times and don’t buy. But one brother and sister really made my day!

I sometimes put a key card from one of my “dirty” decks under the box that holds the decks or inside an empty card box or behind the Visa/MC/AMX placard on my table. So when I do the second trick and DL to the WRONG card, sometimes I’ll say, “Ya know, I think that (9) is here…” and point to one of the other places.

Today a brother and sister were at my table very excitedly watching the pitch. The parents had gone off somewhere but the kids were REALLY excited. So I said, “blah….blah…blah…..this deck is designed so even kids with FRECKLES can do it….” The boy, about 10 REALLY had red hair AND freckles..but the sister, about 8, said, “Hey, I got freckles, does that mean I can do it?”

I said, “Yep, even YOU!”

She said, “Wow!!”

So when I got to the 2nd trick, I DL’d to the WRONG card then said, “Ya know, I think that 9 is here behind that placard.” The girl excitedly reached and got it and was REALLY excited.

“How’d you DO that?”

“Well remember I told you that kids with freckles could to it. Didn’t you say you have freckles?”

“Yes”

“Well, didn’t you find the card?”

“Yes Yes Yes!!”

So I finished the pitch, including the 2 card monte and the DVD and, of course the kids had no money. They left, saying, “We’ll go get Dad!” They RAN to get him. In a few minutes they were both back, one dragging on each arm. The father was very good natured about it and the little girl said, “He said even kids with FRECKLES can do this!”

So I did my pitch again and when I got to the WRONG card, I said, “Oh wait…” And before I could say, “Here hold this_____, I’ll do another trick,...”, the girl said, “And see..it’s right here!” and reached behind the placard. However, I had not put it back there yet, so I handed her a card box. I said, “Shake it, I think it might be in there.” She shook it and said, “Wow…they go EVERYWHERE! Look, here it is!!”

I finished the 2-card monte and DVD and they were both jumping around, hanging on the father’s shoulders, “Please, Dad, can we have one, PLEASE….PLEASE…PLEASE…..” I’m sure you’ve seen ‘em doing this many times but I am new to this biz, so it was really an experience to me.

To make a long story short, the Dad bought 2 sets. It really made my day. Not because they bought 2 sets but because the kids were SOOO excited about being able to do the tricks. I’m sure their hands are too small do to much of anything except MAYBE the 2-card Monte. But who cares? THEY were happy!

One other close I use, when someone says they want 2 sets, I’ll say, “Hey, if you get 3 sets, I’ll give you the 4th set free.” I sold 3 deals like that today. I’m sure they were supposed to be Christmas presents and most people will throw them into a drawer. A year later, take them out and say, “Hey, here’s those Magic Cards I got for Christmas last year.” And put ‘em RIGHT BACK into the drawer.

Oh well.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Dec 24, 2007 09:03AM)
John,

Did you ever have stories to tell like that pitching "strippers" ? ( no gang not stripper decks)

Great story...

Merry Christmas
Don
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 24, 2007 10:24AM)
[quote]

Did you ever have stories to tell like that pitching "strippers" ? (no gang, not stripper decks)

Great story...

Merry Christmas
Don
[/quote]

I've done strippers for 14 years but, as you might guess, I sell almost exclusively to adult men. Altho the tool is wonderful, guys just don't get quite as excited about the "magic" of stripping wires as kids do when they see the card change from the black king to the red 9. About the best time for me is when someone buys a case or two of those wonderful tools.

But, as you know, kids are a different story. Those little amazed faces are really a great reward. Too bad you can't put 'em in the bank!

Merry Christmas to everyone too.

Jon
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 13, 2008 11:59AM)
I’m still working on getting the DL so no one sees it and frankly, I have it pretty good by now. I’ve sold out of the 1st order of 2 gross of decks and just ordered my 2nd 2-gross.

But every once in a while, some one, usually a kid, will say, “Hey, wait, you picked up 2 cards.”

Last Saturday I had 2 decks left. Not only did he say that, but before I could stop him, he picked up the box and turned over the key card. There were only a couple of others there at the time, but as you might imagine, I was flabbergasted.

“Did I tell you it was a trick deck?”

“Yeah, but you picked up 2 cards!”

“OK…watch this!” I put the key card back on the deck and cut the deck 2-3 times. Then did the same trick again. This time he didn’t see the DL. And believe it or not, by the end of the pitch, not only did he buy a deck but his brother did too. Couldn’t believe it.

I guess I just GOTTA learn that DL!

Another guy, a math teacher told me he used the Svengali deck in class to illustrate a point. But he used what he called a “blank” deck. Never saw one of those. Dunno how that would work.

How many decks do I have to sell before I’m a pro? ;-)

Jon
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Feb 13, 2008 12:21PM)
I'm pretty good with my double, but half way into the day when cards start to wear out it starts to show. I had a girl start yelling how I had two cards last weekend. I just ignored her and turned to a kid on the other side of the group. Your best bet with people who catch you is to try and ignore them and play to the rest of the crowd. The rest of the people will usually go along with you despite the heckler. That applies to magic in general, not just pitching.

As to the blank deck, if I'm correct, that's the same as a mental photography deck. Its basically a Svengali deck with a rough and smooth principle in play (though you could do it without the rough and smooth), where you show how the deck is all blank, but with a cut, you now can show that every card is now printed.

Come to think of it, maybe you do need the rough and smooth to make it work. You could ask in the section of the Café that deals with trick decks. They'd know better.

Kids kards, BTW, works with the same principal. I have Kids Kards, but not mental photography. They're both great effects, though :)
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 18, 2008 12:13PM)
Interesting tidbit at the gun show on Sunday.

One of the kids, about 9-10, who had bought the deck a month ago was hanging around my table, not really bothering me but not leaving. It was kinda slow, as Sunday afternoons usually are at a gun show, so he said, “Will you show me the tricks again?”

“Well, I think if you read the instructions, you’ll get ‘em pretty well.”

“I can do ‘em pretty well, I just want to see YOU do ‘em again.”

“You mean YOU know how to do ‘em?” To say I was surprised is an under-statement. “Show me”.

So he did the 1st trick I usually do and actually did it pretty well, even the DL.

“Man, THAT was GREAT!’, I told him. Because it actually was.

Then he said, “Can you do some other tricks??” Well, I’m a 2-trick pony with the Svengalis but…..I just happened to have bought 5 books on ACTUAL magic. And I had ACTUALLY learned 2 card tricks (count ‘em, TWO!) with a normal deck which I had bought at the $ store.

“Well, OK but remember, this is a REAL deck of cards so it’s REAL magic, not like the deck you have.”

I did my 2 little VERRRY simple tricks and after each, he said, “WOW!! How’d you do that?”

And after each one, I’d say, “Remember, this is REAL magic!” He asked again if I would show him but I talked about “the magician’s oath” blah blah blah and he finally went away.

Close to the end of the show, I packed up and was pushing my dolly out the door when I heard, someone say, “Bye, Magic Man!”

I turned back and there he was with his Svengali cards, waving goodbye. I waved and said, “Bye” Just then, some of the OTHERS who were leaving chimed in and said, “Bye magic man…bye magic man……”

Made my day!
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Feb 18, 2008 04:36PM)
Sounds like he has a genuine interest in magic. Point him toward some resources. I think Mark Wilsons Complete Coyrse in magic is a great place for anyone to start. Its where I did, anyway :)
Message: Posted by: sethb (Feb 18, 2008 05:36PM)
I also get children at my pitch table from time to time who tell me they have a "magic set" at home or otherwise show a genuine interest in magic.

I tell them (and their parents) to go to their local public library and look in the Stage Magic section. Most libraries will have a few good magic books such as Bruce Elliot's "Classic Secrets of Magic," Milbourne Christopher's "Panorama of Magic," John Mulholland's "Book of Magic" and the like. It's a good way to learn more -- and the price is right. SETH
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Feb 18, 2008 08:30PM)
Free books from the library are great, but in some cases I think that a lot of the older books are so dated, it makes it hard for kids to learn from them. When I was young (not that long ago) I always used to take the magic books out of my school library. I've still never managed to find an actual sugar cube! :-D lol...

Plus, I think when parents see a child stick with something for more than two minutes they're usually very happy to help nurture that hobby.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Feb 19, 2008 02:15AM)
Great stories-each week at the markets I have many similar circumstance with families & kids really enjoying the pitch & more often than not the mums & dads buy the decks

I don't pitch a worm or even sell 2 card montes-maybe 1 day-but I have a couple of simple effects to get a crowd which works well

I must try Dons crowd gathering technique 1 day-looks impressive & gathers the curiosity factor

Here I sell the decks for $10 & sell between 30-80 depending where I am which is good money

I used to make the decks but now have a good source in Utah that delivers 100-200 decks to my door in 6 working days which is pretty good

I agree also that seeing people perform this in a short time -they really make your day, but Magic is the winner with many people enjoying the pitch
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 19, 2008 11:52AM)
Brent,

If you don't do the usual 2-card Monte nor the worm, what do you do to justify the $10 price? YOU must be one heckuva salesman! I would think that JUST a deck for $10 USD is pretty hard. Never tried it but can't imagine it working here without SOMETHING more.

As I mentioned in the 1st post of this thread, I "give" a home-made DVD showing the tricks close up and use it as a "kicker" for buying now. It does have (what I consider to be) a pretty professional-looking (computer produced) label and I have it playing on my 17" laptop screen with the sound off. If they don't buy then, they ain't gonna buy, PERIOD! I don't sell as many but I usually earn more total $s.

Forget the "magician's oath"...what's YOUR secret? ;-)

Jon
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Feb 19, 2008 12:18PM)
As good as Mark Wilson's course is, I wouldn't recommend that you send kids who seem to have a genuine interest in magic to start there. Books like David Pogue's [i]Magic for Dummies[/i] or Tom Ogden's [i]Idiot's Guide to Magic[/i] are much more suitable - as discussed [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=246636&forum=41&0]in this thread[/url] - because they include more simple beginning effects and teach important principles about showmanship as well as the technique. Mark Wilson's excellent course is more of a "next step" resource.

It's great to see kids with an interest in magic, and if you can give them positive encouragement and direction on the road to what might become their new hobby, good for you - they'll likely remember you lifelong for it! Thanks again for sharing these great stories and anecdontes Jon!
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 19, 2008 03:31PM)
I have both the Idiot book and the Mark Wilson book. Plus 2 by Dunninger and several little Robbins $2 "101 tricks" books. Frankly, I feel they all have their good points.

I like the little books because they are small and the Idiot book for the same reason. Mark Wilson's book is very large AND heavy and hard to carry if you go somewhere and just want some "light" reading. ;-) Altho, it is very thorough.

The Dunninger books are very old ('50s) and, I feel, not as readable nor as easily understood by kids. Even a little boring. I wanted them because I remember him from that era (my folks had just gotten a TV) but I have seen many of the same tricks in all the books.

In my opinion, the little $2-$3 books are good to start to see if you really like it. Then if you REALLY want to get into it, get some of the others. Library is good, too, AND FREE.

I've even thot about carrying some of the little $2 books but then I remember Don's advice, "Be a pitchman, not a storekeeper", so I haven't. (Don't tell HIM, but Don's a pretty smart guy!)

Jon
Message: Posted by: "Muggs" (Feb 19, 2008 07:05PM)
Jon,

That’s a good idea about the DVD but you don’t need to add all the give-a-ways. This past season, I was selling Svengali Decks for $11. Now I included the “101 Tricks with a Svengali Deck” instead of the 20 trick instruction sheets but that was it.

You just have to give time for your pitch to develop. When I started selling, the decks and book weren’t selling and I blamed it on the price. I wanted to take the book out and put the sheet back and lower the price. An experienced Pitchman watched my and told me not to, to give my pitch time to develop and get comfortable with it. He was right; I don’t have any problem selling at that price with the book.

I think that the book had the same effect as your DVD in that they felt they got more instruction for their money. I like you idea about the DVD instead of the book. I’ll try it and let you know which goes better.

Also, to let you know, Mark Wilson’s book is also sold as a pocket book paperback. Barnes and Noble have ‘em.

Have Fun,

Muggs
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 19, 2008 11:19PM)
My DVDs cost me about 47 cents plus 17 minutes to make one. I have plenty of time during the week to burn 'em, so time is not a factor unless I feel lazy. I get 100 at a time from Sam's Club. Might even get 'em cheaper online but have been too lazy to look. And they WOULD be cheaper if I used an envelope instead of a plastic case, but I think the case looks more professional.

What does the "101 tricks" cost and how many do you have to buy? My understanding is that you have a minimum order from David Robbins and frankly, would not want to spend $200-$300 for them when I can spend $47 at Sam's. PLUS, my feeling is that when the customer SEES the demo CLOSE-UP as my DVD allows, it not only helps to sell the deck, but helps the guys who really want to learn, where a book just has pix.

Not trying to argue with you but being the cheapskate that I am, the DVD seems the better way to go. PLUS, I have it playing on my computer, so they can see it. They know what they are getting.

OK, convnce me the book is better. ;-)

By the way, I'd LOVE to get MORE than $10. Except for minor changes, I follow Don's DVD in my demo. I've found attention spans wane after about 3-4 minutes so a longer demo would SEEM counter-productive. When I sell strippers, they are 2 for $20, so I have to make twice as many Svengali sales to equal my stripper sales.

John
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Feb 19, 2008 11:43PM)
Two Stripper Decks for $20?! And Don says they're not visual enough...

j/k :)

As to the DVD vs the book - I think it's fair to assume that a DVD holds more perceived value than a book. The problem for me with the DVD is that I don't have to time to commit to burning tons of DVDs.

Jon - I'm curious, why'd you switch up from the strippers to Svengali Decks? It sounds like they were a little easier to sell, no?
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 20, 2008 12:21AM)
Sorry, I thot everyone knew.....I also sell WIRE strippers. ;-) I've only sold Svengali's for about 20 minutes....;-) But seriously folks,.....As Seth pointed out in another thread, there are services that will produce your DVDs pretty cheaply. Just gotta find 'em. By the way, I tried to put the label I use for the DVD here but no matter how small I made it, couldn't get it on. Oh well....

Since I have nuttin' to do during the week except sell stuff on ebay (Svengalis didn't work) and work on my Studebakers, I can do 'em pretty easily. I just listen to a bunch of Old Time Radio online and keep going.

John
Message: Posted by: "Muggs" (Feb 20, 2008 12:36AM)
I wasn't trying to get you to switch over to the book, I was just sharing what I did. As I said, I'll try the DVD and let you know.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Feb 20, 2008 07:22AM)
In my experience, the "101 Tricks with a Svengali Deck" pamphlets are not worth the time and trouble. It may appear that you are giving someone more value for their money, but in reality, the pamphlets only give you 101 ways to REVEAL a chosen card, there is very little about handling the deck itself. In my experience, if you already have a decent instruction sheet packed with the deck that explains 6 or 7 tricks, that's really sufficient.

At first I sold the deck and the pamphlet separately, and found I was selling about one pamplet for every 10 decks sold. Then I raised the price to $10 and sold the deck and the pamphlet as a package, and sales really dropped off, who knows exactly why? But my guess is that people figured if they needed to read a book to learn how to handle the deck, it was just too much trouble. Also, who wants to learn 101 tricks when 3 or 4 will do, it seemed like overkill to me. So I went back to selling them separately, until I sold off my remaining stock of pamphlets. Now I just sell the deck itself, with "complete instructions for half a dozen great tricks that YOU can do with a minimum of practice, because the cards basically do all the work for you!"

But if you want to give the pamphlets a try, several different ones are available, they generally run about 75 cents each wholesale if you buy a dozen or more at a time. In my experience, the one from Royal Magic (FUN, Inc.) is about the best-looking, with an attractive, glossy heavyweight cover. It also has a good explanation of the DL, and some fairly decent "tricks" (card stab, counting down to the chosen card, changing an indifferent card to the chosen card, etc.)

I feel the deck is strong enough to stand alone and sell alone. But I certainly see Don's point that adding a kicker like the Two Card Monte is an inexpensive way to add perceived value and motivate buyers. The DVD is another good kicker, and either item is also a lot cheaper to stock and much lighter to carry around than the pamphlets.

So that's my two cents on the "101 Tricks" pamphlet, but I'd be interested to hear other folks' experiences with them. SETH
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Feb 20, 2008 10:01PM)
Hey Jon, question for you about the DVDs: What tricks do you include in it? Did you just do the ones from the instructions? Are they mostly revelations? I'm curious how much "beef" one should put on these DVDs.

I've decided I might give it a shot and see how many I can burn during the week after work in between weekend pitches :)
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 21, 2008 12:29AM)
I had a friend video tape me doing the 10 tricks included with the cards. I also have a running commentary, exlaining them. But the major part is the up-close pix. It obviously is not a professional thing.

I have a machine (also from Sam's, $150) that will transfer the tape to a DVD. I then put that file on my laptop and make copies. Whenever I'm in my office, I do my internet browsing on my wife's laptop and run the DVDs on mine. Really pretty simple, once it's on the computer. Attempting to browse and copy on the same machine at the same time is very slow.

Frankly, I think it is not so much WHAT is on the DVD as the fact that (in my opinion) the label and box look professional, so the PERCEIVED value is high. Since the people only see a short segment of the DVD when they watch the pitch, it doesn't have to be wonderful.

Good luck.
John
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Feb 21, 2008 06:17PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-19 12:52, Jon-O the Great wrote:
Brent,

If you don't do the usual 2-card Monte nor the worm, what do you do to justify the $10 price? YOU must be one heckuva salesman! I would think that JUST a deck for $10 USD is pretty hard. Never tried it but can't imagine it working here without SOMETHING more.

As I mentioned in the 1st post of this thread, I "give" a home-made DVD showing the tricks close up and use it as a "kicker" for buying now. It does have (what I consider to be) a pretty professional-looking (computer produced) label and I have it playing on my 17" laptop screen with the sound off. If they don't buy then, they ain't gonna buy, PERIOD! I don't sell as many but I usually earn more total $s.

Forget the "magician's oath"...what's YOUR secret? ;-)

Jon
[/quote]


Jon-O

Thanks for the reply

Ihave often known I could sell a ton of decks for $5-but the time & effort in making & demo the decks at festivals *& markets I sell Svengali & pitch is not worth the effort

I find people here have no trouble handing over $10 & they all comment on how good the pitch & demo I do was to them a factor in buying!! I have in time & other forums had some great advice from Don Driver as well as Mark Lewis which has fine tuned my pitch!

If I throw in a worm etc & maybe a monte -I will be looking at $15 but at this stage -the cards are enough & I draw large crowds so just pitch 6-8 hrs a day -pitch after pitch & it works!!!

Cheers
Message: Posted by: TKD27 (Feb 21, 2008 08:54PM)
Jon, thanks. I agree with you that the perceived value to make the turn is the most important part, but I was just wondering what I'd put into the DVD once I decided to make it.

Thanks for the info :)
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Feb 23, 2008 02:19AM)
TKD27-

Visit Paul Romhanys website-He is an International award winning Cruise Ship Magician who has his own line also at Hocus Pocus Magic-he has some great stuff as well from a top act

He sells a very good DVD that you can copy & use yourself that is 10-20 very good tricks from memory filmed well & teaches great tricks to add onto your own DVD for sales etc

I know many Pros whio use this copy Paul sells & it adds a lot to there income by using this!!
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Feb 23, 2008 06:51AM)
Not trying to put down your idea but---this DVD is a great idea IF you want to do MAGIC. However from the description, it appears to have NO Svengali trix. And it costs $350 for the privilege of USING it and then you still have to make your own DVDs, as I do already. AND if I read it correctly, there is no voice-over, only hands. And Brent, if I read your post correctly, you are saying ADD the tricks on his DVD to one of Svengali tricks?

Isn't this something you would try to sell AFTER the demo? Or in addition to the cards? My idea is to "GIVE" them with the deck as a "buy it now" item. Obviously, I'm really NOT giving them, since by using them, I raise my price to $10.

Frankly, I try to follow Don's advice, "Be a pitchman, not a magician." Even tho I'm into my 2nd gross, I'm really not good enough with the cards, yet, to add "magic". Maybe later--as John Wayne says in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon"--"...In about 10 or 12 years!..." ;-)

Jon
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Mar 17, 2008 10:33AM)
This past weekend was one of the craziest I have had. The girl who sometimes works with me didn’t show up either day but I still had my Svengali table set up. I was doing a gun show, not many kids, so I was really concentrating on selling (wire) strippers. I was too lazy to make the DVDs, so did only $65 in cards on Saturday.

On Sunday, super slow day, one family came by, 2 kids and the father. I started the pitch and the dad left, so I was “baby sitting” the kids again. I finished the Svengali pitch and even showed ‘em the paper clip trick and a couple of REAL card tricks with a regular deck (2 is all I know!)—thinking the Dad might come back. Finally I had run out of entertainment, the kids wanted the deck, so they said they’d go get the dad. (I’m shortening this a lot) In a few minutes, one of the kids came back, dejected, “He says we can’t have ‘em.”

“Hey, it’s OK. I’ll be here next time too and maybe you can talk him into it then.” And I forgot about ‘em.

Late in the day, I saw the same family this time the father was carrying a rifle, he evidently had bought. I waved at the kids. They began pulling on the father’s sleeve, pulling him toward my table.

“Remember what you told us!” one said.

So they came over. The father said, “I told ‘em that if I could find a gun, I’d buy them the cards. So how much is that again?”

“Only 5 bux”, I said, half-heartedly.

“Well, there are 2 of them and I’ve been thinking. These would make neat gifts. So what kind of deal could I get on 8?”

“Well, if you buy 10, I’ll give you 2 free.” (my USUAL ‘deal’ is ‘buy 3, the 4th one is free’ but…what the heck?)

“Sold!”

So I sold $50 to people whom, I would have guessed, would not have bought ANYTHING.

I guess you REALLY never know!

By the way, my psychology of “…the 4th one free…” is that if someone buys 2 sets, it costs me only an additional 75 cents for the 3rd sale (over the cost of the 3rd set.) So I make only 75 cents less on the 3rd one, which they would NOT have bought if I hadn’t mentioned it. (Re-reading this, I wonder if it makes sense to anyone but me!) If they SAY they want 4 sets, I tell ‘em, “Buy 5, the 6th is free…” I always raise it one more than they originally wanted.

When the father said he wanted 8, I thot, “What the heck, go for 10!” And it worked.
Message: Posted by: magicusb (Apr 7, 2008 02:50PM)
DVD is a great idea and we will sell theM with the deck as soon as we run out of videos.

Do NOT sell dollar store Svengali's as it would be a Horror to have someone come back with that deck at $1.00. Always add a book, or video or DVD with the deck, it justifies the price should they compare and think of complaining about the deck for a dollar.

We sell The Deck (Svengali) at all our tours. $15.00 along with the Robbins book to great success. Magicians tell us it is the best pitch they have ever seen.

During our tour we also show the Houdin book "Card Sharpers", which we sell for $19.95. We bought them all out from Gamblers Book Club in Las Vegas. If you need some let us know a we may reprint them. When we show that book, for educational purposes for the youngsters not to play cards with strangers we show, but do not explain, the stripper deck, which we call the Gamblers Deck. We have someone mention a card, and take out the four of them. Place them in the deck in different postitions and shuffle the deck, over hand, riffle and then Hindu, which brings them to the top. We then magically show each has "amazingly" come to the top. "Do not gamble with strangers!" No selling. Just the quickest effective demo we could come up with.

Later during the souvenir demo we end with the Deck (Svengali) which we sell for $15 with the book. For $25 dollars we sell the Svengali Deck, the book, and a Svengali video tape, along with the Gamblers deck (Stripper) and a booklet that comes with it. Two decks, two books and a video "a combination they will find no where else" NO ONE EVER asks to buy just the stripper deck. We tried to demo the stripper by itself for a season as an experiment, and sales were poor compared to Svengali.

Hope this helps.

Any questons just ask.

Looking for other things to sell. Magic sets as well. Feel the mouse is a rip off, as no one can do it. The worm may be better, but have not tried. Do have a wholesale source for them.


Dick Brooks