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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » From Soup to Nuts » » Aren't the prices too high? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Bonnie Kids
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I'll try to explain what I mean.
When I started magic (20 years ago), in my town there was a magic shop open to evrybody. Prices of the tricks where very high because everybody had theoretically access to the shop.
In my town there was the I.B.M ring, and often they had some representants of some magic houses where you could find the tricks at a more reasonable price (also 50% less, I am sure). Why? Only "real magicians" could have been there, so the extra price for telling you the trick was not needed. We only paied for the product and not for the trick.
What happens today? All magic houses are on the web. The web is available for us ("real magicians") and for the other people, but there is one price only, and I think it is generally high.
I do not think it is fair that a "non magician" spends as a magician,because everybody would by the tricks just to see how they are done.
I also do not think it is fair that a magician spends as a non-magician, because this is our job.
Shouldn't the "registered" magicians have a special discount from the magic shops?

Where I live now there is no magic shop and no IBM ring, so I can only by from internet. Sigh!

// Andrea
Marvello
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Rent, advertising, computers, insurance, utilities, payroll & health insurance for employees all add up to a pretty penny and that is even before you add inventory. brick & mortar shops are less able to offer discounts than online shops where the overhead is much less, but I still like to support them simply because I like being able to walk in to a shop and see the effect in person and discuss it with a knowledgable salesperson.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
The Bonnie Kids
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YES,
I also love to go in the magic shops.
More generally: I prefere to have a human in front of me than a computer.
But what I meant was: shouldn't we "registered magicians" pay less than a "non registered magician"?
I know how the trick works, I just need the "stuff" to perform it.
MikeDes
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I don't think, with the current level of competition, that any magic shop is currently charging extra to keep thing out of non-magician hands. They are charging what the market will handle through demand and supply.

There are on-line shops that let you register or sign up to their e-mail lists and often offer special sales.
p.b.jones
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Quote:
But what I meant was: shouldn't we "registered magicians" pay less than a "non registered magician"?
I know how the trick works, I just need the "stuff" to perform it.



Hi,
The thing is who says who is a magician and who is not? what would the criteria be ?

Phillip
ThePartyMagician
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Why should the magic dealers be expected to offer discounts to their target market?

Should we then, as magicians, be expected to offer discounts to our target markets?

Thought not.
John C
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Who's to discern who is a magician and who's not?

A special committee of "real magicians" perhaps? Smile

John
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Binary
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Quote:
On 2006-05-31 13:43, ThePartyMagician wrote:
Why should the magic dealers be expected to offer discounts to their target market?

Should we then, as magicians, be expected to offer discounts to our target markets?

Thought not.
Seconded, why should we expect businesses to offer discounts to us? It would be highly detrimental for their business - They would no longer be able to stay competitive with the other stores, and would be severely limiting their userbase.

Also, we don't want to discourage people from learning magic, if people want to learn magic it should be just as easy for them to obtain manuscripts and at the same cost as any other magician. Yes, it will mean that anyone can get hold of a manuscript, or pay to find out how an effect is done, but very very very few lay people will actually want to pay for this privelage.

Remember, part of the reason why prices have gone up is inflation too...
Kent Wong
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I've never known a magic shop to sell at higher prices just because it sold to the general public. I've also never known of any magic shop (online or otherwise) to sell a product at a lesser price just because the customer purported to already know how the trick was done and just needed the "stuff" to do it (In fact, I dare anyone to go into a brick & mortar store or an online shop and say something like this!). Ninety percent of the value to any trick is in the secret. When you buy a trick from a magic shop, you are buying the secret - whether you already know how the trick is done or not.

The reality is simply that online and warehouse pricing has always been cheaper because their overhead is cheaper. They don't pay for retail space and they don't have to hire demonstrators for their products. So, they are able to pass on some of those savings to the customer.

The brick & mortar stores don't enjoy this cost savings and they have to charge accordingly. But, the brick & mortar stores offer first hand advice, guidance and a sense of comraderie that you just can't get anywhee else. The shops are often the focal point of the magic community and are directly responsible for bringing in a variety of lecturers during the course of any given year.

Are prices too high? No. If anything, I think prices for many items are too low. As a result, any kid off the street can get a paypal account, buy a bunch of stuff online, and say he's a magician. Generally speaking, although the volume of magic sales have increased, the quality of magicians still has a long ways to go.

There used to be a time that a magic dealer would actually REFUSE to sell someone an item if he felt that the customer wasn't ready to take on the trick. The dealers were actually gatekeepers that protected the quality and integrity of the craft. There used to be a magic dealer in Edmonton that would make you prove yourself to him before he would sell you any high-end product. He successfully ran his shop for close to 30 years and still continues to manufacture magic even in retirement.

Unfortunately, with economic pressures and modern technology, dealers of today no longer have that luxery. If you have the money, they have the product.

Kent
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GWGumby
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I have always assumed magic supplies were usually as costly as they are because they are marketed to magicians who are presumably earning money through the use of these supplies.

Almost any business-to-business merchandise is going to cost more than business-to-consumer because they know that business merchandise is used to generate income whereas consumer merchandise is for consuming.

When I see a magic product marketed for $200 that may be made up of $25 of material, I may grumble at that price, but I figure it is priced for a professional who will be using it as an investment in his own shows to increase or maintain his own income.
Amazing Magic Co
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I would imagine production volumes are very low also contributing the pricey-ness of magic products. I'm always willing to pay for quality. You never have to question the investment, value and quality of Chance Wolf, Jack Murry, Owens or Viking. Regretfully, all too often you'll buy an affect which obviously chooses the cheapest route to market. That's where I rely on our colleagues here on the Café in assessing overall value. The bricks & mortor guys, like Denny & Lees, contribute so much to magic that there value goes far beyond the direct price of the product.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Dan.
The Bonnie Kids
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I haven't been to a magic meeting (of any magic circle) since sevarl years (at least 10), becaue in my place there is no I.B.M. But you are probably lucky enough to have this opportunity: if in these meetings some magic houses are invited, do they offer their items for the same internet price or lower?
Or just a similar question: at FISM there will be a lot of magic houses. Do you expect lower prices there or not?

I know it's difficult to state who is a magician.
But today you can state who is an engineer, a doctor etc. so I presume a magician is a person who is member of a formal recognized magic circle.
This does not tell if the magician is a good one or not, but not even th euniversity degree in medicine tells if the dentist is good or not...

// Andrea
Starrpower
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"Buying the Secret" has always been a major scam in magic. Whomever initiated that swindle must have been a GREAT magician to pull such a SUCCESSFUL con on an entire industry AND ACTUALLY HAVE PEOPLE ACCEPT THAT AS A REASONABLE POLICY! The good news for us consumers is a credit card company will typically side with us rather than the seller when such an outrageous policy is cited as the reason for refusing a refund.

Having said that, I think magic props are generally pretty reasonably priced considering that most are hand-built products that are manufactured by the scores rather than (in most cases) by the thousands.
revlovejoy
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My local shop gives a 10% discount to SAM/IBM members.

I am not a member. The owners and employees know me, and the type of show I do, and the type of props I am likely to buy. I think I am a "regular." But I don't have a card, so no discount. That's their policy, I know it, and that's fine.
Al Angello
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When people ask me to donate my time in the middle of my busy season they often will complain that my prices are too high for them. Those customer, and this thread make me laugh.
THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH
Al Angello
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alson
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Everyone realize there in a big mark up in magic .
alson
Andy Wonder
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Bonnie Kids-A, you make me laugh as well. Have you ever purcahsed a magic book? Did you expect to buy it for the cost of printing only because you alreday know the screts inside? If you alreday know the methods by which magic apparatus work, then you don't need to buy them. Simpily make your own & save a fortune.

It is not about the secrets.

As someone who has made a lot of my own magic props I can tell you it is often much easier & cheaper to buy what you want if it is avaliable. I've made a lot of my own props because I've wanted things that are unique.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Marvello
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Quote:
On 2006-06-01 13:18, Starrpower wrote:
The good news for us consumers is a credit card company will typically side with us rather than the seller when such an outrageous policy is cited as the reason for refusing a refund.

sounds like the voice of experience. Smile
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
MagicB1S
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I can tell you first hand That the price of doing Business is far more then the average person can imagine.... I own my own shop... The mark up is what it is to survive.... My light Bill alone is $1100 a month the cost of a phone is much more then a home phone we pay almost 9 cents a minute because it is a business rate. and the 800 # well it is free for you but not us... we pay for that call. and this is just a few of the cost of doing business Not to mention payroll, Health insurance, workmans comp insurance, the list goes on and on. In the end there isn't a lot of money left over.... Its a living but we aren't getting rich like most of you might think. However I do give a discount to any IBM members but that is because they are most of your repeat customers. If I do have a repeat customer that I am familiar with and they are not an ibm member I will give them the discount as well.
"There are Tricks To All Trades.... My Trade is all Tricks"

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boppies2
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Well said Magic Bob,
I (like most) often get asked for a discount or free bee. I pride myself on the quality entertainment and the beautiful props. It takes practise and money. If I did discount one person, then what do I offer the next. I guess there is just no free lunch.
Max
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