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Topic: Why so many Lassen coin gaffs for sale?
Message: Posted by: Sammy J. (Aug 17, 2009 10:22PM)
I'm just curious why I see so many Lassen coin sets for sale on the Café recently. Most listings talk about how hard these are to get and how awesome or rare they are, but they are still for sale. Is it the economy, or is it just free enterprise? I know I recently paid quite a bit more for a dollar size CSB than Todd Lassen asked. I did it because I couldn't get one of his last run, and he says it will be a while before he makes them again. I wanted one, so I paid a premium. When I look at my collection of coin gaffs, I have to think I would have to be in dire straits to part with any of them. So what is happening here? You have unexpected financial dificulties? Did you get carried away, and later regretted the purchase? Or are you trying to profit on the scarcity of these sets? Like I said, I'm just curious.

Message: Posted by: John T Cox (Aug 17, 2009 10:37PM)
Why do we ever sell anything that we like? We get something better or need to money I suppose, It does seem to me that there are certain folks who, like a realtor I know who bought two Ford T-birds when they were rare, buy things in order to sell them.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Aug 18, 2009 12:47AM)
Magicians sell things for one reason, to get their hands on the resultant cash.

So regardless of the prop for sale, your question actually winds up being "why do so many people these days want cash?"

There are two common answers, to recycle the dough and use it to purchase [i]more[/i] magic props (usually the one that's most relevant).......or because times are extremely tight and they just plain need the cash.

I think lots of magicians purchase high end props to [i]try out[/i] knowing that if they're not their style they can recover their cost (and even a bit more) in a re-sale. You'll have a hard time demoing a set of Lassen Hopping Halfs at the local bricks'n'mortar magic shop.....if you want to try them, you'll pretty much have to buy them in order to do so.
Lassen products rarely looses any of their value in the short term, and some of the more scarce products may actually appreciate in both the short and long term.

Certainly with the very best, finest and rarest of magic props, buying low and selling high is a time honored tradition
Message: Posted by: Douglas Lippert (Aug 18, 2009 01:27AM)
On 2009-08-18 01:47, silverking wrote:
You'll have a hard time demoing a set of Lassen Hopping Halfs at the local bricks'n'mortar magic shop.....if you want to try them, you'll pretty much have to buy them in order to do so.

There's another option. If you're friends with another coin magician he might let you handle the coins. One of my buddies let me handle his U3F, Cylinder and Coins and Triple Threat, and guess what? I liked them so much I bought U3F and Triple Threat! :)

Another reason why people can command such high resale prices is the darn wait. Lassen makes you wait foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever.

Worth the wait though.
Message: Posted by: andykean (Aug 18, 2009 02:06AM)
Maybe people are afraid to use them in the real world!(and therefore sell them)
As they are so great quality.
Lost or dropped could be painful!!
Message: Posted by: lithyem (Aug 18, 2009 02:18AM)
Hey Sammy - I wondered that same thing recently. It's been a bonanza lately hasn't it? For a looong time you couldn't find anything of his anywhere and now every day a new set of his is coming up for sale. The funny thing is I see a few users on his blog that are the first to buy from him then turn around and sell them directly at twice the price here and ebay. What can ya do I suppose, free market economics innit.

For me - I use my lassen and schoolcraft coins. I do collect em, but I figure they do nobody any good locked away while I'm playing with a johnson shell. :-/

Message: Posted by: kmn911 (Aug 18, 2009 02:37AM)
Where do you see them being sold? ebay?

Message: Posted by: Sammy J. (Aug 18, 2009 07:47AM)
On 2009-08-18 03:37, kmn911 wrote:
Where do you see them being sold? ebay?


Welcome to the Café! Sometimes they are on ebay, but usually at extremely high prices. Once you have 50 "legitimate" posts you will have access to the Sale thread here on the Café.
Message: Posted by: Mb217 (Aug 18, 2009 08:32AM)
Good post Sammy.

I don't wonder all that much as to why people sell these expensive gaffs as simply they have no further use for them beyond the one trick many time that is all they can do. Don't get me wrong, they are nice trinkets but like most trinkets they are kept hidden away, hoarded even for whatever perceived value. Funny thing is that when "The End" comes for us they will be free again to be given away or sold in bulk at an estate sale somewhere where perhaps greater value can become a better reality. :)

Further, I believe people just become bored with them in seeing more worth in getting the $value back than keeping them in a drawer somewhere, which is where most gaffs are kept anyway moreso than not. Most people treat them like gold but they are not like gold really as they only have a specific niche value, if that. Most times you don't get back what you put out unless you somewhat quickly turn it around to make it for sale while it's still hot. Perhaps some people look at it as a way to try the effect by putting up the money and then reselling to recoup the cost, paying at best a small "user's fee" for the opportunity to play with the latest thing or perhaps do a classic a bit more convincingly than they can do via Sleight-of-Hand.

Again these gaffs are nice shiny things and we like stuff like that, heck I got a few myself. :) I guess if you can afford to get them, then have them. They will be recycled in one or another with someone eventually receiving a real bargain on them somewhere down the line. Lassen and all the other super coin gaff makers reap accordingly to their work, creativity and effort. With that all is good I suppose.

Along these lines, I hear Kenner just came out with SuperFly...Go get'em boys! :D
Message: Posted by: manreb (Aug 18, 2009 11:28AM)
I believe that all of these rsponse are very legitimate speculation. The one additional part to the puzzle might be to look at the items being sold and the timing as to when Lassen had them up for sale on his blog. It seems that most of the item being offered, some at fairly high prices, had been sold on Todd’s blog just a few weeks prior to being offered on the Café. The timing would indicate pure profiteering. Just another posibility.
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (Aug 18, 2009 11:40AM)
When Lassen puts up something for sale on his blog, it is always tempting to just buy it. It is immediately available, may be interesting or unique, and the price is reasonable (compared to some aftersales). But in time, it may not fit your performance needs, an "improved" version may be released by Todd (eg. the infinity edge on his CSB), or, just simply, immediate emergency cash is needed for whatever reason.
Message: Posted by: Rizzo (Aug 18, 2009 11:53AM)
Let me pose this...Does anyone think that one buys them thinking the coin makes the magician? That the effect will be brilliant with these such coins? The reason I ask is that there is a very nice video posted throughout the Café and elsewhere that shows a magician using STC by Johnny Wong. Im convinced many people ran and bought that set (some for sale here too after that video posted)thinking wow...I gotta get those STC look what I can do with them! But... its never the coins, its the magician. Agree? Disagree? Oh 1 more thing, Im not looking for a debate here just posting an observation. Like Dennis Miller use to say, its just my opinion, I could be wrong.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 18, 2009 12:09PM)
I think that is definitely one of the bigger reasons Rizzo! It's easy to get caught up in the hype and you just KNOW that with this set up or that and you'll be frying minds right and left only to find out that you can't buy talent!

Message: Posted by: tabman (Aug 18, 2009 01:27PM)
On 2009-08-18 13:09, MickeyPainless wrote:
.... you can't buy talent!

The booking agents at William-Morris might argue with you!! ;)

Message: Posted by: aqmagish20 (Aug 18, 2009 01:49PM)
I think guys are laundering their money spent from their spouses. Sell some coins, buy some cups, tada!
Message: Posted by: lithyem (Aug 18, 2009 05:22PM)
Hey Rizzo - Sure I think that's a very common thing. Maybe not necessarily why so much Lassen metal is on sale lately but I see a lot of people with amazing sets of silver that can't do a sleight of hand vanish to save their lives. But that's common in every hobby / art / craft whatever. For example I'm a musician and often reply to posts on forums to jam with other guys locally - its' not rare to walk into someone's place and find 5 grand worth of equipment and find out quickly they can't play a single song through. Every hobby has that...
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 19, 2009 09:30AM)
I started getting Lassen stuff before he was a household (or Café)name.

Though most of my stuff is sans gimmick, I find his work adds to my worker routines.

I stay off ebay and the for sale section here....
Reading more Ramsey,Dave...than that other guy.

As a business, I am more careful about my prop expense...and more likely to get things musical than magical these days...(side note..have you seen the price of harmonici these days)

"palms of aluminum foil...for a lighter touch in coin magic"
still too old to know everything....
Message: Posted by: runawayjag (Sep 10, 2009 02:01AM)
I think coins are like cups and posters were a few years ago. They're enjoying a "run" right now. Three years ago a set of Paul Fox cups could command $800-$900! Now, you might get $350 for a set on a good day.

I think people are tiring of the high aftermarket prices and are becoming willing to wait. It is no longer an attractive proposition to pay $200-300 over retail for a coin just so you don't have to wait a few months to get one.

In some cases, even the new items are no longer appealing at such high retail prices. A Schoolcraft/Kenner Superfly recently did not sell on eBay and it was offered at $50 less than retail as an opening bid. That's for a new coin trick that was hardly a week old when offered, but nobody took a nibble. A Porper/Wilson The Fly never reached even close to retail on the same venue a few weeks before.

As with most stuff of this nature, it will level off and I think we are beginning to see that take place.
Message: Posted by: magichunter (Sep 15, 2009 06:04PM)
I am very happy with everything I have that is made by Todd Lassen. I purchased my first '64 silver e[ from him at Desert Magic Seminar (i think in 1999)out of what I believe was a cigar box in which he was carrying around his products. It is about time that the after market prices come down.......But don't forget that it remains important to continue to patronize the creator (in this and many other areas). Craftsmen like Todd are hard to come by in the USA these days.
Message: Posted by: Sammy J. (Sep 15, 2009 06:20PM)
I got to meet Todd at Magic in the Rockies last week. He had a few sun moon coin sets in Morgan dollar size he was selling through David Neighbor's booth. I wanted to see if he had anything else with him, but he went to the late night show, and I didn't get to see him again. By the way, Magic in the Rockies is a great convention. Reasonably priced, great headliners, and a lot of fun! I highly recommend it.

P.S. I just bought a Lassen shell set here on the Café! Too tempting!

Message: Posted by: Brian Proctor (Sep 15, 2009 09:27PM)
I think that most people buy magic on a whim from hype or curiosity. Most people just plain don't put the props to work and they sit on them, eventually selling them. If your a worker, you will use the props and most likely never sell.

I plan to get another shell set soon to replace my current set due to all the work I have put into them. Props take a beating in my shows. I have a set of Gary Animal cups I use in my street shows, I beat the heck out of them with an Ammar wand. The wand is slightly curved from hitting the cups. And the cups are riddled with dents as well. Not the best looking props after many shows. But they keep me working.

When I was younger, not doing many shows, sure I would buy and sell, buy and sell, buy and sell. I think I was just not ready to stick with something and work it into my show. All the time I was just wanting to try out the next thing, or I had bills to pay...etc.
Message: Posted by: shaneking (Oct 24, 2009 08:53PM)
I've just purchased a hopping half set direct from Todd Lassen. I can tell you that I will be using them in my professional acts. No point in keeping them in a drawer.
Message: Posted by: Sammy J. (Oct 26, 2009 10:10PM)
A couple of days ago a guy put up a lot of Lassen stuff on ebay. All at reasonable prices. I bought the Morgan Triple Threat set ($325.00, seemed like a fair price. 1921 uncirculated). I would have loved to get a few more things, but couldn't justify spending the bucks.
I checked again today, and everything is gone (he was selling sun/moon sets, hopping half sets, flipper / expanded shell sets, many others).
These wonderful sets were gobbled up quickly. Glad I just happened to check when I did.
Message: Posted by: FrankHorng (Jul 31, 2016 01:51AM)
Maybe sombody buy the coin sets as stock! I bought them for performance!
Message: Posted by: Tree (Aug 14, 2016 05:42PM)
People buy for the status symbol, and bragging rights,...I own a Lassen gaff, or I own more of Todd's than you, I'm an expert...same with cars people don't need..like 4x4's and live in cities like L.A. and Miami.

ever read these Lassen threads and the boasting that goes on with a Magi's ego?

yes, I own two myself
Message: Posted by: elainevblaine (Aug 17, 2016 03:25PM)
[quote]On Aug 14, 2016, Tree wrote:
People buy for the status symbol, and bragging rights,...I own a Lassen gaff, or I own more of Todd's than you, I'm an expert...same with cars people don't need..like 4x4's and live in cities like L.A. and Miami.

ever read these Lassen threads and the boasting that goes on with a Magi's ego?

yes, I own two myself [/quote]

Some magicians actually perform with them and like how they handle. And the way that they handle, unlike owning a 4x4 in the city, IS very important to cutting edge coin handlers. TV magicians also demand Lassen coins for their deceptiveness under close camera conditions. The kids that buy them for egocentric reasons are punks that are wasting good craftsmanship.
Message: Posted by: Calvin Tong (Aug 21, 2016 07:44PM)
My reasons:
- inventory management
- collecting is fun, but I can't take it with me when I face the man above when my time comes
- I don't always sell to make profit. Why? To pass the savings on To my brother/sister magi. Hopefully, they will do the same.
- I perform mostly with sleight of hand. Why? Because I don't always have my gaffs with me, but I always have 3 Morgan dollars tucked away in my wallet.
- As the years are passing by, I am becoming more of a minimalist.

And everyone has their opinion....... No right or wrong here.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Feb 11, 2017 08:10PM)
The sales of Lassen gaffs have slowed down on eBay for quite a while now to almost nothing.
Message: Posted by: AceTheInfinite (Nov 18, 2018 12:22AM)
I've had to sell coins to pay off unexpected bills.. I don't think most people would wait 3-5 months just to resell..
Message: Posted by: algebraic (Nov 23, 2018 10:51AM)
I have collected coin gaffs for quite awhile. Finally getting around to now looking at what I want to keep and use.
I was able to collect many types of coin gaffs by different coin gaffers. After going through my coin collection, I am looking at what fits for me personally.
I am glad I was able to research and purchase these coin gaffs. The time has finally come for me to sell off and give away coin gaffs that I no longer want. I would like to see my coin gaffs go to those who will use them and enjoy them.

It is hard for me to part with some of my coin sets, but I want others to enjoy what I have enjoyed. I do not sell for profit.

Time to stop collecting and to start using my coin gaffs. I have had several friends look at me stunned that I was giving away certain magic items/props etc. Again, time to stop collecting. I enjoy the look upon a person's face when they receive a free magic item that they want. Kids' faces are really fun to watch when I give them a magic effect they really want. Their parents look at me like I am Santa Clause. It is fun to watch someone else get excited over the same item I got excited over, but no longer want.

There are a few of us still around. Hoping you run into more of us.

Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Nov 23, 2018 02:32PM)
One reason for the availability of Lassen gaffs is due to another reason nobody mentioned.
Fairly recently, there have been extremely cheap Morgan replicas with Lassen-tolerance fitting shells that sell for almost nothing from you guess
what country? So why spend 500 when you can get it for 2% of the price and not worry about losing one or two?

I think this has certainly affected the topic of this thread.
Message: Posted by: warren (Nov 25, 2018 11:56AM)
I have both Johnson and a Lassen shell sets and there is a huge difference in both quality and fit and as I keep the sets in their own small coin purse so I have no fear of losing them ;)
Message: Posted by: Bambu (Nov 25, 2018 03:13PM)
Talking about Lassen coins...I am looking for a clad UWC set. Please PM if you have one that you would consider selling.
Message: Posted by: erichoudini (Sep 30, 2019 09:47AM)
Hi. Just wondering if anyone has any Lassen coin gaffs in excellent condition for sale? If so, please PM me. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: Brian Proctor (Oct 15, 2019 07:04PM)
Pm me, I’m looking for a soft Morgan shell set.