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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Thoughts on Pricing and Product Availability (20 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tony Iacoviello
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The topics of pricing and limited VS general availability come up quite a bit here.

In my opinion, some things were said in a recent thread, some are very valid, some not so, come across as condescending, some down right insulting.

If someone announces (or posts on some one else announcing) an upcoming release, there is nothing wrong with people asking about the price point and or the availability (limited or not). Knowing if it is within our price range and how long it will be available for let’s us know if we should invest our interest and time in following the product or not.

My thoughts on pricing: Creators, manufacturers, businesses, have the right to price their products as they see fit. Nothing marketed here is “living essential”. If one wants it, pay the price; if one cannot afford it, don’t buy it. Personally, I find the financial advice given on this place insulting: perform more and earn the money to pay for it, or sell of the items you own… People here come from all walks of life, and from all areas of the world. Not all earn as much or have as much disposable income. Personally, I budget what I spend. I have children and grandchildren, and other responsibilities. This is why I own 0 of the high priced products. But I don’t complain about it. They are just not in my budget. Yes, I suppose I could go out and sell my car or a kidney, but doing that to learn another take on ACAAN would be silly.

Back on the pricing, whether it is priced high, priced low, or somewhere in the middle is not an indicator of the quality of a manuscript or the material in it, it is just an indicator on how it is being marketed. I find it strange that people criticize each other on this, especially those bringing items to market.

My suggestions: When discussing an upcoming release, let us know if it is limited and if it is over say $100 (USD), and approximately when it will be available, this way people can see if it is affordable for them.

Tony Iacoviello
sbays
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Tony I absolutely agree. There are definitely people on this site who think that nothing is worth more than $100. That is fine---don't buy it. However the creator has the absolute right to price a product as he sees fit and the buyer has the absolute right to not buy it. What you see on this forum is a group who continuely badger anyone who dares sell a product for what they consider to be a high price. I wonder if these same people form a boycott line at the Ralph Lauren store because they sell a shirt that cost $7 for $75? Probably not---they simply choose not to buy the shirt without calling Ralph Lauren a scam artist or a fraud ,etc. Some things to think about: 1) are you better off buying 5 $20 effects that are crap and not one $100 effect that you will use all the time? 2) When buying an expensive product don't most people take into consideration who the creator is? Past reviews of that creator? Current reviews of the product? 3) I have bought books for $100+ that contained a ton of useable material. Is the book expensive---I guess but it contains many many effects---not just one.

We deal with methods, secrets and effects. They can be hard to price. Releasing one of my pet effects isn't worth it for $15 even if maybe others think it is a $15 effect. So if I price it at $100 and that is what it takes for me to share it---so be it. No one is forced to buy it. What I have seen over time is there is a general theme about people who complain about price and/or limited releases---it ticks them off that they can't get it. That is the underlying theme.

WIth regard to price, buy it or not--you have to make up your own mind but please don't badger the creator about the price
Jerome Finley
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Yes (!) and especially because those !@#$%ing and moaning about price are usually the ones who feel free to start looking for torrents after their idiotic rants here and elsewhere.

Great thread, Tony. Thank you!

J.
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Tony Iacoviello
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I just don't get some of it.

If something is outside your comfortable price range, you just move on.

Standing outside the Lamborghini dealership complaining they charge too much makes no sense to me.
I'm happy with my Chevy.
eSamuels
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Well put, Tony.
Alas, we live in a 'Dollar Store' mentality world, where an item's 'value' is often perceived as simply being the sum total of what it actually costs to produce.

This is utter nonsense.
Production cost (whether a device, book or even electronic manuscript) is only one of several considerations when calculating an item's value/price.


Alas, this is further evidence of a growing sense of entitlement.....and I'm not referring to the political distortion of the term.

e
Athos
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That seals the deal. Great post.
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geraldbelton
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Think about this:

A mass-market hardback book sells for around $20. But potential sales are huge. A New York Times Best-seller is selling at least 5,000 copies PER WEEK.

Books for smaller niche markets are more expensive. I paid $225 for my college Calculus text, and that was a USED copy on Amazon.com, not a new one at the school bookstore.

How many mentalists are there? How many copies can a "bestseller" among mentalism books expect to sell? I bet even Bob Cassidy's latest tome isn't selling 5,000 copies a week. But I guarantee you that he put as much of his life, time, and talent into that book as Arrianna Huffington put into her latest bestseller. Probably more. Doesn't he deserve to be well-paid for that?
mastermindreader
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I think so! Smile

Fifteen hundred, or so, sales would be considered a best seller in the mentalism market.
Scott Soloff
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Personally, I have no problem with paying for knowledge.

It wasn't that long ago that if you wanted to learn magic or hypnosis or mentalism, you literally
had to ingratiate yourself with someone that had real world experience (David tells a great story about this).

For someone that goes out into the world, performs before live audiences, refines and polishes their work and
then takes the time/effort/work to distill it into a book or a video is priceless.

A working pro or even semi-pro understands how precious such material is to them.

Side note: In this regard, Bob's work is terribly under-priced!

IMO, those that b*tch and complain about price are probably amateurs and have no idea what their talking about!

Rant over...

Best wishes,


Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
Mike Ince
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Quote:

Back on the pricing, whether it is priced high, priced low, or somewhere in the middle is not an indicator of the quality of a manuscript or the material in it, it is just an indicator on how it is being marketed. I find it strange that people criticize each other on this, especially those bringing items to market.


Well said. Some very useful props come from the Dollar Store.

An item is worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it, so long as the buyer receives what is advertised.

The man who buys a Lamborghini has a good idea what he's paying for. He may not get to test drive it but he can inspect it, sit in the cockpit, and have a reasonable assumption that the car will handle as advertised. Buyers of mentalism and magic products don't always have that luxury.

Once or twice I've purchased an expensive book and been disappointed with what I've received. I found little value for my performances so I no longer make purchases from those creators. What I found in one book couldn't objectively be measured as bad. It just didn't translate well into something my persona could use. This happens far more often to me than buying something then discovering it's garbage. Before buying, it's helpful to know whether the material works best for a psychic, a medium, a mindreader, a body language expert, a mental magician, etc. If the product description is ambiguous about that I don't buy it until I can learn more from a trusted reviewer.
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Doc Ben
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Quote:
On Apr 10, 2014, Mike Ince wrote:
Quote:

Back on the pricing, whether it is priced high, priced low, or somewhere in the middle is not an indicator of the quality of a manuscript or the material in it, it is just an indicator on how it is being marketed. I find it strange that people criticize each other on this, especially those bringing items to market.


Well said. Some very useful props come from the Dollar Store.

An item is worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it, so long as the buyer receives what is advertised.

The man who buys a Lamborghini has a good idea what he's paying for. He may not get to test drive it but he can inspect it, sit in the cockpit, and have a reasonable assumption that the car will handle as advertised. Buyers of mentalism and magic products don't always have that luxury.

Once or twice I've purchased an expensive book and been disappointed with what I've received. I found little value for my performances so I no longer make purchases from those creators. What I found in one book couldn't objectively be measured as bad. It just didn't translate well into something my persona could use. This happens far more often to me than buying something then discovering it's garbage. Before buying, it's helpful to know whether the material works best for a psychic, a medium, a mindreader, a body language expert, a mental magician, etc. If the product description is ambiguous about that I don't buy it until I can learn more from a trusted reviewer.


"Price is what you pay,...value is what you get"......an important distinction between price and value in a purchase of anything..!! Smile
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" (the original F. Baum)
Jeff Wassom
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Quote:
Back on the pricing, whether it is priced high, priced low, or somewhere in the middle is not an indicator of the quality of a manuscript or the material in it, it is just an indicator on how it is being marketed. I find it strange that people criticize each other on this, especially those bringing items to market.


Yes, sometimes the answer you need is given freely in the form of sage advice on the Café, or already in your collection. Sometimes it costs money, sometimes it doesn't, but value is inherently personal and has nothing to do with a number.

I understand a certian amount of marketing is necessary, but it often goes a long way to undermine people's natural sensibilities.
Mark_Chandaue
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Due to being a single dad I often miss out on the limited editions due to timing and price etc. that's life, nobody ever said life is fair but when you look at it from start to finish it tends to balance out. Sometimes you are the dog and sometimes you are the lamp post. I have been very lucky in my life to have some opportunities and experiences that few others get, likewise I have missed out on some things that many take for granted. That's life and we can all probably say the same.

If you want to live a happy life you learn to appreciate the things you have and do without the things you can't have and for 99% of us the latter list will be far greater than the former, get bogged down in the latter list and life is going to really suck. There are many things I will never have that far outweigh the limited releases I won't get to own. I will never get to perform Nate Stanisforth's lottery illusion, will probably never discover which way up "this way" is. Likewise I will probably never get a bj off Angelina Jolie or know how it feels to stand on the moon. More importantly I will never get to tell my Father I loved him, never get to share a pint with him down the pub or watch him play with my children. There are far more important things than getting to read every book or perform every effect. If you don't get to purchase those limited secrets then enjoy the opportunity to be fooled by them. Every cloud ......

Somebody mentioned the sense of entitlement that many have these days, this is a sad side effect of the modern instant age. We live in a world of instant downloads, instant messages, instant purchases and instant access to information about just about everything. People have forgotten how it feels to have to work to get information or even having to earn the right to the information in the first place. Once upon a time we had to send off for a catalogue and when the catalogue arrived we had to fill out an order form and walk to the post office and send it off and wait a few weeks for the cheque to clear and the item to be sent. Not to mention a good book might cost the best part of a weeks wages. Back then you squeezed every last drop out of a purchase when it arrived and didn't worry too much about what you didn't have. The effort you had to put in to get what you had meant that you put your attention into that rather than getting caught up in what you didn't have.

I see nothing wrong with limited releases and despite being one of the poor buggers that tends to miss out on more than I get I think they can be a good thing. Imagine if Nate's lottery illusion was $30 from penguin on general release, the world and his wife would be doing it and it would lose its value. Sure I will probably never get to perform it, but for those audiences that get to see it performed it will be a thing of wonder rather than just another guy doing that old lottery trick.

The only downside of highly sought after limited releases are the profiteers who buy the release for the sole purpose of turning it around for a quick profit, or worse still those who buy multiple copies purely for the purpose of making a fast buck. Without those people a few more of us would get to experience these limited releases without having to sell a kidney.

Strive for the things you wish for, learn to live without the things you can't have, and most importantly cherish the things you do have.

Mark
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Jeff Wassom
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Cheers Mark. =)

My thought on entitlement is it cuts out any sort of process so there's nothing of value to begin with, just an empty hole to fill.

It all starts with passion, which fittingly, you can't download. ;o)
David Thiel
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Authors have an absolute right to charge whatever they want for their work...just as consumers choose whether or not to pay the price.

What's an idea worth, anyway? What's a fair payment for a nuance that improves your presentation? How much is a routine you re-design and adapt for inclusion to your show worth? Personally, I consider every routine I use (there are maybe 30 of them that I choose from) invaluable, because I had to wade through a lot of ideas that didn't work for me (or were outright crap) to find the ones that fit.

Maybe the difference is where we're coming from as performers. I consider most of the things I purchase ("most" because I still like new toys Smile ) as investments. Since I do this for a living my knees don't get wobbly at a stiff price tag and I know that, every idea/routine that makes it onto my performing roster is an addition to my arsenal of "choice" -- and that I'll recoup the investment very quickly.

Things that are a drag on my reading or development time are the truly bad investments, because I can't recoup my time.

You need to weigh what you're buying and stack that up against who you are as a performer. Ask yourself if this purchase you're considering is actually something that will ultimately be a good "fit" for you...and, if so, whether or not the price tag is worth the benefits you'll receive.

With reference to brevity? Have you read Cassidy? Osterlind? They both put out comparatively short manuscripts -- but they are packed with usable material. Cassidy's 4DT, for example, is a relatively tiny document. How many of us are using this all the time...and how much was that baby worth to you?

David
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Mark_Chandaue
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With my limited budget coupled with my thirst for knowledge I am probably shooting myself in the foot with the following statements but I believe that underpricing and easy availability are a far bigger problem than high prices and limited availability.

Whilst my wallet and bank balance isn't complaining (well not as much as it could be) I have purchased quite a few items that I think are grossly underpriced Pin being the most recent. This is a well thought out, beautifully constructed and extremely well written professional performance piece that requires a minimum of tweaking (purely to make it my own) before slotting it straight into my act. For this I paid a paltry $30. I wouldn't even begin to calculate the amount of effort and thought that went into creating and refining that routine. The mere act of typing it up is worth more than $30. The same is true of much of Bob's material, much of Richard Osterlind's, Atlas Brookings and too many others to mention.

Think about what we spend elsewhere, it's a sorry state of affairs when many performers are willing to spend more travelling to a venue than they paid for the entire contents of their act. People will quibble about paying $100 for the life's work of a creative genius and then gladly hand a plumber twice that for spending 15 minutes changing a washer in the tap. We are spoilt and we don't even realise it, we are lucky that the creative members of our community are generous enough to take the time to put their ideas and experience into books and videos and then sell them to the rest of us for a fraction of their true worth.

Yes there will be people who read this post and think "What a load of bollox ... they do it for the money, pure and simple". Well the reality is that those with creative talent would make far more profit writing bad novels than good magic books if it were just about the money. However regardless of their motives without those that have the talent to create magic there would be a lot less of us able to perform it.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
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Jeff Wassom
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This is such a small market I'd be hard pressed to believe people price and release things solely based on economics?

If so, they're working harder than they need to!
Stunninger
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Quote:
On Apr 11, 2014, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
With my limited budget coupled with my thirst for knowledge I am probably shooting myself in the foot with the following statements but I believe that underpricing and easy availability are a far bigger problem than high prices and limited availability.

Whilst my wallet and bank balance isn't complaining (well not as much as it could be) I have purchased quite a few items that I think are grossly underpriced Pin being the most recent. This is a well thought out, beautifully constructed and extremely well written professional performance piece that requires a minimum of tweaking (purely to make it my own) before slotting it straight into my act. For this I paid a paltry $30. I wouldn't even begin to calculate the amount of effort and thought that went into creating and refining that routine. The mere act of typing it up is worth more than $30. The same is true of much of Bob's material, much of Richard Osterlind's, Atlas Brookings and too many others to mention.

Think about what we spend elsewhere, it's a sorry state of affairs when many performers are willing to spend more travelling to a venue than they paid for the entire contents of their act. People will quibble about paying $100 for the life's work of a creative genius and then gladly hand a plumber twice that for spending 15 minutes changing a washer in the tap. We are spoilt and we don't even realise it, we are lucky that the creative members of our community are generous enough to take the time to put their ideas and experience into books and videos and then sell them to the rest of us for a fraction of their true worth.

Yes there will be people who read this post and think "What a load of bollox ... they do it for the money, pure and simple". Well the reality is that those with creative talent would make far more profit writing bad novels than good magic books if it were just about the money. However regardless of their motives without those that have the talent to create magic there would be a lot less of us able to perform it.

Mark


Fully agreed. If you take just four of Richard Osterlind's DVD programs: ETMMM, MM, 13 Steps and Sapphire, all four complete sets retail for less than $500. When you consider it took Richard 45 years of thinking, practicing, performing, traveling and teaching to develop what is on those DVD programs, and they contain at least four complete shows of material, one could easily consider those courses together to be a very complete Master Course in Mentalism, easily worth many, many thousands of dollars.
The Elvis Peek, Micro Billet Q&A, Instant Psychic Readings or Just for the Hull of It (Q&A 1-2-3 + Hull of a Peek) are sold separately and are available for $20 each. To order send Paypal for $20 to: mindreaderfxfx@gmail.com and specify which title you are ordering.

Videos are streaming only and cannot be downloaded.

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Athos
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Here is how I think when I read product reviews:

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NADO
«How much of a gift it would be to really know what someone is thinking of?»
- Steeve Blanchet, news anchor, TVA
«Here is someone that truly uses his powers for good.»
- David Meclomesnil, weekend radio.
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