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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Has Amazon killed the Brick and Mortar Magic Shop? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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WitchDocChris
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I think it's not so much Amazon, as it is that the internet in general has changed how we socialize and that includes shopping. The idea of magicians gathering in the back room of the magic shop is not really something that happens a lot these days, as far as I can tell. Magicians gather on forums, Google Hangouts, and at conventions now.

Personally brick and mortar stores don't really do it for me. I live in the middle of nowhere and it's at least two hours to get to any magic store (Denny & Lee's) - and that's two hours in the opposite direction of anything else I do. I did place an order online when I heard he needed the money (My shipping was also $6 so I'm guessing he does a flat rate, which he's losing money on that shipping I'm pretty sure). I get that the charm of a physical store is seeing a trick demo'd in front of you before you buy it - but I almost never buy tricks. I buy books, which don't need demos, and I buy bizarre props or routines that can't be found in physical stores.

In today's retail market I don't think anything as niche as a magic store has much of a chance if it doesn't also sell online. Maybe in a big city enough random people will come in to make purchases and pay the rent, but it would be very risky to try that.

So in that way I'm agreeing with previous posts - it's not Amazon per se, but just the internet in general has shifted how people shop. Though I will say I rarely purchase magic from Amazon. I will go to Penguin, or directly to creators, long before I resort to Amazon regardless of how attractive the 2 day free shipping is.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Salguod Nairb
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There's not a brick and mortar magic shop within a thousand miles of me.

I prefer the auction/surplus sites, but Amazon offers free shipping on most magic staple items.
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
tommy
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It is impossible to compete with China prices. Importing products from China and selling them online – mainly through Amazon & eBay is what everybody is doing. It is a sort of combination punch which eventually will knock everybody out, not just magic shops out in the West.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dannydoyle
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While a book needs no demo if you have a guy do a trick from the book you are far more likely to buy it if you like the trick.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WitchDocChris
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For most I agree completely, Danny, but in my case specifically I focus on theory, business, and history. I never buy books for the tricks, I buy them for the insight from the author.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
magicfish
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No. Penguin has.
Salguod Nairb
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I buy most of my books now from lybrary.com. Every since my book collection was rained upon while sitting (mailbag) on the flight line, I've been weary of buying hard copies.
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
tommy
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I plunge my hand into the virtual world and grab a fish.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
WitchDocChris
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I think Penguin was just better at the internet sales thing than most other magic stores. It's not their fault that people prefer to shop online, they just adapted to the demands of the market.

I have a lot of eBooks but I genuinely prefer the real thing. There's just something about having it in my hands, on paper. You can lose data to a computer crash just as easily as physical objects getting damaged. I've seen it many times.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Chris
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Quote:
On Feb 2, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
You can lose data to a computer crash just as easily as physical objects getting damaged. I've seen it many times.

But you have an influence on your data security (meaning backups), you have no control over the weather or if the carrier handles your packages well or not. I have received parcels torn open, half the contents missing, broken, besides wet due to rain.
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
Salguod Nairb
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My warped book collection will attest to the previous post.

Besides, backing up e-data is extremely easy to do externally or on a cloud.
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WitchDocChris
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All systems have a point of failure. Cloud servers can crash, data can be corrupted, accounts can be lost, links go dead, so on.

If it works for you that's great. I just don't trust it that much. I've got hundreds of books, I've moved cross country with them multiple times. I pack them in weather-proof containers so short of driving into a lake nothing is going to happen to them. On top of that, and I know this is old fashioned, I love the feel and smell of books. Books are knowledge and creativity in physical form.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
slowkneenuh
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Two major sources of magic literature in ebook form (Lybrary & Penguin) allow you permanent access to your digital purchases and serve as a backup.
John

"A poor workman always blames his tools"
Salguod Nairb
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If the grid goes down it'll be human sacrifices, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! Smile

One day when I stop being mobile I would like to have a study full of books, but for now e-books work for me.
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tommy
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There some advantages to virtual books etcetera. There are some things in old newspaper archive;, history of magic, magician interviews and so on, that I find interesting and which I would never had read if it wasn’t for being able to search on the net. I have found books I have bever heard of on line and which I bought then as a result.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Chris
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Quote:
On Feb 2, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
All systems have a point of failure. Cloud servers can crash, data can be corrupted, accounts can be lost, links go dead, so on.

This is a bit of a silly argument. Yes, you are correct that hard discs can break, cloud servers and accounts can vanish or be lost, etc. But this only applies if you use ONE backup and solely rely on it. That was true twenty years ago when storage was expensive. One backup was all one could afford. These days storage is dirt cheap. Most folks will be able to fit all their magic digital media on one USB flash memory, or on an additional external hard disc. Back-up your belongings two or three times, and then store the hard disc or USB flash memory in different locations. Even in the catastrophic event of your house burning down or some other major disaster striking one of your backups is likely to survive. Add to this a cloud storage solution (such as the Lybrary.com digital shelf which everyone of our customers automatically gets) and you would need some global event to loose your data. And in that case you will have other worries than your magic ebooks.
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
WitchDocChris
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Again, I'm not saying anyone is wrong for preferring digital or even using digital. I'm just saying I don't prefer it for these reasons.

I have helped customers who made their redundant backups only to have it all fail at the same time (Or more likely, they failed over time without the customer noticing). Yes, it's a bit of paranoia, I know this. I prefer books, and on top of preferring books I don't trust digital storage completely. So for me, I will continue going for real books by default and eBooks when there's no other option. Though I am still considering printing the ones I really like.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On Feb 1, 2017, NYCTwister wrote:
I once worked for a man who insisted the internet was a fad, even as sales plunged.
His only strategy was to constantly raise prices in response to shrinking sales.
When I asked him why people would pay those prices, his response was "they have to, because I need them to."

Like I said, dinosaurs.


You're making the presumption that ALL brick and mortars are following this man's lead.

Some (not all, sadly, not even most) are trying to embrace the technology and make an internet identity for themselves. (Although, they still have to stand in the shadow of Penquin.)

This guy is definitely the second character in "Who Moved My Cheese?" Starving to death, but certain that if he stands there long enough, the cheese will come back.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Moved_My_Cheese%3F

"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Dannydoyle
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He didn't make any presumptions. He related a story.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
NYCTwister
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Admittedly he was extremely old fashioned.

The really sad part was that he held onto his belief that things would go back to the way they were for so long that he ended up putting all his (substantial) savings into his stores just to keep them afloat.

Now he drives a cab. aaaaand he's going on and on about Uber.

Ironically I got back into entertaining after the store I was managing closed and we parted ways.
I've done so well through simple word of mouth that I've never needed much of a virtual presence.
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
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