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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » From Soup to Nuts » » The tricks dealers use (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jamie Ferguson
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Alba Gu Bràth
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I've noticed more and more dealers using dirty tricks to win business from unsuspecting members of the magic community.

Thought I'd start a thread to highlight what some of these tricks are and call out dealers that use them.

1. "Bait and wait" - taking pre-orders for a product with a stated dispatch date, then delaying that date (and blaming suppliers in some instances).
2. "No see V.A.T." - making prices look lower than they are on the website by slapping VAT on later in the process, e.g. at checkout.
3. "Premium postage" - giving you no other choice than to choose a high price delivery service (which returns extra margin to the dealer).
4. "The secret sell" - not accepting returns because 'the value is the secret'. This isn't legal in some countries.
5. "Stock shock" - you pay your money only to be told the item is actually out of stock, with no previous warning.
6. "Pre-order panic" - hyping a rubbish product to get pre-sales in, often quoting limited runs to add to the urgency.

Anyone else have others to add?

I'm hoping dealers read this thread and use it as useful feedback in terms of what ticks customers off.
When the chips are down, the duvet is uncomfortable.
Merc Man
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- Dodgy advertising (often) via YouTube, etc. whereby the clip has been carefully edited to hide angle problems, and/or handling discrepancies, etc.

- Saying something is 'Exclusive'.............when half a dozen other outlets are offering the self-same thing.

- Selling items that are 'highly recommended' by a raft of 'big names' - when it's highly probable that the majority of these endorsements have only been given after a little brown envelope has been slipped into a back pocket.

- Dealers, and others, bigging up a pack of playing cards as if it's the holy grail of magic. It's a pack of poxy playing cards for God sake!

- And finally, my pet hate, magic dealers that only ever seem to appear on magic forums with the sole intention of simply marketing their products, events, etc.

But if I'm honest Jamie, we are wasting our time. It's become crystal clear that, having contributed to a couple of threads this week, the hobbyists perceive our wonderful dealers as being the true lifeblood of our art form. So many within our fraternity these days clearly have more disposable income than common sense.
Barry Allen

Joe Riding
20th May 1932 - 23rd April 2005

Thank you for making me an entertainer. I still miss ya mate.
Merc Man
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See what I mean Jame!
Barry Allen

Joe Riding
20th May 1932 - 23rd April 2005

Thank you for making me an entertainer. I still miss ya mate.
rhiro
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Has anyone else experienced "Out of stock, so let's ship the customer something sort-of close"? I had that happen to me once. I ordered a Folding Quarter, and they instead sent (and charged me for) a different trick that came with two coins permanently inserted into miniature glass bottles. (Yes, I felt a bit like what Master Payne preaches in his hilarious Coin in Bottle rant/routine.)

I gave the dealer the benefit of the doubt and chalked this up to an honest mistake, even though I had the feeling it wasn't. Just wondering if others have experienced this.

-Ross
M Petersen
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I hope more people comment, as this is a very informative thread.

Marshall
H & R Magic Books
www.magicbookshop.com
plink
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One advantage of getting older is being able to wait and see. The for sale section of the Café is great to see what is not living up to its hype. I've come to be dubious of 'celebrity endorsements'. Some well known magicians have endorsed tricks that are poor at best.
civins
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Quote:
On Dec 18, 2014, Jamie Ferguson wrote:
I've noticed more and more dealers using dirty tricks to win business from unsuspecting members of the magic community.

Thought I'd start a thread to highlight what some of these tricks are and call out dealers that use them.

1. "Bait and wait" - taking pre-orders for a product with a stated dispatch date, then delaying that date (and blaming suppliers in some instances).
2. "No see V.A.T." - making prices look lower than they are on the website by slapping VAT on later in the process, e.g. at checkout.
3. "Premium postage" - giving you no other choice than to choose a high price delivery service (which returns extra margin to the dealer).
4. "The secret sell" - not accepting returns because 'the value is the secret'. This isn't legal in some countries.
5. "Stock shock" - you pay your money only to be told the item is actually out of stock, with no previous warning.
6. "Pre-order panic" - hyping a rubbish product to get pre-sales in, often quoting limited runs to add to the urgency.

Anyone else have others to add?

I'm hoping dealers read this thread and use it as useful feedback in terms of what ticks customers off.


the prices without vat really irritates me. Another thing that I don't like is shipping rates that are unclear until you get to checkout.
med_doc7
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One thing that I truly find irritating is that many magic dealers actually do not have stock of a product that is on their website. It is only after an order is placed that they go ahead and order it themselves from a distributor or manufacturer and then they write to you the customer that the product is back ordered and that it will be 7-10 days before it ships.

I would rather the dealer would be honest and state as some dealers do whether the item is in stock or not and how long it will take to ship the product if it is not in stock.

I especially appreciate Penguin Magic for being quite honest in this regard. Every single product they sell there is a real time indicator if it is in stock or not and if it is not; then you cannot order it. I highly respect Penguin for not taking a customer's money if they do not have the product.
Wizard of Oz
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The "back order" is the bane of this industry and has ruined my relationship with several online dealers. If I give a shop my money, I expect that they have the item in stock and can ship it to me promptly, otherwise, why would I give them my money? Why? So I can wait when I could have ordered it from someone who actually was honest and DID have it in stock.

With today's technology there is absolutely no reason why this pitiful practice exists...none. And if excuses are made those excuses are laughable, because either the shop is lying, or they are not pushing their wholesale sources hard enough to keep up with current technology. Now, I only deal with reputable shops who show when an item is out of stock. Sure, I may go to another source to find that particular effect that I want/need. But by being honest my go-to shop kept their credibility and reputation, and would continue to be on my preferred vendor list.

Oh yes, I forgot...some shops will take your order, ship your order, and then send you a shipping order showing what has shipped and what is on back order. But, the back order items have not been charged to your account yet. They think this will make you feel better. It doesn't. It just puts you in an uncomfortable position in the middle of whether needing to work to cancel the purchase and find another source, or wait it out. I don't like being teased. Too many painful playground memories.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
med_doc7
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I am complete agreement with you, Wizard. Like yourself, I will no longer order anything that does not specifically state that it is in stock. If it does not say in stock and/or if nothing is stated, I assume it is not in stock and will no longer order from that merchant. I've been burned many times. Other industries don't tolerate such practices for the most part; not sure why the magic business is any different.

I do understand that it is quite costly for magic dealers to maintain adequate stock on hand due to the myriad of products available and that are always being released. But every industry has this difficulty with cash flow so it really should not be tolerated. I do understand they don't want to be hit with a tremendous amount of stock if a product is a piece of junk. It also doesn't mean the merchant has to carry every item either. I respect magic dealers that have discretion in their purchase choices. Sure they may miss out on some sales but a loyal customer will ask the merchant to special order a product that is not carried anyway, especially if the merchant has displayed ethics and honesty.

But don't list a product if you don't have it in stock.

My two cents and similar to Wizard above.
stempleton
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Experiencing one now... item says "2 in stock," order, check back and says "1 in stock." A week later, says "2 in stock" again, but another week later being told it is out and that "software makes mistakes."
mndude
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Selling a smoke machine with the promise of having colored smoke cartridges eventually in the future but then never releasing them!
Raj Suman
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I have some dealers that I no longer have business with beacuse they let me down.
merchant of magic say things are in stock but take along time to be sent so I did'nt beleive them anymore (also when I spoke to them they agreed it wasnt in stock yet) and they take too long to reply to the emails I send. the other is world magic shop who sell good things but their service is bad sometimes by not seinding things out until you email them to remind them you have done an order on the website. both of them are not good or quick at resolving some problems.

Ones that are good and I use a lot are alakazam magic and saturn magic who always are sending things quick, most on the same day and reply to emails on the same day. I use others too but these are the main ones for now.
Jamie Ferguson
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Looks like Hocus Pocus are on the hook for continual late delivery of pre-orders.
When the chips are down, the duvet is uncomfortable.
pegasus
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Totally agree with you Jamie. No2 = Merchant of Magic. Really winds me up.
pegasus
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Totally agree with you Jamie. No2 = Merchant of Magic. Really winds me up.


- And finally, my pet hate, magic dealers that only ever seem to appear on magic forums with the sole intention of simply marketing their products, events, etc

Yep. Trevor Whatever rings a bell. Told him what I thought though.
Cole Gross
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Quote:
On Jan 14, 2015, Jamie Ferguson wrote:
Looks like Hocus Pocus are on the hook for continual late delivery of pre-orders.


Hey Jamie –
Cole from Hocus Pocus here. Please know, HP gets presale products to our customers FASTER not later than other dealers. This is because we are located so close to our suppliers.

If something is advertised to release on 02/01/2015 for example, it is in our best interest to get it out on 02/01/2015, and we strive to do it on that date or earlier if possible.

HP does NOT make up release dates. The release dates that are advertised on our (and other sites) come straight from the suppliers (which they get from the manufacturors), NOT the dealers.

If the Product does not get delivered to the supplier (i.e. Murphy’s Magic) until 02/02/2015 NO DEALER can get it to you on 02/01/2015.

Bottom line is; if a presale product is released late, it is going to be late on EVERY site, including ours. I know many people are not a fan of the preorder craze that has taken place in this industry. Personally I wouldn't preorder products, but would wait until they are available and have been reviewed. That would ensure that it is available to ship, it holds up to the ad copy/meets my needs.

I am not writing this to disagree with you personally, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am just hoping to inform others of the position these release dates and preorders have on our business, in addition to the frustration the consumers experience.

Thanks for listing.

Cole
Cole
Hocus Pocus Magic
Toll Free: 800-407-4040
www.hocus-pocus.com
DelMagic
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My pet peeve is poor packing/packaging.

I hate ordering somewhat expensive items and having them come in dinged due to poor packing/packaging.

Although I order a variety of items, my largest volumes are on decks and books. It is very easy for each to have corner dings or bumps if the outer package is flimsy or if the inner packing material is insufficient or completely absent. Why do shippers not realize that items cannot move freely around in a package during shipping?

I realize that they cost money, but proper boxes and bubble wrap can help satisfy the discerning customer and prevent returns of damaged items.
stempleton
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Quote:
On Jan 9, 2015, stempleton wrote:
Experiencing one now... item says "2 in stock," order, check back and says "1 in stock." A week later, says "2 in stock" again, but another week later being told it is out and that "software makes mistakes."



Well, here I am again, same online dealer, and recently order a Mikame item which says "1 in stock." Two days later I receive a curt reply saying the inventory was in error and I would be receiving a paypal refund. My earlier experience was met with this dealer stating that he was responsible for thousands of items, insinuating that it was impossible to ensure complete accuracy in inventory postings. Having spent over a decade in retail management, my response is, if you can't do it, get someone who can. This is your cost of doing business. This dealer will no longer be getting ANY consideration for future business.
DavidK
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Some on-line dealers advertise items that are no longer available. e.g. some Mikame Magic.
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