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Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I am looking for advice from those of you selling extras with your kid’s party shows. If you could only offer one 'extra' item what would it be? At what stage do you introduce the sales pitch for your extra items? I would like to increase my income from doing birthday party shows by up-selling these types of items.
I have been experimenting with selling my skills as a photographer as an extra. I always take a digital camera with me to kid’s birthdays. If I notice the adults are not taking many photos then I start taking them. I use the camera in the games I do with the kids after the show. Having your photo taken with the rabbit is one of the 'prizes' the kids can win. I also do some photo magic using Adobe PhotoShop so their birthday child can be seen to be really flying on a broom (for Harry Potter or Halloween parties). You can see some of the photos I have done here.
http://www.madjik.co.nz/melissa/party.htm
and here: http://www.madjik.co.nz/neslea/party.htm
I offer to sell the parents a CD-ROM containing their party photos. The CD contains a screen saver with their photos plus a few other little bits of bonus multi-media material I have created. I have priced the CD quite low to start with to see how it goes (the same price as getting a 36 exp film developed). I have sold a few but not many. Most parents seem to want the photos but expect to get it for free or think it is too expensive. I do give it away free to the client as a bonus IF they have given me a good tip and don’t mind doing that but I would really like to use it to leverage higher fees. What advise can you offer?
Smile
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
kenscott
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I think your photos a great! Great idea hard to believe they think it is to high. Try selling a rabbit and hat pinata or party favor bags. This makes me so much more money over a course of a year.
Good Luck
Ken Scott
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Do you leave the pinata with them or stay to help the children with it? Pinata's are not very common in New Zealand & most children will have never seen one before.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
kenscott
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yes I do leave the pinata with them. But if it not a BIG thing might not be worth the investment. Or would it be? Maybe you could start something different.

Neverless when you are doing birthdays look what the MOMS are buying for the party besides the entertainment. In most you can buy the stuff they are getting at wholesale and sell it to them. Ex/ plates,napkins, party favor bags, sand art activity, cotton candy, There is tons of extra stuff you can sell.
Best,
Ken
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Andrew, you know I speak my mind from 25 years experience, as in both our public and private communications. Forget photos. If you want to increase your revenue (I know you do!) then I would 1. start doing full two hour parties; 2. maybe see if you can start selling party loot bags, 3. start selling helium balloons (although the Honda would have to go for a van), 4. hire out a small bouncy castle as an extra (although these are very heavy and insurance rates are sky high.) - Best Wishes as always - Tony. Smile
danryb
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A friend aproached me the other day and told me that he has started creating "jingles" for radio comercials etc. He told me to record the birthday boy/girls friends singing happy birthday and also to record the b.day boy/girl having a short coversation with magician kind of interviewing him/her and also have the kids record there birthday greetings. He would then take the recording and edit it all onto a cd together with background music and sound effects. Sounds like something you could make and include in your price then send it on within the course of the following week in which case your clients feel as though they are still being given your services even after the do.
Dennis Michael
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Pinatas??

My brother uses them each year and some kid always gets to close especially when some candy falls out. A mad rush for it. Meanwhile the kid swings again in hopes to get much more out. It is really controlled until the candy falls out! There has been to many "close calls" or "near misses" on wacking a kid.

My last halloween party had a Pinata, and there were at least 6 kids under 5 at that party. When I saw the Pinata and baseball bat come out, I wanted to say something but, I kept my mouth shut. After the second swing, the birthday girl (5 Yrs old)ran up to the Pinata and hit it with her hand just as another kid swung the bat. It just missed her and the mother ran up and ripped open the Pinata.

As a person who develops safety magic shows, I would recommend not to add this to the performance or have it attached to what is offered to the client. I just don't want to get involved in a legal suit if someone gets wacked.

This is just my opinion, so far I know of no one who got hit, but this is just my personal belief. I know Ken Scott adds it to his shows and I am curious on his opinion. I meant to ask him this at Kidabra.
Dennis Michael
kenscott
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I do sell pintas but they are the afe kind with a pull string attached on the bottom of them. There are about 20 strings on the bottom and one of them releases the pinata open safely. The is actually a great selling technique because when I tell the parnets I have a pinata you can hear dead silence. But when I tell what type of pinata it is an almost instant sell.

Best,
ken
DanTheMagicMan
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Edgewater, Maryland USA
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Parents are usually like the idea of me making balloon animals for the kids after the show. The party can continue with games or food while I make the animals. You can probably make an additional $20 to $50 for balloon animals. One tip: Don't do the balloons before the show, they just create a distraction during the show with the kids handling them.
Dan The Magic Man
e-mail:[email]info@familymagicshows.com[/email]
web site:www.familymagicshows.com
MagicEvents.org - View or subscribe to upcoming magic events and birthdays.
Dennis Michael
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Thanks Ken,

It clears up a lot, especially the silence on the phone when you first mention it.
Dennis Michael
ChrisZampese
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Hamilton, NZ
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Andrew,
Great to see that you are really going well with your magic!! Long way from the bunny in my back yard!!

I think the photos are a great idea, and your photoshop photos are awesome.
I dont know how financially viable it is, but you could offer to host them on a webpage for a certain amount of time so that the parents can send the web address out to all their friends. (I amy be able to help you out here, PM me if you are interested)

Chris.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
tkuhns
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Kirksville, Missouri
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Here in Japan, we have a 100 yen-store (like the $1 in the U.S., but much better) that sells little magic tricks. I'm sure you can find cheap little tricks in any toy store. If you just personalize them somehow (attach a photo or your business card), mark them up 200%, how does that sound? I like this because it fits with the "magic" theme.

Personally, I like to do the balloon animals. Do you folks charge by-the-balloon, or by time? (I do it by time)
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I do balloons to and in all parties of less than 50 children it is in the price. After that I charge by the time (and number) pro rata to my show(Agreed before the booking)
By this I mean If they say there are 120 kids and I tell them well that will take me an extra 45 mins at £*****. if there are 200 kids I make sure there willing to pay more before I do them.
Phillip
Peter Marucci
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Sheesh!
Why not just bring a gun and hold up the household?
Are we THAT desperate for money that we would use magic as merely a sales tool?
In doing birthday parties (which I have been doing since the Dead Sea was only sick!), I tell the hostess (usually the mother) that the show runs a certain length and costs a certain amount. In addition, all the kids get a balloon animal at the end, with the birthday boy or girl getting a multi-balloon creation; as well, he or she gets a magic birthday card (with my business info on it) and a magic-trick birthday present (from the dollar store).
But I most certainly do NOT charge extra for this, or expect a tip, or anything else that could be construed as "hidden charges".
Sure, you might make a few extra bucks by peddling something to the kids or parents; but, for them, that is an unexpected charge and, while they may go along with it, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
And what about the kids who don't have any money with them, or whose family can't afford the extras?
Do you just leave them disappointed because you are so busy lusting after the almighty dollar?
Shouldn't magic be used for a somewhat higher purpose -- say, for example, to bring a little joy into people's lives?
Sorry for the lengthy rant but this is a subject I feel strongly about!
Smile
p.b.jones
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Hi Peter,
that's really the same as me as most birthday parties do not have more than 50 Children.

But surley you would charge more if you where expected to make 100 balloon models?

Quote:
But I most certainly do NOT charge extra for this, or expect a tip, or anything else that could be construed as "hidden charges".
Sure, you might make a few extra bucks by peddling something to the kids or parents; but, for them, that is an unexpected charge and, while they may go along with it, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
And what about the kids who don't have any money with them, or whose family can't afford the extras?
Do you just leave them disappointed because you are so busy lusting after the almighty dollar?

I am not talking about charging Extra on the day here, But quoting more when taking the initial call. the only time I might get a bit funny is whee I was booked to entertain 20 kids and wind up with 120 at the show. Then BEFORE the show started I would explain that I cannot make every child a balloon, unless they are willing to pay my extra time
I see nothing unfair in this. it is them who moved the goal posts not me
Phillip
Peter Marucci
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Sorry, Philip, I was not referring to your statement; it just happened that my post followed yours!
You are absolutely right; there is, of course, a limit. My rule of thumb is that if I estimate that the making of the balloons will take less time than the show, then there is no charge.
(If I'm wrong, then that's MY problem.)
However, as Philip says, if there are 120 kids instead of 20, then other arrangements would have to be made.
And those arrangement should be made before the show starts; either reach an agreement with the host/hostess on a higher fee, or drop the balloon-modelling at the end. As Philip says, it was the host/hostess who moved the goalposts!
kenscott
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Hi Peter:

I have not done a BD party where ther have been 100 kids attending. Not a big problem here. Average party 25 kids. AS for the up sells. I don't think it is hidden charges because they dont have to buy. However, If they don't buy from you party bags etc they are going to buy them from somewhere else. I have never left a parent with a bad taste in their mouth. It merely is a added feature and alot of moms are working now and they dont have the time to put bags together.

But I agree there should not be hidden charges. That is why I have several packages they can choose from

Best,
Ken
Cheshire Cat
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Yes, our average BD parties are 25 to 30 children. We have seen entertainers try and sell everything from catering to room decoration, to party bags to balloons. We successfully added a small cube bouncy castle (jumper) for a short while, but only at a fraction of the cost of what it could have been hired for separately. Downside being colossal insurance rates on these, weight, and of course not being able to deliver and collect from another party when the customer wanted because of entertainment engagements. We have only seen about 2 pinatas in 25 years!! Full 'party package' including food, deals I believe have moderately taken off in greater London, but generally floundered anywhere else in the UK. Which brings me back to full two hour stays (teabreak after 45 mins.) Do I need to send you copies of our accounts and property (real estate) deeds to prove it pays??? (Only joking of course guys). Smile Best Wishes as always - Tony. PS: How do you feel when customers take up the day on your 'minimum packages' and then others come along who wanted the 'full deal'?
p.b.jones
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How do you feel when customers take up the day on your 'minimum packages' and then others come along who wanted the 'full deal'?

Hi,
Actually I would not mind that much as I can do a lot more of them in a day.and as value for value they are more expensive that's fine!

My 45 mins show has a 2 hour turn around by that I mean I can book them at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm (if I want to work that hard)

Ie show 12 fin 12-45 reset and in car payed and leave 1pm 1/2hour travel arrive 30 mins before next start time 2pm (can set in less than 10mins if I need)

Now if I do a full party (basic I offer 3)
I can only perform at 3hr15min intevals (2hrs+15mins reset leave 30mins travel arrive 30mins early)

10am, 1.15pm, 4.30, next would be to late in most cases 7.45


Phillip
Cheshire Cat
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Hey, another entertainer who likes to arrive 30 minutes early like us! Wonderful Phillip! It gives you time to settle, stops the customer from worrying and even allows a nice cup of tea and a chat! Your distances surely though in Wales are far greater than ours? Guess your roads are quieter. We only do about 7,000 miles a year in each car - that's why we can afford to run 4x4s. But even the shortest journeys close to Greater Manchester can take ages! - and those guys whizzing around London trying to use the M25!!! No wonder the 'original' Smarty Artie semi retired to the Canaries was it? Smile
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