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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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Quote:
On 2006-06-02 07:54, Andy Walker wrote:
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.
......


I'm happy that you lough! It makes your life longer!
Anyway regarding books, "at my time" the books available at the magic shop (open) were much much more higher than the price at the magic meetings.

Do not misunderstand me, you are reacting on the fact that I complein "prices are too high for us magicians". Maybe I should have said in a differnt way:

don't you believe that there should be a price discrimination between "professional magicians" and "non professional magicians"?

Another issue that popped-up was "who is a real magician"?
I have thought about it: in my opinion a professional magician is:

A) one person member of one or more recognized magician associations in the world.
AND
B) One person who pays taxes on the income he gets from magic (in my Country he should have a VAT registration number)

// The Bonnie Kids ( (:-) )
Kent Wong
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With respect, I have to disagree. These days, anyone can get into a recognized magic association simply by filling out a form and paying your dues. Rarely does one ever have to audition and prove himself/herself worthy. And, it's even easier to get a tax registration number. That doesn't mean the person is any good.

To me, a professional is defined in the quality of one's work and how a person conducts himself/herself in the application of a chosen field of practice. Admittedly, it's one of those things that's extremely hard to define, but "you know it when you see it".

As for price differences between professional and non-professionals, I agree. I think the non-professionals should get the discount. When you take a look at how much money is spent in a magic store and who is spending that money, it's a bit of a surprise. It's the hobbyist magicians who keep coming back for more and spending every cent they have on the latest trick. If it wasn't for them, the shops would be out of business.

In contrast, professional magicians tend to have their shows in place already and they don't need to buy a ton of additional material. Sure, they'll buy something now and then to add to their act, or they'll buy additional consumables they may need from time to time; but the dollar values won't be enough for the shop owenr to pay the rent.

So, if you were a shop owner, would you give a discount to the customers who keep you in business or the ones who only show up from time to time? To me, membership shouldn't have any privileges. Loyalty does.

Just my two bits. Smile

Kent
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The Bonnie Kids
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"With respect, I have to disagree."

Kent, I have appreciated your post. Thanks.


"These days, anyone can get into a recognized magic association simply by filling out a form and paying your dues. Rarely does one ever have to audition and prove himself/herself worthy."

True, but it requires some efforts. It is not so easy to join a magic-club if you are not a magician and/or if you are not really willing to be one. Most magic clubs I have seen require some sponsors or a sort of test.
Anyway beiing part of a magic club means that you have at least an interest in magic. The opposite (you have an interest in magic but not part of magic association) couls also be true, but it is less convincing.
Than everything is like in the real life: you might be an engineer but it doesn't mean you are a good engineer (I have personal life experience on that). Even if the graduation requires more efforts than "graduation"as magician. There are very good doctors that have succesfully carried operations in hospitals but they have never been graduated in medicine.When they are discovered they are arrested. This shows that you can be a good doctor without need to graduate at the university, but the road is much more difficult that the first one.


"And, it's even easier to get a tax registration number. "

Not really. When you have a tax registration number you have to show that you do efforts to make a profit out of your activity. This doesn't mean that you must be succesful in that, but you have to prove that you do efforts in that direction. If not, the tax number can be removed and you pass under the category HOBBY.

So if a magicians has a VAT Number or not gives an important indication on the activity of the magician (more: it also shows to the customer that he's not going to pay a black worker).
Of course you might be the best magician in the world without tax number... numer one it stinks (how can you perform for companies without tax registration number?, how do you pay tyour taxes?), number two this is less probable than the "correct" way.
So, in my opinion being a member of a magic association and having a tas registration number is, statistically speaking, an indication.


"That doesn't mean the person is any good."
This is a different issue. Anyway if you are not good, you will not probably work so much, and after several years of passivity in your "company" the tax office will start to look into you and ask you if your tax number shouldn't moved under another activity (hobby for instance). So I don't see how easy can it be to to keep a tax number open if you do not have business, and if you do not have a business you are probably not good enough.


"To me, a professional is defined in the quality of one's work and how a person conducts himself/herself in the application of a chosen field of practice. Admittedly, it's one of those things that's extremely hard to define, but "you know it when you see it"."

I agree (personally) with you, but in my opinion some formal indicators should be available. And I found the 2 that I have proposed.
If I have to choose between two magicians for my company cick-off meeting: magician 1 gives me regular bill, magician 2 no (I have to temporarly hire him etc..) --> choice goes on magician number one. If he shows to be really bad (from audience point of view, not from magicians point of view, next time I'll try magician 2, but only if he really was NOT GOOD.



"As for price differences between professional and non-professionals, I agree. I think the non-professionals should get the discount. When you take a look at how much money is spent in a magic store and who is spending that money, it's a bit of a surprise. It's the hobbyist magicians who keep coming back for more and spending every cent they have on the latest trick. If it wasn't for them, the shops would be out of business."

Interesting comment! Based on the business from the shop's point of view. I was trying to use the "ethics" as a point of view.
In few words, at a magic convention (where more or less only interested people are met) I would like to have lower prices than on internet, available to everybody.
And I also think it would be fair for the internet shops to give a discount to magicians members of a recognized magic association. This should not be "advertised" by the magic shops but should be advertised by the magic associations themselves (otherwize after 2 weeks everybody is a member of one association...)

"In contrast, professional magicians tend to have their shows in place already and they don't need to buy a ton of additional material. Sure, they'll buy something now and then to add to their act, or they'll buy additional consumables they may need from time to time; but the dollar values won't be enough for the shop owenr to pay the rent."

Yes and No. Professional Magicians are there because they love their art, and in the beginning they were not professionals. They are also "full of ****", if this sentence is allowed -hopefully- in the café.


"So, if you were a shop owner, would you give a discount to the customers who keep you in business or the ones who only show up from time to time? To me, membership shouldn't have any privileges. Loyalty does. "

In my opinion NOT ALWAYS you have to directly go "where the money are". Sometimes you must give space for what you believe is correct, even if maybe in the short term this gives less business.
Same question: should "pasta with ketchup" be available at italian restaurants? 80% of italians I know (owning a restaurant) offer it even if this is completely against their culture. The rest of them answer that "they do not serve that stuff in an Italian Restaurant". They loose some customers of course, but they also keep high the Italian food culture. Business is not only money.

Thanks for your post

// Andrea
Howard Coberly
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It's quite simple...stay away from the brick and mortar shops if you want the best deals. You can also buy from the deal thread on this forum. I have purchased some great items in brand new or like new condition from this forum at great prices.

Several dealers/magicians have contacted me as a result of my search posts and offered their items at less than the going prices on the internet or in the B and M shops.

It's in everything's nature to evolve, including magic sales. The hard shops cannot compete with the shops on line and they will all eventually disappear.

With them will go the ridiculous prices that some of them charge for what, in many cases, is junk with dishonest descriptions used to entice unknowing magicians/hobbiests into buying. Their excuse..."well, we have to cover our overhead" and my favorite rationalization for their dishonesty.."we have to protect the secret"

See my past posts concerning " Magicians' logic"

If I can get a new invisible deck from some 14 year old kid on the net for 3.00 because he's selling out of his dad's garage and has no overhead instead of 6.00 for the same deck in the B and M shops, you can bet I will go where the best deal is.

Magicians are extremely vulnerable to advertising...maybe it's in our nature. A month before a new item hits the market, this forum goes crazy with people who "Heard of the trick and cannnot wait to buy it" or who "saw it at the FFFF and it killed everyone" Then, after the item hits the market, magically, it all dries up and you don't hear anything about the trick again until 15 of them show up on the thread for re-sales.

Don't let yourself be bullied by the people who market this stuff into thinking that you're a bad or immoral person for not buying directly from them...you are not! Your are an intelligent person who works hard for his money and wants the most for what he has worked hard for!


Howard
"Our town used to be more fortunate...not a single winter passed without the visit of some star.
There used to be famous actors and singers, while today, God only knows! Nobody visits except magicians and organ-grinders. No esthetic satisfaction."
Potty the Pirate
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Are the prices too high? Or are your fees too low? If you think you're paying too much for your props, simply increase your fees to justify buying them. I increase my fees every year, and some of that increase is to pay for props. If you can't increase your fees enough, then forget buying the fancy props until your show is earning the dollars.
The Bonnie Kids
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I think my post had other connotations than just money.
I do not think that everything is a business. No.

// Andrea
Potty the Pirate
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I personally support those magic stores (such as Hocus Pocus) who really make an effort to supply only quality items, and also who can advise on the best props for your show. Everybody has to make a living, and magic props are very reasonably priced in my opinion. What keeps me coming back is customer service.
The Bonnie Kids
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Quote:
On 2006-06-03 10:50, MagicB1S wrote:
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. ................. 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.


Maybe I expressed myself in the wrong way.
I am not complaining abou the prices. I'm not saying I want to pay 1 dollar instead of 2.
I'm saying I do not want to spend 10 dollars for a TT, if 10 dollars is the price on the "open market". One new guy might spend 10 dollars or more to get the secret on how to make a silk vanish, but in my case I only need the TT. I know what I have to do with it.
As I tried to say, before we had 2 different locations. The open shops and the meetings, where often a magic house or more were invited. In the meetings only magicians were allowed (I remember not even my parents were allowed to enter because the magic house had all the "secrets opened"), and the price for a TT is, let's say, it's production price.
My understanding, at that time, was I tried to tell you: we know how it works, we just need the "hardware" or let's say, the tool.

I feel instead that with this globalisation (internet mainly), everybody has access to everything. So in my opinion either I am paying too much (I pay for the trick even if I know it) or the non-magicians are paying a too low price (which I also dislike).

That's was my thought, not a complaint against "you" magic houses or magic shops.

Another curiosity: will the prices at FISM be cheaper than the "open prices?" Only magicians are there...

// Andrea
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2006-06-01 13:18, Starrpower wrote:
"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.


What are books, if not a collection of secrets? Knowing the secret is a major part of any magic trick. Jack Chanin was selling "Dual Control" long before Alan Alan started producing it. I paid Jack $15.00 for it in 1960. All I got was a piece of elastic, two safety pins, a gut loop and a set of instructions. But the things I could do with those were worth the price.

If you think that the value of a secret is a scam and that whoever originated this was a scam artist, think about how strong some things are that are only secrets. For example, consider OOTW. What is that REALLY worth? Does the fact that it appeared in a book that once sold for $5.00 diminish its value? I don't think so.

Consider magic lessons. What are they really worth, if you learn something from them? How much would it be worth to you to be able to do the Downs Coin Star with normal, ungaffed coins? All you would be paying for would be the secret and some training. What's it worth to know how to do something that only a handful of magicians can do?

What is Scotch and Soda worth? That's a strong trick. What would it be worth do you to be able to do the same thing with normal coins? Would that be worth more or less than the gaffed version? Secrets have value.

Andrea:

I seriously doubt that many of the magic houses will have special prices at FISM. The fee for attending is so high that many magicians are staying away. There are dealers who would normally go, who will not be in attendance.

It's hard to justify discounts when the fees are so high.

BTW, not everyone has access to everything. There are things that you can't buy on or off the internet. And, believe it or not, there are dealers who do not advertise on the web. Most of them have specialized markets.

And you really aren't all that far from Harries Magic.
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Mad Jake
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Quote:
On 2006-06-04 14:38, Howard Coberly wrote:
Don't let yourself be bullied by the people who market this stuff into thinking that you're a bad or immoral person for not buying directly from them...you are not! Your are an intelligent person who works hard for his money and wants the most for what he has worked hard for!
Howard


Howard, this is how we feel here at RNT II. We have 2 dealers, Steven's Magic and the Trickery. We strongly recommend that people support their favorite dealers. We even put their banners right on our front page.

While true a manufacturer does not make as much wholesaling to the dealer, it exposes your product more. Bottom line for smaller shops such as RNT II, Porper, Schoolcraft etc. sometimes the "Instant" retail dollar is not as important as to slowly build a reputation through selling your products through dealers that already have a firm and reputable stand in the magic community. The upper echelon of dealers such as Steven's Magic is know for the high standards and taste in magic apparatus, this is works to the adavantage of the consumer and the supplier.

Brick and mortar shops are tough, the high overhead usually dictates prices. Hell, Harry has Daytona Magic right on the water front, I can't even imagine what Harry is paying for that shop there. A lot of internet shops have "Showrooms" as does RNT II, we schedule appointments with serious buyers, this keeps the prices down. In years gone by, had you gone to Flosso's, Philadelphia Magic you had to go to a seedy part of town, why? Because the rents were cheap. I remember a magic shop in Atlantic City, they stocked about 3/4 of what Tannens did back in the 70's, however the shop was 1/2 magic and get this 1/2 Adult novelty shop, you had to be careful when you asked for a Magic Wand and make sure he didn't give you the Magic Dong. Even when magic was what we called Reasonable or cheap, the costs to dealers were still high to resellers.

Tougher insurance and workers laws, utilities have an large impact on retail (elec. increased here on June 1st for commercial fronts a whopping 65%, yes all in one month, with a 30 day notice Delmarva power jacked commercial electric bills 65%. that's a tough hit for a store owner to take, just step outside, it's 103 out here right now, AC units are struggling. Not many consumers take all this into consideration. Brick and mortar shops are still essential, especially for those who want to see an effect peformed before shelling out the big bux.

Just my 2cents <actually 5cents if you consider the inflation of copper>

Jake
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at www.airshipmagic.com
Bill Palmer
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There will be bricks and mortar shops as long as there are people who will put in a magic counter. "Pure" bricks and mortar shops have been very rare. Most of them have also sold jokes, makeup, costumes or some other sideline. Now, the ones that have an internet presence are finding out that if they do their marketing correctly, they can make a lot of money on the internet. Some have closed their Bricks and Mortar storefront and moved to larger quarters.

Others deal only at conventions. That works for some people. Much of it depends on the committment the owner is willing to make to being a magic dealer. It isn't a part-time job, that's for sure.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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