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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » Giving a free DVD with the Svengali deck (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sethb
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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
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
TKD27
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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 Smile
Jon-O the Great
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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
Brent McLeod
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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



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
TKD27
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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 Smile
Brent McLeod
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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!!
Jon-O the Great
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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
Jon-O the Great
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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.
magicusb
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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.


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